Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Analysis of PHYTO Products


This review was originally written in 1997 and initially published in early 1998 as one of the very first articles for the site launched in early 1998.

A lot has changed since my first introduction to the Phytotherathrie line in 1997 (also known at various times in the past as Phytologie and currently known in 2007 as Phyto).

In 2001 the wonderful people at Phyto agreed to let their biggest fan, namely me, carry their complete line of products at

To say I was thrilled is an understatement. What could be better than to be able to sell a product that I had been using for years with fabulous results.

If anything, having all of the Phyto products in the warehouse has made me an even bigger fan. Not only do I regularly read every box and every label, I am constantly trying the different products. At some point it's my hope to finish testing every one of their products. I might even try one of their famous relaxing formulas.

The evaluation that follows documents my very first experiences with Phyto in July of 1997. Keep this in mind as you read my comments. Although I cringe when I read my writing from so many years ago, I am encouraged by the knowledge that, Phyto and my writing have all come a long way.

Introduction To Product Evaluation - 1997

I am a woman on a mission. My personal goal is to continue to try and find the very best products that I can for my long hair. Based on the recommendation of my stylist I have been using the Aveda line of products with great results. Recently in my goals to test other products I have just finished one month of intensive testing of some of the Phytotherathrie (changed in 2004 to Phyto) products.

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I had heard about the PHYTO products for several months. When I was in New York on my long hair research mission in July of 1997, I bought a complete line of the PHYTO products and tried them for one full month.

A naturally curly haired friend of mine in California had been using some of the PHYTO products and she strongly recommended them to me. They did a great job for her curls, so why not hope for great results for my dry, wavy hair?


"PHYTOTHERATHRIE is a special line of therapeutic hair products developed through the use of plants". Phytotherathrie promises that they use the vast natural resources of the botanical world to give you healthier and more beautiful hair. They also claim to offer you the most natural benefits through a complete system of hair treatments with a natural plant base. They promote the philosophy of treating nature with respect.

The PHYTOSOLBA Laboratories (makers of the PHYTO products) are the pioneers and leaders in therapeutic care for hair through plants. They continue to search, test and discover new products for hair. Phytotherathrie specifies in their literature that "nature is far from revealing all of its abilities to treat and care for hair...and now more than ever hair needs nature's abilities."

What I Tested

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I decided to try the recommended Phyto products in the Dry to Extra Dry Hair product line.

Since it was July and the height of the hot dry summer months I felt my hair could really benefit from the dry hair treatments. The hair products for dry hair seemed like they would be a good test.

I was curious to see if they made my hair oily, gooey or gummy from the added oils or plant extracts.

I wanted the most gentle, conditioning and nourishing products. With this in mind the hair consultant at Cosmetics Plus recommended that I purchase the following Phyto products:

  1. Phytocidre Restoring Shampoo (Very gentle formula. Designed for Colored Or Permed Hair). 2004 Note: This product was ultimately discontinued, but replaced with PhytoCitrus shampoo & conditioner.
  2. Phytomoelle with Bamboo Marrow (Restorative And Rehydrating Mask For Very Dry and Dehydrated Hair). 2004 Note: Replaced with PhytoSesame Conditioning Treatment or Phyto - Phytobaume Conditioner - 6.7 fl oz (200ml) Phytobaume is an detangling balm for all hair types. Mallow extract softens and hydrates to leave hair tangle free. Won't weight hair down, eliminates static electricity. An alterative option is also the very moisturizing PhytoKarite Intensive Treatment
  3. PHYTO 7 (A leave-in treatment cream for Dry, Extra Dry Hair). 2011 Note: Still available along with Phyto 9 which has the added ingredient of macadamia oil.

I have listed very detailed information about the three different Phyto Products that I experimented with. I also had a second volunteer, a man with shoulder length naturally curly hair, use the products. This man had also been using the Aveda products for many years with great results.

Besides the ingredients that are listed on the box, all of the Phyto products come with a very detailed set of instructions for using the product properly.

With each product there is a list of complimentary products. As an example, the HUILE D'ALES (Revitalizing botanical oil) and the PhytoJoba (Gentle, regulating milky shampoo) are recommended for use with each other and the Phyto 7 Treatment Cream.

Phytotherathrie gives you the choice of buying all the recommended products in a hair care grouping or you can mix and match appropriately.


Note: This shampoo was replaced with Phytocitrus Shampoo by Phyto.

