I’m not one for pampering. It’s not that I don’t want to, or that I don’t like doing it, it’s just, well, you know how it goes. Once the babies are in bed you either have a hundred and one things to do or you are literally too tired to do anything but collapse in front of the TV. Pampering is often something that falls to the bottom of the to do list.
However, recently I’ve been trying to be a little bit kinder to myself. Since going to Ragdale Hall, I’ve been concious of how important it is to take care of yourself on a day to day basis, because the effect can be enormous. A bath here, a cheeky vino with friends there. I am trying to be nicer to me. So when I was asked if I would like to try some hair conditioning treatments, it fitted nicely with my small attempts at pampering. Plus since Ragdale, I have also noticed how dry my hair has been. Bethany and I spent an entire weekend in the pool and it was showing. My frizzed out locks told me I had to give it a whirl.
I don’t usually use a conditioner. I have fine hair, but there’s a lot of it, meaning it can get greasy quickly and conditioners can, if I’m not careful, exacerbate this. So I didn’t have particularly high hopes of a product whose base ingredient was oil!
Instanatural, while sounding like an Instagram account, is actually an American beauty company that only use all natural ingredients in their products. As a devotee of companies like Lush and Burt’s Bees this appealed to me. I’ve never been interested in coating my hair in plastic just to get a good shine on it (which never really worked for me anyway). Instanatural kindly gave me two products to try, a hair mask and a hair elixir/serum, both of which had a basis in the natural beauty product du jour, Argan Oil.
To begin with I couldn’t really understand how one was different from the other. The directions on the boxes were similar. The only thing I could see was that the Elixir could also be used in styling like a serum. However, to get the best idea of how each worked I decided to test them separately. I started with the mask.
The hair mask comes in a tub and and includes ingredients such as Argan Oil, Amino Acid Complex, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin B5, Jojoba Oil and Avocado Oil. Oh and it smells wonderful! I washed my hair, then applied the hair mask. It went on easily and the box says to leave it on for up to 15 minutes, so this was where the pampering started. The waiting means it’s definitely one I prefer to do when the boy isn’t around. So I sat in my dressing gown, checked my phone and generally whiled away 15 minutes, then got back in the shower and just rinsed (no need to wash again with this one). I assumed just rinsing it off would leave my hair feeling unclean, but seriously once I rinsed it, it still felt like I’d just washed it.
And then I dried it. I blow dry my hair every other day, just blasting it dry and hoping for the best. I don’t have time or ability to dry it like they would it a salon and usually it looks, well, dry. But drying hair that had just been masked was a revelation. Not only did it still smell great, it dried in half the time AND poker straight! I swear it looked like I’d run the straighteners over it and the shine? Well, I haven’t had shine like that on my hair since I was a child!
I was thrilled with the result and those results even lasted through two more washes! Yup, one application and a week later it was still drying straighter and looking shinier than usual.
It was then time to try the Elixir. I decided to try it as a treatment rather than as styling aid. The elixir comes in a dark glass bottle and is a thick blend of Argan Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil and Grapeseed Oil. This one goes on dry hair as it needs to be washed off. It doesn’t smell as nice as the mask, but then it doesn’t really smell of anything at all which is good. I was worried I’d smell of chip pan, with all that oil!
I did the same as with the mask and left this on for 15 minutes, although it does say on the bottle that you could leave it on overnight if your hair is super dry. I then had to wash my hair. And this is where it got tricky. I use a really good Lush shampoo, designed for greasy hair and even that struggled with this. I had to shampoo my hair twice to get all the oil residue out. Then I dried it in exactly the same way. I knew before I even started it wasn’t going to look as shiny and I was right.
It didn’t look nearly as shiny or as straight as with the mask. However, it did feel incredibly soft. I think maybe this would be better on curly or super dry hair. It really did feel nourished, but I missed the sparkle shine I got from the mask.
The real test for me was how quickly my hair looked greasy afterwards. And I was surprised that neither product weighed my hair down and made it look greasy quicker that usual. In fact I was pleased with both products:
- beautiful scent
- diamond shine
- sped up styling
- effect lasted through subsequent washes
- no scent
- super soft hair
- nourished feel
- short ingredient list
The mask was definitely my favourite, just for the amazing silky feel and shine it gave my straight hair. I fully intend to incorporate the mask into my weekly pamper routine. The elixir I have yet to try as a styling serum, but if I did I know I’d only need a tiny amount. In fact you don’t need huge amounts of either product in order to get great results and because the mask is a weekly treatment, I’m hoping a tub will last me a good while. You can buy both products at Amazon. The Elixir currently costs £16.95 for 120ml bottle and the Mask £14.95 for a 240ml pot. The cost is higher than high street hair masks I’ve seen for sale, but the ingredient list is definitely better. I’d take organic natural oils over chemicals any day. And I think my hair would agree!
I would like to thank Instanatural for gifting me these products to try.
I was not paid to write this review and as always my opinions are my own.