Thin wavy hair offers many challenges and particularly as it ages. This post reviews my experience with 2 innovative products for thin wavy hair-Leonor Greyl Bain Restructurant a la Banane and Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Legere. Topics include Leonor Greyl and Kerastase company background, products’ benefits, ingredients, and how to use them separately and together.
“The only thing that is constant is change” – Heraclitus
I am known to say that my hair is thin and was formerly known as thick. It is also wavy formerly known as straight and fine formerly known as…well, fine. Aging naturally creates an ever-shifting hair landscape which has meant continuous learning and adjustment to my beauty routine.
I have tested many products and methods over the past decade or two. One of my first posts on this site, in fact, was all about How To Stop Thinning Hair After 50. I also practice a type of Curly Girl Method technique to encourage healthy, hydrated, and thicker hair. See my post and primer on the subject, The Easy 3 Step Curly Girl Method for Beginners.
After all of this, imagine my surprise when I stumbled across not 1 but 2 no-less-than-amazing hair products with benefits addressed specifically for hair challenges like mine. While no hair product is a silver bullet, I couldn’t remain silent and hope you will read on and try one or both. They may work well for you too.
The products are Leonor Greyl Bain Restructurant a la Banane and Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Legere. As I have discovered, they work as well together as they do separately even though they are not marketed as such.
Thin Wavy Hair Challenges
As a wavy hair person with fine, low density (thin), and low porosity* hair, most shampoos and styling products tend to build up quickly on my hair. Styling hair of this type is a Catch-22. To maintain a wave or curl, more styling product is needed.
More styling product creates a flattened and even less dense look to the hair unless more product is used. And so it goes. Ultimately, the scalp typically ends up itchy and probably unhealthy with all of the buildup. I also have a hunch but no data to back myself up that hair fallout increases in this scenario, particularly with mature hair that is more fragile.
*Hair Porosity is an essential feature of everyone’s hair and can be a determining factor in managing it. For more information on how to test for it and what to do about it, see the chart in the Free Resource Library here.
Both the Leonor Greyl and Kerastase products resolve many of these thin wavy hair care problems.
Leonor Greyl is a French company, headquartered in Paris and was founded by a husband and wife team, Leonor and Jean-Marie Greyl in 1968. They combined their respective passions and talents in hair styling and botanical engineering to create a hair care business that harnessed the power of plants to repair and protect hair and improve scalp health.
Leonor Greyl has an under-the-radar following (at least here in the U.S.) that includes many celebrities. The brand is considered luxury and often sold in specialty resellers, spas, and high-end stores.
Today, they continue the botanical innovation and formulation with their own labs, a botanically based product line, and a salon in Paris. The business remains within the family and is now multi-generational and global.
Leonor Greyl Bain Restructurant a la Banane
The product is a volumizing shampoo formulated for wavy or curly hair that adds hydration and shine.
5 Differentiating Benefits
#1 Less Styling Product Needed
The shampoo nearly eliminates the need for a styler such as gel or curl cream. Less additional product means less product build-up and a fuller look to the hair.
#2 Hair Holds Curl and Style Longer
My hair looks great between shampoos without much fuss and/or product. Again, less additional product=less buildup on hair and scalp.
#3 Hair is Soft, Light with Voluminous Waves
After every shampoo, the hair feels like it has undergone a hair hydration treatment. And the hair remains that way until wash day.
#4 Less Haircare Time
Saving time is a big one. The Leonor Greyl shampoo allows me to reduce the number of conditioning products and steps. This product reminds me of a co-wash shampoo (conditioner and shampoo in one) but without the weight of a co-wash. I still use a lightweight conditioner after this shampoo but that is all I need if I want.
#5 Shampoo is Thoughtfully and Naturally Formulated
Protecting hair with a sulfate, silicone, phthalate-free product is crucial to me since the fragility of hair increases with age. Here is an overview of the active and natural ingredients in the shampoo.
A Few Potential Negatives
The product smell is distinctly banana although it isn’t overpowering according to my nose. It also dissipates after a few hours.
It takes 2 shampoos (shampoo, rinse, shampoo) and a lot of water to really lather. The good news here is that you can be confident that there are no sulfates (which produce lather). It’s great news for sensitive scalps and fragile hair since it contains more sensitive skin-approved but effective surfactants (cleaners) in the form of Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate derived from coconuts.
Clarifying Shampoo Needed
While product build-up is less with this product, it still happens, and a clarifying shampoo is necessary (although to a lesser degree than other products I have tried). I have recommended a great (and inexpensive) clarifying shampoo at the end of this post.
Kerastase is the luxury Haircare division of l’Oreal Paris and was founded in 1964. The Kerastase division pioneered the care of hair. Up until that time hair routine was considered to be more about hygiene than anything else. Today, the brand and the philosophy are ubiquitous in higher-end hair salons. They are viewed as one of the best hair care product lines globally.
Unlike Leonor Greyl, Kerastase’s expertise and innovation extend beyond biotechnology (plants as a source of active ingredients) to also creating proprietary synthetic molecules from their L’Oreal Research labs.
Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Legere
Elixir Ultime L’huile Legere Bi-Phase Oil is a unique hair oil spray and styler designed for curly/wavy hair. Kerastase incorporates its own proprietary molecules into the product that serve to penetrate, plump, and strengthen the core of the hair fiber. Each strand of hair feels like it is coated with soft armor after using it.
5 Differentiating Benefits
#1 Easy Application
It does not require a lot of manhandling for this product to work well. Shake the bottle to combine the oils. Spray onto damp hair or spray into the palm of your hand to apply to the hair.
#2 Curl and Wave Hold
It’s light on the hair but also strong and even holds the hair’s shape for several days. The product leaves a very natural-looking curl with no crunchy “gel cast”.
#3 Plays Well with Others
It works well on its own and also works well as an adjunct to other products.
#4 It Doesn’t Weight Hair Down
The product leaves hair light, soft, voluminous, and wavy with no itchy scalp.
#5 Innovative Product Ingredients with Innovative Results
The oil contains the best of both the scientific world and nature. Kerastase incorporates its proprietary molecules (in this product, Intra-cylane and Filloxane) along with a variety of natural oils and extracts: Ancient Myrrh, Camellia Oil, Amla Extract, Corn Germ Oil, Pracaxi Oil, and Marula Oil to create a very unique product.
A Few Potential Negatives
The product scent is strong and smells a bit like cologne. Some may love it and others really may not. The good news is the fragrance wears off in about 12 hours.
While the product does reduce frizz, applying it to dry hair will encourage frizz. It is best used on very damp hair or right out of the shower.
There’s a rumor that L’Oreal may discontinue this product. I truly hope not. Today, it is still widely available.
Thin Wavy Hair Care and Styling Routine
Here is how I use both products together:
-Shampoo with Leonor Greyl Bain Restructurant a la Banane
-2nd Shampoo (for more suds)
-Apply light Conditioner
-Spray on Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Legere and/or apply with hands
Without a lot of fuss, here is what my hair looks like:
More Information and Where to Buy
Other Suggested Products
Clarifying Shampoo: The Ordinary Sulfate 4% Cleanser for Body and Hair
Recommended Lightweight Conditioners:
I welcome hearing your own experiences with thin wavy hair and whether you have tried these products!
Thank you for reading!
This post shared my experience with 2 innovative products for thin wavy hair-Leonor Greyl Bain Restructurant a la Banane and Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Legere. Topics included Leonor Greyl and Kerastase company background, products’ benefits, ingredients, and how to use them separately and together for a more voluminous fuss-free experience.
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