Hair & Scalp Inside Our Brands

EVOLVh founder Boris Oak on InstaVolume volumizing haircare

We adore Boris Oak, the creator of our favorite hometown haircare brand, EVOLVh. He always bounces in the door with so much enthusiasm that, when we can all gather for a big bash again, it's clear he’ll need to join us. Because it’s just not a party without Boris.

In the meantime, we’re delighted that he’s brought that same enthusiasm to the development of three new products that bring EVOLVh’s volume game — already one of the best — to a whole new level. Read on for our interview with Boris about these three winners.


Ayla: EVOLVh is already a favorite for those seeking more volume in their hair, so we were excited to see you create three new products — InstaVolume Cleansing Treatment, InstaVolume Elixir, and UltraFlex Hair Spray — with that challenge in mind! What prompted you to create them?

BORIS: We felt there was still more innovation possible beyond the traditional Shampoo and Conditioner paradigm. While EVOLVh’s UltraShine is amazing for fine hair, and we still encourage people with fine hair to continue to incorporate it into their regimen, InstaVolume brings something completely new and different to the table and will seem life changing for nearly everyone who uses it. I know — it will initially sound too good to be true. Except that it is, and it really does do everything we claim and then some! It’s one of those rare times that something very hyped-up actually exceeds expectations.


Ayla: We agree, so let’s dig into these formulas. To start with, tell us about InstaVolume Cleansing Treatment and how it differs from UltraShine.

BORIS: The big difference is twofold.
First, there’s no conditioner; it’s just the one-step cleansing treatment in the shower. We designed it this way because all conditioners work against volume: all conditioners add weight to hair, so to go to the next level for more volume, we had to solve for this.
The second major difference is tapioca starch. By incorporating this ingredient into the cleansing treatment, we’re able to introduce not only an amazing volumizing ingredient, but also one that has a unique ability to absorbs excess sebum. This makes it possible for someone with fine hair to go an extra day or two — or even  three — without washing their hair and they still won’t feel overly oily or greasy. This has always been a huge issue for those of us with fine hair, but I’m happy to say it’s not anymore!


Ayla: And when do you suggest using InstaVolume instead of UltraShine?

BORIS: We tried to make it easy to choose: use InstaVolume on the days you want the most volume or when you want to stretch the number of days between washes.


Ayla: Straightforward! Next, tell us about InstaVolume Elixir and how it differs from SmartStart and SmartVolume.

BORIS: InstaVolume Elixir is designed to work with the Cleansing Treatment, so for optimal results, it’s important to use them as a system. In comparison to our other leave-ins, the Elixir is the most volumizing, and it’s the only one that contains tapioca starch to boost volume and absorb excess sebum — which is amazing for those of us whose hair starts to look and feel oily much too quickly.


Ayla: How do you suggest choosing between the three leave-ins?

SmartStart is the perfect leave-in conditioner if your primary needs are detangling, heat/UV protection and overall softness and manageability.
SmartVolume is just like SmartStart, but with flax for volume.
And InstaVolume Elixir is paired with the InstaVolume Cleansing Treatment for an even greater volume boost than SmartVolume with the added benefit of absorbing excess oil.


Ayla: Is a separate rinse-out conditioner necessary?

BORIS: Not with the InstaVolume Cleansing Treatment. But you do need to follow it up with the Elixir for a specific reason. The Cleansing Treatment has a pH of 7 (same as municipal tap water. Like all of our leave-ins, the Elixir has a pH of 4.5: this acidic pH of close and seal the cuticle (outer layer) of hair so it lies perfectly flat. A sealed cuticle protects the hair against tangling, splitting, and breakage. And it reflects more light for increased natural shine. 


Ayla: We are THRILLED that you’ve created a hair spray! Tell us how you came up with this one.

BORIS: UltraFlex Hairspray is something that was many years in the making, actually. We were lucky that, around the same time we formulated InstaVolume, we were able to perfect the UltraFlex formula. From what we are hearing from users, we’ve landed on a truly spectacular product.


Ayla: Any special usage tips you can share for UltraFlex? It’s such a versatile product. BORIS: One cool feature of UltraFlex is its ability to absorbs excess oils, which makes it a great alternative to dry shampoos. It will absorb oils and boost volume, but without leaving the hair feeling dirty. It also won’t leave visible particles in your hair the way a dry shampoo often does.

And an important thing to remember is that a lot of dry shampoos tend to be very drying to hair — but UltraFlex is not. In general, volumizing products are very drying, especially over time, but we’ve been careful to avoid that with EVOLVh. Our primary objective in formulating InstaVolume and all our volume boosting products is to reverse the status quo and prove that in hair, we really can have it all, if we’re just willing to push the boundaries of our imagination. Incredible volume and healthy strands that still look and feel soft and clean, with lots of movement and shine: this is now the new standard.


We've loved EVOLVh since day one because it is such a solid performer on hair — ad because Boris is such a great partner. Read more about this hometown brand here.

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