Davine’s , a small beauty supply company from Parma who sells in over 70 countries, recently came out with their Nounou Nourishing Repairing Hair Mask ($22.97, amazon.com) for dry and brittle hair, designed to rejuvenate your locks using a concoction of natural ingredients – olive, bitter cherry, and jojoba oils among others.
It goes without saying that your diet and genetics play into how thin or thick your hair will be, but there is always more to the story. To give a little background: each strand is encased in a cuticle (the little white bubble at the tips), which is in turn embedded in your scalp. These cuticles will create sebum, which is naturally-produced oil that moisturizes and puts a protective casing over your hair.
People who have excessive exposure to the elements, frequently use a hair dryer, or who towel-dry strip away natural oils and moisture, while those who eat rich foods or are highly stressed are more likely to over-produce sebum (Centre Clauderer).
Davine’s hair mask features parabens, an ingredient which has come under recent debate amongst beauty consumers. While the FDA has concluded that parabens are not inherently harmful in cosmetics, a 2004 study identified parabens in breast tumors, noting that they can act similarly (though not quite as strongly) to estrogen, a hormone which can influence breast cancer (FDA – Parabens). However, there are numerous ways to accumulate, not just in cosmetic. There are far more parabens found in food than in beauty products. In Denmark and Norway, their respective governments have issued certain bans of the use of the preservative, such to banning of propyl- and butylparabens. Though there has been no conclusive data on effects of parabens, an NILU study identified a potential correlation between long-term cosmetics users, paraben deposits in the blood and liver, and health complications in later years (Science Nordic). However, the FDA has concluded that the amount of parabens found in beauty products is safe for human consumption and have not proven to pose any health concerns (FDA – Parabens).
The directions say to apply evenly on damp hair, and leave in for 10-15 minutes and rinse. When I rinsed my hair I had some trouble getting the mask residue to wash out fully, even when I scrubbed with my fingers and separated it with a broad-toothed comb. Perhaps it is because I have thin Nordic hair, but Davine’s mask ended up weighing down my locks and making my scalp and face feel greasy. On the plus side, their hair mask did make my hair shiny and frizz-free.
This product would be a good choice for those with thick, coarse hair or extreme cases of dry, uncontrollable hair for whom no other conditioning treatments work. If anything, you may want to look for at home treatments which would be considerably free of harsh preservatives and wouldn’t oversaturate your hair. When using homemade concoctions remember to research the oils that you are using, as some may end up clogging your hair follicles or irritating the scalp. The mask’s base is heavily oil intensive, which sounds like a positive thing, but ends up oversaturating the hair strands to the point that those with medium to fine hair (like myself) will end up with lank strands and hair so oily that you could dip bread on it. In short, unless you have fabulously thick but unmanageable hair or hair that refuses to moisturize and tame itself, Davine’s NouNou Mask will probably only serve to offer an oversaturated scalp, albeit one with a very nice sheen to it.