Influencer brands are ten-a-penny – but are they any good? Alex Costa is one such American social media star with his own line of professional style hair care products: Forte Series. Having sampled many grooming products over the years, he was well placed to understand the range he wanted to create. Let’s be honest, a lot of influencer lines are a flash in the pan, but Forte Series took two years to develop, using the hive mind and feedback from his followers to really nail the formulas.
Born in Brazil, Costa lived in Belo Horizonte until he was 13, when the family moved to Cape Cod on the East Coast of America. He started his own YouTube channel in 2010, initially to teach Brazilian viewers how to play competitive Call Of Duty. That was his side hustle. His day job was partner manager at Google, helping top creator’s to grow platforms on YouTube. In 2018, he took the plunge, giving up the security of a well-paid job with the silicon giant to be on the other side of the camera as a full-time content creator. Based in Los Angeles, California, @alexcosta has since notched up a huge following of 5.9 million viewers across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.
Naturally, he’s blessed with a six pack, a lustrous head of hair, and a hot influencer girlfriend, and curates an Instagram grid full of luxe holidays, fast cars and swag. So far, so standard influencer. What looks like overnight mega success, actually took years of hard graft behind the scenes, so don’t begrudge him that private helicopter trip over Christ the Redeemer.
Costa’s fortunes changed when he ditched gaming for grooming, with easy, how-to tutorials, featuring plenty of useful, practical techniques and hacks (also covering style, dating and fitness). The man can wield a blowdryer like a session stylist and deliver a step-by-step, no-nonsense guide to washing your hair, finding the best hair style for your face shape, fix dry hair and many more. It’s not rocket science, but his ‘older brother’ advice and overarching mission to help his followers look and feel their best keeps those subscribers clicking, swiping and liking.
A details man, Costa is particular about his professional hairdryer from top US stylist, Harry Josh, and selection of vented and barrel brushes. So, bear in mind you also need the right tools to get the best out of your products.
Clarifying Shampoo Cooling Peppermint
This scalp-tingling shampoo contains apple cider vinegar to thoroughly remove any stubborn build-up from styling aids. Costa recommends using your fingertips in a claw position, to massage the product in a circular motion to build up a foam. Costa always says, pat your hair – never rub – with a towel to take out the moisture without damaging the follicles.
Hydrating Conditioner Deep Treatment
With extracts of tea tree, green tea and rosemary, this conditioner has a rich, masking effect to transform dull, lifeless, and frizzy follicles into silky-smooth hair. It’s made without parabens or sulphates, and has an uplifting peppermint scent. Costa recommends leaving it on for a full minute before rinsing to really feel the benefit.
Hydrating Argan Oil Daily Hair Serum
One of Costa’s go-to products, if you regularly heat style your hair, this is essential. It can transform dry, frizzy and over-styled follicles into a smooth and manageable mane. A multitasker, it hydrates, softens and protects the hair, nourishes the scalp and helps prevent split ends and dandruff. You only need to use a very small amount, apply to damp hair working it from the ends to the roots.
Texture Hair Clay Extreme Hold
The Texture Clay generated a fair amount of hype within the Costa community. It can be too heavy for fine hair, but it’s ideal for thick, unruly hair types. Re-workable, it gives extra strong hold and low shine. This solid, waxy formula contains bentonite and kaolin, with nourishing argan oil and shea butter. One of Costa’s hacks is to blast it with a hairdryer for a few seconds to warm it up and make it malleable. Then, take a pea sized amount with your finger tip and rub it between your palms using the heat of your hands to work out any lumps or bumps until the products is smooth and clear. Apply it from the crown, so you don’t overload the front, and work forwards. Rake through with your fingers for extra texture.
With a strong hold and a matt finish, this water soluble formula washes out easily and gives a smooth, weightless application. It can create all sorts of styles including curtains, side partings and slicked back looks, while giving volume to medium to fine hair types. Just as with the clay, take a pea sized amount and warm up product between hands, and apply the product starting at the back of the head, working towards the front.
Get those surfer style waves in seconds with this kelp extract infused salt spray. Designed to enhance curls, reduce frizz and add volume and texture to finer hair types that can look limp. Spritz onto dry hair at the roots, then style with your fingers while blow drying on the cold setting.
A lightweight cream enriched with biotin, aloe vera and argan oil, this is designed to give medium hold with a natural finish, leaving the hair looking and feeling fuller, stronger and healthier.
For a classic slick look, this gives firm but pliable hold which can control high volume hairstyles without any grease or shine. The water soluble formula contains hair strengthening biotin and provitamin B5 to nourish the follicles.
This finishing spray adds instant volume and texture. On thicker hair types, this product adds extra control. It’s pliable and flexible so you can re-work your look throughout the day. Easy to wash out, it’s also formulated without parabens or sulphates.
For now, Forte Series is all about serious hair care, but we have a feeling there will be much more to come from Alex Costa’s rapidly expanding grooming empire. Products are shipped from the US so import taxes will apply if you live outside of the US.
A paid partnership with Forte Series – words and opinion are Ape’s own