Back in July of 1997 I spent a long "new hair care product" hunting trip in New York City. I happen to be one of those crazy people that loves "The City" and I always buy much more than I can ever carry home.
Thank goodness for Mailboxes Etc. (now owned by UPS) and cheap shipping. While I was in NYC, I decided to make the rounds of the "hair temples".
No "hair trip" to New York would be complete without a visit to the world famous Kiehls. So I popped into Kiehl's and had my hair touched and analyzed by one of the friendly white coat clad consultants. The experience was wonderful and I left with a huge box of Kiehl goodies. My only disappointment was that Kiehl's could not be purchased on the Net.
After I recovered from the Kiehl experiences I made my way to the original George Michael's salon. Yes I have had the experience of the "George Michael Treatment". I also bought some of the orange creme shampoo and the pink creme conditioner that is designed for long hair.
I also made a point to find the main Aveda spa where I found myself in a sea of wonderful aromas, candles and beautiful music.
From the Aveda Spa I walked to NYC's favorite.....Ricky's beauty supplies. I then wandered into the main Origins and Cosmetics Plus stores in Manhattan.
By the time I dragged myself into Cosmetics Plus I felt like I had bought out the entire City.
Apparently I hadn't, because the Cosmetics Plus store was stuffed with all sorts of hair goodies. After chatting with the hair care buyer she suggested that for my highlighted, slightly dry hair, that I should seriously check out the Rene Furterer line of hair care. I was instantly drawn to the beautiful dark green Rene Furterer boxes with gorgeous yellow lettering.
All of the product names sounded very exotic. I didn't have a clue which product to buy for my hair.
The buyer took pity on me and suggested that I would probably really like the Furterer Okara line. She also recommended the Phytologie #7 leave in conditioner (which I also bought & loved and still use all the time).
I decided to go the full treatment route and buy the Okara Repairing Shampoo, Okara Reconstructive Mask and the Okara Revitalizing No Rinse Treatment. I scooped up two armfuls of Rene Furterer products, staggered to the checkout counter and had them ship everything back to Dallas.
When it was all said and done, I shipped back 5 boxes of hair care products, hair books and hair tools from NYC. The trip was a smashing success even if I discovered that my favorite all time NYC restaurant, Bouley, had gone to the Big Restaurant in the Sky.
Okara Repairing Shampoo
This pH neutral shampoo is designed to help restructure damaged hair giving it lots of body, shine and helps to facilitate detangling. Since my hair is highlighted about 3-4x a year and tends naturally towards dryness, the Cosmetics Plus consultant told me that I should definitely try the Okara Repairing Shampoo.
The Cosmetics Plus consultant told me that the Okara shampoo contains a special formulation that is designed to gently clean the hair. It was specifically developed to be very gentle for color treated or chemically altered hair.
Okara is also described in the Furterer literature as containing "a natural active ingredient which gives hair volume and bounce".
I faithfully used the entire tube of the Okara Repairing Shampoo. Normally if a shampoo or hair care product is going to "trash my hair" I know it by the 2nd or 3rd application.
This did not happen with the Okara. I literally squeezed every last drop out of the shampoo until there was nothing left.
I can honestly say that I found that the shampoo did everything it (and the Cosmetics Plus consultant) promised on the box. The shampoo was thick and creamy with a sort of pink/light peach color that had a wonderful aroma. It sort of smelled like a field of fresh flowers. Not too strong but with a nice balance.
My hair was soft and shiny and it was tangle free. It also had lots of shine. Keep in mind that everyone's hair is completely different. For me, this stuff really worked. I enjoyed finding a product that definitely was gentle on my dry hair.
Okara Reconstructive Mask
I am a big believer in conditioning. Not only do I subscribe to a "condition in the shower every day" but I also do a weekly deep conditioning treatment of some sort to my hair.
Yes my hair gleams and is very healthy looking. I also work hard at making sure all the oils are replenished through the conditioning.
So as I was buying the Okara shampoo, I was looking at the various conditioners to see what would be a good "add-on" to the Repairing shampoo.
With the help of the Cosmetics Plus consultant I picked up the Okara Reconstructive mask.
This hair mask is designed to optimize the duration of any chemical treatment (perm, highlighting, color or straightening). It is supposed to maintain the elasticity of your hair and helps to repair and protect your hair. It is also specifically designed to add body and bounce.
I have to admit that I also enjoyed the mask. It made my hair feel tangle free, smooth and silky.
More About Rene Furterer
Once I decided that I loved the Okara products, I had to learn more about them. I did a little research.
It turns out that for over thirty years, Pierre Fabre Laboratories (home of Rene Furterer products) have made phytotherapy their specialty. They are involved in the selection of plants of proven efficiency. At the labs, researchers select plants for its specific curative properties for the scalp and the hair.
The researchers undertake rigorous studies to determine the parts of the plants which contain the greatest quantity of active elements that will produce the best results for the hair.
Their goal is to obtain the extract which has the best performance, and to test its efficacy. To guarantee the purest results, Rene Furterer products are made from plant extracts that are taken from pollution free agricultural fields in the isolated south-west of France.
The extraction unit "plants and industries" located in Gaillac in Tam, France is very unique. It allows Furterer to transpose to an industrial scale the extraction of natural active substances. The Rene Furterer hair care products also draw their strength from essential oils.
Still A Favorite After All These Years
Here it is 2002 and my trip to The City was many years ago. So you are probably wondering if I still use the Furterer Okara line? Yes, I do. If anything I like the Furterer products more now than I did then because I have used many of them for several years.
It is true that my current daily favorite hair care products are centered about the Phyto, ARTec and Aveda product lines. However, on a regular basis I use other high quality products to give my hair a "rest". I also have found that I like different things in the different lines. Sometimes I even mix and match or "cocktail" my products between the lines. I might use ARTec Smoothing Shampoo and Phytocitrus Mask along with Aveda's Confixer. Other times I will mix and match my Okara products with the Phyto styling products like the Phytodefrisant balm which is a miracle frizz killer.
I don't personally believe that using the same hair care product for an extended period of time makes the product stop working. To tell the truth.......I just like to play with my hair. What better way than to rotate in some great exotic products that make my hair feel extra special?
I currently stock up on my Okara at The Grand Spa International in the Dallas area. Crammed along my shower stall shelves with the glass Phytotherathrie bottles are the stark green and yellow Furterer bottles.
I love what the Furterer Okara products do to my hair.
Recently I read that Salma Hayek uses Rene Furterer's Fioravanti Light Weight Detangler on her gorgeous hair. So how could anyone go wrong with following Ms. Hayek's lead?
Would I dump my Phytotherathrie or ARTec favorites for Furterer? I have to admit that I am really addicted to the both the Phytotherathrie and ARTec products. However I will always use Furterer as well because I really enjoy the results of many of their products.
Of course it is important to re-iterate that everyone's hair is different. What works well for me may not work at all for someone else. So Furterer may turn out to be manna for your hair. Or maybe not. Find what works for you.
For More Information
The complete Phyto & Rene Furterer lines are sold at HairBoutique.com in the Marketplace.
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Original Publication Date: 09/1997 - Revised Publication Date: 05/22/11
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