Some words just speak directly to my heart. Words like “Best of the Best,” “Secret Weapons of Beauty Experts,” and “Best Products You’ve Never Heard Of.” So when I picked up the December issue of Allure magazine and saw the words “Secret Beauty Finds” on the cover, I knew was a goner. And while all of those “secret beauty finds” were pretty interesting, I did manage to keep my purchases to a minimum: a vial of perfume oil, and some CTonics hair products.

CTonics was created by celebrity hair stylist Campbell McAuley  and holistic practitioner Dr. Julian Neal. Their intent was to create hair care products – or in their words, “holistic treatments” - that would improve the look of hair over time, rather than create more of the same old hair products that work for a few weeks and then leave your hair looking limp and lifeless.

They shunned the commonplace chemicals found in so many shampoos in favor of live, bioactive organic ingredients that nourish the hair and help to make it stronger and grow longer. Ingredients include essential oils, clays, herbs, and nut butters. The products are vegan and gluten-free, and do not contain any parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals or artificial colors.

What’s particularly interesting about the products is that they are multi-purpose. For instance, the Passion, which can be used as a shampoo, can also be used as a conditioning treatment when left on the hair for a longer period of time. The Elixir Milk can be used as a gentle cleanser, a rinse-out conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, or a styling cream.

I chose to try the Passion, Elixir Blossom and Elixir Milk. I use the Passion as a shampoo/treatment: I massage it into my scalp and hair, then twist it up and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Because of the clay and natural ingredients in the Passion, there is no sudsing action, which can feel strange to those used to lots of suds. Then I rinse and apply the Elixir Blossom conditioner. Again, I twist my hair on my head and let it sit for about 5 minutes. After rinsing and towel drying, I mix some of the Elixir Milk with some Nutra-Lift Hair Gel, apply to my hair, and let air dry.

I’ve been washing my hair with this process twice a week for about three weeks now, and my hair, which reaches about halfway down my back, looks and feels incredible. It feels thicker and fuller and softer than it has in a very long time. Typically this time of year (the temperature’s been dipping below zero degrees the last few days here in Minnesota) my hair would be mess of frizzy hair full of static, but instead it’s shiny, smooth and full of body. I throw some foam curlers in the second day and get great waves that hold just as well as they do with a strong-hold gel. Overall my hair just looks incredibly healthy.

Whole Foods has picked up the product line and features it in their stores in California, and the products should be available at all Whole Foods stores in the near future. The CTonics products run about $25 a bottle, but you can find some good deals online. I purchased mine at Beautyhabit.com, which is currently offering a Buy 2, Get 1 Free special on CTonics products. I also found a 20% off coupon code for the site, so I got three bottles – Passion, Elixir Blossom, and Elixir Milk – for $40, a saving of $35. Not bad for healthy products that actually deliver.

It feels so great to use products that are good for you and that actually make you look good too. And it feels especially great when those products are a “secret.” But I think those “secret beauty finds” aren’t quite so secret anymore!

Passion Ingredients:

Purified water, coco (coconut oil) glucoside, camellia sinensis (tea) seed saponin, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed almond protein, stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl laurelglucosides chloride (coconut oil), yucca schidigera (and) quillaja saponaria extract, hibiscus sabdariffa extract, urtica dioica (nettle) leaf extract, glycerin, butyrospermum paradoxum parkii (shea butter), dimethicone, panthenol (vitamin B5), cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, olea europaea (olive) oil, montmorillonite (white clay), xanthan gum, tocotrienol (vitamin e), aloe barbadensis, salix alba (willow bark), smilax officinalis (sarsaparilla root), zingiber officinale (ginger root), eleutherococcus senticosus (siberian ginseng root), citric acid, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil, illite (red clay), camellia sinensis (green tea) seed oil, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower oil, cymbopogon martini (palmarosa oil), zingiber officinale (ginger oil), citrus aurantium dulcis peel (orange oil), astaxanthin.

Elixir Blossom Ingredients:

Purified water, althaea officinalis (Marsh Mallow) extract, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed almond protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, coco (coconut oil) glucoside, butyrospermum paradoxum parkii (shea butter), glycerin, panthenol (vitamin B5), dimethicone, cetyl alcohol, xanthan gum, montmorillonite (white clay), cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, salix alba (willow bark), aloe barbadensis, tocotrienol (vitamin e), vanilla planifolia (bean) oil, citric acid, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil, lavender angustofolia flower oil, geranium maculatum oil.

Elixir Milk Ingredients:

Purified water, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed almond protein, coco (coconut oil) glucoside, butyrospermum paradoxum parkii (shea butter), stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl laurelglucosides chloride (coconut oil), montmorillonite (white clay), dimethicone, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, amodimethicone, xanthan gum, camellia sinensis (green tea) seed oil, salix alba (willow bark), aloe barbadensis, tocotrienol (vitamin e), citric acid.