Hair Care

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

I’m the youngest of three daughters. My childhood buddies would tease me and say I was Cinderella with two wicked sisters, but it was actually really great growing up with two elder siblings looking out for me at school and at home. I never had any squabbles with them, probably because they’re six and seven years older than me. On the other hand, the two of them would bicker all the time.

Having older sisters meant I never had the usual teenage battles with my parents, like curfews, dating, allowances, etc. All those ground rules were negotiated way before I hit puberty. As for household chores, I was always assigned the really simple things to do. All around, those were halcyon days.

Big sisters also gave me the good fortune of learning from their fashion experiments, both the mistakes and successes. My sister Grace was a bit of a tomboy – jeans, shorts and t-shirts ruled the day for her. She still has a great pared-down style that I try to emulate.

My eldest sister Audrey was (and still is) a real girly-girl. She loved flowery prints, high heels, and long wavy locks. I gleaned the most about hair care from her hairstyles. Audrey has ramrod straight hair, but when she was younger she wanted curls, big fluffy curls…the bigger and fluffier the better. Hot curlers, cans of hairspray and multiple perms left her tresses dry and frizzy. Dollars and tears were spent trying to repair all the damage. Thankfully, she left her curl envy behind in her teens — but what she needed back then were the amazing products of Lavett and Chin. (www.LavettAndChin.com)

The philosophy of this hair line goes beyond using natural products. Called Blends, these are a harmonious mixture of organic elements, pure essential oils and plant compounds. What makes Lavett and Chin distinctive is not just the use of these ingredients, but the profusion of them in each Blend. There’s no skimping here. While most shampoos are more than seventy percent water, Lavett and Chin’s Washes are less than 35 percent of H2O. Shying away from artificial chemicals, their shampoos are also without any sulfates. This gives you a weird sensation as you shampoo with minimal suds, but you get used to it, confident you’re cleaning your hair naturally.

It’s rare that a hair wash claims to relieve fatigue but that’s what the Hibiscus and Mint Volumizing Blend promises to do. Containing both peppermint and spearmint oils, these have antiseptic and astringent qualities, and in combination they stimulate scalp circulation — a great way to wake up your day.

All those years ago, my sister Audrey could have used some help from the Extensive Treatment Mango and Shea Butter Blend. This fabulous concoction combines butter obtained from fruit kernels of the mango tree, mixed together with shea butter. An all-women cooperative in Uganda produces the shea butter through natural processing. Lavett and Chin strongly support the rights of the indigenous people and smaller independent farmers of the countries from which they get their ingredients. They also don’t conduct animal testing or use any animal by-product.

The Blend that intrigues me the most is the Silk and Rose Hair Powder. Used on dry hair (meaning not wet!), this sweet smelling powder is to be used in-between shampooing. The silk powder absorbs oil while leaving hair smooth and gleaming. What a great idea for when you’re traveling, or running late, or after a visit to the gym.

Lavett and Chin have a great website www.LavettAndChin.com, where you can order their exceptional Blends. The Customize Section on finding the right product for your hair type is simple and direct. I’m already sending my sisters some of their products. They may not need it, but after tolerating their bratty kid sister all these years, they deserve to be pampered!

Originally published March 2005
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