The basic recipe for a rock star is as follows: One part musical talent, two parts easy swagger, a dash of glamour, a spritz of eau de leather, and—the most important ingredient—iconic, rock 'n roll hair. In fact, if you can just nail the hair part, the rest should fall into place (well, maybe not the talent part). The one thing all rock gods have in common, from Debbie Harry and Joan Jett to Jimi Hendrix and Slash, is cool hair.
Of course, not all of us can simply style our hair with sweat from playing sold out shows and tears from screaming fans (which is what we assume Dave Grohl has been using). If you want to look like a rockstar without any of the grit or grime or busy tour schedule, IGK is just as effective.
Founded in 2016, the brand is relatively new to the haircare scene but has already made a splash with its punky, irreverent style and products made to create hair trends—not follow them (and what’s more rock 'n roll than that?). The IGK founders—Leo and Franck Izquierdo, Aaron Grenia, and Chase Kusero—call themselves “the new school of hairstyling.”
Founded: In 2016, by brothers Leo and Franck Izquierdo, Aaron Grenia, and Chase Kusero.
Based in: Miami, FL
Best known for: Cool, modern products that help you create on-trend looks.
Most popular product: First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo
Fun fact: The name IGK comes from the first letter of each of the founders' last names.
Other brands you’ll love: R+Co, Bumble and Bumble, Lush, Bed Head
So what is the new school of hairstyling exactly? First of all, in the IGK school of style, gone are the days of stuffy salons and the same “safe” hairstyles you’ve been getting for years. The brand's products should inspire you to try something new—say, leopard print hair—and set that trend for everyone else around you.
Secondly, the new school is more responsible. Rock gods may have a “don’t care” attitude, but it’s all for show. IGK products are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as color-safe, sulfate-free, and gluten-free. The key ingredients are super nourishing—think coconut oil, shea butter, and Kakadu plum—so while you may look effortlessly cool, your hair is reaping big-time health benefits.
But according to the four founders, the most important tenet of this new school of hairstyling is usability. “As stylists, we work with so many different products, and we wanted to create something easy for our clients to understand and to work with,” they say. “We wanted them to be able to go home and get the same results we were able to give in the salon.”
So what are IGK's chart-topping hits? Ahead, we tested the brand's offerings to discover the best products that are worth the hype.
First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo
IGK makes a few different dry shampoos, but First Class gives the deepest cleanse (others focus more on texturizing or lightweight volume). If you’ve skipped more than one wash or you’re doing serious sweat control after hitting the gym, First Class is the one you want. That’s thanks to its headliner ingredient—charcoal powder—which detoxifies and lifts heavy duty dirt or buildup. Plus, despite being, you know… charcoal, the formula sprays on completely clear and smells a little like fresh cucumber.
Permanent Color Kit
At-home hair color can be a little intimidating (and overwhelming, messy, high stakes—the list goes on). This permanent IGK kit—which comes with pigment, developer, barrier gel, a post-treatment mask, stain-removing cleanser, and a pair of rubber gloves—makes the whole process a lot easier. The box is folded up in an origami envelope and doubles as a kind of “game board” of instructions to get you a healthy color with a lot of shine and dimension. We opted to ease in with “Back to Brown” for our test run, but the results were so good and the process was so easy, we’re eyeing some of the bolder options (Movie Night, Copper Cola, or maybe even Moon Dance) for next time.
Good Behavior 4-in-1 Prep Spray
If you have trouble getting damaged or unruly hair to work with you, this creamy priming spray is a good place to start, whether you’re prepping for heat styling or just air-drying curly hair. Spirulina protein strengthens weak strands, while coconut oil conditions and detangles. The formula is lightweight and best for fine hair—if you have a thicker mane, you might want to opt for the Good Behavior Protein Smoothing Balm, which adds a few heavy-duty moisturizers like shea butter.
Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray
IGK calls this a keratin-like treatment in a can, and since actual keratin treatments can be a big commitment (and expensive), we loved the idea of an easy smoother and shine-maker. The product’s bonding polymers tame flyaways to a high-shine finish that's activated by your blow dryer and lasts about 24 hours. Just mist onto damp hair in sections, comb it through, and blow dry (or, for bonus smoothness, hit your hair with a flat iron).
Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray
Ah, beach hair. The ultimate “I woke up like this” style can actually be pretty hard to get right. Sea salt tends to dry out strands and leave behind a sticky residue, so IGK made its volumizing texture spray without it, instead using glycerin and hydrolyzed wheat protein to give that tousled, windswept look. It’s one of the few texturizing sprays we can say has given us results while still being flexible, soft, and touchable. The spray also has a nice, beachy coconut smell so no one will know you didn’t come straight from vacation.
Legendary Dream Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
A one-size-fits all shampoo and conditioner is incredibly hard to find. Too much oil will weigh down finer hair types, while not enough hydrators will leave textured hair parched. This IGK duo is meant to work on all hair types, delivering a boost of healthy prebiotics to nourish the scalp and create healthy hair, starting at your roots. Red sea algae delivers the kind of moisture you might get from heavier butters and oils, but without the weight, so styles remain airy and light.
Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm
This silky, lightweight balm has an all-star, Coachella-worthy lineup of hydrating ingredients—coconut oil, shea butter, and argan oil. After finger-combing this tropical-scented treatment through our hair, we noticed an immediate boost of life and softness—like our hair had been dehydrated for years and was finally getting the drink it’s been begging for.
Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blonde Toning Drops
These easy-to-use toning drops turn you into a kind of hair mixologist, which was a job we didn’t even know we wanted. Mix a couple drops of this purple pigment into any styler (the IGK Hydrating Hair Balm would be a good one), or an extra dash into your shampoo and conditioner, and watch brassy tones disappear before your eyes. Brunettes: Still reading? They also have one in blue, just for us.
Cash In Instant Repair Serum
This repairing serum is a good all-around product that can be mixed, layered, or used alone to refresh fried or over-processed strands. Since our hair was feeling pretty healthy after our faux keratin treatment (shoutout to IGK's Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray) we tested this repairing elixir on dry, damaged Remy hair extensions that we thought were too far gone to be saved. Much to our delight, the vegan silk extract and baobab oil blend gave our clip-ins a softer, shinier new lease on life.