Hotel bathrooms are rarely stocked with impressive beauty amenities. There are exceptions, of course — money plus good fortune can equal Le Labo or Aesop — but by and large, the cotton swabs are flimsy, the lotions are watery, and the shampoos leave your hair feeling like straw.
Still, I figure it's easier to deal with subpar soap for a few days than to transform myself into someone who has the foresight to pack the travel-sized toiletries of my choosing.
This to say, I went on a recent trip to Cannes fully expecting bad hair, partly because of hotel shampoo, partly because I don't dare risk blowing a fuse by plugging my beloved Beachwaver in overseas. I had accepted ponytails as my only option before I even walked into the room.
So, you know what comes next, right? Aromatherapy Associates, an under-the-radar brand whose skin care I love, but whose hair care I didn't even know existed, was waiting for me in the shower. The scent alone — a blend of essential oils, like ylang ylang (also a natural anti-depressant, which everyone could use post-plane), geranium, and patchouli — would have been enough to win me over, but that wasn't something I even had to consider. Because when my typically puffy, wavy hair dried — air-dried, nonetheless — it was without a doubt the silkiest and shiniest and most kink-free it's ever been in my entire life. I hadn't known it was possible for hair to feel that soft and smell that good.
I called housekeeping on my last day and begged for more samples to tide me over. Minutes later, someone was knocking on my door with five shampoos and five conditioners for my carry-on. I've got the full sizes now — which come in huge pump bottles — that are almost worth the extra baggage fee.
Aromatherapy Associates Shampoo and Conditioner, $29 each, available at Aromatherapy Associates.
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