LUSH R & B Hair Moisturiser- A Little Bit of Heaven in Your Hair

 

DSC07522 C...2

So this, “heaven in your hair” may be somewhat of an exaggeration for many but that is exactly how I felt after I smelt it…DIVINE!! Had it not been for this gorgeous smell, I may not have picked it up. After all, it’s meant for “African American or curly hair” and mine are neither. They are wavy and dry but nowhere near what R & B is apparently intended for. The smell however bowled me over. Besides the SA said that I could skip the conditioner and use a little bit of R & B instead on towel-dried hair, which I realised later, is what I should have done. Instead, I would do the whole conditioning routine and then apply it in place of a serum, and that too in generous amount…I love the fragrance so much. Result – hair that was totally weighed down. For the first time I understood what the term “heavy conditioner that weighs the hair down” meant. Moral of the story – use your sweet little head and listen to the SA- at times they do know what they are talking about!

Enough of my personal rant. Coming to the product, LUSH calls it  “An instant best-seller”. “Our easy-to-use hair finisher uses softening ingredients of organic avocado butter, oatmeal, olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil and candelilla wax because they are extremely effective for conditioning the hair and scalp. It works well with African American or curly hair because it conditions with a lot of moisture. And once you smell the seductive orange blossom and jasmine fragrance, your hair will truly get its groove back.”

  • “Dry no more: Supremely moisturizing ingredients make this an ideal solution for dry hair.
  • Vegan music: Cupuacu butter softens hair and retains moisture, a fantastic vegan alternative to lanolin.
  • Work out for out-of-condition hair: Our bay leaf infusion is stimulating, toning and works wonders on dry hair.”

                         DSC07522C ...1  It comes in trademark LUSH black tub and has a very thick pudding type consistency. A very small amount is needed, about the size of a coin. Rub it between your hands that make it a bit thin and thus easier to work through towel-dried hair. If your hair is thick, you can section it and work this through. Whether you need a conditioner prior to this or this alone will suffice, you will have to figure out for yourself by trial and error. My hair is dry and wavy but unless they are going through a particularly dry and crazy phase, I can skip the conditioner and just use this on towel-dried hair.LUSH says that it can be used on dry hair as well- a little on the fingertips and work through the hair but LUSH recommends this kind of usage for Afro and very dry hair. For hair like mine, I prefer to use “Shine So Bright” for this purpose, as and when needed. Ordinarily R & B is enough for me.

For a quick recap- The PROS first –

  • Great for dry hair- a what is called HG product, to use beauty talk lingo.
  • Fabulous fragrance. However, as with all LUSH products, it’s better to decide on this for yourself…one man’s meat can be another’s poison.
  • Natural ingredients. LUSH, however, has always got a mixed response regarding their claim of being natural due to presence of synthetics in their products including the much debated SLS in some products. Though they call it “safe synthetics” but it has irked quite a few. Whatever you may decide, there is no doubt that their products are great and in any case contain WAY less chemicals than ordinary brands. But it’s often been said about LUSH, you either hate it or love it, for whatever reason! Entirely your call!!
  • Cruelty free – though some animals tortured doesn’t seem to bother most people sadly.

Now the CONS

  • Expensive – I picked up the 100 gram tub for Rs 1460/- some months ago but LUSH is notorious for hiking prices so very often. A little however goes a long way and if you compare with other products for controlling dry, frizzy hair, say Kerastase Elixir Ultime, it’s a good, even a better deal.
  • May not be easy to procure. LUSH has just one store up North in Select City Walk, New Delhi. Though the products are available on line at lushindia.com, but very often many things are out of stock. Earlier sites like Urban Touch stocked their products but no so anymore. Flipkart has 1 or 2 odd products at times and so does 365gorgeous. But not the complete range.

 

LUSH Snake Oil Scalp Treatment Bar

snake oil bar

Okay so this is a product that I picked up due to its uniqueness and even though I will not repurchase it, I have to review it for the same reason. I have got used to LUSH shaking up some of my very basic assumptions about beauty products, what with solid shampoos and conditioners, solid toothpaste and solid henna bars. So when I saw this solid oil bar ( LUSH calls is Treatment Bar), I just had to pick it up.

First things first, it’s not like the “solid” oil we have seen- namely the coconut oil that solidifies in the freezing North Indian winters and then you put the bottle either in the sun or in hot water before using it. This one is meant to be solid and is not solid because of extraneous conditions. And therein lies the novelty. The name “Snake Oil” had me a bit worried specially as the bar smells pretty bad. But thankfully it doesn’t have snake oil ( is there such a thing I wonder ?). Apparently it’s supposed to be helping irritated, flaky scalps with dandruff that are shedding like a snake and at the end of it scalp comes out as good as new. Hence the name.
The oil bar is pink in colour with a “S” marked on it. The smell is pretty strong and not in a good way. Like all LUSH products that have strong smells, it is better you try it beforehand. The list of ingredients is pretty impressive – Cade oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Alkanet Extract, Peppermint Oil, Cade Oil, Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Oil,*Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. While cocoa butter is the secret behind the conditioning property of their henna bars, Cade oil is known as an effective fungicidal and antiseptic and is also used in the Soak and Float Shampoo Bar ( another nasty smelling thing!)

LUSH tells you to – “ Melt it on to your fingertips then massage it right into your scalp. Let the antiseptic essential oils to do their work for 20 minutes or so, and then wash off with shampoo. For best results, try our Soak and Float shampoo.” While this method will work well during summers ( you may even try to directly massage it onto the scalp), in winters it is difficult to use it like this. What I did was to scrape it off into shreds and heat those shreds either in microwave or on gas and then massage it into the scalp the way you would any oil. The peppermint leaves a nice tingling feeling on the scalp and while the lavender does mask its bad smell, yet the smell is something one should check out carefully. LUSH recommends it leaving for 20 minutes or so and I have normally left it for more than that, say 30-45 minutes. After that I shampoo it off with either Soak and Float Bar or any other LUSH shampoo. I follow it up with a conditioner as my hair is always on the dry side. Someone with normal hair can probably skip the conditioner as the Snake Oil does have a liberal amount of cocoa butter.

