The conditioner is thicker, and that’s probably why the container stands on its head, utilizing gravity and requiring a two-hand approach to the flip-top dispenser. The product, which is the same color as the shampoo, comes out as less rigid version of the Silly String we all love to use – ahem, used to love to use – in Halloween misadventures. The aromatics are similar to those of the shampoo, but more neutral. Make sure to leave it in a few minutes.
Most notable about the combined effect of the shampoo and conditioner is that you exit the shower with a bit of a feeling that the product is not entirely rinsed out. Not in a bad way – think reinforced strands, not Monica Lewinsky’s dress (if you’re old enough to know who she even is). We’re guessing this phenomenon is the result of the strengthening and thickening aspects of Invati’s components.
The Scalp Revitalizer is the only one of the three amigos that requires extra space in your medicine cabinet. And it means taking an extra grooming step, spraying a recommended 8 shots (we find that 5 are fine) to each side of the head twice daily (we say once with a nod to economizing), and then working the product in. But the extra space needed is modest, and the extra step takes only about 15 seconds, and fits nicely between shower and hair styling. As regards to styling, the Scalp Revitalizer works equally well setting the stage for mousse applied to damp hair, or for grooming clay applied to dry hair. One small pet peeve about the container is that toward the end of the bottle, the pump can get jammed, causing misfires. Solution: unscrew the cap and rinse out the pump mechanism now and then.
The very best thing about Invati is that it seems to work. And we’re not talking about Aveda’s claim that proper usage reduces hair loss by 33%. We’re talking about our own observations and those of others. So, our evidence is entirely anecdotal, but compelling nonetheless. The best endorsement came during a family/friends gathering, where several attendees out of touch since pre-Invati days lavished the locks with compliments.
Saving the worst for last, let’s talk about how much man-cash using Invati will set you back. The Exfoliating Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner each cost $27 for 6.7 oz; the Scalp Revitalizer runs $60 for 5 oz. And there seems to be no such thing as a sale in Aveda-land. So, prepare to gravitate more than you might want toward the pricing zone of products bought during spring break in Amsterdam or Denver, if you want to experience an Invati high.
The irony is not lost on us that trying to fight the hairline recession may set you back in your battle against the lingering effects of the economic recession. This choice between thicker hair and a thicker wallet is the main downside of the Invati line – and arguably of any Aveda purchase. But, as women have known for far longer than we men-come-lately, sometimes it hurts to be beautiful. And you can at least take a free test drive with samples of all three products. (See http://invati.aveda.com/ for details on that promotion.)
To sum up, the two pro’s of the Invati product line are that they seem to work well, and that they fit into your grooming routine while adding little or nothing in the way of extra time or steps. The con is the cost.