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Reviewed and recommended: Moltobene Clay Esthe Pack

Is a Solution for:
Dry or Brittle Hair
October 8, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 8 Comments
You could say that my friend Melanie’s crowning glory is her gorgeous red hair. That is, if the rest of her assets weren’t all gorgeous as well. Anyway, she generously gave up the secret to her soft, shiny locks: Moltobene’s Clay Esthe Pack ($31.99). “Red hair gets coarse as you get older,” she said. “And then using chemical colors just makes matters worse. But with this stuff I never, ever have frizzy hair. It’s revolutionary.”

She’s right, it is. I bought some immediately and I have never seen my hair look this good (and I’m overdue for a trim). It is silky and shiny, but also with plenty of body. This is without a doubt the best hair product I have ever used.

Clay Esthe Pack, which is made by a Japanese company, is used much like a conditioner. After shampooing, you massage the Clay Esthe into your scalp and right through to the tips and leave it on for about five minutes before rinsing off.

To be honest, the first dozen or so ingredients are unimpressive - silicones glyceryls and behentrimonium chloride, an anti-frizzer that can be an irritant. There’s not much wrong with any of them, it’s simply that you will find them in any run-of-the-mill conditioner. The exception is the wonderful squalane, a fast-absorbed moisturizer that is an antioxidant, prevents UV damage, promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial.

So what makes Clay Esthe perform so well? As well as the squalane, credit should go to tanakura clay. This is a Japanese deep-sea clay that is a kind of charcoal produced by sub-marine volcanoes. The Japanese are fond of charcoal cleansers and with good reason. They are fantastic at absorbing dirt and grease, while depositing valuable minerals. The addition of retinyl palmitate will also help exfoliate the scalp.

Field horsetail is another interesting ingredient. It is rich in potassium, silicon and calcium and has historically been used to strengthen finger nails. Saponins and flavanoids (particularly quercetin) also give it the ability to help heal wounds (as used by the ancient Greeks). The thing about quercetin is that it may be a much more of a powerful antioxidant than was previously thought. Cornell University has a new way of measuring antioxidant potency called 'cellular antioxidant activity' (CAA) that tests the antioxidant activities of a compound inside the cell itself. This is an approach that is deemed to be more accurate. Of all the flavenoids, quercetin had the highest CAA value.

Menyantes trifoliata leaf is known colloquially in its native Scotland as bogbean (don't ever let anyone persuade you the Scots are romantic). It seems to be a good free radical scavenger, however and is effective at inhibiting the activity of matrix metalloproteinases-1, 2 and 9. Meanwhile, achillea millefolium (yarrow) is an effective astringent.

Ingredients in Clay Esthe Pack

Water, cetearyl alcohol, cyclomethicone, behentrimonium chloride, dimethicone, squalane, glyceryl stearate, PPG-9 diglyceryl esther, isopropyl alcohol, C-12-18 alkyl dimonium chloride, fragrence, methylparaben, polyethylene, propylparaben, propylene glycol, iron oxides, titanium dioxide sinter, tanakura clay, butylene glycol, hydroxypropylcellulose, sea salt, tocopherol, panthenol, retinyl palmitate, peanut oil, ethylcellulose, hydrolized silk, equisetum arvense extract (field horsetail), nettle extract, birch bark extract, coltsfoot flower extract, menyantes trifoliata leaf extract, rosemary, achillea millefolium extract.

  • October 2, 2009

    by marta

    Jaysie and Susan,

    Please email samples@truthinaging with your shipping addresses.

  • September 28, 2009

    by Jaysie

    Over the last 10 years, I've spent thousands of dollars trying hair products to give my aging tinted blonde hair shine and smoothness. I have a normal amount of hair, but it is naturally wavy and porous (read "frizzy in humidity") with a fine texture. In a seasonal-induced moment of madness, my decision to add some highlights last December, and then again in March, made the top layer even more dull and dry. Okay, shoot me and the hairdresser who agreed to do this. I'm in a suburb of Chicago where this time of year is typically rainy and damp, a good time to test a product that promises shine on my hair type. My history with hair products also gives me a host of brands to compare Moltobene Clay Esthe against. If you still have samples, I'd be an enthusiastic guinea pig!

  • September 26, 2009

    by Susan Mortenson

    I would love to try this product. Here's my story: I was a redhead up until about 5 years ago. My color began to fade, mostly it is gold tinged with a grey tone, and now my red hair comes from a bottle. Its texture is more and more like "cottonball."
    If this isn't enough, my scalp has dry spots for which I need to use a prescription zinc scalp shampoo.
    If I get to try this product, I'll write an honest and impartial review!

  • September 26, 2009

    by Ha Ly

    I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee this stuff. I did the "Japanese Straight Perm" a few years back. My uncle, a stylist, gave me this, so my hair wouldn't die on me. He told me to use it about few times a week. I probably used it every other day. I think without it, the perm and the dye the same day would have killed all my hair.

  • September 25, 2009

    by Kim


    My blonde curls are so dull! I'm always trying to get them to shine up, but its hard with curly hair. I would love to test this product and write up a review. My hair will be the true test!


  • December 12, 2008

    by Michelle


    I think you should post a review about your "hair care" regimen, and maybe an "everything else" regimen too. After reading a myriad of posts on TIA, I started questioning all the products I use and wondered if they were safe, or if there are better alternatives. One thought jumped to another, and I exaggerated everything from lotions to regular hand soaps-anything that one could be exposed to, or put on their face or body. O_O

  • October 8, 2008

    by marta

    <p>My friend uses it every wash. I think I would find it a bit heavy for that and will use it every other wash.</p>

  • October 8, 2008

    by ash

    <p>How often would you be using this; everytime you shampoo or fewer? I mean is this generally used as a substitute to your conditioner or a once in a while reconditioning product? Thanks.</p>

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