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Whether you’ve heard the name before or you’ve landed on this post because you are on the look for vegan and cruelty-free products, you might find a few interesting ideas reading this post. I must admit, I jumped into this MONAT journey without proper research (which is very much “not me”), and I have since learned and read very different opinions about the brand. Thus, this is my honest review of MONAT products, and it won’t be all roses 😉
Being a trusting but skeptical personality, I decided to not promote or recommend the brand until I’ve tried the products and made up my mind.
Also, a word on warning, this post will be long and will contain some vulnerable confessions. If you are not into the “personal drama”, I apologize and hope I don’t overwhelm you.
What is MONAT?
The brand name MONAT stands for Modern Nature. Some people pronounce it moh-nay and others pronounce it moh-nat. I like the sound of moh-nay, it sounds kinda like French to me 🙂
According to the MONAT website, they started the business in 2014. Since then, they’ve become a billion-dollar company, marketing and selling their products through social marketing.
What does “social marketing” mean?
It means that you won’t find their products in stores (unless it is your favourite hairdresser or esthetician who is using and selling the products). The brand sells them online via their selling representatives aka Market Partners.
You can become a Market Partner as well, but more on that farther in the post.
So, Why MONAT? Preamble
Why did I join MONAT?
Well, I’ve experienced hair loss for over 10 years. It all started after my younger child had heart surgery when he was a tiny baby. I am not sure whether it was stress-related or a scalp infection from the hospital where I stayed with him, or somewhat a combination of both.
First, I thought it was a combination of stress and post-partum hair loss. However, my hairdresser noted that my scalp became very dry, and asked me if it was itchy.
For a fact it was.
So, I visited a dermatologist who said I had seborrhea. I got a prescription for a shampoo and started using it diligently.
Well, I was still losing my hair and the shampoo didn’t help much with my scalp
But we moved to Canada, so after a looooong waiting period, I visited another dermatologist. After running some blood tests, I was told that I had a vitamin D deficiency. To my question regarding the itchy scalp, she said I would need to start taking pills to treat that.
I don’t remember the name of the pills. However, after taking them for a couple of months without any change in my condition, I was told that I had to stop taking them.
It was found that they affect the liver.
So, I was ruining my liver without any improvement to my scalp and still losing hair.
I didn’t go back to see that dermatologist again, as I just wasn’t trusting her anymore.
We moved into a different province, and after another long waiting period, I saw another dermatologist. And a new round of blood work.
Everything seemed fine with my thyroid (for those of you wondering), not good liver condition (thank you, pills!), aaaand Iron deficiency.
By that time, I was vegan for a few years, trying to eat healthy. But I thought, well, I am taking iron supplements just in case. I also share a list of iron-rich whole-foods in this post, if you are on the look to add more healthy foods to your diet 🙂
By the way, for those of you who think that a vegan diet will cause you iron deficiency, I was diagnosed anemic times throughout my life before switching to a vegan lifestyle 😉
So, no, it is not “because I am vegan”.
Anyway, the dermatologist also prescribed a steroid lotion for my scalp, in addition to the iron supplements.
I used it for a few months with no improvement to my scalp and was still losing my hair.
By that moment, I probably had about 30 percent of my hair left. Also, the structure of my hair changed, as it used to be very straight, but became dry and fuzzy and curly when I started losing my hair. Luckily for me, I used to have lots of it before, so not many people could tell that I was having issues. At least not those who didn’t know me for long. But the “curls” somewhat helped with the illusion of having hair, as they add volume.
One day, I got a message from a girl on Instagram, who asked me if I was interested in vegan hair- and skincare products.
I am always on the look for vegan and cruelty-free products 😉 so I asked her to send me more information.
She sent me a link to the website where I read through their brand story (I always check that part. Do you?), and I checked the girl’s Instagram account. She had gorgeous curly hair!
So, I kinda thought to myself that it sounded pretty promising. I wanted to make my hair healthier and could potentially make some money in the future if I wanted to. Who wouldn’t be open to that?
As I said, without further research, I just jumped onto the MONAT train.
I signed up as a Market Partner, as I could get the most discount on the products (which are not cheap) and ordered a bunch of different products, including shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, face cream, cleansers, and so much more…
In my defence, when you sign up, you get such a good discount on all the products that I felt it was such a shame to not use that opportunity 😉
And then I had a conversation with my friend who used MONAT a while ago, and according to her, it damaged her hair.
