Kao Essential Night Care Milk (Non-Rinse) Review

The YS Beauty Lab

Hair products seem to be my thing here at the YesStyle Beauty Lab. I’ve tried other hair masks that require rinsing, leave-on types, sprays and shampoos but this is the first time I’m using a hair sleeping mask – the Kao Essential Night Care Milk. Because, yes, your hair also needs pampering while you slumber underneath your nest of pillows and blankets.

Created to minimize the damage caused by “pillow friction” (when your hair repeatedly rubs against the fabric of your pillow as you sleep, unless you use silk bed linens), Essential Night Care Milk is essentially a leave-on treatment that gives your hair intense moisture and thus a layer of protection against cuticle damage. The desired result is to wake up with hair that looks less like grumpy bedhead and more like salon siren.

Retailing at a truly affordable US$10.90 for a 100ml bottle, the product is a simple and unpretentious addition to my bathroom counter – exactly how I like my beauty products. While the information and instructions are all in Japanese, it’s still pretty easy to figure out: Pump out an amount appropriate to your hair length, apply on dry or washed-and-towel-dried hair, comb out the tangles a bit and then sleep!

Wash and Wear
I initially planned on testing this product while my hair was shoulder-length. However, due to personal reasons, I had it cut to a chin-length bob. So the true test is whether the milk would work on hair as short as mine, or whether I’d have to settle for looking like my usual rumpled morning self.

Applying it after washing and towel-drying my hair is a breeze. The scent is light and slightly floral but not too cloying. Two light pumps were enough to cover the middle to tips of my hair, based on the instructions. As my hair dried, it was noticeably softer than usual and I’d like to think I fell asleep faster because of the scent. The next morning, my hair felt softer than usual, and more bouncy despite some flatness – which wasn’t surprising since my hair isn’t naturally curly. A quick blow-dry made it look much better and in 10 minutes I was out the door.

Dry and Defined
It felt weird putting the treatment on un-shampooed dry hair, only because I’m used to putting hair products on freshly washed, slightly damp hair. If I used this in the summer, I’m afraid that the combo of soaring temperatures and sweat might not combine well with the product, possibly turning my head into a vat of curdled, sour milk. No way!

Thanks to the now cooler weather here in Hong Kong, my bob managed to retain its shape and still smells good. It was a little bit flatter by the afternoon but that was okay.

With my dry, frizzy and occasionally Hagridic state of hair, the Kao Essential Night Care Milk provides a quick pampering fix for my locks, even when they’re half the length they used to be. If your hair is very dry or severely damaged from chemicals or extreme blow-drying, using this treatment regularly might help restore some health and shine to your tresses. I imagine this would work well on permed hair or those with natural curls too!