Although it can be all too easy to believe that everyone wakes up with smooth, sleek and styled hair, that’s not the case for most of us. You need the right products to get the look you want, and it takes time to work out what your hair needs; I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle to control my wavy-to-curly, frizz-prone and unmanageable locks! So, I’ve done some of the work for you by creating this introduction to Phyto.
When we try to get the look we want, we can sometimes end up causing more damage to our hair through excess heat and over-styling, while even the environment and our lifestyle can take its toll on our hair. This is something that the founder of Phyto understood, and wanted to combat by creating a range of natural, kind-to-hair products.
The brainchild of celebrity hairdresser Patrick Ales, Phyto started long before botanical hair care was ‘in’. When Alès was a salon apprentice in Paris during the 50s, he noticed that chemically-laden products were damaging to both the hairdressers’ hands and their clients’ hair. As a result, Alès studied plant properties to find a gentle, natural solution to his clients’ dry, bleached-out locks (and if you’re wondering what Phyto means, it’s taken from the Greek word for ‘plants’, which lie at the heart of each formula.) In the 60s, Phyto was unveiled alongside Alès’ very own salon near the Champs Élysées. Still open today, the salon has been home to a whole host of celebrities over the years – from the likes of Brigitte Bardot to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – who have opted for a more natural approach to hair care.
And although we’d love to be able to go to a French salon for a hair transformation, we’ve got the next best thing; Phyto at home. So, if premium plant-based hair care intrigues you, read on to find out which Phyto products are best for your hair type and concern…
1. Ageing Hair
Tell-Tale Signs Of Ageing Hair: Grey or thinning hair.
Why Does Hair Age? This is a question as old as time. Just like the body, the hair changes as we age; the hair follicles make less melanin – the component that’s in charge of colour – so hair turns grey or white. Hair also has a shortened life cycle as you age, so short, fine hair falls out more easily and is replaced with finer hair, meaning that your locks can end up looking less voluminous over time.
What Products To Look Out For: If you’re concerned about pesky greys and want to maintain your natural colour for as long as possible, then the Phyto RE30 Anti-Grey Hair Treatment is the way to go. If your hair feels fine or limp through age, take a look at the Phytodensia Plumping Shampoo, an invigorating and hair-plumping shampoo.
My Recommendation: One of the most common traits of hair ageing is, of course, grey hair. It happens to the best of us, and it isn’t anything to be ashamed of or concerned about. In fact, it can even look fantastic (think style icons, Helen Mirren and Judi Dench.)
But if you want to keep those greys at bay for as long as possible, the Phyto RE30 Anti-Grey Hair Treatment would be my suggestion. Why? It features a patented active that took six years to perfect, which boosts natural pigment production to keep your hair coloured for longer. This means that it encourages continued colour while protecting against a future loss of colour.
2. Polluted Hair
Tell-Tale Signs Of Polluted Hair: Dullness or greasiness.
How Does Hair Become Polluted? If you live in a busy, bustling city, you might be conscious of breathing in fumes, or even be aware of the toll that city life takes on your skin, but you might not realise that cigarette smoke, pollution and even the everyday stresses of life can damage your hair, causing everything from greasiness to a tendency towards hair loss.
What Range To Look Out For: The Phytodetox range is designed to deeply cleanse and refresh polluted hair and scalps.
My Recommendation: We all know how relaxing, refreshing and revitalising a good shower can be at the end of the day – especially if you work in the city, and it’s been a particularly hot or busy day. So, my top pick is the Phytodetox Clarifying Detox Shampoo because it effectively washes away that build-up of dirt, grime and grease from the day. It’s packed with refreshing eucalyptus and detoxifying burdock extract for a cleansed, healthy and pollutant-free finish.
3. Damaged, Styled Hair
Tell-Tale Signs Of Damaged Hair: Hair looks dull, frazzled, brittle and is prone to breakage.
How Does Hair Become Damaged? It should probably come as no surprise that adding excess heat to hair can leave your tresses a bit worse-for-wear, especially if they’re not properly protected. Regular blow-drying, straightening and curling can all play a part – and even the sun can leave hair dry and lacklustre, so it’s important to protect your hair against heat damage if you style it regularly.
What Ranges To Look Out For: Phytokeratine and Phytokeratine Extreme are designed for hair that needs protection and repair. They all centre around botanical keratin, a hair care wonder that absorbs in to smooth down the cells that make up a strand of hair. The result? Full, glossy and less frizzy hair.
My Recommendation: Just as you’re leaving your skin open to damage by not wearing SPF every day, you’re also putting your hair at risk of damage by not applying a heat protectant when you’re styling it. As someone with naturally thick, wavy hair, it takes me ages to blow-dry or straightens my hair, so a heat protecting spray is essential – especially as it takes such a long time to style.
My suggestion for damaged hair is the Phytokeratine Repairing Heat Protecting Spray; it actively repairs hair while defending against further heat damage thanks to the likes of thermo-active grape extract. I love the fact that it’s in an easy-to-apply spray bottle format that means you can quickly spritz and style.
4. Dry Hair
Tell-Tale Signs Of Dry Hair: Dullness or static.
How Does Hair Become Dry? Washing your hair too often, using harsh shampoo, dying your hair or styling with blow-dryers or straighteners can cause hair to dry out. Dry scalps can also cause dry hair.
What Range To Look Out For: Keep an eye out for the entire Phytojoba range if your hair looks and feels dry and you want healthier, sleeker-looking locks. If you’re looking for individual products, the Phytoelixir Intense Nutrition Shampoo is perfect for very dry hair, while the Phyto 9 Nourishing Day Cream is the perfect leave-in cream for ultra-dry tresses; it acts just like a moisturiser for your hair.
