I'm not always the bravest when it comes to trying new haircare products, so this was also a good nudge for me to try some new things and get a look at what's out there. Keep reading to see what samples I had kicking around and my first impressions of each.
Seaweed Bath Co. Unscented Argan Shampoo + Citrus Argan Conditioner
So-so. The shampoo was pretty thick and was a little difficult to work through the hair at first. It produced a decent lather, but left my hair feeling a bit too squeaky clean when I rinsed it out. The citrus conditioner smelled great, but it didn't give enough moisture to my hair. When all was said and done, my curls were left looser and frizzier than I'd like.
Bröö Frizzy to Sleek Shampoo + Conditioner
Mostly nice! The beer in Bröö's products has always seemed a little kitschy to me, but the shampoo lathered well and wasn't drying at all. From the feel, I thought the conditioner would be too light, but it worked well also. The duo also smells like you're walking by a Cinnabon - a mix of cinnamon, sugar and yeast (maybe from the beer?) It's a strong scent and it hung around for two more washes before it was completely gone, so bear that in mind if you're sensitive to smells. Unfortunately, I got a massive pimple right on my hairline the same day I tried these, so something in them obviously didn't suit.
Himalaya Rejuvenating Shampoo + Amla & Holy Basil Conditioner
Not impressed. The shampoo smelled fresh and minty and it worked fine, although it had a funny, jelly-like consistency. The conditioner was, quite frankly, horrible. It felt like I hadn't used anything and I had to use something else immediately after. I was also not a fan of how the conditioner smelled.
Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Shampoo + Conditioner
I liked this one, but I'm not sure it would work for me on an every-wash basis. I did a double wash with the shampoo and while my hair felt okay after the first wash, after the second, it was pretty dry and straw-like. It removed some buildup that I'd been struggling to get rid of since my 30-Day #WeledaHairDare though, so that was great. The conditioner was nice enough, but nothing spectacular. Also worth mentioning is that the lavender scent of both products was a win. It smelled like real lavender, not the perfumey imitations that you sometimes get, even in natural products. I like to keep a more clarifying shampoo on hand for occasional use and I think I'll be picking this up - or another of Avalon's shampoos - for that purpose.
Rahua Original Shampoo + Conditioner
A total letdown! Rahua has gotten a lot of hype, but neither product especially impressed me, and they both smelled heavily of palo santo. Palo santo is often described as a smokey/woodsy scent similar to sandalwood or cedar, but to me it always has notes of burnt rubber as well. Sadly, the smell lingered and was strong enough to give me a headache. I ended up taking a second shower within a couple hours just to wash it out!
Green People Intensive Repair Conditioner
I only tried the conditioner here, but it was lovely. The scent is pretty flowery, but not offensive - even to a non-floral lover like me - and it left my hair feeling very soft and my curls well defined. Green People isn't the easiest to get one's hands on here, but I'd consider buying it in the future.
John Masters Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructing Shampoo + Hair Reconstructor
So good! I've tried several different John Masters shampoos and conditioners and have always been underwhelmed until this set. These are really all around lovely. The shampoo is slightly creamy and the conditioner is great too. The duo is intended for dry/damaged hair and offers the perfect amount of moisture - eliminating frizz and defining my curls without weighing them down. The scent is floral and a little perfumey, but hibiscus is a scent that usually works for me, and this one was no different. The only thing stopping me from scooping these up immediately is the price. At $26 for 6 ounces of shampoo and $28 for 4 ounces of conditioner, they're John Masters' most costly range. I'm holding off for a sale!
Green Beaver Cranberry Delight Shampoo + Conditioner
There are Green Beaver products I love, but unfortunately, the shampoo and conditioner didn't make it onto that list. The shampoo was another one that I struggled to distribute through my hair, and perhaps for that reason, I didn't feel like it cleaned my scalp very well. The conditioner was a little better, but ultimately too light for my hair. The duo left my hair okay in terms of frizz, but while I initially had good curls, they ended up falling pretty flat within 2-3 hours of drying.
The Bottom Line
So many samples!! After testing all these, I'm still feeling pretty loyal to my Acure Argan + Argan Stem Cell duo, which I think says a lot about just how good those are. Out of the all these samples, the only ones I can see myself buying are the John Masters (if I'm feeling flush), the Andalou Naturals (as an occasional clarifying shampoo) and maybe the Green People conditioner (if I was already placing an order from the UK). The rest will be getting the pass from me.
Because of my curls, I think haircare is possibly one area where I'm pickier than the average consumer, so do bear that in mind.
Have you used any of these? What's your favorite shampoo/conditioner?
Contains affiliate links.