Sunday, October 05, 2008

L'Occitane Hair Products: How I Became (Almost) Goop-Free

When normal people need to pack hair products to take on a trip, they either get those mini bottles of popular brands you find in every drugstore or they decant whatever they're using into empty 1 oz bottles you can usually buy at the same drugstore in their travel section.

These options do not work for someone whose hair is at mid-thigh length (I recently cut off a few inches), so I usually buy the smallest regular size shampoo and conditioner bottles of some decent brand like Matrix and ask myself if I'd ever be able to travel light (the answer to that is a big NO). Back in June I was facing quite a bit of travel, domestic and abroad , and upon taking inventory, realized I need to replenish my stash. I had several things to pick at the L'Occitane store, like their mini hand cream tubes and other luggage-friendly items, so I had a look at their hair care offering and realized they were a good size for me.

I chose a bottle of Aromachologie Repairing Shampoo and tube of Shea Butter Ultra Rich Conditioner. My expectations were mostly that the products wouldn't suck. I was used to applying quite a bit of hair goop according to need, so I never counted on the stuff that washes down the drain to provide my hair with much. But I was in for a very big surprise.

There's only so much I can say about any shampoo. If it's good, it cleans well without stripping the hair and the scalp. If it's bad it makes me itch. L'Occitane Aromacologie is good, effective and gentle enough, and also smells herbal and green, which always makes me happy. I dislike the synthetic fruit notes you find in most mass market hair products.

The big story here is the conditioner. The texture is thinner than I expected and my hair seemed to soak it up instantly, so much that there was very little left to rinse off. But the result was a fully hydrated mane, soft, manageable and healthy looking. I cut back drastically on the amount of leave-in conditioners and other styling products. I simply don't need much, especially on days when the weather isn't anti-hair.

Now, if it only came in family-size packaging...

L'Occitane hair products are available from their stores and online. I buy mine at my local mall.


  1. L'Occitane and I have been having a little bit of a love affair lately. They're good products when I want to "splurge" but they don't completely break the bank. Plus, their products typically smell really good, which is super important to me. I don't like using products that don't smell good.

    Also, mid-thigh hair sounds crazy. I had hair down to my hips once and I just couldn't keep up with it. Then again, mine is very straight so it has the tendency to get stringy without constant care. Now it's about midway down my back and I'm feeling like there are no shampoo/conditioners in my price range that won't leave it dry and stringy or limp and greasy.

  2. For a while, I was loving Fructis Length & Strength. Then they stopped offering the leave-in conditioner...sob. sigh.

    Will try out the L'Occitane. (Love the hand cremes...)

  3. Amanda, I'm not an expert on products for straight hair that tends to get greasy, but I like Avalon Organics and they have shampoos and conditioners for every hair type, and their prices are reasonable ($9 for 11 oz, available at Target).

  4. Scentscelf, I used Fructis for a while. Didn't know it was discontinued. Let me know what you think of the L'Occitanes. I'm a big fan almost all of their products.

  5. Dear Gaia,

    Thank you so much for mentioning our products on your blog! We are so happy that you found some of our products to combat and solve your hair troubles! (We all know how hard it is to find that one product to fix it all!) I might suggest trying the Aromachologie hair mask from the shoulders to the ends for some real repairing and hydrating action.

    Thank you so much and take care!

    All the best,
    Sophia, L'Occitane USA

  6. Sophia, thank you for stopping by. As a matter of fact, I've been testing the hair mask lately, and so far loving it.

  7. I tried the Aromacologie shampoo and conditioner - I honestly could not stand the smell and it lingered well into the second day which was not good (I think it was the patchouli). So, I returned both and bought the shea butter conditioner based on your review (I actually meant to get this the first time around, but the ole memory is short sometimes). I absolutely LOVE it! (I used it with another shampoo I have). It makes my hair so soft without weighing it down and I love the feel as I'm using it. Thanks for the review.

  8. Gail, I'm very happy to hear this. It's the biggest satisfaction to know I've helped someone find a fabulous product.

  9. I've been testing the hair mask lately, and so far loving it.

  10. I love the shampoo and conditioner
    I bought the shea butter conditioner also (based on your review) and love it
    I want to go back and get the serum from Aromachologie
    I also really love the smell and how it lingers on hot days on my skin/hair
    Great smell!


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