PHTYOCIDRE Shampoo lists the following Property Information on the box:

This is a shampoo with a Cider vinegar base. PHYTOCIDRE has a natural acidity which allows it to:

  • Stabilize the color without changing its tone.
  • Neutralize excess alkalinity.
  • Restore the damaged keratin fiber, which in turn regains its shine. PHYTOCIDRE leaves the hair easier to untangle and to comb out.

Ingredients of PHYTOCIDRE Shampoo

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Oil Derivative) Cider Vinegar, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, PEG-150 Distearate, Isostearoamphopropionate, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Cetrimonium Bromide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben,

The PHYTOCIDRE box lists the following important fact: "This bottle contains 10 % pure Cider vinegar - 0.5% acetic acid. Rinse well after each application."

Listed pH balance 4.8 - 5.1.

Directions For Use

Thoroughly wet hair. Apply shampoo and massage to obtain a rich lather. Rinse. Repeat, leaving second shampoo on for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly. For External Use Only. The listed pH balance : 4.8 - 5.1

Karen's Review of PHYTOCIDRE Shampoo

I used the PHYTOCIDRE Shampoo uninterrupted for a period of close to one month. I found that it did a great job on my hair. I would compare it very favorably with Aveda's Shampure. It worked very well for my long hair and equally as well for the hair of my male volunteer.

The first thing that I noticed was that the shampoo came in a glass bottle. I have never seen this before. I had read that some of the hair products with apple cider vinegar use glass to preserve the delicate composition of the shampoo. This may be true. It did make me a little nervous because I always wash my hair in the shower and was concerned about dropping the bottle.

The glass bottle is clear and it is easy to see the contents clearly. The shampoo looked sort of golden and clear. I was expecting an apple cider vinegar smell but was pleasantly surprised to find the shampoo did not have a strong aroma.

This shampoo does not lather much, if at all. I had to really work the shampoo in to get any sort of lather. I only used one application of the shampoo which is my normal routine with Aveda. A lot of people would probably freak out that this shampoo does not lather but I felt comfortable with this non-sudsing right away.

I applied the PHYTOMOELLE hair mask once a week and the Phyto7 leave-in conditioner every other day.

The shampoo left my hair soft and very manageable. I got some compliments on how shiny my hair looked. I liked the overall effect of the shampoo on my hair. On the days that I did not use either the PHYTOMOELLE or the Phyto7 I still found my hair to be soft and manageable. I was very pleased.

I am very particular about what I use on my hair and have always found Aveda to be the best product for me. It was nice to find another product line that left my hair feeling great.

The cost of the shampoo is $15.00 for 6.8 fl.oz (1997 pricing). I did not find this excessive compared to the other products on the market that advertise similar benefits. For example Rene Furterer OKARA shampoo (which I have also tested) is very similar in price for the 5.07 fl. oz.

I would recommend that anyone with dry or extra dry, damaged or chemically treated hair try the PhytoCidre Shampoo. You will probably need to experiment with the shampoo to find the best application for your hair type.

2006 Note: Unfortunately this wonderful shampoo has been discontinued.

PHYTOMOELLE W/ Bamboo Marrow (Restorative & Rehydrating Mask)

PHYTOMOELLE is a restorative and rehydrating mask which contains bamboo marrow. It was created to treat dry and/or very damaged hair. It has strong hydrating properties. It is great for all lengths of hair including long. PHYTOMOELLE was designed to improve the hair' structure and makes detangling easier. Due to its restoring properties, PHYTOMOELLE coats and nourishes very dry hair. It comes packaged in a 3.3 fl. oz tube.

Ingredients of PHYTOMOELLE

The PHYTOMOELLE box lists the following ingredients: Water, Cyamopsis extract, Vegetal Marrow Extract, Soy Extract, Corn Oil, Lauroyl Collagen Amino Acids, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben.

It has a listed pH balance of 5 - 5.5

Directions For Use

PHYTOMOELLE may be used as an intensive treatment once a week, after shampoo, on towel dried hair, for a period of 2 months. Generously spread a dab of PHYTOMOELLE throughout the hair. Leave on for 5 minutes or leave longer in the case of very damaged hair. Rinse thoroughly. Style as usual.

Karen's Review of Phytomoelle Mask

This product is specifically recommended for very dry and dehydrated hair that has been damaged by harsh treatment such as perming, coloring, bleaching, blow-drying or other environmental elements.

I used the Phytomoelle mask uninterrupted for a period of close to 1 month. I found that it did a great job on my hair. If left my dry hair soft and moist.

