My antenna are constantly alert for exciting new hair care products so when a very sophisticated woman in Vanity Fair magazine with an abundance of sleek tresses mentioned Serge Normant as her hair brand must have, I was making an online purchase before you could say split end. My Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo ($24 for 8 fl oz) arrived just in time for Labor Day weekend and what a let down it is.

It is one of those shampoos that boasts being sulfate free, while having its own trademarked secret sauce. Ah, buyer beware. It  may be sulfate free, but Serge Normant’s shampoo is far from squeaky clean. And the two botanical extracts that make up “Keravis” are the only thing that Meta Silk Shampoo has going for it. So are they worth it?

Atlas cedar bark looked promising until I found that the European Commission’s cosmetic database lists it as a perfume. I was under the impression that cedar had useful tannins, so I decided to keep researching in the hope that Keravis and Serge Normant (not to mention my impulsive purchase) would be redeemed. But even a cosmetics dictionary called Cosmetology dubbed it a fragrance and warned that it can be a skin irritant. I couldn’t find any research that would make Atlas cedar interesting. There’s plenty on another cedar (deodora), but that is a distinct genus. The Atlas cedar’s main claim to fame is that there was one in the White House gardens in which a treehouse for use by Amy Carter (daughter of President Jimmy) was erected.

As for the other, rice ferment filtrate sounds like sake to me. And, indeed, I think it is. I spent quite some time trying to find out what the benefits to hair might be and came up with nothing more substantial than it is a film former and conditioner.

So if this is Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo’s best, what about the rest. Well, there’s the usual surfactants, thickeners and emulsifyers (albeit perfectly safe ones), as well as preservatives (less safe).

All in all, my impulse purchase of Serge Normant Meta Silk Shampoo proved to be a total wash out.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Potassium Cocoate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, PEG-8, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glycol Distearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Camellia Reticulata Seed Oil, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Cedrus Atlantica (Atlas Cedar) Bark Extract, Lactobacillus/Rice Ferment Filtrate, Cocobetaine, PEG-9 Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sucrose, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-10, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.