Can you imagine what thoughts were spinning in my head?
What did I do? I’d just spent so much money to worsen my already bad hair?!
So, I decided to carefully start using the products and see what is working and what’s not. I also decided that I was not going to promote them until I figured it all out…
Now, after months of using as many products as I just could :), I can tell, I have a list of
a) my favourites,
b) items that are working, but you can find cheaper alternatives and
c) the products that I was not impressed with.
Are you finally ready for the actual review of MONAT products? 🙂
Monat Products I Loved
Here is a list of my favourites!
Water Essense – if you have heard about Monat before, you would probably be surprised I start my list with this product. But I find Monat Water Essense a little bit underappreciated. If you have sensitive skin and are looking for a good vegan toner that will make it work without leaving your skin tight, dry, or burning, you have to try it! Believe me, I’ve used so many different brands/toners, from very affordable to very expensive, and Monat Water Essense beats them all!
The girls in my “Monat family” disagree to call it a toner and refer to it as beauty water!
Intense Repair System – yes, that includes shampoo, conditioner, and the treatment spray. I have an interesting personal story to share about it. About 2 weeks after I started using the products, I contacted my Monat support group and told them that I was not impressed with those products. I felt like they were not doing any good for me and I was doubting I made the right choice joining the company. The girls offered to buy them from me, but I thought I would give it another week or so and make up my mind after.
So glad I did!
Remember my story above and my itchy scalp? First, I noticed that it was not itchy anymore. It was a sign that I had to give it another chance. And after 2 months using the system, I noticed new hair growth along the hairline! Can you imagine what was spinning in my mind at that moment?
Updated August 26, 2020: My husband just told me that he used to wash his hair every day. His scalp would be itchy if he skipped a day. Now he could wash it twice a week and his scalp would still be clean and no itchiness! Ha! He used to be very skeptical about all this “hair business” and now he admits that yes,
My hair that I was losing for so many years is regrowing! Seriously, I’m crying as I am typing this!
If you are interested in finding the right hair product for your hair,
fill out my hair quiz and let me help to find the perfect one for you!
Updated October 25, 2020:
I decided to no longer extend my Market Partner option, as I just don’t have time to grow this business. Between my family, a full-time job, personal training services and this blog, I just could not keep up with all DM’s on Instagram and the Hair Quiz responses. As much as I like Monat products, I also like trying new brands/products as well and cannot commit to just one brand 🙂
Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive – well, this Monat product has its reputation for healing so many skin conditions. I won’t speak for anyone else but will say that I use it on my lips, on my hair, on my nails, on my skin, well, technically almost all over my body 🙂 I am in Canada, and my skin and lips become so dry in winter, that my lips sometimes start bleeding. Rejuveniqe Oil is like a magic balsam! And seriously, you can use it almost on anything on your body 🙂
I am sharing an Instagram story on how I use it to style my hair here 🙂
Renew Shampoo – if you invest in the Intense Repair shampoo and conditioner, I cannot recommend Renew shampoo enough! I alternate washing my hair with both shampoos as I find IR might dry up your scalp a little.
Inner Force Restructuring Serum nourishes and brings your hair back to life! If your hair feels dull and damaged from the use of heat (irons, blow dryer), or simply from other environmental impacts, this is a great product to add to your hair routine.
Monat Products I Liked
This is the list of products I liked but I think there are other alternatives that work better for me or are more competitive price-wise.
Be Balanced Lightweight Moisturizer – I liked it more than the Nourishing Moisturizer. The texture is so light and fluffy, it feels like you are putting a whipped moisturizer on. The only reason I placed it in the Like and not Love category is that I think it is not rich enough for my skin in winter. It will be perfect for summer though! It feels more like I add primer to my face as it is so fast absorbing and soft!
Blow Out Cream – I rarely use a blow drier, but I really like using this cream to style my hair. I alternate between this and Rejuveniqe Oil to do that. (I even shared my 1-minute morning “styling routine” with Rejuveniqe Oil on Instagram to show how it works).
