As has been reported on the Hair Boutique in the past, I first tested the 4 different L'anza long hair products back in October of 1999. I tried the product very religiously until the end of December of 1999 and then wrote and published a review the first week of January.
Since the time that I tested all four of the L'anza Long Hair products I discovered Edwin Paul's incredible hair care line and began to consider dumping not only my beloved ARTec but my original love, Aveda.
Since Hair Boutique recently unveiled the new Edwin Paul lines in our store, I felt compelled to rewrite this original review with a little additional information.
Yes, I have moved on from ARTec and now use Edwin Paul. However, when I recently tried to revisit L'anza I achieved the same results as I originally reported early in January.
Original Review of L'anza Long Hair - 1999
What first caught my eye about L'anza's new Long Hair line was the beautiful models with gorgeous long hair splashed across the back covers of some big name fashion magazines (see photo below). L'anza also has a web site that is currently under construction but promises to have all the details about the products as well as information about buying the products.
I will admit that I stopped and examined the photos of the gorgeous long haired beauties and thought about the products.
Then I Then I said........nah.....after all, photos of gorgeous hair splashed across billboards and in full page ads in Cosmo lured me in the past to the horrors of Pantene.
My hair almost didn't recover from some of the products that I tried based on fabulous advertising. Yes, the advertising is fantastic. No, a photo does not always tell the truth. At least for my hair. So I went into the review very cautiously. In fact, the main reason that I got serious about testing the L'Anza is because one of the other hair related web sites asked me to review the line "because you have long hair".
I felt obligated but also a little weary. I never like to dislike a product. Even though I have told Hair Boutique visitors that not all hair is created equal, I know that people don't always catch that important caveat. When I don't like a product for my hair I even feel a little guilty writing a less than glowing review. However, I also know that Hair Boutique visitors count on me to be totally honest about the products that I test.
Robert L'anza Is A Hair Icon
Don't get me wrong, I have a tremendous amount of respect of Robert L'anza, father of the wildly successful L'Anza line of hair care.
It's just after trying so many different products on my hair, I am rather gun-shy. It takes a lot to get me to try a new product line.
I have found peace with my current hair care regime. My hair looks great, feels wonderful and hangs a few inches below my waist. I am hooked on ARTec Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner and keep a permanent stash of the ARTec Moisture Pac hidden in my bathroom. I use Aveda Shampure and Curessence on a rotating basis when I feel it is time to give my hair a rest from the ARTec.
L'anza's remarkable success is due in great part to organic chemist, Robert DeLanza.
The cosmetic and beauty industry attracted him initially through his desire to see theory put into practice.
As Robert recently commented about his career in the hair care world "As a chemist, I was impatient with pharmaceutical development, because it took years to see practical results of experiments and formulas. I was therefore drawn to the beauty sector, not because I was an entrepreneur, but as a scientist who simply wanted to see my work utilized and appreciated during my life time."
In 1984 L'anza developed and trademarked the Keratin Bond System and so began the success of L'anza Research International.
The L'anza product's, which are not tested on animals and contain only natural ingredients to maintain healthy looking hair, are divided into two primary systems: REBALANCE HAIR CARE AND STYLING PRODUCT LINE is specially formulated to meet the needs of today's active, environmentally-conscious men and women, and to help get hair fit and keep it in shape. CURLS & COLOR TREATMENTS, HAIR CARE AND STYLING PRODUCTS address the specific problems of men and women with chemically treated or naturally dry hair. Included in both lines are shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, reconstructors and styling and finishing products as well as perms and in-salon treatments.
L'anza Long Hair - Four Formulas
The L'anza Long Hair System was announced in 1999 and was designed to handle all the needs of long hair. The Long Hair line included four specific formulations which include:
L'anza Long Hair Formula - Cleanse
The packaging is very unusual. When I tried to describe the unusual packing for the Long Hair Formula I joked that the shampoo and conditioner reminded me of long neck beer bottles. Well, they sort of do.
Another friend said that they look a lot like juggler's pins. OK, that works too.
The shampoo and conditioner bottles are a light willow green with purple lettering. The13 ounce bottles are 12 inches high. The shampoo cost me approximately $10.33 USD, plus tax at a local Dallas beauty supply store.
