Interestingly enough, I had just started experimenting with Jonathan Product Green Rootine Pure Paste ($24) when I met with Marta for a lunch meeting at L’Oreal’s offices. It was a humid day in New York, and I had just rushed out of the subway and run up the few blocks (in heels) to the office building and had arrived feeling a bit sweaty and uncomfortable. Thus, I was completely oblivious when Marta complimented me on my hair. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I hadn’t told her I was using the Green Rootine Pure Paste. The irony here is that the pure paste is meant to be the natural version of the Jonathan Product Dirt Texturizing Paste which had left Marta utterly flummoxed - unless you wanted to go for the “greasy, dull, my-hair-needs-washing kind of look.”

Fortunately for me, the natural version is a vast improvement over its predecessor. The Green Rootine line is vegan and 100% natural (free of synthetic chemicals, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, gluten, parabens and petrochemicals). The description for the paste reads that it is lightweight, non-greasy, and formulated to add texture, control flyaways and enhance shine. However, the all-natural ingredients include avocado and orange oils along with shea butter so I wasn’t sure how “lightweight or non-greasy” it could be. I’ve also never tried a hair paste before and while it’s recommended for all hair types, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Moreover, the directions were annoying vague to me: Apply a small amount into palms, then run through dry or damp hair to mold, chunk, piece and style.

The paste does indeed soften and emulsify when rubbed between one’s hands and is easily distributed throughout hair. It’s important to experiment with the paste in order to find the right amount to use for your hair type and length. Most will find a dime to nickel-sized amount is ideal for soft hold, but more can be used if you want a more piecey, sculpted look. I feel this product is best for short hair styles, but my hair is shoulder length and I can still use it with lovely results. I have used the paste on damp and mostly dry hair and find it works best for me when my hair is mostly dry. I also think it’s a great product for men to use as it gives good control without looking crunchy. The paste is best used right after washing hair and before going out due to the heavy oils in the formulation. It does provide soft, light hold but I would not say that it lasts all day. Unless you have very short hair, this paste does not provide lift. Thus, I never apply it to my roots; only from the mid-shaft to the ends of my hair.

While the paste is a styling aid, the brand guarantees that the ingredients in the paste will condition and nourish the hair. The people behind Jonathan aren’t kidding, and I actually skip conditioner when I use the paste as the oils are heavy enough for my hair; whenever I have used conditioner before the paste, I’ve regretted it. In fact, I have found that I can’t use other hair products along with this paste – that hasn’t been a problem because the paste alone has always left my hair ridiculously soft, shiny and truly healthy looking. Although Marta’s compliment on my hair was not lost on me, I truly came to know the power of the paste when I attended a Cosmetic Executive Women Event (CEW) last week and six people (literally) told me that my hair looked great!

[Editor’s note: Jonathan Green Rootine Pure Paste is available at The Nature of Beauty.]

Ingredients: Water /Eau/Aqua, Persea Gratissima (Avocado ) Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Wax, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Wax, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Wax, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Oil, Glycerin-veg., Cetearyl Alcohol, Euphorbia Cerifera (CandelillaWax), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sucrose, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil,Titanium Dioxide(CI77891), Iron Oxide (CI77492), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, MenthisViridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Protei, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract (Lemongrass),Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (White Tea), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail), Tussilago Farfara(Coltsfoot) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract (Watercress), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract (Lemongrass), Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract (Hawaiian White Ginger)