What The Hell Is Helichrysum And Why Do You Want It In Your Hair?

Theorie’s latest products rely on a funkily named flower to bring your hair back from the edge of despair.
Publish date:
July 1, 2014
hair, hair ingredients, Helichrysum, natural products, Theorie

One of my biggest beauty pet peeves is when someone who prefers natural products says something like, “I don’t want to use anything with ingredients I can’t pronounce.”

Seriously? Because last I checked, natural ingredients are usually listed on products by their Latin binomial, and those polysyllabic tongue-twisters can seem downright scary to say. For example, Vaccinium oxycoccos. Sounds kinda like prophylactic painkiller, right? Yeah, no, it’s a cranberry.

One natural ingredient that’s pretty intimidating to read aloud even in its non-binomial form is helichrysum. I’ve been noticing different species of this flower family popping up in skincare and fragrances more and more, thanks to its purported healing, emollient, and pleasant-smelling properties. Most recently, I’ve seen it as the star of Theorie’s new helichrysum-centric hair products.

I was reluctant to give this collection a try at first, and not because of its sesquipedalian key ingredient. (The specific species of helichrysum in these formulas is Helichrysum stoechas, which--dead serious--is also known as Shrubby Everlasting. Does that sound like an adorable, not-at-all-scary cartoon forest nymph or what?) Mostly, I was worried that it wouldn’t be compatible with my recently keratin-treated hair.

Luckily, they left out sodium chloride, which means it’s not going to speed up the demise of the keratin treatment’s effects. In fact, the formulas I tried--Helichrysum Nourishing Shampoo, Helichrysum Nourishing Conditioner and Helichrysum Nourishing Mask--are made to rejuvenate and moisturize damaged, salon-treatment-abused and otherwise desecrated hair.

See, in addition to adorable nicknames like Shrubby Everlasting (and Sticky Everlasting, and Hottentot's Tea, and Polecat Strawflower, which I’m pretty sure is a Mark Twain character), helichrysum is also, and most widely, known as Immortelle. This is because it’s considered deeply restorative. Theorie even promises, “After first use, hair is strengthened, renewed, and luxurious.”

So, was it?

I have no scientific way of knowing if my hair is strengthened or renewed, but it definitely looks and feels luxurious. Plus, it held onto just enough of the fresh floral scent of the products that it makes for a really pleasant olfactory experience when a breeze plasters my hair to my lip gloss.

I’ll definitely be using every last drop of these products and singing the praises of helichrysum… as soon as I feel confident saying it out loud.

Have you used a product containing helichrysum? What other natural ingredients have worked wonders on your hair?