Get to know the line behind “The Blowout” – PHYTO Haircare review

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PHYTO Haircare review photos: we heart this

I’m a history buff. I’m not talking Ancient Egypt here; I’m talking about the story – the evolution – of a brand. Not only does a back-story create expectations in a product, it can also create a bond between the consumer and the consumed. When that history is steeped in Hollywood, the bond between that product and yours truly gets a little tighter…

Patrick Ales is the founder of PHTYO and proclaimed founder of “The Blowout”. Today, the term blowout is parallel to “manicure” in terms of general usage, understanding and ubiquity. In the early sixties when curlers, setting lotions and hair nets were all the rage in the beauty parlor biz, when hair dryers were chairs topped with domes looking like a Frankenstein-ian brain-zapper, Ales, a Parisian hairstylist, developed the first prototype of the round brush to be used with a blow-dryer and thus created the blowout.

The blowout was the rage with French celebrities like Catherine Deneuve, and soon got the attention of that great American beauty and famous Shampoo man, Warren Beatty. Yes, folks, Beatty brought Ales and the blowout to Hollywood! Blowouts have always been a way to tame curly, frizzy or unruly hair and now Ales has created a line of products to give you the results God (of the blowout, Patrick Ales himself) intended.

PHYTO Coveted Collection

I received the PHYTO Coveted Collection for review. Included in this package are 1.7 oz sizes of cult PHYTO faves: Phyto 7, Phytolisse, Phytodefrisant, Phytomist and Phytovolume Actif. Sadly, the set is no longer available. But don’t worry, the products themselves are!

All of these products are made with the idea that hydration is the key to a long-lasting blowout. This hydration is achieved through using lots of highly concentrative active botanical extracts aimed at plumping and protecting the hair shaft rather than using harsh chemicals to strip it or heavy oils to weigh it down.

Phytolisse ($30, 1.7 oz) is a serum for casting away flyaways and adding shine after you’ve blown your hair out. This serum is practically weightless and not at all oily, so much so that you can apply and reapply throughout the day without any buildup. If you have superfine hair (like me) with lots and lots of little stray sprigs of hair, you will find yourself applying all throughout the day.

Phyto 7 ($26, 1.7 oz) is a daily hydrating botanical cream. This is a leave-in conditioner for dry hair that adds softness and shine. This conditioner may be too intense for those with fine or oily hair like mine; while soft and shiny, my hair went flat by day’s end.

Phytodefrisant($26, 3.3 oz) is a relaxing balm, activated by heat, that is meant to prep the hair for straightening. The chamomile, ferula, horseradish and sage do make the hair super soft but also left my hair a little dull and lackluster.

Phytomist ($26, 5.07 oz) is an instant conditioner, detangler and radiance booster—springtime in a can. Pleasantly-scented (lotus flower) with sunflower extract to filter UV rays naturally, this is a great product for color treated hair or for people who spend a lot of time in the sun. Accidentally applying too much of this sweet-smelling treat can give too much shine—the oily-look kind. Use sparingly.

Phytovolume Actif ($28, 4.2 oz) is a heat-activated volumizing spray to add fullness, bounce and density through wheat proteins and amino acids. This is great for fine hair, creating a natural-looking fullness as opposed to mobster wife big-ness. The downside to the natural fullness you will achieve is the residue you may feel on your hair…like you didn’t wash all the soap out. This is but a small price to pay for the subtle thickness that will now be your mane.

Phytolisse Smoothing Shampoo and Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask

Along with the Phyto Coveted Collection, we heart this testers also received Phytolisse Smoothing Shampoo ($24, 6.7 oz) and Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask($38, 6.7 oz) for review. The shampoo uses hibiscus and calendula flower extracts to hydrate the hair and smooth the cuticles for high shine. The added ingredient of pine pulp actually speeds up the blowout process while protecting the hair from humidity (and we all know what humidity can do to a great blowout). The mask also uses pine pulp to make hair easy to blow dry and remain frizz free for 72 hours. I can’t wait to hear about that claim put to the test. (Check their thoughts in the comments.)

While not all products worked superlatively with my hair type, the great botanicals and other natural ingredients along with an iconic figure in its developer, Patrick Ales make this line worthy of a place in hair-care history.

we heartsters, do you agree? Tell us if PHYTO’s history has you hooked.

Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and of course, a wht writer!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also may contain an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • sherrishera

    Sherri is a writer, dog lover, old movie fanatic, history detective, political junkie, fashion pundit and social media consumer advocate. “A fancy dinner and expensive champagne are better than writing a rent check any day of the week.” skin tone: NC 25 skin type: oily/sensitive favorite beauty product: anti-aging anything

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  1. I received the Phyto coveted collection as well, and I really liked it! It’s my new fave hair product brand, and once my 1.7 oz versions are finished (especially the Phytolisse Serum and the Phyto7 Hydrating Botanical Cream) I’m planning on buying the full sizes. Just thinking about all the crazy chemicals in other products kinda freaks me out…so, natural hair products it is. Five stars from me.

  2. I received the Phytolisse Smoothing Shampoo to review. The bottle is kind of small for $24, but a little of this product goes a lot farther than other shampoos! It is a little drying, but it made my hair nice and smooth, and very clean. It does seem to reduce frizz a bit, and reduce the amount of time it took to blowdry my hair. The smell is kind of bland (just kind of ordinary “shampoo” smell), but not bad. The bottle is nice, and made out of aluminum (watch out if you drop things in the shower)!

    I was going to give this shampoo 4 out of 5 stars, because of the price, but since going back to “regular” shampoo, I’m convinced this shampoo is worth the money. I give it five out of five stars :)

  3. I have been a Phyto devotee for many years. (I used to lug the Phyto 7 back from France before I could find it in the states.) I am a big fan because the line is effective and plant based.
    I sure would have loved to have found that mini set for travel! I am a big fan of the Huile D’Ales, named for the company’s founder that is a great oil treatment and super before a color process. Great review!

  4. Thanks for this little bit of blowout history and your great review, @sherrishera – I love Phyto products but had no clue about their cool backstory.

    The Smoothing Shampoo sounds especially nice!

  5. I’m sure to lug a little Phytomist to the beach with me this summer since my fine hair knots and mattes with the salt and wind (nature’s blowdryer). Detangler and shine booster will be much appreciated! Also, the Phytovolume works well with my hair type. I’m desperately wanting to try the shampoo and conditioner to experiment with this line completely.
    As for stars, some of the products tested worked really well for me, some not-so-much…so I’ll give 3 stars overall plus an extra one for its being plant derived. 4 stars.

  6. I tried the Phytolisse Express Smoothing Mask and really liked it a lot. It has a thick, rich texture, and after using it weekly for awhile I definitely noticed my hair was smoother when I went to blow it out and straighten it. As far as frizz free for 72 hours, I would have to agree because my hair was still really smooth a couple days after my blow outs. Now, I will have to give it a good try in the crazy humid 90 degree weather we’ve had here lately and see if that claim still holds up! I really am impressed with Phyto in general and want to try more from them. I give the mask a solid 4 stars and would purchase it before other masks because of the quality ingredients and effective results.

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