The Bottom Line
- Cheap compared to salon brands.
- Solid performance from the products I tested.
- All products had pleasant fragrances.
- Easy to understand usage instructions.
- Graphics make it easy to select the right styling product for your style.
- Styling product packaging is hideously excessive.
- Fragrances can be too strong and may clash with your cologne or deodorant.
- Contains excessive and unnecessary artificial coloring.
- Did I mention the cheesy marketing?
- Axe Downpour Refreshing Mint Shampoo - contains mint leave extract and feels cool on the scalp
- Axe Heat Igniting Citrus 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner - spice and citrus provide a unique warming sensasion.
- Axe Zen Tea Tree Shampoo - with tea tree.
- Axe Charged Spiked-Up Look Putty - deceptively named cream that gives strong hold and spiky texture.
- Axe Laid Back Shaggy Look Cream - suitable for longer styles and provides separation and texture.
- Axe Whatever Messy Look Paste - provides that "bed head" texture with low shine and a strong hold.
- Axe Sleek Smooth & Sophisticated Look Shine Pomadee - provides variable hold and high shine for more formal styles.
- Axe Refined Clean Cut Look Pomade - a lower shine pomade provides control and a more natural finish.
Guide Review - A Review of the Axe Hair Line of Styling Products
While Axe offers about ten different shampoos, I had the opportunity to try the three newest -- Axe Downpour Refreshing Mint Shampoo, Axe Heat Igniting Citrus 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner, and Axe Zen Soothing Tea Tree Shampoo. I found that all three products cleaned well and rinsed away easily, leaving my hair feeling clean and soft. The Heat 2 in 1 shampoo was surprisingly good and it had a nice warming effect (although it's probably not the best option if you have oily hair). The ingredient list is quite similar between the Tea Tree and Mint shampoos (and very similar to all of their basic shampoos), so pick the one that smells best -- there's not a huge difference between them. Axe does offer shampoos for dandruff and deep cleaning, but I did not have the opportunity to try them for this review. I suspect these products will likely perform similarly well.
My biggest gripe about the shampoos is the excessive use of artificial colors. Each of the shampoos has a bright color which sparkles. Cute, but not necessary. I'm not one of the types who believes everything must be organic or all-natural, but I do appreciate products which are stripped of unnecessary packaging and ingredients.
The Styling Products
Of the five products I tested, all performed surprisingly well. I actually expected less from a supermarket brand, but I was pleasantly surprised. My favorite, Axe Whatever Messy Look Paste is one that I'll hold onto. For me, it provides great control and texture and a little bit of shine -- perfect for my dull, fine hair. The two Pomades (Axe Refined Clean Cut Look Pomade and Axe Sleek Smooth & Sophisticated Look Shine Pomade) performed well and were easy to work with -- both gave similar hold, but the Clean Cut Pomade gave a more natural finish with less of a wet look. Axe Charged Spiked-Up Look Putty isn't so much a putty as it is a cream, but give a nice hold and texture for more aggressive styles while Axe Laid Back Shaggy Look Cream offers a much lighter hold and adds separation and texture for longer shagged out styles.
All five of the styling products performed well and lasted all day, but I do have a few complaints. Each product seemed to be too aggressively fragranced and will likely clash if you wear cologne. The packaging was VERY excessive for the styling products -- the outer package looks twice as large as the product inside. Not sure if the folks at Axe are trying to make you think you're getting more product but, come on, do we really need this much excessive plastic clogging up our landfills?