In all my years of being beauty obsessed, I’ve had two, maybe three blowouts in total. Put simply, it’s because they give me major anxiety. This may seem counterintuitive, but while an undying love for all things beauty-related is why I became a beauty editor in the first place, I nevertheless feel apprehensive, if not uncomfortable, towards this particular service. Allow me to explain why.
As someone who’s suffered with scalp dermatitis, dandruff, and extensive breakage as the result of a genetic skin condition, the salon chair has never been a place of solace for me, but rather just another space where I’m made painfully aware of how different I am from my peers.
Over the years, I’ve had stylists recoil at my scale-ridden scalp, balk at my brittle strands, and worst of all, be rough with my hair despite my reiterating how fragile it is. It’s these far-from-tranquil experiences that ultimately led to my avoidance of blowouts. And after suffering from stress-induced hair loss last year, I have steered clear of salons altogether. Until, that is, I had the opportunity to get a blowout by Pai-Shau, a buzzy new hair-care brand whose claim to fame is none other than tea.
It instantly intrigued me. It’s no secret that tea has myriad health benefits, and in fact, is often used in skin-care products, but Pai-Shau is the first beauty brand to debut tea-infused hair-care, claiming it has superior benefits for the scalp, where getting healthy hair starts.
So, I threw caution to the wind and booked an appointment, and well, I’m happy to report back that it was unlike any of the aforementioned experiences. More specifically, it opened my eyes to what a blowout could (and should) be like for people like me, who deal with perennially distressed strands.
When I arrived, they first showed me some of the products to provide a quick run-down of exactly how the tea infusion works. The
Biphasic Infusion (i.e. one of its hero products), for instance, acts as a daily treatment that immediately soothes the scalp on contact and works to strengthen, nourish, and protect the hair from the inside-out. It’s infused with what the brand calls its “Signature Tea Complex,” which is made up of white, green, black, African red bush and pu-erh teas. And, get this: It’s color-safe, oil-free, and made for every hair texture. My stylist even squeezed some into my hand where I experience quite a bit of irritation (mostly dryness and redness) to demonstrate how the formula instantly dials down the inflammation. My mind was already blown, and I hadn’t even had my hair washed yet.
When I did have my hair washed, though, it was absolutely dee-vine — a refreshing and pleasantly surprising departure from past situations where people have either been way too rough or made unnecessary comments about how much hair I lose during a wash session.
Instead, the kind stylist was super-gentle with my hair, lightly massaged my scalp with the pads of his fingertips, and used lukewarm water to avoid over-drying my already-parched strands. Once I’d been shampooed and deep conditioned, I moved over to the salon chair, where much to my delight, I wasn’t met with that all-too-familiar feeling of dread, but rather a woman who, like me, is sensitive to seemingly everything. Hannah Faulkner, hairstylist and co-founder of beautydummy.com, explained that it was nearly impossible for her to find hair products that she wouldn’t react to, so when she stumbled upon Pai-Shau and found she could use it without suffering a nasty allergic reaction, it was a saving grace.
She started by working the Biphasic Infusion into my damp hair, which detangled and added hydration, making it super-easy to run a wide tooth comb through my strands — sans any breakage. She then added a few spritzes of the brand’s Opulent Volume Spray, which is formulated with a patented Microemulsion Technology that promotes fullness and a Volumizing Botanical Complex comprised of ginseng, white nettle, and gleditschia, as well as the Signature Tea Complex.
As she began blow-drying my hair, she was extremely careful to keep things gentle and not yank or tug, something I appreciated more than she probably realized. She also went into more detail about the products and how they work, explaining that tea has the unique ability to stimulate and soothe simultaneously, which encourages growth and keeps the scalp a calm, happy place for new and existing hair to flourish. “There’s also the added bonus of caffeine, which has been used as a natural DHT (the hormone responsible for hair loss) suppressor,” Paul Cramer, Pai-Shau’s general manager, told me.
As far as calming is concerned, Cramer explained that it’s largely thanks to teas like white and green, which contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds called polyphenols. “They literally reduce redness and irritation on contact,” she said. (Which I can attest to after seeing it work like magic on my hand.)
Once I was finished, I was amazed to see that my fine, annoyingly-flat hair looked shiny — like Pantene commercial shiny — and felt softer than it had in, oh I don’t know, months? What’s more, my scalp felt clean but not stripped, rid of excessive buildup, and flake-free.
The verdict? I’d 100 percent go back again. And then again and again. In the meantime, I’ve been using the Pai-Shau Replenishing Hair Cleanser, as well as the Replenishing Cream Conditioner and the Biphasic Infusion, and my hair is definitely looking (and feeling) better.
I might never be one of those girls who makes you stop and stare at their lustrous long hair, but using these products has made me feel more confident and accepting of what I’ve got, and you know what? That’s more than enough.
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