Although we have a few more weeks to go, I've been anticipating the end of summer and the inevitable need giving some TLC to hair that has seen too much sun, salt and swimming pool chemicals. So the search has been on for a hair mask or leave-in conditioner and I have to say that most things that I came across were disappointing concoctions containing more silicone that Pamela Anderson's body. Then I found John Masters Organics Shine On ($30), described as "a natural, leave-in hair treatment that uses organic kelp in place of synthetic silicone". It had my name on it.

The kelp in question is macrocystis pyrifera. Its gelatinous qualities add shine to hair and it is also a proven antiager (in tests on humans, it has been demonstrated to reduce wrinkles). One study determined that it inhibits the formation of an enzyme called metalloproteinases, which can prevent hair growth. As an aside for would-be marine botanists, it is also known as giant kelp because it can grow up to 200 feet.

The base of this conditioner is aloe vera gel, an anti-inflammatory. Carrot seed oil contains beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamins A and E, essential for healthy hair. Carotenoids are also in marigolds (calendula) in the form of a component in the petals called lutein. I was interested to see beech extract as there a sugar found abundantly in beech trees and known to stimulate the production of glycoaminoglycans (GAGs), molecules responsible for defending the skin against water loss.

I couldn't help but order some Shine On in the hope that it will take me through fall and my next appointment with my colorist. I'll let you know how I get on.


Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera leaf juice) gel,* aqua (water), glycerin, guar gum,* sodium alginate, daucus carota sativa (carrot) seed oil,* olea europaea (olive) oil,* calendula officinalis (calendula) extract,* anthemis nobilis (chamomile) extract,* xanthane gum, methylcellulose gum, macrocystis pyrifera (kelp) extract,* marine phytoplankton, fagus sylvatica (beech) extract*

*Certified Organic by QAI / CCOF