I once tried rhassoul clay in my hair as a pre-wash treatment on the advice of an acquaintance for whom the ritual was a centuries-old cultural tradition. She had long, shiny and thick waist-length black hair, and swore by the Moroccan clay mask as the key to keeping her healthy, beautiful hair soft, strong and well conditioned.
I just swore, in the not-good way. Distributing the clay in my thick hair was tricky enough, but rinsing it out – I hated the experience. Too much like hard work; I prefer simplicity when it comes to beauty stuff.
I'm pretty sure I mixed the clay with some water and maybe some kind of oil – olive? I can't remember now, but many DIY clay hair mask recipes call for ingredients such as coconut, sweet almond, lavender and/or rosemary oils as well as apple cider vinegar. Maybe if I'd googled first.... Anyway, I really disliked the experience so I never repeated it. Doesn't help that I'm really not a DIY-beauty-recipe girl.
Now clay as a pre-shampoo treatment has gone mainstream thanks to L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay, a hair-care trio that includes a 30%-clay hair mask. They're not the first wallet-friendly brand to release a clay formula for hair; Yves Rocher launched a Moroccan clay face-and-hair mask a couple of years back as part of a Tradition de Hammam home-spa collection. However Extraordinary Clay does seem to be the first drugstore range that spotlights clay for hair. (Goes along with L'Oreal's recent Pure Clay face masks release.)
On the press-preview day for L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay, I of course shared my disappointing clay + hair experience with lovely Eric Del Monaco, L'Oréal's official hair artist for Canada (and a freaking genius at layered haircuts, btw). He had interesting things to say on the subject, so I grabbed my iPhone and recorded the following spur-of-the-moment vid. (And yes, now I know I need to hold the phone closer to my face when I'm speaking... *grin*)
The L'Oreal Paris Extraordinary Clay Clay Mask ($8.49 CAD at amazon.ca) pre-shampoo treatment for oily roots contains three types of clay – two will be familiar from this Clay vs Mud post from last week – kaolin, montmorillonite and argilane (listed in the ingredients as argilla).
Kaolin, known for its absorbtion abilities, makes up the bulk of the formula. Argilane, aka argile or French green clay, is apparently more absorbent than kaolin; its pretty green colour comes from decomposed plant matter. Montmorillonite, aka bentonite clay, also has excellent absorption and detoxifying benefits, and swells up when moisture hits it.
Obviously the media preview was set up to give us a chance to try the treatment, and I was totally in. The trio is designed for anyone who deals with extremely oily roots and dry ends; I have moderately oily roots with dry ends.
Gotta say I loved the mask. It feels minty fresh (thanks, eucalyptus) on the scalp, and as Eric says in the video, its gellified texture makes it easy to apply to the roots. How to: Eric says to scoop out with fingertips, rake into hair at the roots and massage in, then fingercomb about an inch to two inches out into the hair.
Unlike my previous clay experience, the Extraordinary Clay clay mask was a cinch to rinse out 5 minutes later. I also rather like the fresh scent. (The fragrance of the Yves Rocher Tradition de Hammam mask didn't agree with my nose, so I didn't try it.)
Post shampoo and conditioner, Eric blow dried my hair – and the brush moved easily through the strands without the need for styling serums. In fact, Eric told me the mask will have absorbed enough scalp sebum to give me an extra day or two out of my blowout, and he was right! Four days later, my hair still felt clean and swingy!
This L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay collection is also known as L'Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay – as with most L'Oreal lines, it launched in Europe first. US friends, you can find the products under the European name on amazon.com. Extraordinary Clay landed in Canadian drugstores a couple of months ago.
Have you tried this trio yet? Or any kind of clay hair mask at all? Tell me everything!
shoppity shop-shop (amazon.com)
L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay Clay Mask ingredients: Aqua, Kaolin, Gycerin, Olea Europaea Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum, CI 42090, CI 60730, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, PEG-8 Isostearate, PEG-8, Argilla, Salicylic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Montmorillonite, Caprylyl Glycol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Myristic Acid, Cetearyl Glucoside, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, F.I.L. C192214/1
L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay shampoo ingredients: Aqua / Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, CI 42090 / Blue 1, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Argilla / Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Salicylic Acid, Fumaric Acid, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Montmorillonite, Kaolin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Carbomer, Geraniol, Octyldodecanol, Citronellol, Citric Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum / Fragrance, F.I.L. C179833/1
L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay conditioner ingredients: Aqua / Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycine Soja Oil / Soybean Oil, Cetyl Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Argilla / Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Salicylic Acid, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Montmorillonite, Isopropyl Alcohol, Kaolin, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, BHT, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Glycerin, Parfum/ Fragrance, F.I.L. C180281/1