For the past couple of years, Virtue has been a best-kept secret among beauty insiders and celebrities. Thanks to the brand’s Creative Director, Adir Abergel (who just so happens to tend to the hair of Charlize Theron, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone) and brand ambassador, Nicola Clarke (who’s responsible for Cate Blanchett’s signature platinum colour and recently took Dua Lipa from a deep chocolate to a honeyed blonde), Virtue’s shampoos and stylers are in the bathrooms of some of Hollywood’s most elite.
Its USP? All of Virtue’s products contain Alpha Keratin 60ku – the first and only keratin protein in haircare to be derived from (ethically sourced) human hair. It means the protein is almost identical to the keratin made in our own hair, so our strands welcome it as its own. This enables it to bind itself to areas of damage, filling them for stronger, healthier looking hair. Effectively, it can help to repair damage that’s already been done through styling, heating and colouring.
Of course it couldn’t stay secret for long. Instead, it’s going stratospheric. In fact, Cult Beauty recently named “virtue hair care” as the most popular hair care search time on its site. Which means if you haven’t stocked up yet, you’d better join the queue.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I favour as little faff as possible when it comes to doing my hair. I’m not great at styling. Previous encounters with mousses, texturisers and volumising sprays have left my hair matted, limp and sticky. It’s (quite) possible that I’ve been using them wrong – applying too much or too little – but if a product is not instinctive, quick and effective then, thank you, but, next. The problem is, I really could do with a bit of help, since my long fine hair lacks volume and texture, and I really could do with some of that.
I shampooed my hair as usual and – because I’ve just got back from an end-of-summer holiday and my hair is fried – I went off piste by adding Virtue’s Restorative Treatment Mask, £28, to my ends instead of a conditioner. I could happily do a full review of the cult mask, but suffice to say, the countless reviewers on Cult Beauty saying they can’t go without it, aren’t wrong.
Normally this is the death knell for my hair. I generally have two options: moisturised (but so heavy it’s round my ankles) or undernourished (slightly more bouncy, but hideously dried out), so masks are usually a bit of a trade-off for me.
I don’t know whether it was the fact that the mask (which we’re not here to talk about) is lightweight in hair, despite feeling thick and smelling like creme caramel in the pot, or that the 6-in-1 styler (which we are here to talk about) has such oomf, it can counter any drag from heavier products, but once dry, my hair was practically buoyant.
The instructions on the styler are simple, “dispense a quarter size amount into hands. Pull through damp hair from root to mid-shaft, and down to ends”. I wasn’t keen on the idea of adding product to my roots (due to aforementioned stickiness/limpness), but I did it nonetheless. Then blow-dried. And that was it.