My Recommendation: One of my favourite ways to treat myself at the end of a busy week is with a face mask; I love to use them as a way to pause and unwind before having an early night. Having a shower in the evening often has the same effect, which is why I love hair masks – especially as my frizzy-prone, wavy locks like to lap up as much moisture as possible.
Just like dry skin needs regular moisturising, so does dry hair. That’s why my top pick is the Phytojoba Moisturising Mask, which acts as a deep treatment for tresses. It helps restore the hydrolipidic film and strengthen the hair fibre, which means that it helps protect against dehydration for soft, shiny and nourished hair. And, if you’re anything like me and you suffer from tangled hair, then this rinse-out mask is made for you; it helps make hair more manageable and easy to comb.
5. Coloured Hair
What Is Coloured Hair? As the name suggests, this is any hair that’s artificially coloured – whether it’s highlighted or a full head of colour.
Why Does Coloured Hair Need Special Treatment? If you regularly dye your hair, then I’m sure you don’t need me preaching to you about the importance of using colour protectant shampoos, conditioners or masks to keep hair healthy. Another reason is the financial side… normal hair care can often be full of harsh ingredients that strip the hair of its colour, which is the last thing you want – especially when you’ve paid for a professional treatment and want to maintain that salon-fresh vibrancy.
What Range To Look Out For: Again, there’s a bit of a give-away with the name for this because the SLS/SLES-free Phytocolor range helps to protect and revive colour. Or, if you have bleached-blonde hair, or grey or white locks and you want to keep brassiness at bay, opt for the Phytoargent No Yellow Shampoo
My Recommendation: As some shampoos can quite literally wash your colour away, starting your hair care routine with a gentle and respectful cleanser is a must, so the Phytocolor Colour Protecting Shampoo is my top choice for coloured hair. Like everything else from Phyto, this shampoo is led by the power of nature. It offers impressive protective power thanks to tara tannins and sunflower sprouts extract, which guard against colour fading and greening, which can be common if you’re dying naturally blonde-hair.
6. Fine Or Flat Hair
Tell-Tale Signs Of Fine or Flat Hair: Hair feels and looks lacklustre, and doesn’t have body or bounce to it.
Why Is Hair Fine? Hair can be fine for a number of reasons; some people have naturally fine hair, while hair can also naturally thin as you age.
My Recommendation: I’d love to say that I’ve truly mastered the art of hair styling, but I must admit that I’m still a little way off. However, whenever I’ve had my hair styled by my hairdresser, I’m always impressed by the finish – including how a simple blow-dry can give body and volume to tresses. And as Patrick Alès is hailed as the inventor of the blow-dry style, it seems only fitting that the Phytovolume Volumising Blow-dry Spray makes it into my recommendations.
Since launching in 1986, this absolute cult classic helps add volume from the roots, so you can flaunt visibly voluminous locks – while protecting against heat damage. To name drop a few of the star ingredients, superfood pea proteins are included to hydrate the hair fibre from within, while nasturtium flower extract offers a toning action. And – to protect against dreaded heat damage – grape extract guards against heat-induced oxidative stress.
7. Hair Loss
Tell-Tale Signs Of Hair Loss: You’ll see your hair thinning in places – particularly the forehead – or patches of hair may fall out. However, it’s incredibly normal to shed a small amount of hair every day. In fact, we can lose an average of 50 to 100 hairs a day without noticing.
Why Does Hair Fall Out? Hair loss isn’t usually anything to be concerned about; often it’s a natural part of ageing and can run in the family. But all genders can experience temporary or more permanent hair loss due to things like stress, illness, weight loss and iron deficiency, so it’s always a good idea to get it checked out of if you’re experiencing sudden hair loss that you don’t think is down to genetics.
My Recommendation: Just because Phyto is dedicated to nature, don’t be fooled into thinking that they don’t do their research. In fact, their PHYTOSOLBA Laboratories have researched plant properties and applied it to hair care for decades.
One of their most impressive outcomes is the Phytonovathrix Global Anti-Hair Loss Treatment. Why? Made with 99% natural, plant-based ingredients, it’s clinically proven to visibly slow down hair loss and stimulate growth for a stronger head of hair.
I love that the formula is still centred around nature, even though it’s a more technologically-driven approach to hair care. It’s something that hair care novices and experts alike will feel comfortable using, without having to worry about chemicals involved. What are some of the key natural ingredients? Celery seed extract is used to encourage hair growth, while root-strengthening tulip helps prevent hair loss.
8. Scalp Care
Tell-Tale Signs Of A Sensitive Scalp: You suffer from dandruff, redness, tightness and itching.
Why Are Scalps Prone To Sensitivity? Scalp sensitivity is incredibly common; in fact, after the hands and face, the scalp is the next likely area to struggle with sensitivity. Causes include harsh weather conditions, hot water, styling and hair care irritants.
What Ranges To Look Out For: Take a look at Phytopolleine if you want to energise and purify your scalp, or calm irritation with the Phytoapaisant Soothing Treatment Shampoo.
My Recommendation: I must admit that I’m a bit of a gardening novice, but even I know that you only have a good chance of growing something if you have good quality soil. And it’s exactly the same with your hair. In fact, the founder of Phyto believed that healthy and beautiful hair grows from a healthy scalp; it’s all about the roots (pun intended!)
So, my top choice for a healthy scalp has to be the Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment. I love that it’s 100% botanical; it uses a blend of essential oils to exfoliate, purify and energise the scalp. And as someone who’s not completely immune to dandruff, I love that it helps improve every type of unbalanced scalp – whether you struggle with a dry, oily or dandruff-prone scalp.