To be honest I can't really tell from the packaging what is the official full name of this hair mask from L'Occitane. In fact when I purchased it online I didn't really know what it was either =P I just like various hair products and masks so this was an easy purchase decision for me.
So, turns out this is actually a hair scalp mask. This is released in 2011, comes in 150ml squeeze plastic tube with a very thin, long nozzle.
The packaging is soft plastic, not like toothpaste foil type of packaging (I'm looking at you! crappy Aesop body scrub packaging).
The instructions says to part your hair into sections, apply the mask directly onto your scalp and slowly massage in. Leave mask on scalp for 1-5 minutes to full enjoy the soothing effects of the essential oils.
In the meantime, you can use your soothing conditioner on the ends of your hair. Then, rinse thoroughly.
Now I think scalp masks are brilliant ideas. For hair care lovers, it's sometimes such a bore waiting for your hair masque/ conditioner to sit in for the good 5 minutes, why not also take care of your scalp at the same time?
Scalp mask isn't really a brand new idea, I think Head & Shoulders does a scalp masque in Asia (with cooling menthol inside for summer), while Phyto also makes a few pre-shampoo scalp care oils where you massage in and leave for 20min before shampooing. Basically scalp masks all have similar effects- to sort of deep cleanses your scalp and do a mini scalp spa with the cooling sensation (often they contain essential oils, because oils can melt oils, plus the other benefits of essential oils).
I expected this to be some what cooling, but it's not really, probably doesn't contain that much menthol or peppermint. FYI the essential oils in this are primarily lavender, citrus, some other citrus leaf and basil. While it's on my head it does feel nice and soothing, not heavy and clogging.
Here's the long thin nozzle- it's designed so that you can literally hold the nozzle to your scalp, squeeze directly along the scalp. Very neat and clean way to do it. I part my hair in a few sections, then just stick the nozzle in and squeeze along the parted hairline. I don't use all that much, probably 5-6 parts across the whole head. Then I massage the mask into my head, concentrating on trying to cover all the scalp area.
The mask is just a whiteish mask looking consistency, not very thick.
I leave the mask on scalp, then rinse my hands and apply my normal hair mask or conditioner on mid sections and ends of my hair, avoiding the roots (all in the shower).
Then I scrub my face or body or do whatever else to pass the 5-10 minutes. Then I rinse everything off together.
This leaves my scalp feeling so light, and clean, it's very hard to describe. It's like giving your scalp a nice scrub or clean that feels different to a normal shampoo. It seems to lift up any product build up or the sometimes excess natural oil at the roots. At the same time, it doesn't leave my hair or scalp feel dry and taught. There's just a nice light freshness.
Overall 5/5. I really enjoy using this once or twice a week. (You probably don't need more, this isn't designed to be a daily treatment). Not a must- have for luscious hair, but it does feel soothing and wonderful on the scalp. This is also a refreshing change from the troublesome pre-shampoo scalp treatments like Phyto (which is more like a oil product and takes 2 shampooing to remove).