As PhytoSpecific celebrates its 12th birthday, the French luxury brand for curls is hardly slowing down.

In November, the company launched Ultra Repair Night Treatment, a breakthrough new formula that repairs damaged and brittle hair for 48 hours. And in March, the company unveiled Hydra-Repairing Spray for Dry Ends, a special formula targeted to hydrate, repair and protect hair and dry unruly ends. Like all of the other 18 products in the PhytoSpecific line, the goal is to improve the health of naturally curly, coarse and relaxed hair.

“The important thing about PhytoSpecific is it’s all about treatment,” says PhytoSpecific brand manager Sasha Unkov. “All the products have high levels of botanicals that really treat the hair, adding back proteins and moisture that are naturally deficient in curly 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.

Ultra Repair Night Treatment

He enlisted the help of Dr. Fatou Batchily-Plat. Plat, who 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.

Because all curly hair is not alike, the company’s Essential Care 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.

The Treatment Care line, designed for intense care, includes Revitalizing Oil Treatment, Energizing Concentrate, Thinning Hair Treatment, Ca”Energy Dietary Supplement and the new Ultra-Repair Night Treatment and Hyra-Repairing Spray for Split Ends.

In addition to the Essential and Treatment Care lines, PhytoSpecific offers the Styling Care collection: Moisturizing Styling Cream, Nourishing Styling Cream, Integral Hydrating Mist and Extreme Shine Spray.

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.

For those who prefer a smoother look, PhytoSpecific also offers two Technical Care relaxers: one for fine, delicate hair and one for normal, thick and resistant hair.

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

PhytoSpecific has become a favorite of celebrity powerhouses such as Oprah, Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz. And it has become a favorite of a growing number of stylists who work with texture.

“Keeping up with the look of the moment requires healthy, manageable hair,” says Julien Farel of Julien Farel Salon in New York. “One of my favorites is the Optimal Hydration Shampoo for a shinier, softer hair.”

“The line provides our stylists with the essential ingredients to repair and revitalize damage and stressed hair as well as maintain beautiful, healthy hair,” says Lisa Cummings of Salon Melage in Penbroke Pines, Fla.

Michele Bender

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