Grownup Green #Slime: Dana + Diana Test-Drive L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay Hair Mask
You've heard of combination skin, oui?
Well. didja know our hair + scalp could be similarly all over the place? And that the specific combo of oily roots + dry ends has 'Florida Beauty Problem' written all. over. it.?
Yessiree, between the heat, the humidity and the punishing UV rays, the Sunshine State can officially make our strands schizophrenic.
To the rescue: this new brew we're about to spill the beans on.
A few weeks ago, while she was at Target shopping for chocolate bunnies + Peeps for Easter dinner at her pal Maryellen's banging new St. Pete pad, Dana somehow got distracted and wound-up in the beauty department.
Within seconds, eight - eight! - anti-frizz potions had landed in her cart.
After Diana read Dana's hair-haul post, she texted her: "I tried that clay mask too."
Bingo! A dual FBP review of L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask was set in motion.
But First, WTH Is It?
Just as an FYI, the artsy pic above is not of the "pre-shampoo mask" we're blogging about here. If you'd like to see it, we've inserted a few images at the bottom, as well as an extremely brave, makeup-free shot of Dana mid-treatment.
Back to the mask:
It's part of L'Oréal Paris's four-piece Extraordinary Clay collection, which also features a companion shampoo + conditioner, along with a dry shampoo.
Every item in the range contains three types of refined clay that soak up oil at the roots:
1. Kaolinite, which is super-absorbent and helps break down accumulated scalp gunk. Wow, that just doesn't sound good: "accumulated scalp gunk." Listen, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody has it. Now just get rid of it, please. Technically kaolinite is a mineral rather than an actual clay, but let's not get mired in minutia.
2. Montmorillonite, which is "derived from igneous rocks of the smectite family." The smectite family? If our family were named Smectite, we'd switch families. This clay is creamy and puffs up like a beach ball upon contact with water.
3. Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, which is mainly there to make the mask look + feel pretty. And it totally does, btw. More on that in a moment.
So now that we know what's in the collection - i.e., clay + almost-clay - it's equally important to know what isn't in it: silicone. Over + over in the press release it mentions that the products are 'silicone-free.'
Because she's a Beauty Nerd of the highest order, Dana finds the pronounced absence of silicone in these products to be veddy, veddy interesting. So interesting, in fact, that she'll be exploring the possible evils of silicone in an upcoming blog post.
Now let's get to those clay mask reviews:
You know how everyone has been making a big deal about this whole "new" idea of deep conditioning before shampooing? Guess what, sisters? It ain't new. I've been doing that for years. Decades, if we want to be precise.
But here's what is new to me: deep conditioning dry hair.
Can you spell c-h-a-l-l-e-n-g-e?
I have a lot of hair and it didn't take kindly to me trying to wrestle it - bone dry - with big globs of conditioner. It felt weird, and vaguely against-the-natural-laws-of-the-Universe.
But once I felt I'd slathered-on a sufficient amount, I took a chill pill (not literally) and went about my business for a good hour or so. Then I hopped in the shower and rinsed, rinsed, rinsed. Then I shampooed + conditioned again (with some lightweight, wimpy stuff - not the mask).
After giving myself a better-than-average blowout, my hair felt softer - and stayed softer - than it has in a really long time. That had me thinking: if I used the companion Extraordinary Clay shampoo + conditioner alongside the mask, would my results be even better? I have tons of new stuff (Pantene! Renpure!) so I don't want to buy anything else right now. But when my stash gets low, I may just be splashing-out on the entire Extraordinary Clay kit + caboodle.
As for the "purified scalp" claims, I'll have to use it a few more times to determine whether it's effective on that front. But here's an unexpected bonus: When Hubby wandered into our master bath after my little mask sesh, he said: "What did you use? It smells really good in here." Agreed. The scent is fantastic.
I kinda stole my Extraordinary Clay mask rather than buying it, but you won't hold that against me, right? I'll nab a tub the next time I'm at my local Walgreens.
Anyhoo, in April, when I went to Cali and stayed with my insanely talented swimwear designer pal Rod Beattie, I parked myself poolside with a fat stack of glossy magazines one afternoon while he was at work. Happily, just about every one of those rags was chock-a-block with beauty samples. And in my reading travels, whenever I came upon the packets for the L'Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask, shampoo and conditioner, I ripped them out faster than you can say "really bad house guest" and tossed them in my bag.
Now comes the part when I discuss how I actually used my precious bootleg packets. In all honesty, I was hesitant. I reside on Isles of Capri, which is considered Naples, sans the glitz. And modern plumbing; our little community has septic tanks, and I was afraid of clogging ours with the clay.
Clogged pipes are no joke. My husband has two nicknames for me: “Happy Diana” and “Septic Tank Diana,” and trust me, you want to steer clear of snarly "Septic Tank Diana" at all costs. Our challenging first year on this little peninsula was rain-filled, resulting in a $360+ outlay every few weeks to pump our tank. Money down the drain, L I T E R A L L Y. Painful. The sound of glug glug glug eminating from the toilet had worn me down.
Realizing that we were likely overdue for a pump-out, I figured it was time to pop open those packets and get deep. I couldn't read the instructions, so I Googled them to ensure I knew how to use the products correctly: apply mask to dry hair, wait at least five minutes, then shampoo and condition.
Donning disposable latex gloves, I cut the packet open, unleashing a lotion-y substance that smelled pretty - so unlike like the MUDD masks of my teen years.
(Note from Dana: Disposable latex gloves? Who does that????)
Upon completing the three steps, I followed my normal 8-brush blowout routine only to discover that I needed to add another 30 minutes: my hair was super-wet, holding on to the water especially at the ends. Readers, if you still haven’t read Dana’s great interview with St. Pete hair color guru Lisa Daniels at Platinum Salon (I reread it every time before blowing-out my hair), my 'tipping point' from frizz to straight was delayed and I was late to work.
I would use this again. But for my long fine hair, which isn’t great with product, I think I'll wait until SWFL’s rainy season ends - because of my septic tank sitch, of course. I want to be able to take full advantages of the pros of this product without having to worry about backed-up, clay-filled pipes. So what are those pros, you ask? Softness plus a super-clean scalp which let me extend the shampoo/blowout for a full six days. Six! You gotta love that.
As promised, here's an actual shot of the mask, along with a makeup-free Dana, mid-treatment. Brave! So brave.