The Shampoo Files: Kérastase Cristalliste

Does a shampoo and conditioner made specifically for long hair really work?
Publish date:
December 26, 2014
long hair, conditioners, kerastase, hair care, detanglers, shampoo files, Cristalliste

I don't have super-long hair yet, but I am so happy that I can actually see some length at my décolletage when I look down. This is, as most of you know, a dream on its way to coming true for me. So when I saw Kérastase Cristalliste's line, which is made specifically for long hair, I wondered how it would work on my mid-length mop.

It was enlightening to poke around the web for scientific backup of the complexes and systems touted by the line. Aloe extract, "Liquid Light Complex," polymers, and sophisticated surfactants all promise to keep lengths tangle-free, clean, and shiny.

What: Kérastase Cristalliste Bain Cristal Thick (shampoo) and Lait Cristal (conditioner)

Intended Users: I chose the Thick formula of the shampoo, since I normally use Kérastase's volumizing or thickening options.

Intended Results: Using an "Anti-Oil Solubilization System," the shampoo is supposed to be high-foaming and gentle enough to use on long, older ends of hair. There is both a fine hair and thick hair formula in this line.

The milky conditioner formula has a host of lightweight but effective conditioners, providing slip without adding weight. There is one conditioner for both fine and thick textures.

Price: Bain Cristal Thick, $39.00; Lait Cristal, $42.00

Price Per Ounce: Bain Cristal Thick, $4.60; Lait Cristal, $6.30

Notable Inclusions and Exclusions: Bain Cristal Thick shampoo is silicone-free, paraben-free, and includes benzoic and salicylic acids. The conditioner has what I like to call "high-end" silicones, which are smaller and don’t create build up as easily. It also contains aloe, cellulose (that's the polymer), and humectant derivatives of castor oil.

Overall Impression of Bain Cristal: This shampoo has the very distinct Kérastase soapy scent. It took a good deal of shampoo or a double wash to get the suds going with this one, which I’m not crazy about. I don’t wash often, and double washing really seems to make my hair extra poufy--something I’m only sometimes going for.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Cat-With-Heart-Eyes Emoji

Overall Impression of Lait Cristal: This conditioner gave me soft hair with bounce and shine that I normally have to coax out with the blow dryer. I noticed that my fluctuating curl pattern was in full ruffled mode after using this the first time, and I had to just go with it. I air dried with some scrunching and was truly wowed by the surfbort-quality curls I was granted. Soft, shiny, bouncy curls with no grease or weight in sight. Meant for both fine or thick textures, this stuff is really lightweight but gets it done, proper. My ends don’t feel coated or oily, but they are smooth to the touch, as spaces in the cuticle have absorbed the cellulose polymer until the next washing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Cat-With-Heart-Eyes Emoji

Could I have chosen the wrong shampoo? Maybe. I will pass this on to a friend with thicker, longer hair and see what she thinks, but it isn’t a dud by any means. The conditioner, however, is a sparkling diamond of dew and happiness. I get a feeling in my hair from the conditioner that I haven’t felt from any other.

If you are a Kérastase fan, consider mixing and matching among the lines to get the best result. I like the hyaluronic acid and nutrient-packed Densifique Bain Densité paired with either Cristalliste Lait Cristal or Nutritive Lait Vital in that order. Both are wonderful conditioners.

  • What's your favorite Kérastase Shampoo or Conditioner?
  • Do you ever mix and match lines to get a desired result?

Photos by Darnell Scott