By: Ariana Palmieri
Ever want lush, voluminous hair? Me too. I have thin hair, but a lot of it (so I tend to fool people into thinking I don't). The problem with my hair isn't that it's thin though: It tends to be pretty flat and lifeless. That's not to say it can't look pretty (I have ways of giving it extra ump and volume), but it does mean I need to give it a little something extra from time to time. That's where St. Tropica's organic coconut hot oil hair mask* comes in. I received it in a giveaway I entered over the summer and never got around to using it! But recently I caught myself eyeing it and said, "hey, why not?"
Unfortunately, the packaging is made out of plastic (though it is BPA-free plastic, which is a plus). However, I didn't want to let it sit around in my room any longer than it needed to (not to mention I'm not into wasting things). As much as I want to live a zero waste lifestyle, I am still adjusting to it and am far from accomplishing being completely plastic-free. Baby steps! I'm sure I'll get there eventually, but until then, I will continue to approach it one step at a time. I intend to recycle the package (but needed it to finish writing this review - I mean, hey, it's got the ingredients and directions on it), so no worries.
As far as hot oil treatments go, I like to limit them. My hair holds onto oil a lot. To give you an idea of what that means, I pretty much have to wash my hair every other day (if not every day). If I don't, one word: GREASE. And no, not grease lightning. So this hot oil hair mask was kind of intimidating for me: I wanted it to condition and volumize my hair, but didn't want the oil to get stuck in it. Trust me, its happened in the past (flash back to when I tried deep conditioning my hair with pure coconut oil). So, want to see what happened this time around? Prepare yourself...
Why you want it: If you have dry, brittle hair (or suffer from split ends - AKA me), this mask will make your hair super soft and hydrated!
Its value: $15 - $48* (Depends on how many packets you want. There's the 3 pack, 6 pack, and 12 pack).
My review: Okay, so as I said above, my hair tends to be oily. However, I did have a lot of split ends when I tried this out (now I don't, just got a haircut!), so I figured it would help nourish them a little. I wanted to give my hair a nice treat, plus needed an excuse to use this (it was sitting on my desk for months!). So, I decided to give it a try. It's pretty simple to use too. I took the packet and laid it unopened flat in a microwave (as if I was about to make popcorn or something), then heated it for 20 seconds. The directions say to remove the packet at this point with caution, as it might be hot, but honestly, it wasn't really that hot. It was just warm to the touch. That said, if you do this and the packet is too hot for whatever reason, let it cool off a little bit. You can always reheat it in 10 second increments, if need be. After that, I opened the packet by cutting along the dotted line in the corner of the packet. Then I squeezed the contents into my dry hair and scalp. Suffice it to say, this was a little messy. No, the contents did not burn my head (it was just warm), but it did drip all over the place (so don't do this over a rug!). After I had emptied the entire packet out (and into my hair), I made sure to run it throughout every part of my head, massaging it into my scalp and into my split ends. It smelled really good and made my hair smell just as amazing (like coconuts harvested on a tropical island, far, far away). Ahem, back to reality. After I felt I had spread it out evenly enough, I wrapped my hair in a towel (you can use a shower cap or plastic wrap if you want, but I didn't want to create more waste - plus I don't even own a shower cap). The directions recommended I leave the treatment in my hair for at least 20 minutes, or let it sit overnight. Since I did this in the middle of the day, I decided to leave it in as I wrote some freelance articles. In total, I let it sit in my hair for about 2 hours and 30 minutes. I'm sure the time you let it sit in your hair effects it, so keep that in mind if you decide to do this. There's really no wrong amount of time to leave it in. Anyways, after that, I pretty much just took a shower. The directions said to shampoo hair twice, so I did. Unfortunately, as I feared, it wasn't enough. When I got out and blow dried my hair, my hair was super oily. Exasperated, I had to go back in the shower and wash it out two more times. Ugh. You know, I should've seen that coming in the long run (it happened to me before when I tried using pure coconut oil as a leave-in hair treatment), but I was hoping it would be different this time. BUT...That said, once I washed it out of my hair 4 times, and blow dried it (again) I actually did notice a difference. My hair was so freaking soft for starters, and it was also voluminous (as promised). So I have to hand it to the company for not failing to disappoint! The only problem was that, since I washed my hair so much, my shampoo bottle was like, dead by the time I finally washed the stuff out. Lesson here?: Thin, oily hair rarely needs hot oil hair masks. It's something I would do only once a month (or maybe even once every 3-6 months), because it's not really necessary. While it does certainly make a difference, and my hair did love it and feel amazing afterwards, the hassle it took to get there wasn't really worth it. HOWEVER...for those who have thick, dry hair (especially curly hair), I highly recommend this. I'm sure your hair will eat it up and adore every second of it. It's certainly not a bad product (I wouldn't have reviewed it on here if it was), but I don't think I'll be using it again any time soon. The other thing I truly love about it? The ingredients. Check them out below (they're 100 percent natural, vegan, and cruelty-free!). Not to mention this product is certified organic (no easy feat)! For that, and for the super-soft hair, I commend it.
IngredientsOrganic virgin coconut oil, organic biotin, organic horsetail, organic amla, organic hibiscus, organic green tea, organic coconut butter, organic coconut fruit extract.
The (quick) rundown
This was the grease stuck in my hair after washing my hair TWICE. I had to go back in the shower to wash it again, twice. But check out the finished results at the end of this post...
The pros: The pros outweigh the cons.
- I really admire how this product is certified organic, cruelty-free, and vegan!
- It has a fantastic, tropical smell (smells exactly like coconut)!
- The ingredients list is 100 percent natural and nothing to worry about what so ever.
- This mask is made with zero chemicals: It's paraben free, sulfate free, gluten free, soy free, and contains no additives, stabilizers, preservatives or fragrances.
- It has a score of 1 on EWG's Skindeep Database (which is the highest possible score and means it's completely safe!).
- The product actually worked and made my hair super soft, smooth, and voluminous (as promised)!
- I won this in a giveaway, so honestly, I didn't have much to lose!
The cons: Not too many, but there certainly are some.
- I really wish this wasn't packaged in plastic (though it is BPA-free, which is a plus).
- It was messy to apply (kind of dripped everywhere).
- I hated how it took 4 washes to get the oil out of my hair (more my hair's fault than the product, but still).
- My shampoo is completely eaten up now (it used up, like, half the bottle)!
Conclusion: I think this hot oil hair mask is a good product, for sure, but isn't the perfect one for me. In fact, I think I should steer clear of hot oil masks all together. While it certainly does make a positive difference in my hair, the effort it takes to get the stuff out is a deterrent. I adored how soft and volumized my hair was afterwards, but rinsing it four times was way too excessive. However, I do recommend this product all in all (I wouldn't be writing about it if I didn't), especially to those who feel their hair is thick, dry, and needs hydration.
Here's the finished result, after I washed my hair 4 times. Well, at least my hair looked (and felt) great!
* Marks an affiliate link. Please be aware that affiliate links simply mean if you make a purchase from the link I provide, the company pays me a small commission. It doesn't mean you pay me anything. Any money earned from affiliate links is used to continue creating stellar content for this blog.