This story originally appeared on InStyle.com.
As someone with curly hair, I distinctly remember searching, nay, pleading with the universe to come out with de-volumizing products during my tween years. The lack of defining products for 3B curls was a travesty, so color me surprised to now nurture an abiding love for hair thickening oils and shampoos. Pandemic hair loss, along with showering…less, will do that to you—but thankfully, one effective French brand has dominated the niche.
Rene Furterer, the brand that brought the U.S. a uniquely effective strengthening shampoo and growth serum that heralds "super satisfying results," has another trick up its sleeve for thickening up sparse roots. The brand's Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Concentrate is a pre-shampoo treatment that "deeply cleanses and purifies the scalp," according to the brand, "helping to restore balance to the scalp while revealing naturally beautiful hair from roots to ends."
The golden elixir relies on orange peel oil, two forms of castor seed oil, soybean oil, lavender oil, vitamin E, marjoram leaf oil, and oregano leaf oil to do the job, and per dermatologists, castor oil doesn't screw around when it comes to encouraging hair growth. Dr. DiAnne Davis previously told InStyle that the ingredient's fatty acid component, ricinoleic acid, can lead to blood vessel dilation, which increases blood flow to hair follicles—so much so that brow hair experts term it a version of Rogaine.
Shop it! $50, renefurterer.com
The concentrate's delivery system is also smart. The formula is housed inside a chic glass bottle with a metal tip to massage in the oils, promoting the blood circulation that trichologists say makes for "stronger hair growth, a healthier scalp environment, and protection against any weakening of your follicles." And according to shoppers, the dual approach is so effective it makes for lifetime customers.
"My hair feels fuller and [this] gives me body-oddy-oddy" writes one person, describing how the treatment's smoothing effects got them through some rough Covid-19 hair days. Others rave about the shiny, soft, voluminous hair it imparts, its tingling sensation a tell-tale sign that bouncy, manageable hair is minutes away.
"I LOVE this product! A spa-quality hair loss helper," says another reviewer. "Not only can I feel this product stimulating my scalp, I can't get enough of the smell of real ingredients—like fresh from a garden. Seriously! This is a treat for your scalp and senses." The Concentrate earns no less than five heart-eye emoji from a hairstylist of over 40 years, who says they recommend the oil to "to just about everyone," thanks to its deeply stimulating effects. "There is nothing that comes close—I've tried them all."
Another person adds, "I'm completely addicted. After the first use, I noticed an amazing transformation in my hair. It feels like it stimulates the scalp, and then coats and repairs each strand after you've washed it out. My hair is noticeably thicker. Everyone needs this!"
Their experience is echoed by one more shopper who saw their hair immediately gain mirror-like shine, and a second who left a 340-plus word review. One highlight: "I saw the difference immediately. My hair used to fall out so much when I'd shower, my hair was receding fast. Now, I see very few hairs in the shower, and new hair is starting to grow on my receding hairline. When I put my fingers on my scalp, I feel a lot more hair. I never write reviews, but I want to help someone else having the same problem."
Such results warrant multiple reviewers sticking with the line for almost 20 years, and even trichologists at hair restoration clinics recommend it to people with chronic hair loss conditions. "OHHHHHH FEELS GOOD!" writes another fan, whose review I prefer to read in a Kool-Aid man voice. Two more add that it helps their scalps remain oil-free for longer, à la people with oily skin who use oil to counteract sebum overproduction.
"This concentrate is magic in a bottle for my scalp," writes a last person. "I was close to shaving my hair and getting a wig, but now my hair is growing healthy and strong again." Considering a bottle of the formula lasts for six to eight months, the concentrate's a safe bet if I've ever seen one. Shop it for $50 to experience the growth-stimulating properties for yourself.