Shampoo, conditioner, a mask, maybe a leave-in conditioner—we’re all familiar with the most basic steps of the American haircare routine. But lately I’ve been fixated on an outlier from the standard regimen that originates from—where else?—France. Enter Leonor Greyl’s line of toniques, which I’ve started calling “medicine for your hair.” (If medicine was incredibly chic and something you’d want to take every day, that is.) I’ve been using the Tonique Hydratant ($43), which moisturizes thirsty strands; there’s also the Tonique Vivifiant ($51) for thinning hair, and Tonique Végétal ($45) for oily scalps. So—what exactly is a tonique, and how might it help you achieve your French-girl hair goals? Allow me to explain.
Keep scrolling to find out everything you need to know about toniques!
You can use a tonique on wet or dry hair, but I prefer to use mine post-shower on wet strands; it helps my hair air-dry to soft “I woke up like this” waves. This may make the tonique appear like your stand-in detangler or leave-in conditioner, but it’s actually not at all—I spoke with Caroline Greyl, CEO of Leonor Greyl, via email to find out why.
“Contrary to other leave-in treatments, a tonique is not meant to improve your hairstyle, add definition, condition, or protect your hair,” she explains. “It is a treatment you apply daily to improve a specific hair or scalp condition.” Think of it like a Z-Pak for your hair that you can take every single day to nurse your sad, lifeless strands back to life.
Toniques are filled with hyper-targeted ingredients like amino acids and vitamins to energize, moisturize and strengthen your hair. And unlike other hair smoothers, water—not oil—constitutes the rest of its composition, which “allows for maximum diffusion of these active ingredients in a light, non-oily formula that doesn’t weigh hair down,” says Greyl.
So, is this product the secret to French girl’s inimitable, effortless (but never messy) hair? According to Greyl, quite possibly. “Toniques fully match French women’s expectations,” she says. “They like their hair to be natural, but in good health. Since they do not spend a lot of time styling their hair, French women appreciate toniques for their efficient, easy-to-use and non-oily formulas that improve hair’s beauty over time.” She predicts toniques will catch on here in the U.S. soon, and given the state of my hair as of late, I’d have to agree.
Shop my favorite tonique below!
Have you ever tried a tonique? What’s your favorite leave-in treatment? Sound off below!