Updated August 26, 2020: I have now switched to Curl Defining Cream for styling, for the very reason that I rarely use a blow dryer. I now blend the Curl Defining Cream with Inner Force Restructuring Serum or Rejuveniqe Oil and let my hair air dry to pretty curls 🙂
Eye Wonder Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum – I must admit, I haven’t been using it daily, but even being that inconsistent I noticed that my eyebrows are getting thicker and I get new hair growth there too! That being said, I didn’t notice any difference in my eyelashes. Therefore, it is not a firm 10 mark from me.
Hair Replenish Masque – I was really struggling with whether to add it to the Love or the Like list. The only reason it is in the Like list is its price. However, a little goes a long way, and using it once a week, it will last you for 8 to 12 washes depending on your hair length.
Monat Products I am Yet to Try
30 Seconds Miracle Cream – everyone I know who has tried this cream says the name is spot on! It is indeed a miracle cream. It is like a magic eraser that erases years from your face! I am planning on adding it to my shopping cart pretty soon as I need to replenish my Water Essense stock 🙂
I also want to try MONAT CBD series skincare products. Unfortunately, those are only available to customers in the US. So unfair 🙂 But I hope they will expand their reach to Canada in the near future too!
Hair Transformation Masque – right after I joined MONAT, I decided to cut my hair short. That and the use of MONAT products have helped my hair a lot. But I still have a lot to work on. I want to try that masque and see if it helps my hair even better. Updated August 26, 2020: I have tried and used the Hair Transformation Masque and it can for sure move into my favourite products category! It moisturizes the hair and scalp and you can tell the difference just after 2 to 3 uses!
By the way, my plan now is to grow my hair for a year and share my progress with my followers. If you want to follow me along the way, I would be beyond happy if you follow me on Instagram or subscribe to my email list 🙂
But I promised that my review of MONAT products would also include the ones that did not impress me as well, didn’t I?
So, here they are:
MONAT Products that I didn’t care for
Funny enough both of those products are their cleansers.
Be Gentle Creamy Cleanser and Be Balanced Foamy Cleanser – neither of these did a proper job cleaning my makeup off. In their defence, I must say that I don’t use any makeup removal products before I use a cleanser. That is just me.
So, the cleanser I’ve been using for a couple of years has kept its Number 1 position on my other favourite vegan brands list.
“But, Nat, will Monat Products Work for Me?”
It will sound cliche, but I will say it anyway: You Will Never Know Until You Try!
And I have a few examples for you 😉
Years ago, before I even knew what veganism was about, I was using Clinique products and I loved their toners. There used to be 3 different ones, I am not sure if they still have the same system. Anyway, my friend who had sensitive skin tried their No. 1 toner (the most gentle, intended for dry and sensitive skin), whereas, I was using No. 3.
And she hated it!
She said it felt like her skin was burning! She also experienced an acne outbreak after she was still “giving it a chance” using it for a few days.
Another example, my friend is using Biossance eye cream, and she is happy about it. I’ve tried it too. While I think the cream is ok, I am not very crazy about it. I didn’t find it as great as I was hoping it to be, considering its price 😉
My point is, it is hard to recommend something and say it will work 100% for anyone!
But, I went from washing my hair every day, as it was so itchy, to washing it 2 – 3 times a week. My scalp looks and feels soooo much better! My hair looks so much healthier, and I am not stopping there!
As I said, my goal is to grow my hair back to the before-Monat length in a year! It took me 5 years to get to that hair length prior to that!
Wanna Try Monat?
Head to MONAT website and check it out. Remember, the prices you see there are the retail prices. If they seem to be a little bit on the expensive side, I agree. They are. But you can still buy and try the products as a retail customer, which has not “obligations” on your side.
However, there are a few ways to get Monat products for a discounted price.
- Become a VIP customer. VIP’s get a discount of 15% on their products, free shipping, and Free Only For You products. In addition to that, MONAT runs promotions throughout the year, and you can get various bundles for a great deal!
You can also participate in Refer A Friend program and make some money for your future purchases or for whatever you want to spend it on 😉As of July 2020, they no longer offer this program. For more information, check out this page.
