There's pretty much nothing I won't do, try, or buy as part of my lifetime quest for ever-more-perfect hair. When it comes to my hair, I'm picky about the method in which I wash it, the water I use to rinse it, the tools I pick to brush it, and the towels I choose to dry it. I'm also constantly on the lookout for ways to amp up the shine, so when I heard about people hilariously rinsing their hair with fresh champagne in order to amp up the shimmer and enhance highlights, I was alllllllll over it.
A champagne rinse allegedly boosts highlights, plumps up the hair strands, and promotes shine. Not shockingly, I was pretty dubious of these claims before I even popped a bottle. But before we go any further, let's get real. I did NOT waste a bottle of proper French champagne on this experiment -- I used a$14.99 bottle of American "sparkling wine." (Because, as you klassy kittens know, sparkling wine can only be called champagne if it's from the Champagne region of France, and the xoJane stunt budget maxes out at about $20.00 a pop.)
The basic instructions for the champagne rinse are:
1. Wash hair. (I also ran a light conditioner through my ends, because otherwise they are ratty as hell. Also, it seems that pouring alcohol on your hair is kind of...drying?)
2. Carefully comb fresh (not flat!) champagne through hair. (I used a slightly different technique and just dumped the contents of the bottle on top of my head.)
3. Let sit for 15 minutes or so. (I put my hair up in a clip, tossed a towel around my neck to catch drips, applied a face mask, and played Bejeweled in the bathroom during this time. )
4. Rinse and style as usual. (I rinsed my hair only very lightly, as it seemed you'd need some of the champagne to stay in the hair to see results?)
There is some conflicting information out there about whether or not you should dilute the champagne with a bit of hot water before you douse yourself with it. I chose not to, as I like to live my life 100 proof, but I instantly realized that someone had smartly suggested doing so because HOLY CRAP IT WAS ICE COLD. I didn't even consider that I was dumping a bottle of champagne straight out of the fridge onto my head until it was flowing and bubbling into my eyes, ears, and nose. Hahaha, watch this idiot:
I'm roughly ten minutes into 2015 right now, so let's just go ahead and consider this in the running for "not my most attractive moment of the year."
If you chose to try this at home, I'd suggest pouring yourself a healthy-sized glass, placing it in a bathtub cocktail holder to sip on while you marinate with the champagne on your head, then diluting what's left in the bottle with some hot water to take the edge off the cold. But if you're rolling in that new year's cash, you could just stroll into the Oscar Blandi Salon in NYC and have it done by the pros -- as Micaela English, editor at Town & Country Mag did. (Both Jane and Emily go to Kyle White, who executed the treatments. )
Here's the answer to that $14.99 question you're all asking: Did it work?
I say...maybe it did? My hair was a little bit swishier and shinier after dousing it with champagne, but that could be due to the fact that I had no choice but to blow-dry my hair completely upon rinsing, as I was so cold that my teeth were chattering. (I dunno about you, but my hair always looks way glossier when I blow-dry it.) The champagne didn't make my hair sticky, and it also didn't stink as much as I thought it would. Perhaps it was the bubbles talking (I did down a glass right before I doused myself with the rest of it), but I really do think my hair was a wee bit softer and fluffier afterward.
Here are some of the various "scientific" mumbo-jumbo reasons people claim the champagne rinse is beneficial to your hair:
"Champagne is extremely high in antioxidants due to the grape seed extract which packs more vitamin C and E than your average toning and anti-aging products…protecting the hair's vital collagen and elastin from environmental free radicals and oxidative stress."
Oh! Of course! Do tell me more...
"Fractionation is a separation process in which a certain quantity of a mixture (gas, solid, liquid, suspension or isotope) is divided, during a phase transition, up in a number of smaller quantities (fractions) in which the composition varies according to a gradient. In other words: the creation of carbon dioxide bubbles during a PH change on the surface of the hair and scalp allows for the removal (fractionation) of deposits and signatures left behind from foreign bodies."
If you understood one word of any of that, I'd like to raise this XL champagne glass in your honor:
Happy 2015, mon chéri amour!
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison