“ Brand: Lush / Subcategory: Treatment / Type: Hair Treatment „
I'm a huge fan of the store Lush, and am trying to sample every one of their products. As part of my quest, I'm not only buying in-store products, but also venturing online, as some of the products are only available on Lush.co.uk. These are the Retro products - items which were discontinued from store, but which were deemed too popular to get rid of completely.
The Strokes Hair Treatment was one of these items. Named after the band, it was designed to control and condition dry, fly-away hair. It contains stout (beer) and rosemary for shine, lemongrass and thyme to condition, organic extra virgin olive oil to moisturise, and other herbs and oils such as mint, sage and lemongrass oil. A little cognac has been added for scent, and the product is suitable for vegans. I find that the product smells rather strange; it reminds me of the Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo, albeit with an extra herbal edge. I don't hate the smell, but it's not one of my favourites.
The treatment comes in one of the larger pots - white, to fit in with the rest of the Retro range - and costs £8.75. This seems expensive but it has lasted me about 8 uses so I think it's very good value for money. Lush state that you should use a whole pot for long hair, a quarter of a pot for short hair and anything in between for other different lengths: this is complete rubbish. My hair is just below shoulder length and I still manage to saturate it with product.
The hair treatment is fairly runny, so I have to be careful not to tip over the tub. It is a pale brown colour with a slightly pearlised sheen. To use, I scoop some up and massage it into my hair, concentrating on the drier ends. My hair looks greasy afterwards, but this is to be expected. The smell is fairly strong, so I wouldn't recommend getting this if you think you won't like it as it will be hard to put up with the smell!
After the requisite 20 minutes, I wash the product out of my hair. This takes a few minutes, but is fairly easy to do as it doesn't 'stick' to the hair at all. The product simply washes away down the drain with the water. Afterwards, I shampoo and condition my hair as usual.
Each time I use this product I notice a difference in my hair. It is softer to the touch, looks shinier and is less fluffy with less volume. This is a good thing as my hair normally has way more volume than is good for it! It is easier to manage and comb and looks in generally better condition.
The effects are strongest on the day I use the product, but they last for a few days to a lesser extent. My hair is softer and less flyaway during this time. However, the smell also lasts too, which isn't ideal as it isn't the best smell ever.
Overall, I recommend this product as it is both effective and value for money. However, the scent isn't the greatest and I'm going to take off a star for this reason.
*PLEASE NOTE: (I have already put this disclaimer on one of my reviews and on my profile) SOME OF THESE REVIEWS ARE COPIED FROM MY OLD CIAO AND DOOYOO ACCOUNTS, EIBEE AND EIBEE8 RESPECTIVELY. SOMEONE HASN'T PAID ATTENTION TO THIS AND TAKEN MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS. I WOULD SUGGEST ANYONE ELSE HALTS THEIR "NOT HELPFUL"S UNTIL THE MATTER IS RESOLVED.
The Strokes comes in a white tub (250g), on which it claims this product will control wild frizz. Lush was one of the first places I looked. I thought, having tried some of their other products before, they would have something to suit me.
The Strokes is a hair moisturiser, not a shampoo as I originally thought. The recommendation is that you use it on dry hair before washing, and leave it for a minimum of 10 minutes before rinsing out and shampooing and conditioning as normal. The first time I tried it, I really didn't notice much difference. Unwilling to waste what I'd already paid for, a few weeks later I gave it another go. I used a little more of the stuff than I had previously - about a palm full - and left it on for 10 extra minutes, just in case. The results were much better. I could see that, as soon as I rinsed my hair, it was much softer, smoother and untangled, leaving it easier for me to brush and blow-dry after washing. I always leave my hair a little damp after drying to prevent the frizz that comes with direct heat. Normally, after a few hours is when my hair starts frizzing up again. But not this time! Although it was still slightly poufy (nothing a pair of straighteners couldn't fix), it was much, much better than my hair usually is directly after washing - and definitely more effective than most other 'miracle' hair products I've tried.
In looks, the moisteuriser isn't so pleasant. It's a browny-goldy coloured slush. But the aroma, I thought at first, was even worse. It's supposed to smell of lemon and stout, but I really couldn't smell that at all. I'm not sure what it smells like either. Maybe it was just because I had it on my head for 20 minutes, or maybe I had put too much on, but it didn't smell very appealing at all. It's still not exactly my favourite scent, but I don't mind it as much now; it's grown on me a little. And the scent doesn't stay prominent after drying.
Tubs come at a slightly pricey £7, the last time I checked. Using the product generously, I'd say one tub serves up to seven washings, but my hair is really, really thick and somewhat long. Others with shorter and finer hair may find they need to use much less, therefore not needing to use as much. I find the effects of the product tend to last about three or four days without further washing.
The main ingredients include Irish Stout, olive oil and yeast, to give hair weight, body and protein. Other ingredients include lemon grass, rosemary, thyme, mint and a hint of perfume. Lots of great natural herbs as opposed to a tub full of chemicals. The product is also suitable for vegans.
Using it since has produced much the same effects as the first few times. I'm used to getting my hopes up about a product that makes my hair feel great, only to find it doesn't last and fails a few products later. Now I use The Strokes regularly, and I definitely recommend it to anyone with dry, frizzy or damaged hair. It's definitely made an improvement to my hair's overall appearance and feel, each and every time I wash it. It's good to know there are hair-care products you can rely on.
I have a special event to attend this summer and I want my hair to look soft and shiny for this, and have been trying out some hair treatments in advance to see if I can find the right one.
In the retro section of the Lush website is a product called "The Strokes" which I thought sounded like something which would make your hair silky smooth and so I ordered it along with some other items recently. It was discontinued not too long ago, but has been put in this section due to customer demand.
It comes in a large pot and costs £7.95.On the pot it says "Pre-wash hair moisturising treatment for fluffy hair"
It is a special treatment, not a conditioner, and is not intended to be used every day, so at this price it is value for money if it works.
It contains many ingredients the most important being fresh lemongrass, thyme, rosemary, mint, sage and stout!
When you remove the lid from the pot the first thing you see is a rich light fudge type mixture, which smells like a bubbling cauldron of toffee. It has a rich consistency and smells of confectionary and beer.
The best way to use this is to cover the entire head with the cream. If you have long hair like mine you may need to use all the pot but shorter hair would only need part of it. If you have a friend get them to brush it on as this ensures it coats the hairs evenly and thoroughly. Then get a damp towel and moisten it with some hot water, or even wrap in cling film first, and wrap up the hair. Relax for at least 20 minutes. I actually left it for slightly more than this as I wanted to see the maximum results, and I have heard people who say leaving it on for an hour or more enhances the outcome even further. Then you simply wash off with a good shampoo. You can follow with conditioner as well which I did and then dry and style as usual.
When I had finished the process I was delighted that my hair was tangle free and easy to style. In that respect it was no better than a good conditioner, and the smell of the hair was probably not to my taste as it had a beer like aroma underlain with herbs -maybe I prefer a more floral scented fragrance, but certainly for me that is not its best feature. To be honest I felt like I was sitting in an Irish pub for the evening with the Guinness flowing. It isn't a feminine smell, and for this reason I would suggest following it with a lovely floral shampoo.
However the real benefit from this product was the lasting conditioning effect it had over many days to follow, the hair was very shiny, and certainly was easy to manage, and was fuller with more body and there was no frizz at all. The lasting effects of this were for me its outstanding feature, it is a hair treatment which leaves hair in much better condition for longer. It is as the name suggests strokeable, and the hair is softer than normal. It is now over a week since I used it and my hair is much easier to manage than usual, and is certainly in better condition than it has been for a very long time. As my hair is coloured, highlighted, and spends a lot of time subjected to the high temperatures of my GHD's I think this product is brilliant to have performed so well on my semi abused locks.
The pot is totally recyclable and of course as it is from Lush has never been tested on animals as is totally vegan.
So to summarise I would say
1* for smell (I wasn't too keen)
2* for easy of use
3* for cost as it isn't cheap
4* for being animal friendly
5* for being a very effective product which really works.
Just one final point it only has a shelf life of just over a year so don't keep it too long.
I have written this review over several days, I may write in different tenses because of this. So don't think I have gone mad! I found it easier to write day by day so I didn't leave anything out.
* My reasons for buying and my shopping trip. *
Three weeks ago I dyed my hair for the first time in a year. I have been using henna to hide my greys and make it gorgeously shiny. The thing was I had my normal dark roots and a couple of weeks after using henna each time the deep brown it made my hair faded to show the washed out red of my lengths and it just looked stupid! I decided to dye it with conventional dye to solve it then go back to henna after again and stick with it.
The thing is you are not meant to use dye on hennaed hair or vice versa. They don't mix well! I didn't henna my hair for six weeks and thought I would risk it, what is the worst that can happen? It could go green, which wouldn't be a first for my hair only this time it wouldn't be by choice! Or maybe it would all break and I would just have to have short hair again! No biggy!
I dyed it and after found some breakages had happened but not badly but enough to notice. The problem was it was extremely dry and tangled! My hair had become gorgeously smooth, soft and shiny through my stopping the use of conventional dye. Now there is no way I will be using anything but henna because I know how good my hair can feel!
The day after dying my hair I sat with some Body Shop honey conditioner on my hair for about eight hours to try and make it a little better. Luckily it did help but it is not a miracle transformation!
I decided that what I needed was a treatment for my dry ravaged hair! I turned to my favourite place, Lush obviously! I love the fact their products are as natural as possible (they do use some chemicals to prolong the life of products but only when absolutely necessary), use as little packaging as they can and are completely against animal testing of their ingredients and products.
They do three treatments. I had looked on their website and read up on what I wanted, H'Suan Wen Hua, don't ask me how you say that! I was tempted to send my other half in on his lunch break but decided I would wait till I could go in and have a sniff first. I am very glad I waited!
I went to Bath this morning and did a few odds and ends but Lush was my first stop.
There was nobody else there so the shop assistant was talking to me and offered to help. I said I need a hair treatment and she talked me through the three they do. Marilyn, which she told me she uses and loves. This one does lighten hair slightly and is aimed at blondes. Being a brunette she said it wouldn't change my colour much, especially if I didn't use it regularly but would give great shine and it smelt quite nice. H'Suan Wen Hua is their second most moisturising, it contains eggs and as soon as I smelt it I just couldn't even think about sitting with it on my head! I was feeling a little queasy as it was and it nearly made me sick! Then she told me that The Strokes is the most moisturising and good for stopping frizzy hair and any fly aways should be under control.
I bought this little tub in the hope it can sort my hair out and make it soft and gorgeous again! It cost £6.75 and is the most expensive of their hair moisturisers (the cheapest is Hsuan Wen Hua at £6.25), that said I would have paid more if it would be a miracle cure!
* The product. *
The Strokes comes in one of Lush's recognisable black plastic tubs with a screw top lid. Simple minimal packaging. There is a label on the lid, which is black with white writing saying THE STROKES, the ingredients list, 225g and of course it has the Lush green and yellow logo on. On the main body of the tub there is also a black label with white writing. It says the weight and name again as well as "Hair moisturiser. Does your hair frizz up at the first hint of moisture? Give it body and weight with stout and lemon juice. Stroke it smooth. How to use: soak your hair with The Strokes (use plenty) before washing, shampoo, condition normally." Also underneath it shows the company address, the website address and that this product was made in England.
When you take off the lid a pot filled with brown slop greets you! It isn't chocolate brown, makes me think of a not very rich chocolate cake mix. The smell is amazing, I LOVE IT! It is just lemongrass in its fresh form that comes through mainly although the other herbs do give a hint to the scent they are not obvious. If you crush a stick of lemongrass and smell it the smell is the same. Just because it is mixed with other ingredients it doesn't detract from its wonderful aroma. (For those who have not been near a stick of lemongrass it smells like an earthier less sweet version of lemons). It does smell a little of Cynthia Sylvia Stout because it contains cognac oil and stout but it doesn't take away from the lemongrass at all.
* Application. *
I sectioned my hair and worked from the back to the front a bit at a time coating the hair generously and making sure the roots were as saturated as possible. That said it wasn't coated to the point of it dripping. As you put this onto dry hair it is easy to see where has been done and where hasn't. I brushed each section before applying The Strokes to it so that there were no knots that would then not be coated and treated.
Applying it only took about five minutes and it used less than a quarter of the pot. I think I will get about five treatments per pot, which isn't that bad.
The only way I can describe this hair treatment is like a body lotion in the way it feels on your skin. It isn't thick and rich like you would expect at all and will easily slide off your fingers. To get it out of the pot you have to scoop it out rather than just put your fingers into it.
I twisted my hair up in a butterfly clip when I had finished and didn't need to wash my hands, I just rubbed it in and within just two minutes the lot had sunk into my skin. It left no residue or greasy feeling at all! It was no different to the way my hands feel after using a really good hand or body lotion, moisturised without being sticky.
My hands felt good all day long but were back to normal the next day.
I left The Strokes on for about two and a half hours. I did some ironing and read some of my very interesting book that I am very quickly getting through. The pot itself doesn't say how long to leave it on for but the longer you leave it the more good it can do. Anything more than ten minutes is a bonus. If you have the time to leave it on then do. Why no do it at the weekend while you wax your legs, have a facemask or paint your toenails? My point is you can use it as an excuse to pamper yourself a little more or you can do the ironing with it on.
I got in the shower and rinsed my hair for a couple of minutes. At this point how different my hair actually felt already astonished me! It was super soft without a single tangle.
I washed it twice as normal and then used my Veganese conditioner (another Lush lovely!). I always wash my hair twice and felt like I needed to as my hair didn't feel clean after the first shampoo this time, usually it is just me wanting to have my hair extra clean so that it doesn't look greasy by the end of the day.
* Results. *
I towel dried my hair and started to run the comb through it. Usually this takes forever and it is really knotty. To be honest I get rather stressed as I comb it all and then find more knots and it never feels knot free. Well not this time!
Combing took just a couple of minutes and there were only small tangles but nothing that could make me stress out or pull my hair till my scalp felt tender.
My hair took longer than normal to dry (naturally). Where my hair is so long and thick it does take about two hours usually but I would say it took at least an hour longer this time.
When my hair was dry I brushed it through and it did feel really soft and smooth and had a lovely shine to it that it doesn't usually have. My hair is shiny but not as shiny as it was after using The Strokes.
It remained knot free all day really and I kept running my hands both over and through it in disbelief!
My hair did however feel coated and quite heavy. Even though my hair did look and feel better I didn't like this side of it too much. It didn't feel greasy as such but felt like it does if you use a very heavy conditioner, almost as if I hadn't quite washed it out enough. So it must be a good job I washed my hair twice! If I had only washed once I would have felt like my hair was dirty from the feeling that was left behind. Even though it felt coated it did look clean.
The smell did linger on my hair even after washing it and conditioning it. Not in an intense overpowering way only subtly and as I liked it anyway I was rather pleased about it. My shampoo and conditioner (I Love Juicy and Veganese) are both fruity and very lemony smelling, so it may well be that their scent was similar so wouldn't cover the lemongrass scent of The Strokes.
My hair was fantastic all day. By the end of the day when I put it up to go to sleep (it is that long I end up laying on it and wake up because I can't turn over!) it felt like it was dirtier than it would normally. The next morning I had to wash it, usually using the shampoo and conditioner combination I do means that I can leave my hair two or sometimes at a push three days between washes.
After washing my hair the second time (well fourth as I wash twice each time) it was still really soft, shiny and less knotted. It really was good, I thought that after this washing my hair would just feel back to normal and there would be no lasting result but I was wrong. I did however need to wash my hair again the following day for the same reason.
After the third time my hair felt more like normal apart from the softness and shine was still apparent and it wasn't as knotty. I managed to go two days between washes, I guess the residue has finally gone and so my hair is feeling light and bouncy once again.
I have now washed my hair for the fourth (or should that be eighth time?) and the shine is basically as it was before and I am lucky enough to have quite shiny hair anyway but someone with slightly dull hair might find the shine lasts a little longer than I did. That was yesterday and today I haven't washed my hair so it is back to washing my hair every two or three days now.
My hair still feels soft and manageable but there are some knots again. My hair does feel restored to how it felt before I used the dye more or less so the moisturiser has done its job!
I wasn't expecting miracles and I'm far more pleased with the results than I ever thought possible. I was just expecting my hair to feel like it had been treated to a decent conditioning treatment but what The Strokes did to my hair was far more than that! I also assumed that the results of the moisturiser wouldn't last more than one or two shampoos and I was wrong.
I think I will use this every week or two and when my hair is healthier again maybe only once a month but I will definitely buy this again. That said I might have to try the other two to see how well they work (well that is my excuse anyway!)
I think this would be best for those with curly or frizzy hair that they want to get under control as it does make your hair feel heavy and coated and curls would be very manageable and easy to tame.
If you have dry hair or just want to treat your hair I would definitely recommend this! If I could I would give four and a half stars but as I can't it has to be four, the only reason it doesn't get five is the coated, heavy feeling it leaves behind. That said it is worth it just to have such soft hair again!
Lush have stores everywhere, to find your local shop you can look on their website or even order online at www.lush.co.uk just remember to smell before you buy!