I lost count of how many times this plant-candy hair extravaganza was tweaked en route to this final formulation (maaaybe I’m fussy…), but this is the ultimate and, quite frankly, a delight. It has a beautifully light consistency, a subtle-but-deep scent (3 notes of exquisite neroli, clean pink grapefruit and seductive patchouli) and doesn’t feel greasy in the hair or on the hands. I wear it everyday.
Softness, Shine & Scent (the three Ss; I’ll try not to wear them out), Purely with the Power of Plants (the 3 Ps). It’s a winner.
Pumpkin seed, argan, avocado, poppy seed, green tea seed, olive, coconut, lupine seed, black seed, neroli, baobab, broccoli seed, pink grapefruit, castor bean (…) The seeds, leaves, petals, fruit peel and kernels of no fewer than SEVENTEEN different plants make it up (see the full list below for why you want these things in your hair). And that’s it. No harsh chemicals, silicones or hair-damaging extras!
S i l i c o n e f r e e !
Most hair serums on the market are full of silicones (as well as other things I choose to avoid), which create an expertly smooth effect along the hair shaft but then dry your hair out magnificently, causing you to want more of the product and become addicted to it (marketing 101)… I prefer this far more innocent (but highly effective) blend, whose formulation includes a coconut-derived silicone replacement to create a grease-free, tangle-reducing and softening finish – and which only feeds your hair with natural vitamins and goodness, suppleness and shine. The result is a bevvy of nourished locks which are soft, pleased and gleaming.
Also, here’s a l i t t l e s t o r y (feel free to skip!)…
My big hair is arguably the most distinctive thing about my appearance, but when it comes to styling, I have to confess that I’m a very lazy hair-owner; I used to straighten my curls religiously, as though they were a secret which must not get out, but then a miracle happened: I sat for a painter who told me that my naturally wild hair was (and I quote) ‘expressive’. I didn’t know if this was a good thing, but apparently it was (he hired me for a year) and ever since, throughout my modelling career, I have never looked back. I haven’t seen my straighteners in ages; I’m a wash-it-and-go kind of girl (this serum aside). Don’t tell anyone.
The bottom-line truth is this (and it’s a two-parter):
1. You have to learn to love your natural hair (it saves misery AND time) and
2. It’s worth making sure your hair is in good, healthy condition and that you are imparting it with natural nutrients, not chemical crap; personally, I don’t want my hair to let me down, even despite my lack of interest in blasting it with heat (there’s more to life) or attempting to control it into submission (sometimes the best hair tip is a recital of the serenity prayer).
ALL THAT SAID, my lack of interest in conscientious effort is only matched by my near-obsession with pure and natural plant oils which are life-giving and non-greasy; non-sticky, magical ingredients that don’t weigh your hair down and which also double up as a subtle fragrance, making me smell irresistible if you happen to get close (just sayin’). (Seriously, my hair serum obsession is on a par with my lip balm obsession.)
CAMELLIA SINENSIS (the tea plant): Traditionally used by Japanese geisha (who would soak their wooden combs in the oil overnight) to shine their hair, the oil from the seeds of the tea plant is packed full of nutrients, with a light viscosity that doesn’t add too much weight to the hair. It’s full of oleic acid (omega 9), vitamins A, C, B & E and plant collagen. It forms a barrier against environmental pollutants and diminishes frizz.
ORGANIC ARGAN OIL: This beautiful kernel oil is high in vitamin E, frizz-fighting and non-greasy.
OLIVE: A fruit with a shine-enhancing fatty make up, this Mediterranean traditional beauty ingredient promotes healthy, smooth strands and gentle gleam.
ABYSSINIAN OIL: Both luxurious and light, it contains a high percentage of an Omega-9 fatty acid that helps to give hair a glossy feel and suppleness.
COCONUT OIL: A rich source of medium-chain fatty acids (especially lauric acid); adds shine and health.
ORGANIC AVOCADO OIL: Pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit, this oil proves that avocados should be worn as well as eaten; contains high amounts of Vitamin A, B1, B2, D, and E. Also contains amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin, and other essential fatty acids that will rev up your hair and eliminate dullness.
LUPINE SEED EXTRACT: More than just a pretty flower, tests have shown that the addition of Hydrolysed Lupine Seed Extract increases the strength of hair; it’s also got a film-forming, protective quality. Wonderful for colour-treated/damaged hair and adds smoothness and shine to the hair shaft’s surface.
BAOBAB: Another non-greasy emollient, baobab oil penetrates the hair and adds shine, elasticity and suppleness, while nourishing the scalp.
POPPY SEED OIL: sinks in beautifully and aids the other oils in sinking in too (useful!), poppy seed oil nourishes the hair shaft and adds shine. Full of anti-oxidants and no greasy residue.
ORGANIC BROCCOLI SEED OIL: Yes, really. This stuff is the bee’s knees (and comes without the broccoli smell, in case you’re wondering!). It has a fatty acid profile reminiscent of silicones, but with none of the drying/damaging aftermath, plus an alphabet of vitamins and minerals which strengthen hair follicles, promote growth and add lustre.
PUMPKIN SEED OIL: rich in vitamin E, zinc, omega 3, omega 6 and antioxidants. Also rich in enzymes which inhibit 5-alpha (too much 5-alpha slows or stops hair growth) in the scalp.
CASTOR OIL: Castor oil is an age old beauty treatment, especially beneficial for hair, due in part to its unusually high ricinoleic acid content, which is said to increase circulation and stimulate growth. It’s also antibacterial and anti-fungal; good for your scalp!
BLACK SEED OIL: a natural hair tonic traditionally used to promote hair growth. It’s naturally anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial; perfect prevention/help for skin conditions. A snippet of plant-knowledge wisdom if ever there was one: ‘Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death.’
VITAMIN E (from soybean): antioxidant, keeps things fresh.
+ 3 ESSENTIAL OILS: this little medley of hair-loving essentials combines seductive NEROLI (an exquisitely scented oil, steam distilled from bitter orange blossom) with just a tiny dash of the delicious, deep boom of PATCHOULI; (barely detectable – I didn’t want it to overpower). Both balance the top note, the gorgeously fresh and clean scent of PINK GRAPEFRUIT.
…Overall, a beautifully subtle, bright, good-mood blend that doesn’t scream or shout, but lingers gently. Feel free to flick your hair about and ask complete strangers to inhale.
Uses & Directions:
Can be used on dry or damp hair.
…You might find you need to use less of this serum compared to others you may be used to. Always start with less and add more gradually as desired (it’s easier to add more than take away).
…Rub just a few drops between your palms then smooth through the ends of the hair, focussing on the lengths (and any heat-frazzled or damaged ends) rather than the scalp.
…Leave in to nourish your hair through the day, smooth its silhouette and add shine, or use as an overnight treatment, letting your locks feast while you sleep.
Decyl oleate (Coconut origin), Caprylic/capric triglyceride (Coconut triester), Ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil, Papaver somniferum (Poppy) seed oil, Camellia sinensis (Tea) seed oil, Nigella sativa (Black Seed) seed oil, Brassica oleracea italica (Broccoli*) seed oil, Adansonia digitata (Baobab) seed oil, Brassica abyssinica (Abyssinian) oil, Argania spinosa (Argan*) kernel oil, Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit) peel oil, Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil, Persea gratissima (Avocado*) oil, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil, Hydrolyzed Lupine seed extract, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) flower oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil. Natural constituents of essential oils: Citral, Linalool, Limonene, Geraniol, Farnesol.
All prices are in GBP.