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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.
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.
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.