Product Review: Tres Flores Brilliantine (Tonic)

Ah… Tonics… Who would’ve thunk it, eh?

Hair tonics are probably some of the most misunderstood products known to man. Why? Because many cats have no idea how to fuckin’ use this shit! Hell, I didn’t until I picked up a bottle! 

Of course there are many classic branded hair tonics out there, but why not start with something that’s easily found? And being surrounded by a whole lot of Hispanics, what easier tonic to find at every store, none than Tres Flores Brilliantine!

Every time I’ve spotted some Tres Flores, it’s been tough deciding whether or not it’s worth picking up. Why? Because for whatever reason, the price for this stuff jumps as soon as you head to the store down the block. I’ve seen this thing anywhere from $3 to $8. So if you see it for as low as $3, why not?

It comes in a little glass bottle with a green push down top. Not too many tonics come in a classic glass bottle, so that’s a good enough reason for me to pick it up. Can’t go wrong with classic bottling!

You gotta be careful when you open this stuff. It’s push-down top is kind of difficult to use, so the glass bottle may slip out of your hand. Not something you’d want to fall on your foot, that’s for sure. As soon as you open it, you get the infamous Tres Flores Brilliantine scent. Sort of like Jasmine. If you’re Hispanic, you know this scent quite well. Hey, I’m not stereotyping, it’s a damn fact!

The bottle opening is small, so you shouldn’t be using more than what you tap into your palms.

Consistency is like a very light, greasy baby oil. I mean, really light! Don’t expect this stuff to give you a heightened pompadour. But do expect a real greasy look and mess! It leaves your hair greasy to the touch, and I mean, TO THE TOUCH! You’ll touch your hair an hour after, and it’ll transfer from your hair to your hands, just like that. So if you don’t like greasy pillows, make sure you either wash your hair before you sleep or stay away!

Everyone has their methods of applying tonics, usually from what they’ve learned from their fathers. But there are many ways you can do it. You can put it onto a towel, then pat it onto your dampened hair, directly tap it into your palms and run it through your hair, or even apply it to your bed head hair the next day, to sort of reset everything, without having to hop into the shower. Whatever your method may be, is up to you. I did both patting it into a towel and on top of my head, as well as directly applying from my palms to my hair.

Along with many ways of applying this stuff, there’s many ways to use it too.

You can use it as a base coat to give you hair a stiff, starch like feeling. Which to my surprise, actually kept my wavy-hair slightly straightened. Perfect as a base coat for a medium pomade, which usually makes my hair waves, wavy. You can also use it as a top coat for a heavy pomade, giving it a real good sheen.

As a standalone product, it works well if you’re not going for height. Since it’s not a thick product, it won’t melt in the sun. But since it isn’t thick, your hair will blow in the wind. It’s got it’s pros and cons, as does every hair product out there.

But, it doesn’t do a bad job if you’re going for something with a lower profile, such as this:

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by hair tonics. I had originally thought that it would make my hair wavy, and give me a 1920s fingerwave look, which I’ve gotten from almost every light pomade I’ve tried. But, it didn’t! Definitely a surprise for me and a good one. I’ll be looking into more tonics for the future. But can’t go wrong with the classic Tres Flores!

Until the next time folks.

Stay Greasy!


10 responses to “Product Review: Tres Flores Brilliantine (Tonic)

  1. Equality 7-2521

    Nice, I always had it in my mind that hair tonics were quacky hair products from yore to help grow hair or something.

  2. Equality 7-2521


  3. it only works with thin hair because my hair is thick and its pointless but i use it as on over coat on some XXtra cock grease and it looks ggggooooooooooooooddddddddddddddddd

  4. I just started using Jeris Hair Tonic last month and it is really nice to put on after a shower, before pomade, or to help wake up your day old doo and un-gunk a thick layer of grease. It feels great on the scalp and also helps the greasy pomades to wash out easier. Great stuff!!!

    • Mike,

      I just picked up a bottle of Jeris recently. Haven’t been able to put it to use, but a lot of people are liking it both before and after pomade. Probably one of the more popular tonics around, and with good reason!

      – Jan

  5. I was browsing the Social Distortion merch page and saw this. Guess what’s on my Christmas list!

  6. What kind of pomade would go great with this just to give it a little hold water based or petroleum?

    • Either or. Since it’s a tonic, it’ll just add shine and scent to whatever product. But, depending on how much you use, it can potentially dilute a water-soluble pomade, causing you to lose the hold.

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