Shea butter is one of my favorite ingredients for both body and hair (I accidentally typed "body and soul" at first, which is not that far from the truth in my case). It makes a major difference in the way my big pile of hair looks and feels more than any other hair care material I know. That's why I was very excited when the J.F. Lazartigue Shea Butter Shampoo and Pre-Shampoo Mask landed on my doorstep. And I've become even more thrilled since I started using them.
The shea butter J.F. Lazartigue products were formulated for very thick hair, taking into account the inherent dryness as well as the longer penetration time required for hair care products when dealing with it. The treatment begins with a pre-shampoo mask that is thick and buttery (the box includes a spatula for scooping it out of the pot). You apply the mask to your hair at least two hours before washing (it's easiest to just use before bed and leave overnight), concentrating on the parts that need the most TLC. The mask smells of cocoa butter, actually, with the added nuttiness of shea butter. I find it very cozy. It really does feel like buttering my hair, but I don't mind-- it's kind of nice. I was expecting having to put some effort into washing the J.F. Lazartigue mask off in the morning, but was nicely surprised that any goo that didn't fully absorb into my hair washed away smoothly, helping with the Sisyphean task of detangling.
J.F. Lazartigue Shea Butter Shampoo is kind, gentle, and very runny. The texture reminds me of my beloved L'Occitane Shea Butter Conditioner-- you need to be careful and not lose half the bottle content every time you use it. It's a very mild concoction that never irritates my scalp and actually feels soothing which again, might have something to do with the buttery (cocoa and coconut) smell. The shampoo is light but actually quite mighty (do note that it contains SLES if you're sensitive). It might not be the product for dealing with very grimy hair or serious product buildup, but it does feel cleansing for everyday use. I find that when I use the J.F. Lazartigue mask before washing there's no need for anything else after shampooing (though you can leave the shampoo on for a couple of minutes, just like you'd do with a conditioner). My hair feels soft and happy with its natural shine restored.
It might sound a bit silly, but I get a feeling of well-being from continuous use of these J.F. Lazartigue products. When you have as much hair as I do, softness is a major issue, and I get it with these shea butter treatments. These two were sent to my by PR, but I'm already planning to repurchase and also add the shea butter cream conditioner and leave-in conditioner to a future order.
J.F. Lazartigue Shea Butter Shampoo ($39, 6.8 oz) & Pre-Shampoo Mask ($54, 8.4oz) are available from zappos.com. The products for this review were sent by PR.
Photo of actress Dorothy Lamour via Stirred, Straight Up, With A Twist.