Phytomoelle was designed to have a cumulative hydrating action. Phyto recommends that you religiously use the product once a week for a period of 2 months to let the cumulative effect of the conditioner take effect on your damaged hair.

I used the Phytomoelle once a week for a period of approximately 4 full weeks. I noticed that it seemed to work better as the month progressed. So I would agree that the product has a cumulative effect on the hair. I liked the results. The product does work as advertised and was good for my dry, long hair. I also concentrated the product on my dry ends to prevent them from splitting.

The mask comes in a squeeze tube and is a golden color. I was expecting an unusual aroma because the mask contains bamboo marrow. I was surprised to find that there was a nice fresh scent.

2006 Note: This wonderful product has been discontinued.

Phyto 7 (Leave-In Treatment Cream)

This is a plant based treatment cream. It contains seven plant extracts which supply the hair fiber with the elements needed without weighing hair down. It is applied after each shampoo. Phyto 7 cream restores the hair while keeping it supply, fluffy and non oily. You do not rinse it out. It is a leave-in hair conditioner.

Phyto 7 is a creamy blend of 7 plants especially selected for their restoring and revitalizing properties. It is non oily and leaves hair supply, shiny and easy to style.

Phyto 7 Ingredients

The Phyto 7 box lists the following ingredients: Lappa extract, rosemary extract, sage extract, willow leaf extract, calendula extract, cyamopsis extract, soy extract, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, butylparaben, ethylparaben. The box also advertises that "This tube contains 6.2 oz. of fresh plants".

Directions For Use

Use this leave-in conditioning product right after shampooing on towel dried hair. You also have the option to use it on already dried hair. Spread a dab of Phyto 7 throughout the palm of your hands and between your fingers. Untangle hair with fingers throughout the lengths and at the ends of the hair. Use a pick or wide toothed comb when finished and to style.

Karen's Review of Phyto 7 Treatment Cream

I used the Phyto 7 uninterrupted for a period of close to 1 month along with the other two Phyto products which included the PhytoCidre shampoo and the Phytomoelle hair masque.. I was careful not to use too much since I was concerned about it leaving my hair oily, greasy or limp.

I was pleasantly surprised. A dab did just fine and really did a nice job of detangling my hair. It did not ever leave it with any sort of greasy, oily or limp texture.

I would shampoo with the PhytoCidre, towel dry my hair and every other day I would apply a tiny dab of Phyto 7. Then I would detangle with my fingers as instructed. After I had worked the Phyto 7 through my entire hair I would pick my hair and then let it air dry (which is my normal procedure).

I actually liked the Phyto 7 the best of all the products. I have always had a hard time finding a good leave-in conditioner that did not leave my hair stiff or oily or limp. Phyto 7 worked really well for me.

I am not sure if I would have had the same results if I had used it every day. I was also careful not to use the Phyto 7 after I had used the Phytomoelle.

I did blow dry my bangs (fringe) a few times and the results were good. My hair came out soft and shiny and with hardly a tangle.

This product was wonderful for my long hair. Not only did it help to ease the pain of detangling, it made my very silky. This product can be used by all hair lengths and types. It can also be used on just the ends to protect from splitting and breaking.

Phyto Product Groups

The Phytotherathrie Products are grouped around the following hair categories as of 2002. Phytotherathrie had a different grouping in 1997 that has been changed as of 2002:

  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Colored
  • Permed
  • Grey & White
  • Fine & Limp
  • Lifeless
  • Thinning
  • All Types
  • Sensitive
  • Dandruff
  • Phytoplage (Summer Hair)
  • PhytoSpecific (Relaxers & special shampoo & conditioners)

Listed below is an example of how Phyto groups products for a specific hair type. In this case the hair type is very dry to dehydrated hair.

Recommended Products For Very Dry Hair:

Phyto's brochure describes very dry to dehydrated hair as hair that is naturally dry and becomes very dry and dehydrated because it has been traumatized by repeated and cumulated external aggressions such as:

  • Mechanical (blow-drying, setting, too much brushing)
  • Chemical (color, bleach, perms, harsh shampoos, too frequent shampoos).
  • Aggressions (bad weather, wind, salt water, sun)
  • Hair becomes badly weakened, the keratin chain is damaged and there is no more elements to product keratin (amino acids, sulphur, etc).
  • Hair is porous, brittle, too absorbent and it takes longer to dry and it more difficult to untangle.

Where To Buy Phyto Products On The Internet

For more details about Phyto products check out the Marketplace. Phyto is also sold at some select retail establishments.

Original Publication Date: 03/1998 - Revised Publication Date: 01/05/12

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