- Become a Market Partner. That was the option I chose. Monat Partners get a 30% discount on products and 15% commissions on VIP sales. But that is not all! There are so many opportunities for career growth if you decide that you want to make MONAT your side hustle or a full-time job! I know girls who make 4- and 5-figure income per month working from their homes or wherever they are at that moment. Of course, it depends on the amount of efforts and time you can dedicate to grow your side business 🙂 But if you are interested in the opportunity, just shoot me a DM, and I will be able to
tell you more about it!to connect with one of the girls on our team. If you want to try their products but not sure where to start, please shoot me a DM on Instagram and I will be happy to provide you with more information.
Updated October 25, 2020 – I am no longer a Monat Market Partner
I decided to no longer extend my Market Partner option, as I just don’t have time to grow this side of a business. Between my family, a full-time job, personal training services and this blog, I just could not keep up with all DM’s on Instagram and the Hair Quiz responses. As much as I like Monat products, I also like to try new brands/products as well and cannot commit to just one brand 🙂
With all that, there are a couple of disadvantages I have to mention.
I told you it will be an honest review, didn’t I?
The main concern I have is that they don’t offer bulk packages for their hair care products. My family is trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible and create as little waste as possible. While MONAT shampoos do last for a couple of months even for our family of 4 all using them, we do run out of their conditioners pretty fast.
I really wish I could buy a large container of their conditioner so it would last me for at least 3-4 months…
Another disadvantage is:
At the moment of writing this post, MONAT products are only available in the following countries: Canada, Ireland, Poland, the UK, and the USA.
Yes, I wish they were available around the globe! I know there is a lot of interest in the products in so many other countries. People living in the Netherlands, Brazil, Russia, etc. contacted me with questions about how to join the company.
But we are growing and I can’t wait to see the next location they will open to! If you are not located in one of those countries, send me a DM on Instagram, and we will explore what other opportunities are there for you.
Let’s also try and answer some of the questions people ask about Monat (according to Google).
Is Monat a pyramid scheme?
Monat is a multi-level marketing company. Like many other mlm companies I’ve heard of, they do market their products through Monat partners (=distributors). However, you don’t have to join the company to enjoy the products. As I’ve mentioned above, there are various ways to purchase the products: as a retail customer, as a VIP customer and as a Market Partner.
I joined as a Market Partner to enjoy most of the discounts, as I am not obligated to having an inventory of products at my home or to sell them.
Does Monat cause hair loss?
After I joined Monat, I found a few scary ‘hair loss caused by Monat’ stories around the Internet. I am not an expert and don’t have a definite answer to what caused the hair loss in those cases. Is it the sensitivity to one of the products’ ingredients? Unfortunately, I don’t know.
I know that not every product I tried (Monat or others) has worked for me. I also remember the event of needing a visit to an emergency room after an aesthetician treatment years ago, as I got a terrible reaction. At that time, I was her regular customer and had no history of any allergic reactions prior to or after that event. So, I honestly don’t know.
But the fact is that Monat products have helped me, and my husband and thousands of their other customers to regrow their hair back and to regain confidence. My hair hasn’t looked so good in so many years, and I am extremely happy with the progress!
And while you won’t see me constantly marketing Monat, as I am just a terrible salesperson, I do share my product reviews on my Instagram once in a while. Also, I can tell you that I have no plans to stop using them at the moment. But if I do find other products that work better for me than Monat, I will definitely share them with you 😉
So, there you have it. My expansive review of MONAT products.
It turned out a bit long. But I hope you find it helpful. If you have used their products, please share your experience in the comments below. I will be happy to learn more from what MONAT has been for you 🙂
By the way, MONAT Eye Smooth Nourishing Eye Cream was featured in Vogue. I haven’t included it in my three-month use of MONAT products review, as at the moment of writing the post, I was only using it for 6 weeks.
Once again, if you are interested in trying any of their products, don’t just guess which one you need to address your concern or problem, fill in my hair quiz and let me help to find the perfect product for you!
If you are considering joining Monat for the money and you are ready to put in some hours and work, it can be a great option to start a side business. It can eventually grow into a full-time income depending on your ambitions and selling skills.
If you have hair issues that are not hormonal or medical, then I would say you should try Monat products. Talk to a market partner and they will be able to help you choose the right products for you.
If you are on the look for vegan and cruelty-free products and have no hair concerns, then there are many other options that don’t require memberships or special options to get access to products. I share some of my favourite skincare products here.
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