Condition Your Hair Like Oprah, Part 2

Yesterday Alysse asked if one of Oprah’s favorite products, Phytospecific Vital Force Creme Bath, is good for ethnic hair and if it`s worth the money. In our answer we explained why ethnic hair needs special treatment. Today we`ll talk about what this product is supposed to do and what it really does. But first, let`s take a look at the formula:

A quick review of the ingredients reveals a rich, although somewhat standard, mixture of conditioning ingredients. These use 4 different conditioning quats, (most conditioners only use 1 or 2); 2 types of silicones (but notably lacking in dimethicone, the most effective silicone conditioner); and 4 different natural oils (shea butter, jojoba, sesame and castor) that probably don`t do anything because of their low concentration and lack of substantivity. Finally, there are a few featured ingredients like keratin and panthenol that don`t add significant functionality.

What is this miracle product supposed to do? According to their website: it’s a unique blend of plant oils and Shea butter¦meets the needs of sensitized hair that has been made porous through chemical treatments or damaged by excessive styling. Brimming with highly nourishing and hydrating active ingredients, it penetrates to the core of the hair to rebuilt its natural defenses, strengthen brittle hair fibers and regenerate the scalp.

While much of the wording is advertising jargon, this product should be good for porous damaged hair. It will not, however, regenerate your scalp.

Keratin amino acids, Panthenol and Tocopherol, and anti-oxidant, help protect from external stress factors, prevent the formation of spit ends and maintain quality straightening results.

These ingredients are not really functional in the formula. They’re only there to increase the marketing appeal of the product.

Formulated under medical control and subjected to effectiveness tests, they ensure visible and long-lasting results from the first use.

This is a nice piece of marketing hype. Cosmetic products aren`t formulated under medical control although they may be medically tested to make sure they are non-irritating. Therefore, this claim doesn`t mean much.

The Brains‘ Bottom Line:

Is Phytospecific a good product? Based on our review of the ingredients, it appears to formulated with a lot of good stuff. But $32 bucks for 6.76 fl ounces seems a bit steep, even for a good conditioner. While it appears to be an effective formula for ethnic hair, there`s no new technology here that justifies that high of a price. You can find other good conditioners much cheaper. Motions products, for example, are very good for the price.