You can buy a lot of things with $145: a pair of Zara heels (or two, if they’re on sale), 10 overpriced cold-pressed juices, a plane ticket to Vegas (well, from the West Coast)… The list goes on. And now, thanks to magical (albeit pricey) French hair mask, perfect hair can too be one of those things.
Leonor Greyl is a cult French hair-care brand beloved by Hollywood hairstylists and the It crowd, with a loyal following of the likes of Emma Stone and Madonna. The products prioritize natural, botanical ingredients, and deliver a no-fuss approach to haircare with a focus on hair health first.
The line is considered luxe, settling around the $40 to $50 mark for shampoos and tonics, but one product, in particular, has a price tag that stands out: the Masque Quintessence, which rings in at $145. (See previous perfect hair promise.)
So, what is it about this hair mask that makes it so wallet-lightening? Does it possess magical powers that will transform my hair into Selena Gomez–worthy strands?
Keep scrolling to read my review.
So, what doth a $145 hair mask make? As with every beauty product that comes my way, I always look first to the ingredient list. This particular one wasn't the shortest I’ve seen, but at least contained ingredients I recognized. The first one in the long-ish list is water, the second is coconut oil, and the rest is an assortment of things I can’t pronounce, nestled in between things like cactus flower extract and cupaucu oil. All in all: no alarming red flags (i.e. alcohol), which is always a plus.
I emailed Caroline Greyl herself for her to explain the price tag, to which she explained this: "To develop its highly compensating formula, my husband David Brooks (Leonor Greyl's R&D Director) has selected two rare natural oils coming from distant regions: Cupuaçu oil, a plant butter extracted from the Cupuaçu fruit of Amazonia which has an extraordinary hydrating power on the hair fiber, and Mongongo oil, derived from the fruit of the protected tree of Manketti from Northern Namibia, which is rich in linoleic fatty acid and promotes hair regeneration." Along with these two exotic oils, she explains how the mask is also filled with silkening natural extracts like acacia collagen and amino-acids from the hibiscus flower, as well as sodium hyaluronate, which prevents water loss from the hair follicle.
Next, onto the smell. It’s strong and heady, and it hits you like a punch in the face. Luckily it's a very appealing floral punch in the face—like if Gwyneth Paltrow thrust a bouquet of peonies in front of your nose. (Caroline Greyl calls it a "subtle exotic scent with notes of Mock Orange.") It’s a jarring experience but not entirely unpleasant, and all you can do is smile and accept it. Most shampoos and conditioners smell amazing in the bottle but leave little trace behind when my hair is dry—not so the case with this mask.
I caught whiffs of my fragrant-smelling strands throughout the day, and even once gathered a fistful of my hair and inhaled deeply, much to the concern and confusion of my co-workers seated around me.
So, is it worth it? I must say that my dry, ravaged strands were noticeably softer and shinier after just one use. I couldn’t stop running my fingers through my hair as it slowly air-dried throughout the day, and though the quality wasn’t quite spun silk, it was certainly less straw-like than before. This is a huge feat, considering I just got my brunette strands lightened with pale blond streaks, which looks beautiful from afar but feels a bit like hay that's been chewed up and spit out by a gleaming mare named Lucky.
In fact, the mask seemed to have the magical quality of allowing my hair to get considerably softer as the day went on. What was this sorcery?! I'll never know, but in the meantime, I will keep using this glorious, extravagant mask a few times a week, inhaling deeply each time (and thinking of Gwyneth, in a totally not creepy way) and scooping out only the tiniest amount so as to make it last forever.
Have you tried Leonor Greyl's Quintessence Hair Mask? What's your favorite hair mask? Tell me below!