Why have I tested the NouNou Hair Mask?
Have you ever watched a TV show that everyone raves about and hated it? Maybe you’ve listened to a critically acclaimed band, and you can’t stand them? This is how I feel with the Davines NouNou hair mask.
Everyone loves the NouNou Hair Mask, but it absolutely did not work for me. In fact, I actually think that it damaged the texture of my hair for the next week.
What is it?
NOUNOU Nourishing Repair Mask claims to be an “SOS for dry, damaged and distressed tresses – and is especially replenishing for strands that have been traumatised by colour- of chemical-treatments.” This definitely applies to me, and so I have no idea what went wrong.
Davines is well-regarded family company run by the Bollati family in Italy. Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and plenty of other celebrities use their products. So, while I want to say that this is a terrible product, I cannot do so in good faith.
After all, so many people love the NouNou Hair Mask. I find myself thinking, ‘it must be just me!’ That said, I can only write this review from my own experience, and I have to say that I had a terrible experience.
After one use, I decided that I needed to give it another try. Same experience. This is not the product for me. But so many others love it, so maybe you should try it?
Texture And Application
Davines recommends that you apply just a small amount towel dried hair, and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, you comb the mask through your hair. They recommend that if you have severely damaged hair, you should wrap it in cling wrap and have a soak in a hot bath.
They claim that the extra heat “will activate the mask to sink deep into the hair shaft for extra repair.” Once I reached into the tub, I noticed that the texture was very lovely. It was slick and creamy, and a nice caramel colour. I had high hopes! I used approximately one third of the tub (25 mL).
Once I applied the NouNou Hair Mask to my freshly shampooed and towel dried hair, I could instantly feel that it was going awry. It felt dry and straw like right away. Undeterred, I combed it through and wrapped my hair in a shower cap (even though it is not very damaged).
I soaked in the bath, and then took a shower to rinse the mask out. My hair felt terrible. It felt so straw-like and tangled that I had to use another conditioner afterwards. My hair felt terrible for another week. I have no idea what went wrong.
Purchase Experience And Price
I purchased a 75 mL tub of Davines Essential Haircare NOUNOU Hair Mask from an independent seller on Amazon.co.uk (Alda Beauty). It was £14.89 (including free shipping). It arrived quickly, and was packaged well. Full marks for the seller.
This is prohibitively expensive for most people, and I do not think that it lives up to its cost. If you are conservative with your use, you can get 3 uses from this tub. That amounts to nearly 5 quid for each use – and I had to use conditioner on top. Definitely not a good value.
We all know that our hair needs moisture and hydration to stay healthy. This is why I had high hopes for this mask! It is packed with olive butter, jojoba oil, cherry oil and rhizobian gum. It should absolutely be softening and add shine, but this did not happen for me.
- Simmondsiachiness (Jojoba) Seed Oil –
Jojoba is a classic hair product ingredient derived from a desert shrub called Simmondsia chinensis. It is packed with wax esters and fatty acids and is known as an excellent natural conditioner.
- Olea Europae (Olive) Fruit Oil/Butter-
Like jojoba oil above, olive oil is similarly popular in hair products. Derived from the olive fruit, it is one of the most moisturizing oils on the planet. You can apply olive oil directly to your hair and skin.
- Glycerin –
Glycerin is a humectant, an ingredient that helps to draw in moisture. In hair care, it works to attract and maintain your hair’s moisture and keep it nurtured and healthy.
- Cherry Oil –
Used as a carrier oil, cherry seed oil is perfect for skin and hair care. It is rich and hydrating and includes valuable fatty acids. Cherry oil is packed with natural antioxidants, alpha, delta and gamma tocopherols and vitamins A & E.
- Rhizobian Gum –
Also known as Xanthan gum, this is known to add a lot of natural body to hair. It is popular in shampoo and conditioners to increase the feel of volume and thickness.
Full Ingredients List:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzotrizoyl Dodecyl P-Cresol, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Simmondsiachiness (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Olea Europae (Olive) Fruit Oil, Amodimethicone, Dicapryl Ether, Lauryl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Octadecyl Di-T-Butyl-4-Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Tocopherol, Solanium Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 14700.Red 4, CI61570/Green 5.
Health Hazard Scores
As I always do, I ran this product through the EWG (Environmental Working Group’s) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. While numerous Davines NouNou products were listed, this one was not. I chose to run each ingredient through the database individually.
This is where things got confusing! While the hair mask was not present, the Davines NouNou Shampoo was listed. It received an overall rating of 8 on the health hazard chart (out of 10).
This message popped up: “Multiple, additive exposure sources. Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Miscellaneous, Occupational hazards. Persistence and bioaccumulation.”
That said, when I looked at the ingredients of the hair mask (which are very similar to the shampoo) one by one, I could not see a problem. The only three that flagged anything above a 3 hazard score are below:
These are all common ingredients in skin and hair care. I am not convinced that they are as dangerous as the EWG makes them out to be. So what is the discrepancy? It must be the surfactants in the shampoo (foaming agents) that are not in the mask. Strange. It just goes to show you that you should always check the ingredients one by one if you’re concerned about safety.
Packaging And Tub
I do not like this packaging at all. The tub seems cheap, and it was almost impossible to get the lid to snap back on properly. It is similar to a hummus container! For such an expensive product, I am not sure why the container is so flimsy.
I do like the branding – despite the cheap look of the plastic tub itself, I like the text and font. It is minimalist and looks sophisticated.
I really dislike products that force me to reach my hand inside. Even if you wash your hands before use, you are still introducing bacteria to the container. Over time, this can make some products really grotty. That said, this is really only a 2 or 3 use tub, so I imagine that most people will not run into this problem.
As you can clearly see from my rant above, I did not like the NouNou Hair Mask. In fact, I think it is the worst ‘luxury’ hair product that I have ever used. It left my hair feeling like straw, and it somehow made it tangled (even though I combed it though).
Perhaps I had a very unique experience – as I said above, a lot of people really love the NouNou Hair Mask. I just cannot put my weight behind this product. While I think some people will still want to give this a try (based on celebrity endorsements), I don’t recommend that you do.
Other hair masks I really like include the ones from Lush (H’suan Wen Hua) and the elasticizer from Philip Kingsley. They are way more affordable and make my hair shiny, glossy and soft. Good luck!