The shampoo advertisements promise that it is a rich lathering shampoo that provides everything from increased hair strength to light conditioning. It also promises to seal the hair cuticle and add shine. WOW. All that and a cool bottle? Sounded almost too good to be true.
And it was for my hair. The first day that I tried the shampoo I did enjoy the lather. I did miss the wonderful aromas of the ARTec and the Aveda. However, I was hopeful that the shampoo would add this strength and conditioning to my naturally coarse, highlighted hair.
A Week Of Testing
The first day out of the gate my hair looked fabulous. Yes, it was soft and shiny. I even got compliments on my hair from complete strangers.
The second day my hair still felt soft and shiny, but it was starting to act a little "tacky". I am not sure how to even explain it except that the ends felt just a tiny bit sticky.
The third day and my hair felt like I had a slight waxy covering. YUCK. I kept running my fingers through my hair and could not get over the feeling that I had not completely rinsed my hair.
Since I was using BOTH the Cleanse and the Condition formulas together I decided that maybe I needed to knock off the Condition.
By Day Four I Was Cheating A Little With ARTec
On day four I cheated a little used just the Cleanse shampoo and switched to my ARTec Smoothing Conditioner. Unfortunately this actually made my hair feel even worse.
Besides feeling waxy, my hair felt really sticky and clumpy. I had a terrible time making it through the entire day without wanting to duck my head into the shower and rinse all the L'anza out of my hair.
Although my hair was definitely not responding well to the L'anza Long Hair I decided to be brave and stick it out for a week.
By day six my friends were asking me pointed questions about why my hair looked so bad. And it did look bad. Horribly bad. It was hanging limply against my head and had a dry yet sticky appearance.
OK, OK. Maybe I was doing something horribly wrong. I really wanted to give this product the benefit of the doubt.
I decided to skip a week and try to recover with my normal ARTec regime. So I went back to ARTec Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner and slathered on 2 envelopes of Moisture Pac during the next 7 days to get my hair back in shape.
I have to admit I was not thrilled with trying this product again. Like I said, I have lots of respect for L'anza but the product just did not do anything for my hair.
I discussed this less than positive experience with two friends of mine that are stylists. Both of them thought that my difficulties with the product might be related to the fact that the shampoo is supposed to be very concentrated.
I went back and read about the product and it did say that even though it was concentrated, it is gentle enough to be used every day.
Apparently not on my hair. So I decided to try and just wash my hair every other day. I started out on Day One and did the usual L'anza Cleanse and applied the Condition after I carefully rinsed out the Cleanse. The results were basically the same. In fact, my hair really requires a daily shampoo. Again, that is just me and my hair, but if I don't shampoo every day my hair just feels dirty.
Not only did it feel dirty by skipping a day on the L'anza, it had that weird sticky feel.
According to the product documentation each product incorporates L'anza's exclusive Keratin Bond System.
This supposedly creates a double positive charge allowing moisture-rich botanicals and keratin amino acids to effectively penetrate the outer layer of the hair.
According to the documentation the Keratin Bond System offers the most effective means of reconstructing damaged areas in the hair's cortex.
After studying the ingredients in the Cleanse formula I realized why my hair was rebelling. The very second and third ingredients included LaurylSulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. My hair can handle a little of LaurylSulfate but not much. Because this ingredient is listed first in the list, it means that there is a high concentration.
Which explains why my hair went nuts on the Cleanse product. It was obvious that my hair would not work well with the Cleanse ingredients. I have learned over time which ingredients work and which ones don't. I can handle some of the ingredients but they have to be in small concentrations.
The Cleanse formula includes the following ingredients:
Water/Eau (Aqua), TEA LaurylSulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate Cocamide MEA, Glycol Stearate, Dimethicone/Dimeticone (Dimeticonum), Cocomidopropyl Betain, Polyquarternium-7, Guar Hydroxpropyltrimoium Chloride, Arginine PCA, Keratin Bond System (Keratin Amino Acids 150 M.W) Systeme de Liasian Keratine (Keratin Acides 150 MW), Arnica Extract (Arnica Montana), Yarrow Extract (Achillea Millefolium), Burdock Extract (Arctium Lappa), Hops Extract (Humulus Lupulus) Linden Extract (Tilia Americana), Yucca Extract (Yucca Vera) Nettle Extract (Urtica Dioica), Panthenol (Vitamin B-5) Dexpanthenol (Dexpanthenolum), Citric Acid (Acidum Citricum), Methylparaben *Metylis), Propylparaben (Propylis), Fragrance/Parfum
L'anza Long Hair Formula - Condition
The Condition/Revitalisant formula is described on the bottle as having a pH of 3.5 - 4.0.