My take on the product

As I said at the very onset I picked it up not because of any scalp problem but because of the novelty of it. I don’t have any scalp problems but for occasional dandruff. With that this Bar helped me out. But so does any hair oil (I’ve been using TVAM and Forest Essentials hair oils). A friend who has severe dandruff and scalp problem tried it but sadly it did not help her. I guess the results will vary from person to person.
Will I repurchase it? No. I didn’t get it because of any scalp problems but out of curiosity. Once that is over, the curious cat( i.e. me) is going back to good old liquid oil. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to share as I used it up before I thought of writing about it :-/ The picture I have put is from LUSH website.

For a quick recap-

PROS-
1. LUSH is a cruelty free brand. So any product you pick up from them, you can do so without any burden on the conscience.

2. Since it is in solid “bar” form, there is no danger of spillage. However, in warm weather the product is likely to melt and thus not be so convenient in travel.

3. It claims to help with scalp problems – Some do stand by the claim, while others not so much. In any case it’s a natural product so well worth a try for any scalp problem before you go the chemical way.

CONS-
1. The smell is pretty strong and not at all pleasant. Better check out the product before purchasing it. If you can’t tolerate it even for 30minutes, no point wasting money on it.

2. At Rs 530/- for a palm size bar ( 1.9 oz) it’s pretty expensive.

3. Don’t see it helping with chronic or severe scalp problems.
Available at all LUSH stores and on line at www.lushindia.com

Because we’re worth it

leapingbunny

L’Oreal punch line, “Because you’re worth it”, never made much sense to me- Because I’m worth what?? All the money that I blow up on buying their products? Am I worth the 5-in-1 remedy their shampoos offer or the lipsticks or the eye liners they sell? Or, as I recently discovered, on a more sombre note, am I worth the cruelty the animals are subjected to as such products are tested on them ?

From the beginning I have a love hate relationship with the brand. When L’Oreal first came to India with its “salon excusive” tag I loved it- the shampoos, the felt tipped liners, the foundations, the lipsticks. Gradually however I outgrew the products…most of them anyways. Shampoos and the in salon hair treatments made the hair look great for a while but at the end of the day, I was just pumping more chemicals into my system. Get a dazzling new hair colour, combat the dryness by a shampoo meant for coloured hair, get hair smoothing treatments done- it was a vicious cycle I was caught in until I decided to chuck it all up, including the premium L’Oreal brand Kerastase and go natural. Likes of LUSH, Body Shop, Forest Essentials , Biotique came to my rescue. That I had, unknowingly, also moved to the realm of “cruelty free” cosmetic products, I just recently discovered.

A few days ago I accidentally came across a Facebook page called “Speak for Sasha”( https://www.facebook.com/SpeakForSasha ). Some friend had performed the universal action of “liking” or “sharing” something from that page. While I usually ignore such posts, the picture of a Beagle with soulful eyes caught my attention. And as I read it, all I knew was that I would never be able to pick up a cosmetic product again without checking first whether it is cruelty free or not.

“Animal Testing”, like so many other issues we grapple with, is a very controversial topic to debate. While its proponents would argue that for medical advancement such testing is inevitable, those against it say that many such tests fail on human beings thereby negating the very purpose of such testing. Honestly I don’t know enough about animal testing to have a well formed opinion. But what I do know is that no living creature should be knowingly and unmindfully subjected to cruelty or pain especially just to satisfy human vanity. The human race is as much capable of mind boggling sublimity as it is of unimaginable cruelty, not only towards another species but it’s own kind as well – Think Hitler and his well orchestrated dance of death. Animal kingdom, for all its ferocity and wildness, is not capable of something in similar vein. Being lower down in the chain of evolution does have its advantages it seems !!Does being higher up in this chain give us the right to subject the animal kingdom to anything we deem fit? Was the “purpose of their existence” just to satisfy human needs and human greed? What all will we excuse in the name of human advancement? How does one justify animal cruelty to make a better shampoo or lipstick? Where does one indeed draw the line?

In a country like ours, where human life comes cheap, it’s rather farfetched to talk of animal rights. When human beings are denied rights and justice, what can one expect for these poor creatures- be it in the lab or out of it? What to talk about others, I myself never spared a thought for it until recently. Not that I intended being cruel or promoting cruelty but I was simply unaware. “Awareness” – that to my mind is the key to it. Thereafter it’s each individuals personal call to take. Some may consider it yet another fad as “cruelty free” products are promoted or voice raised against animal testing. Some, like me, may decide to look for alternates to the extent possible. Some may jump in whole heartedly and work for this cause.

Do I have something personal against L’Oreal that I’ve taken their tag line as a point of departure? Not at all. Quite to the contrary I still love Lancome , Kerastase and The Body Shop, though the latter after its sale to L’Oreal is apparently no longer considered “cruelty free”. “Cruelty free” is not going to be an easy choice- Lotus, one of the cruelty free brands, I’ve never till date bothered to explore and MAC will be a tough call to replace. I’m unable to find the alternates for contact lens solution but at least I’m aware and making an informed choice. And that is what we all should do- be aware and make an informed choice. And yes, I would love a to see a rabbit instead of Aishwarya Rai promoting a “cruelty free” brand with a similar tag line- “Because we’re worth it”. Using such a product, at least I know I’ll sleep better at night with a clear conscience.