22 July 2014

Sample Stash #9: Shampoo/Conditioner

I knew I'd accumulated a lot of samples recently, but it wasn't until I was able to scrounge up enough shampoo and conditioner packets to last me the entire three weeks it took for my Acure replenishment to arrive, that I realized just how out of control this sample situation has gotten.  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful I had these, but it does makes me wonder just how long I could manage off my sample box alone!  (A challenge for another time, perhaps?)

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?
 
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16 comments:

  1. I am trying to find an all-natural replacement for my fav not all natural shampoo: Lush's Big Shampoo. It is the only shampoo I have found that gives me tons of volume without weighing down my hair. I have straight hair, but it is super thick. Thick enough that every single hair dresser I have ever gone to always comments... and then proceeds to thin it out. I am working my way through a bottle of Yarok's conditioner and shampoo right now - which are good for summer - but are horrible for winter (funny how that happens). I was going to give Rahua a try (after reading tons of hype) but think i shall pass now. I could really use some suggestions for my winter hair!

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    1. Shampoo is tough! I know the Rahua works for a lot of people, so you never know. Maybe you can track down a sample? I got mine in a Fresh Faced order. I haven't tried the Lush, but my best shampoo recommendation is still Acure's Argan + Argan Stem Cell. I finally went back to it after 6months of using other things and it was such a relief, haha :) You have to order it from the US, but I generally get it from iherb, where shipping is only $4, so it's still cheaper than higher end options like Yarok. Also was really impressed with the John Masters Honey & Hibiscus - pretty creamy and hydrating, so might work really well for winter (if you're up for more of a splurge!)

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  2. I have a sample of a Rahua conditioner and I have to say it has not blown me away, it's not horrid but no better than my favourite Desert Essence. I haven't tried Green People haircare but I'm not interested in the conditioner from your mini review :)

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    1. haha just spotted my typo *now* doh!

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    2. I remember seeing your tweets about the Rahua. Glad I'm not the only one didn't really see what all the hype is about! I was sorta surprised by how well I got on with the Green People as other samples I've tried from them (mainly skincare) haven't especially impressed me. They do have a few different ones to suit other hair types as well :)

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  3. I've always been interested in JM hair care too, but never took the plunge as I couldn't find a lot of reviews on them? I also wasn't sure exactly which ones they offer are good for fine hair. Kudos to you for testing out so many samples, Caitie! xo

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    1. Thanks Ru! I was terrified of bad hair days in the beginning (so silly the things we stress about, eh?), but once I got over that, it wasn't so bad:) When I was working in a health food store that sold JM, the rep told us that the Lavender Rosemary shampoo + either detangler was good for thinner hair, but I know they've come out with a few newer products since then, so not sure if they'd still be the best options...

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  4. Funny, you don't like the smell of palo santo & I hate the smell of vetiver. Nice stash you had there. I'm accumulating quite a bit too so I think I'll do another giveaway after this one with Lavina is over.

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    1. Smells are so personal, it's true. Vetiver isn't my favorite, but I don't mind it either. I find it adds a nice depth to blends sometime :)

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  5. Wooow..so many sample packs! Congrats on branching out a bit, at least now you have a better idea of what's out there and suited for your hair. JM has just come out with some new shampoos/conditioners. I picked up the one for scalp, so far I'm really impressed!

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    1. Thanks! Definitely some interesting new releases from JM lately. Have you seen the color-enhancing conditioners? On the one hand, they seem totally gimmicky - how much difference can they actually make? - but at the same time, I really want to try the brunette one. I'm such an easy sell sometimes, haha :)

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    2. Haha I know exactly what you mean. You know they probably don't work but you want to try it anyway, just in case the power of marketing :)

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  6. I am like you when it comes to hair, mostly try something else if I have samples, but rarely look to switch it up on purpose. I liked rahua shampoo but it took two weeks to get there, I had a travel set if I only used the sachet sample I would have been disappointed too. But if you have a good thing going with acure no point in messing with it ;)

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    1. Hmm, interesting. I've never thought about shampoo as something that can take a couple weeks to warm up to, but anything's possible! The smell of the Rahua wasn't for me anyways, so I'm glad all I had was a sachet :)

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  7. I love that you're trying to use up all of your samples! I need to start going through mine as well. I also feel the same way about Rahua as you, so much hype for a mediocre shampoo/conditioner!

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    1. Thanks Amber! It's nice to be able to see some progress on the sample front :) Apparently, more people than I knew weren't wow-ed by the Rahua. Nice to know it's not just me!

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