It is also described as "a lightweight therapeutic lotion that instantly detangles as it closes, smoothes and protects the hair cuticle from the scalp to the ends."
I did try using my ARTec Smoothing Shampoo and matching it with the Condition formula. This actually worked a lot better than using the L'anza Cleanse and matching it with the Condition.
However, I still was not as happy with the Condition as I could have been. It did not seem to soften my coarse naturally wavy hair nearly as well as I had hoped it would.
Water/Eau (Aqua), Dicetyldimpnium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol (Alcohol Cetylicus), Glycol Stearate, Keratin Bond System (Keratin Amino Acids 150 M.W)/Systeme de Liasian Keratine (Keratin Acides 150 MW), Arginine PCA, Algae Extract (Algae), Comfrey Leaf Extract (Sympytum Officinale), Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalus), Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Noblis), Althea Extract (Althea Officinalus), Cydonethicone, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Citric Acid (Acidum Citricum), Methylparaben *Metylis), Propylparaben (Propylis), Fragrance/Parfum.
L'anza Long Hair Formula - Strengthen
The Strengthen Formula is L'anza's version of a deep conditioning treatment. It is described as reinforcing the hair's strength which is supposed to help people who want to grow longer or healthier hair.
The L'anza Long Hair Formula is also promoted as a product that helps grow hair longer and stronger.
I really did not like this product at all. Maybe because I am spoiled with all those years of Aveda Curessence and ARTec Moisture Pak.
I tried using the Strengthen both with and without the Cleanse shampoo. The first time I used the Strengthen product with the Cleanse shampoo my hair did feel somewhat softer. This did not last. By the time I had used the Strengthen three times it seemed to have no real impact on my hair.
The Strengthen was definitely no ARTec Moisture Pak.
The cost of the Strengthen was approximately $13.00 USD for 5.1 ounces at my local Dallas Beauty Supply store.
L'anza Long Hair Formula - Shine
This products seemed expensive. I paid $14.95 USD for 1.7 ounces of the product. It comes in a miniature version of the tall Cleanse Shampoo bottle.
The shines is an elixir that is advertised as a product that will strengthen your hair and seal the cuticle. It is also designed to control frizz and protect the hair. It is definitely one of the standard shine products on the market today.
I used the Shine product exactly twice. Both times my hair felt really gummy. The Shine product contains Cyclomethicone sealers which seems to make my hair feel like I have a light layer of coating on it. Don't ask me why but my hair did not respond very well to the shine either.
L'anza Long Hair Formula - Not For Me
I was very disappointed that none of the L'anza Long Hair products worked for my very long, naturally coarse and wavy hair. I am always on the lookout for products that I can recommend for the large number of long haired people that visit Hair Boutique every day.
While Hair Boutique is definitely a site about hair, it has more long hair articles and information than many sites that specialize in only long hair. With this in mind I am always looking for products that are helpful to growing and maintaining long hair.
I have to make a point of saying that my hair is unique. While my hair did not respond well to any of the four L'anza Long Hair formulas, this does not mean it would not work well for other hair types.
Do I believe that it will help long hair? I have mixed thoughts about that. I am not a hair chemist. My own opinion is that everyone has to try the product for themselves and come to their own conclusion.
I will say one thing, the packing is excellent and the advertising is inspired. As far as the product....judge for yourselves.
Conclusion - I Really Did Try
I don't know why exactly, but I really wanted the L'anza long hair to work for me. It just didn't. I tried many ways to find a good outcome. I used the Cleanse and the Condition together and then I mixed and matched with ARTec and Aveda. The results were disappointing. I also tried mixing it up the the Shine and Strengthen formulas. Again I was disappointed.
Maybe I wanted this to work because it was a product specifically for long hair. Or maybe because I like the work of its inventor. Or maybe it is those cool bottles.
At any rate, L'anza and I had to part company after several weeks or trial and error. The bottles are still sitting in my bathroom and they still have some formula left. I just don't have the heart to throw them away. Besides, they look so cool. Like like green skinny bowling pins.