Regardless of their price or pedigree, I like to give every product I try a fair shake. I'd go so far as to say that I give some of them second and third and fourth chances, even if they're not really deserved, and that has certainly been the case with Phyto's long-windingly named Phytopaisant Soothing Treatment Shampoo for sensitive and irritated scalps (€16.95.)
Since my scalp has been feeling a bit dry and sensitive and irritated lately – cheers, weather! – I thought that Pytopaisant with its glowing online user reviews would be just the thing to sort it out.
“Hypoallergenic and formulated without sulfates to instantly soothe and gently cleanse sensitized scalps while respecting their natural balance” said the box. “The scalp is soothed and the hair is newly revived and healthy” said the box. In addition it's packed with natural botanical extracts to relieve irritation, hydrate, and regulate reactive skin while detangling hair and keeping it supple.
Well. I could practically hear my scalp sigh happily so I forked over my nearly twenty quid and went on my merry way.
Now that I've been using it on and off for a couple of weeks and am halfway through the bottle, I'm afraid I have to tell you that my scalp – and the rest of my hair – has actually been less than impressed with this stuff. For one thing, I find it impossible to rinse clean from my hair. No matter how long I rinse or how enthusiastically I try to massage it out, my roots still wind up looking decidedly limp and greasy, to the point where I have to keep it permanently full of Batiste and tied up. That might just be my hair adjusting to a silicone-free shampoo life, I thought, but the more fundamental problem was that it didn't do a damn thing to soothe my scalp.
According to the Phyto website, 79% of a whopping (ehem) 19 volunteers experienced a 79% calming effect from the first use; I guess I must be one of the unlucky 3.99 people left surreptitiously scratching their head and wishing they'd spent their dough on a lippie or three instead.