I Tried the Buzzy Showerhead Filter That’s Everywhere on Instagram
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Some products show up everywhere — subway ads, Instagram, celeb endorsements. With this series, we're testing such products to conclude one thing: Does it live up to the hype?
What's everyone talking about?
The Jolie Filtered Showerhead, the super-viral showerhead that's been taking over everyone's Instagram algo and illustrating the pitfalls that hard, unfiltered water has on hair and skin.
What's the buzz about?
Acne, eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, hair loss or thinning hair, frizz, color fade — these common skin and hair concerns used to comfortably reside in the wheelhouse of dermatologists and cosmetic professionals; maybe, on an easier day, your aesthetician or hairstylist. But an issue for your landlord, your building supervisor, or your plumber? Who would've thunk?
The Jolie Filtered Showerhead goes where angels (and perhaps your regular glam expert) fear to tread: your water source. Equipped with a “best in class” filtration system that removes contaminants from your shower water, it promises a marked improvement in your hair and skin after use — with a confident, 60-day money-back guarantee.
Where’s all the hype coming from?
A heightened interest in cheap, easy, life-changing skincare hacks in a post-pandemic/WFH world
Reviews from Vogue, Real Simple, Byrdie, and many other media outlets
A compelling Instagram presence — 78.3K followers with tons of influencer marketing — and a whopping 569.2M views on TikTok
So does it live up to the hype?
How’d we come to this conclusion?
2023 marks my 10th year in NYC, and although I’ve got a lot to show for it — a certain tenacity, an abject impatience for small talk, even a decent sneaker collection — there are other things I’ve started noticing that definitely weren’t there prior to my Big Move. Growing up with a healthy, manageable level of combination skin, I now have drier skin overall (which I’ve generally blamed the Northeastern seaboard for) and duller, weirder, just-OK hair. Most concerning, however, were my ongoing negotiations with a small, inflamed area on my forehead that refused to calm down, and which seemingly came and went at random times (or whenever the Knicks won — it was truly anyone's guess).
Like everyone, I got into a total self-care/DIY kick during the height of the pandemic, picking my face apart (literally and figuratively) after staring at it for hours on Zoom and using my Amazon cart as a retail clutch against lockdown-induced chaos. Three years on, however, I’ve found that the world could calm down, but that didn’t mean my skin would, too.
Having grown up in a house in the suburbs with no old-pipe issues, the concept of hard, deeply chlorinated water as being the source of my cosmetic woes never occurred to me. I always thought that the orange residue in my toilet bowl and shower grout was a discrete issue, something a few spritzes of bleach — and, as the kids say, a bombastic side-eye at my lease agreement — would be able to handle.
Last 2021, the Jolie filter came out and a conversation promptly began around shower water quality and its connections to pesky skincare and haircare issues. As many of us remained hypervigilant about exposure to contaminants, we looked for ways to purify, detox, and clean up our consumption of anything and everything; my algo and #beautytok did the rest. And as I scrolled through endless mentions of the showerhead on my Instagram Explore page while enjoying a bite of another proud New York distinction, the perfect slice of pizza, I realized, with every bite of crunchy, perfectly salted dough, that perhaps there was, indeed, something in the water.
The Jolie showerhead filter uses a proprietary blend of KDF-55 and calcium sulfite to “remove chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants from your shower water,” thus also reducing hardness. An excess of hardness in water, according to the complete water test kit I purchased on Amazon for purposes of this test, is due to minerals, which can cause scale buildup (aka aforementioned orange ring of nightmares, for example), as well as dry skin and hair.
Jolie's showerhead also claims to have the most KDF-55 of any other filter in the market. KDF-55 or Kinetic Degradation Fluxion is a copper-zinc alloy that reduces contaminants such as bacteria, heavy metals, and chlorine. Oh, and it's designed to last forever, too (100-plus years, as per the website), and, bonus... would also optimize your water pressure. From where I stood, these were all good things!
The box was more compact than I thought — props to foregoing unnecessary packaging, Jolie — and came with the showerhead (I chose the Modern Chrome finish to match my current shower fixtures), a replacement filter which was already inside said showerhead, one roll of plumber's tape, and one so-called “Tiny, but Mighty” wrench, which, in mint green, was pretty much the most adorable wrench I've ever seen.
After unscrewing our existing rent-issue showerhead, my assistant (aka my husband) easily screwed on the Jolie showerhead, tightened it with the Super Cute Wrench, and sealed the neck secure with a few rounds of the plumber's tape.
First impressions: Holy water pressure! The circumference of the Jolie head was much wider than my previous showerhead, which meant this was as close to a waterfall shower as I could probably get at this price point. Thrillingly, it increased the water pressure from my shower to an impressive level. (NB: All this time, I thought our slightly weaker water pressure was due to living in a higher-rise, more populous, building; it turns out, all we needed was a bigger showerhead and my dreams of a strong, hotel-like jet stream were literally within reach.
Next up: the noise level. Yes, there is an ever-so-slight whistle/tiny sound of water pressure while the shower is on. This might be the filter at work or how we installed it — not a biggie by any means, but worth noting if you're at all into pin-drop-quiet bathtimes.
This is where I geek out: I also tested the water in the shower from my bathroom with the Jolie showerhead against the shower water from my Jolie-less second bathroom. The chart results showed a distinct change in the hardness of the water: The water from the Jolie showerhead was softer than the water in my other bathroom, as shown by the difference in color.
Now, the $64 million question: How are my hair and skin doing? Why, dear reader, I’m so glad you asked. After chopping all my hair off into a ’90s bob after a drunken rewatch of Indecent Proposal in February, I am actually impressed at the new bounce and shine my Demi Moore bob has had in the 2 weeks I’ve used the Jolie. The eczema patch on my forehead has calmed down considerably, and though it hasn’t disappeared completely yet, I’m seeing definite improvements in redness and texture, without a change in the beauty products I use.
My bath products have also sudsed up more and rinsed off more thoroughly, with no filmy residue left over after cleansing.
What’s the bottom line?
There is a multitude of factors behind dry skin, rashes, irritation, or damaged, frizzy hair, and when finding solutions, a filtered showerhead can be one of the easiest and most satisfying ways of starting out on the right foot. Installing one ensures things are clean at the source, which, for many, can alleviate many pre-existing issues or at the very least, eliminate contaminants that trigger more complex dermatological problems down the line.
I'll probably need to report back after a year of using the showerhead to show exactly how much my hair and skin have improved since using it, but before that, know for sure that it's going wherever my lease takes me.
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