“ Brand: Lush / Type: Conditioner / What it does: Restores, „
I made an order from the Lush Retro section recently and decided to sample a number of products from the Haircare range. One of these was the Okra conditioner.
***What is Lush?***
Lush is a store that makes toiletries and cosmetics, using natural and organic ingredients where possible and minimising packaging where they can. It started out as a mail order company called Cosmetics to Go, but this failed and the new store, Lush, opened in Poole, Dorset. Later branches of the shop opened in London and beyond, and there are now Lush stores all over the world. As well as in store, you can also buy products from the website, www.lush.co.uk. There are similar websites for many different countries including the USA, Japan and Germany.
Lush buy ingredients only from companies that do not test on animals. All of their products are suitable for vegetarians and many are suitable for vegans.
Lush say: "We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.
"We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again."
***What is Retro?***
The Retro range is only available online or via mail order, as it is made up of products that have been discontinued from stores, but were deemed popular enough not to be discontinued completely. Retro products are often more expensive than the normal range of products, as they are made in smaller quantities, but there is some interesting stuff to be found among the products!
***About Okra Conditioner***
Okra is a conditioner for dry, wiry and out of condition hair. This is pretty much my hair! I dry and straighten it every day, and I also colour it, so it's almost always in need of some TLC. As the name suggests, it is made from okra, the vegetable (also known as ladies' fingers). I've never eaten okra I'm ashamed to say although I am a vegetarian (well pescatarian although in practice I don't actually eat that much fish either) and I do like my vegetables! Nettles, grapes, vinegar and rosemary oil are also added to the conditioner to make hair shiny and care for damaged hair. The conditioner isn't suitable for vegans as it contains lanolin, made from sheeps' wool, like most conditioners. For a vegan conditioner check out Lush's Veganese.
The conditioner comes in one of Lush's traditional clear plastic bottles, which means you can see the product inside. The label and lid is white, as with other Retro products. The actual conditioner is a kind of light brown colour. The bottle came taped up with sellotape as I ordered it online. When I removed the lid and smelled the conditioner I thought it was... interesting. It smelled vaguely floral with a hint of nettle. The smell wasn't unpleasant, but I didn't like it as much as American Cream and Forever In Bloom.
I used the conditioner with a number of shampoos including Dr. Peppermint and Ice Blue from Lush. I used an amount about the size of a 50p piece, and rubbed it into my wet hair after shampooing. On application, and after I rinsed it off my hair, I couldn't immediately feel a difference on my hair, but this is common with Lush conditioners which don't coat the hair artificially like other conditioners do, so this didn't bother me.
After towel-drying my hair, I did notice that it seemed to be rather tangled and even though I use a wide-toothed comb to tidy my wet hair, it was difficult to get the comb through it.
After drying and straightening my hair as usual, my hair did feel reasonably soft to touch, but it was flyaway and split ends were clearly visible. Though it felt soft, it didn't really look it, my hair didn't really seem as though it was moisturised and in good condition, and in fact looked slightly straw-like.
I used the conditioner over the next couple of weeks until it was all used up. Over time I found my hair did look to be in better condition but it still didn't feel quite moisturised enough, and my hair still looked as though it had loads of split ends.
I found the light fragrance didn't really linger on my hair, which I didn't mind as it wasn't a favourite.
This conditioner was described on the website as a 'triple-strength conditioner' (as opposed to American Cream which is a 'double-strength' conditioner). I was disappointed with this product, it didn't condition my hair as well as American Cream or even Forever In Bloom which is supposed to be for fine hair. I didn't think my hair looked in very good condition while I was using this, and I wouldn't buy it again.
The conditioner is available in two sizes: 100g which costs £4.75 and 500g which is £12.75. I chose the smaller size as I wanted to try it out, but if you know you like it the larger size works out more cost-effective.
Lush are a company who make handmade beauty products. The products are vegan, no ingredients tested on animals and they use a variety of natural ingredients. Yum! You can buy Lush in store, online at www.lush.co.uk and by mail order by ringing them on 01202 668545. You can't buy Okra in stores though, because it is a retro product (which I will explain below).
Okra conditioner is not something I would have ever considered, but it came through my door by mistake from Lush, so curiosity got the better of me and I ended up buying a bottle. It is part of the "Retro Lush" collection, where Lush bring back popular products, most of the time a bit more expensive than they were originally, since they don't make as many of them. It costs £10.78 for a 500g bottle, so by far it is the most expensive conditioner I have ever bought.
I'd never heard of okra, the vegetable, before. It is also known as ladies finger, and used in a lot of Indian cooking, stir-frys and similar. If you saw this in the shops (I know it isn't available in shops though) you would probably walk straight past it. It is a light browny/greeny colour, and quite frankly, looks a bit gross. When you read the ingredients, containing a number of vegetables and even nettles, you will probably walk away again. I expected a disgusting smell almost of rotten vegetables, but how wrong I was! It has an amazing scent, that I honestly cannot describe. I suppose it smells of okra and nettles, but having never smelt okra or nettles, it is hard to liken the scent to anything I have ever smelt. It is a sweet smell, with a slight hint of lavender oil, but not an overpowering lavender scent.
So onto the good stuff, does it work? Yes, yes and a million times yes. I honestly wish this wasn't so pricey (or that I had more money) so I wouldn't feel guilty using it every day. This conditions my hair so well, leaving it silky smooth and very nourished. It isn't a thick conditioner, so you might not think it is very intensive, but it gives better results that a lot of the so called intensive conditioners I have used in the past.
Okra also handles humidity and hair very well. It is so annoying to painstakingly wash, dry and style your hair, only for rain or humidity to wreck it. I am sure a heavy down pour would wreck your hard work, but after using Okra and going outside in a light rain, my hair still remains styled.
The scent stays on my hair for a few days, which doesn't ordinarily happen with other shampoos that are strong smelling. The results also last until my next wash, and don't go away when I restyle or re-straighten my hair. It gives impressive results on very damaged hair, so I can't imagine the results on hair in good condition. I still can't justify using it every time I wash my hair, despite the results being amazing, because I would get through a bottle every month, and at £10.78, it can be pricey!
Restore your hair with this fresh, herbal, minty conditioner /