L’oreal Elnett Hairspray

Let me tell you, I was SO excited when I heard that this supposed gem was coming to the US from Europe a couple of months ago.  For some reason this blogger will have to research and later post, this hairspray was not allowed to be sold in this country for a long time, and was oft smuggled back in excess by fashion show hairstylists and in-the-know travelers.

This particular hairspray promises a “soft, shiny finish”, and is supposed to leave one with touchable hair.  Perhaps the most outlandish claim is that it “disappears at the stroke of a brush”, but remains impeccably strong throughout the day.  Doesn’t this seem a paradox?  Find out after the jump.The first thing that caught me about Elnett was the gorgeous packaging.  It’s very luxe, posh, and the gold quite reminds me of Chanel’s d’or nail polish collection released this season.  I started out by buying the “Strong Hold Version”, so let’s cover that first.

I picked a day I knew to be particularly windy and with some humidity to review this, as this is the true test of any good hairspray.  I rubbed some Paul Mitchell: The Super Skinny Serum (which I’ll be reviewing soon) through my damp hair, let it air dry, styled with a bit of Ion Styling Solutions Texturizing Hair Wax, and gave my locks a few quick bursts of this spray (I prefer to use hairspray in short bursts rather than a continuous stream as it gives a more even coverage and reduces product waste).  The first thing I noticed was the smell.  My god.  Have you ever smelled Aquanet?  This was about twice as potent.  I had to run out of my bathroom and open some windows, quick.  But for the sake of you readers, I decided to risk smelling like a 50’s showgirl for the rest of the day.  And boy, am I glad I did.

I stepped outside, and the wind whipped my hair around, pushing it in all different directions.  I waited to get to school to check it however.  Now, on a normal day, the humidity would have already started to make my hair frizz and poof (eek!), and I would have had to do some serious rearrangement to get it all back in place.  Much to my surprise, there was considerably little displacement of my carefully arranged waves (which the wax seems to bring out).  I shook my head a bit and everything settled right back into place, as if I had just done it! Amazing! Upon touching it, I expected a crunchy, sticky coating, as surely only a hairspray that left such a finish could produce results like this.  But no! My hair was oh so soft, and definitely the promised “touchable”, if a tiny bit stiff.  I even ran my fingers through it, and the definition stayed. The smell had also dissipated by now (about an hour later). Yay!

The finish also bears mentioning.  It is quite shiny.  But not at all greasy-looking; more of a natural, I-just-deep-conditioned-my-hair look rather than a silicone shine spray patent leather shine.  Very nice.

And the lasting power?  All day.  That’s from 8 am to 10 pm.  Okay, by about 6 pm, my hair had lost a bit of it’s luster, and maybe shifted a bit.  But even 10 hours’ wear from this is quite remarkable.

And I did test it: it most certainly brushed out.  I tried it a few days later without any product underneath (which is actually wonderful.  You know how some hairsprays only seem to work with a binding product underneath? Not this one; gives a wonderful luster and hold to natural hair), waited for it to set for a few hours, and then ran a brush through it a few times, and lo and behold, my locks fell free, and with no sticky, stiff, or coated feeling left! Fantastic!

I now also own the Extra Strong Hold with UV Filter for Color-Treated Hair version, which I actually prefer, as I find the extra hold welcome as we enter the sticky-hot summer months, and the added sun exposure which means that the UV protection is always welcome.  However, I’ll definitely keep the Strong Hold on hand for days when I’m simply running out for a few hours or want a very natural, minimalist look.

I picked each of these up at CVS for $14.99, which may be outrageous for some, but this guy is more than happy to shell that out to avoid the crunchy, stiffness or the lackluster holding power of more inexpensive sprays, not to mention the added shine and natural feel that these give.

One note: for about the first hour after application, hair will feel QUITE stiff, though still look natural.  This stuff just needs to settle in before it acquires that touchable softness every fashion guru raves about.


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