What is MalibuC Crystal Gel?
MalibuC is a professional cosmetics company that has been the go-to for salon professionals to gently and safely solve problems for the hair and scalp with wellness ingredients for 35 years. They are a family and employee-owned company and manufactures their products in the US.
Crystal Gel is one of the many wellness products they offer. From the website: “The original wellness hair remedy, this must-have for elite stylists worldwide is a patented vitamin complex that naturally primes hair to provide a crystal clear canvas completely receptive to ensure brilliant services.”
That’s kind of a lot, so basically, Crystal Gel is a vitamin-based gel that pulls impurities off of the hair and scalp.
This is great for several reasons, which we’ll get into a little further down. Be patient.
Crystal Gel is cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly, and plant-based with only four ingredients: Sodium Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Disodium EDTA, and Xanthan Gum. It is formulated without preservatives, parabens, glycol, gluten, fragrance, and no sodium chloride added.
Fun Fact! Crystal Gel is made with food-grade ingredients, and is actually edible!
I’m not gonna lie, I have tried it, and it doesn’t really have a taste, but it’s super great for your hair and scalp.
How does it work?
We’re gonna get kind of science-y here, so buckle in.
Most Americans are living with some sort of minerals in their water. Even with a water softener, water is still traveling through pipes and faucets, picking up minerals and metals along the way. Those minerals and metals have a positive ionic charge, and your hair has a negative ionic charge. Because of this, the opposite charges attract each other, and all the deposits will stick to your hair. No amount of chelation or shampooing will pull them off.
Different metals and minerals in your hair can cause many different problems.
Iron in the hair can cause the hair to look brassy, orange, or red.
Copper in the hair can cause it to look green.
Sodium Chloride in the hair can cause dryness and brittleness.
All of these minerals and metals can cause your hair to look dull, dark, or a different color than what you paid for.
Fun Fact: I’ve had clients booked for highlights, to brighten up their overall color and because I recommend a Crystal Gel treatment prior to a chemical service, we proceeded forward with the treatment. After treating the hair and drying it for the chemical service, the hair looked completely different and all the highlights that the client had prior to the service popped out. The minerals were darkening the hair, and we ended up not even needing to do highlights!
Crystal Gel works by reversing the polarity of the ionic charges of the minerals. By changing the charge from positive to negative, the minerals are repelled off of the hair and into the gel.
It’s like when you put two magnets together: positive + negative will stick together, but negative + negative will repel each other.
Those minerals are pulled into the gel and once the hair is rinsed and shampooed, you’re left with your hair in all it’s natural glory.
Why do I care?
There’s a lot of different reasons someone might want to invest in a Crystal Gel treatment. I personally recommend a Crystal Gel treatment prior to every chemical service. Minerals and metals in the hair can cause a negative reaction when introduced to lightener, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide, all of which are used in color services.
When I first started my career I worked at a franchised chain salon. A coworker of mine was doing highlights on their client, and I happened to walk by. The client snagged me and asked me for some water because she was overheating. I brought some water over and checked her foils for my coworker. My first clue that something was wrong was that the foil was hot to the touch (this is not normal, at all). When I opened the foil,, her hair was steaming, the lightener had turned to liquid at the bottom, and her hair was breaking. I immediately took her to the wash area and rinsed her hair and watched with horror as her hair melted into the sink. It turns out the client had been spending a lot of time in the pool that summer, and the chlorine (which is a type of bleach) had built up in her hair and caused what I call a chemical haircut.
Receiving a Crystal Gel treatment prior to your chemical services is a type of insurance, really.
It ensures that there isn’t anything on the hair that may cause a negative reaction like the one above.
Since the color or lightener doesn’t have to work through the minerals and metals first, your processing time is greatly reduced.
You’ll experience less fading (since the color is working *in* your hair, instead of *on* it).
You’ll enjoy more voluminous and shiny hair without minerals and metals bogging it down.
Your blow-dry time will be reduced because your hair isn’t coated in minerals and metals.
Who is MalibuC Crystal Gel for?
Malibu C Crystal Gel can be used on literally every single person, barring allergies to one of the four ingredients. It is especially useful for swimmers or people that have well water. It can be used on children as well! After a whole summer in the pool, I know my kiddo’s hair feels very dry and can have a greenish tint to it (not from the chlorine, but from the anti-algae chemicals used in the pool). Crystal Gel is a great way to get all that crap off the hair, and get it feeling normal again.
Now, if you have white, non-pigmented hair, we must be more careful when using Crystal Gel. It will not cause any harm to the hair! However, the heat from the treatment (or even your own body heat) can cause a reaction similar to heating sugar on a stove. The vitamin can caramelize and create a beige, pink cast to non-pigmented hair. This caramelized effect does no damage to the hair at all, it’s simply cosmetic. It is not permanent either. The difference in the treatment service is that we will not use heat, and we will mix a little bit of baking soda into your shampoo following the treatment to neutralize the vitamin.
Crystal Gel is safe (and recommended) to use on color-treated white hair.
Where can I receive a treatment??
Malibu C Crystal Gel is an in-salon wellness treatment. Malibu C has a variety of wellness products including shampoos and conditioners that are approved for at-home use. However, the Crystal Gel treatment is a product I use in the salon. I have built several services around Crystal Gel in the salon, and each one is a luxurious experience that I know you'll love.
When can I get this done?
I recommend receiving a Crystal Gel treatment prior to your very first chemical service with me, and then quarterly after that.
Other recommended treatment times:
After removing extensions (keratin, cylinder, tape-in, beaded, crocheted, or braided extension methods can all produce build up in the hair, though Natural Beaded Rows produce much less!)
After vacations, particularly those where you spent a lot of time in salt water, rivers, or lakes, or without your normal professional shampoo and conditioner.
After spending time in a pool or a hot tub.
Stand-Alone Crystal Gel Treatment
Color Prep-Day of Service
Color Prep-Compromised Hair
Natural Beaded Rows Refit
Seasonal Fresh Start