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French model Kathy Jean Louis has walked the catwalk for some of the world's top designers.

Now it is her beautiful curls that are in the spotlight. Jean Louis, the muse for French designer Paco Rabanne, is the spokeswoman for PhytoSpecific, a line of haircare products specifically for naturally curly, coarse and relaxed hair.

PhytoSpecific was created by French hairdresser Patrick Ales, founder and chairman of the Ales Groupe. His company is known for its 'Phyto' haircare lines - Phytotherathrie and Phytologie.

Ales felt there was a need for a full prestige line of products for curly, frizzy and wavy hair using botanical extracts and plants. While customers loved his Phyto products, there had been infinite requests from customers asking for specialty products for this hair texture.

He enlisted the help of Dr. Fatou Plat. Plat has been recognized for her extensive studies of plants and has studied internationally. For Plat, a curlyhead, it had long been her own dream to use her knowledge of phytochemistry to develop a line for naturally curly, frizzy and relaxed hair based in active botanical ingredients. Ales wanted a luxurious line with beautiful packaging and concentrated formulas.

The PhytoSpecific line was launched in France in 1997 and introduced in the United States in 1998

The PhytoSpecific is 'more of a treatment line,' explained Marie Christine Stefanetti, director of education for the Ales Group.

'This line offers a lot of hydration and nutrition,' Stefanetti said. 'The final result will be curly hair with more shine and no frizz.

Because all curly hair is not created equal, the line includes three categories. The Optimal category is designed for normal to dry hair and includes the Hydration Shampoo and Hydration Milk. The Intense category, for ultra-dry hair, includes the Intense Nutrition Shampoo and Intense Nutrition Mask. And the Vital Force category, tailored for damaged, brittle hair, includes the Vital Force Shampoo and Cream Bath.

In addition, the line also includes a Revitalizing Treatment Oil and two styling tools - the Beauty Styling Cream - a pomade that adds shine - and the Moisturizing Styling Balm - a leave-in conditioner that protects the hair from extreme conditions. For those who want to relax their hair, PhytoSpecific offers two Phytorelaxers - one for delicate fine hair and the other for normal, thick and coarse hair.

The products contain no harsh detergents and are loaded with plant extracts like shea butter, macadamia oil, kukui oil, wax of mimosa, jojoba oil, mango oil as well as vitamins and amino acids.

Chicago stylist Phedra Price of Toss Salon and Spa began using the PhytoSpecific line in the 1990s while she was living in France.

'I have seen a dramatic difference, especially when I use the oils in conjunction with the shampoo and conditioners,' said Price, who uses the line on many of her clients with textured hair.

Price said she especially liks the fact that the PhytoSpecific line doesn't assume one size fits all.

'You used to see one type of product that was supposed to cover every area,' she said. 'Since textured hair is dry, people thought all it needed was moisture. But it can be overmoisturized. I like having three formulations, with different levels of moisturizing.'

Albert Narcisse, who specializes in color and relaxers at the Lepine New York Salon, is a big fan of the PhytoSpecific line. His two favorites are the Vital Force Cream Bath and the Intense Nutrition Masque conditioners.

'It's important to have products at home that can maintain the hair in between salon visits,' Narcisse said.

Narcisse said he's glad to see another company that is catering to the curlyheaded.

'Most people in the world have curly hair and it needs to be nourished and maintained,' he said. 'PhytoSpecific is an excellent line.'

Beginning this month, NaturallyCurly.com is proud to offer the PhytoSpecific line on CurlMart. It is the first of what we hope will be several lines of products for curly hair that will be available on the site in the coming months.

The shampoos start at $18, the conditioners range from $22 to $24 and the styling products cost $22.

The first time that Jean Louis visited the PhytoSolba Laboratories, she said she was impressed by the dedication of the researchers, chemists and doctors and the passion they had for PhytoSpecific products. But the real selling point, she said, were the way the products worked on her own hair.

'The Phyto products had good results but they were not sufficient or effective enough for my hair type,' Jean Louis said. 'That is why I was interested that there was a specific Phyto line for me – PhytoSpecific. I tried the line and was very impressed by the long-lasting results.'

'People stop me on the street and compliment the condition of my hair,' she said.

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