Ever sine opening her eponymous salon in 2000 in Tribeca, Younghee Kim noticed a recurring issue with clients: irritated, clogged scalps. Kim, who served as Vidal Sassoon’s NYC Creative Director, was an esthetician before opening the salon. Today, she applies her love and knowledge of skin to her clients’ hair treatments. After utilizing classic beauty techniques and ancient ingredients, she decided to create a healthy solution— the Essential Rinse, a hair and scalp purifying toner that precedes the Essential Blowout.
“When you clean your skin, you use toner then a moisturize, right? I applied that same notion to the shampoo process when I created the Essential Rinse three years ago. Clients first choose a style they want and we begin shampooing right at the chair. We apply shampoo directly on dry hair and scalp then add water little by little and begin massaging for 15 seconds. This lifts build-up, dirt, and oil and detoxes the hair and scalp the natural way. Then we follow with the Younghee Essential Rinse, which comes in Mint or Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV),” Kim tells us. For clients with inflammation and sensitivity, she reaches for the ACV Essential Rinse because it’s good for balancing the scalp’s pH level, while cleansing and adding shine to the hair.
Healthy, clean hair is Kim’s ultimate goal for each client, and with the Essential Rinse routine, she’s able to meet that sans silicones. “The silkiness consumers feel in their hair comes from the artificial silicones in their shampoo. When you look at their roots, you can immediately tell their daily haircare products contain silicones because it appears heavy and oily at the root, and looks dry at the ends.” Kim thinks of the Essential Rinse as the step after your shampoo, a toner if you will, that makes hair completely ready to absorb whatever you apply next, be it leave-in conditioner, mousse, heat protectant.
For an added purifying step, Kim recommends massaging the scalp at least three times a day. “You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Well, it’s good to give yourself a scalp massage morning, day, and night.” Depending on the length of your hair, Kim says to use your fingertips and both hands to tap around your head. Meanwhile move your neck from side to side then back and forward.
A natural haircare champion, Kim’s favorite silicone-free products include Rahua and Rene Furterer. The trend these days is to use shampoo for specific hair goals—body, shine, etc.—but Kim suggests a basic shampoo that has a normal pH balance of 6.5 , like the Rene Furterer Nature Extra-Gentle Shampoo, which is for all hair types.