JLo’s Stylist Chris Appleton Just Launched a Mask for Every Hair Type

You know him as JLo’s mane man—also Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa and many other A-listers—and now celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton is launching his highly anticipated first-ever product with Color Wow, the brand he’s served as global creative director of since 2016.

On a Zoom with Appleton today to reveal the new launch—Money Masque ($45)—Color Wow founder and CEO Gail Federici said she’s thrilled with how the product turned out. “Chris is not only a brilliant hairstylist, but also super strategic when it comes to products as well. He uses products like an artist uses paint—they’re absolutely essential to the texture and structure of every style he creates. Over a year ago, we set him loose in our lab with our chemist Dr. Joe, and Chris wanted to create a product that made it possible for everyone to achieve that perfect hair quality and deliver ‘on-the-money results,’ and 16 months later, the Money Masque was born.”

Reactions from Appleton’s fans and the larger beauty community were excitement, but also a bit of surprise that his first product was a mask and not something in the styling category. “A lot of people have said that to me,” he explains. “There are a few reasons why I wanted to do a mask. I started doing hair when I was 13, and now I’m 37, and over that time I’ve literally learned every aspect of hair that I could—if I didn’t know how to do something, I’d learn how—so for me, I knew what hair needed to look good on a daily basis and also perform well. Anyone who knows me knows I like to use a lot of products to create the texture and foundation that you need for great-looking hair. We effectively put this into a mask, so not only do you get all the nourishment and conditioning effects that you need in your hair, but you also get great performance when you style it. It gives hair great hold and volume.”

The stylist was also clear on what he didn’t want to create: “What I definitely didn’t want to do was bring out a mask that just made your hair super, super soft so your hair is just flat to your head and gets greasy quick. Most masks out there just sit on the surface of the hair and have a lot of heavy ingredients that weigh the hair down. I wanted a product that didn’t sit on the surface, but instead absorbed right into the cortex, into the cuticle of the hair, adding nourishment, adding strength. Something that really went beyond conditioning and making your hair feel good when you washed it—something that when you dried your hair or styled it, or even if you left it to dry natural, you’d see the difference in the texture of the hair in an instant way. You see a difference in vitality instantly, and over time, it’s proven to hydrate and strengthen hair. To me, the beauty of hair is in the condition.”

Appleton credits the group effort for the final result of the product. “Gail has been a huge influence in my career, and the knowledge she has in products and knowing what works is insane. And then we got together with Joe the chemist, and got it to the perfect formula. “Masks are not easy to formulate,” says Dr. Joe Cincotta, Color Wow’s cosmetic chemist. “Money Masque is universal and can be used on all hair types, from the finest to the most coarse. It optimizes each hair strand’s strength, elasticity, gloss, smoothness, and overall healthy appearance, leaving hair feeling clean and not heavily coated or weighed down. We had to come up with a novel, proprietary delivery system that immediately penetrates into the hair and was practically weightless.”

The key actives are blue sea kale—the highest plant source of sulfur—that binds to proteins in the hair and restores strength and elasticity; a vegetable protein complex that smooths the cuticle and adds shine; and a sea kelp and algae blend that’s loaded with minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates that hydrate the hair. The luxuriously fresh scent and texture are spot-on too. “It’s almost like in between a gel and a mask—it has a really nice slip to it,” Appleton says. “Use it once every three days. I will say though, that when people start using it, there’s a bit of an addiction and they want to use it all the time.”

So what about the name, Money Masque? “The reason we called it Money was about that feeling you get when you’ve gone to the salon and had your hair blown out—you feel rich. You feel like everyone is looking at you and you’re on top of the world,” says Appleton. “We wanted every woman to feel like that.”

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