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Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shusu Sleek Collection — Nice and Smooth

 

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 The seeds of the Nigella Sativa (black cumin) plant, which is believed to have originated in the Middle East, have long  been heralded for their medicinal, culinary, aromatic, and therapeutic benefit. When King Tutankhamen’s tomb was unearthed, archaeologists discovered a notable amount of black cumin buried with his remains, which probably indicates that the Egyptian pharaoh deemed the herb so precious that he wanted it to travel with him into his next life. The Prophet Muhammad even wrote in regards to the plant’s black seeds, “Shooneez is cure for all ailments except death.”  To this day, black cumin seeds are boiled and used in teas to cure stomach ailments.

As it turns out, black cumin can also aid in restoring coarse, damaged and unruly hair to a silkier, smoother state. The new Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shusu Sleek collection features three products — the Shusu Sleek Smoothing Shampoo, Shusu Sleek Smoothing Conditioner, and Shusu Sleek Treatment — aimed at accomplishing precisely this feat. All of the products contain black cumin oil, which contains over 100 elements, ranging from vitamins A, C, E, B12, B6, and K, to minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium, and fatty acids like omegas 3,6 and 9. Given its high concentration of antioxidants and nutrients, black cumin oil helps to protect hair from free radicals, while the fatty acids in its composition smooth and soften the hair cuticle. When combined with jasmine oil (which adds luster to tresses), musk rose oil (which helps to prevent oxidation and keeps your color looking vibrant), and camellia oil (a lipid-rich moisturizing agent), black cumin oil restores vivacity to hair, while also making it softer to the touch.

After using this product line for a few months, I’ve noticed my hair feels silkier. In fact, other people commented on my hair’s softness — a noteworthy occurrence given its rarity.  During a recent event, I met hair accessory designer Colette Malouf, and she styled my hair using some of her gorgeous headbands, hair pins, and barrettes. As she twisted, fluffed, and finger combed my hair, she complimented me on its velvety feel. At that point, I felt like, if I lived in Egyptian times, I’d pull a King Tut and be buried with a lifetime supply of Shusu Sleek products.

Not only has the texture of my hair improved, but the amount of flyaways and frizz have lessened, so that I can wear my hair straight or curly and keep the look controlled and polished. I’m particularly fond of the Shusu Sleek Treatment since it leaves hair feeling as soft as rose petals.

And here’s yet another reason to fall in love: the products smell so good (a mix of gardenia with green leaves and spicy, earthy notes) that, if the scent were bottled and sold as an eau de toilette, I’d probably purchase it. The fragrance is feminine but exotic, as if the spices used to season an Arabic entree were wafting through the air and mixing with the freshness of the cypress and elm trees in a Middle Eastern garden. If you lay your head on someone’s shoulder, then, your hair alone will titillate their senses, so that you’ll literally smell exquisite from head to toe.

 

 

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shusu Sleek Smoothing Shampoo, $45; Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shusu Sleek Smoothing Conditioner, $55; and Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shusu Sleek Smoothing Treatment, $65. Available at ShuUemuraArtofHair-USA.com

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