Drew Barrymore loves this £24 JVN hair serum – but is it worth it?

Drew Barrymore says this JVN product saved his hair. (Getty Images)

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Flamboyant and deeply fabulous American hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness – aka JVN – became an icon after his fun and energetic turn weird eye as a grooming expert. (Example quote: “I was the first male cheerleader in my high school; it’s very hard to embarrass me – you have to do a lot”).

So when he decided to launch his own brand of inclusive, gender-neutral and clean hair products, there was, to say the least, a bit of a frenzy. Since he’s blessed with the lushest locks since Jennifer Aniston, we frankly want what he’s got.

And, hooray, the JVN hair care range – exclusively available in-store and online at Space NK – finally launched in the UK at the end of February. The eco-friendly, professional-grade range includes shampoos, conditioners, scalp pre-wash oil and even an ‘air dry’ cream.

But after seeing rave reviews on social media, it was clear there was one standout purchase I had to make, pronto.

And when I found out that Drew Barrymore said that NVG Instant Recovery Complete Serum “SAVED my hair”, I ran to Space NK faster than you could say “good hair day”.

Only to find that it had sold out in three of the stores closest to my house. So I had to be patient and order it online. But…was it worth the wait and the price of £24? Here are my thoughts.

What is hair serum used for?

The big plus for me is that it protects against heat damage up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (about 232 degrees Celsius) while strengthening your hair, repairing the outer shaft and reducing split ends.

Everything I urgently need.

Plus, it’s vegan, suitable for all hair types, including color-treated (mine is highlighted), and it’s silicone-free – which is good because it can cause dryness and buildup, and it is also sulfate-free (sulfates can strip hair of beneficial oils and proteins).

As for the packaging? It comes in a recyclable glass jar that also has a recyclable aluminum lid.

How it works?

Here’s the science: two of the key ingredients are niacinamide – which helps support hair repair, and hemisqualane which apparently strengthens and smoothes while reducing damage.

The formula also contains “charged lemon protein” – the brand claims this protects and defends against heat and environmental damage.

JVN Instant Recovery Serum

JVN Instant Recovery Serum includes Niacinamide which helps support hair repair and Hemisqualane which strengthens and smoothes. (NVG/ NK Space)

£24 at Space NK

As all of the above is meant to equal shiny, strong hair, I can’t wait to see if my raggedy, highlighted goodness will feel any benefit.

How to register:

It is a “cream”, so you should not spray it.

I took a 50p amount (I have a very thin chin length bob) and applied it to my damp hair, then combed it through to make sure it was evenly distributed.

You don’t wash it. As it is also a heat protectant, you should apply it before you start blowing your mane with a hair dryer or using any other heat tool.

What to expect?

I usually find that the standard heat protectant products you spray on make my fine, fragile hair stiff and sticky, so I tend to only use a tiny amount. Therefore, the heat protection factor is probably negligible, which is part of why my hair looks so broken.

But the NVG Instant Recovery Complete Serum was a revelation. As for my worries about the creamy texture making my fine hair look and feel dull and greasy? No, there’s not a hint of lameness.

After drying my hair, it instantly feels softer and looks more nourished. He is also bouncy and full of body.

Although I can’t say this has been an absolute miracle cure for my damaged lengths (unless I stop having blonde highlights, I don’t think anything totally fix that) the serum smooths out some of the fluffy texture that I hate. And my hair looks and feels much more hydrated and healthier overall.

So welcome to my bathroom NVG Instant Recovery Complete Serum – I think we will have a long and lasting friendship.

JVN Hair Instant Recovery Complete Serum

JVN Hair Instant Recovery Complete Serum

£24 at Space NK

Melissa R. Brumfield