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Beauty review – new herbal essences shampoo – drama clean and more

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Herbal Essences has restaged their popular hair care line. Restage is a bit of an understatement – it’s more like they’ve completely revamped the brand with new packaging, color, and fragrances. But what about the formulas? Are the new Herbal Essences products really different than the old ones? For starters let’s take a peak at their shampoos, shall we?

As a reference, take a look at the ingredients in the “old” Herbal Essences shampoo:

“Old” Normal shampoo:

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Fragrance, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium Xylene Sulfonate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 5, Orange 4, Ext Violet 2

There’s too much information here, so let’s boil this formula down to the active ingredients – the ones that actually do something to you hair that you can feel. That means we’ll eliminate botanical extracts that don’t do anything, fragrance which smells good but doesn’t do anything, preservatives, etc etc.

Now it looks like this:

Cleansing Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Conditioning ingredients

PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Cocamide MEA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate

Now, let’s look at the new versions in the same way. Three of the shampoos are essentially the same:

Drama Clean – refreshing shampoo

Cleansing Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA

Conditoning Ingredients

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate

Color Me Happy – for Color treated Hair

Cleansing Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA

Conditoning Ingredients

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate

Totally Twisted – curls and waves shampoo

Cleansing Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA

Conditoning Ingredients

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate

All three of these shampoos are the same except for the removal of the PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, which doesn’t add much conditioning anyway. Of course they changed the extracts, color and fragrance too but the products will all perform about the same. If you want to know more about curling shampoos, read our previous post.

Here’s another one that’s just a little bit different:

Degunkify – tingling deep cleaning shampoo

Cleansing Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA

Conditoning Ingredients

None

Since this is a deep cleaning product, they took out the conditioning ingredients. Plus they threw in some menthol for a scalp tingling effect. Otherwise it’s the same.

This next one is a little different:

Body Envy – volumizing shampoo

Cleansing Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, PPG-2 hydroxyethyl coco/isostearamide

Conditioning ingredients

Polyquaternium-10

The foam on this one will feel a little different and there’s less conditioning. Makes sense for the volume product.

Now let’s look at the last three:

Dangerously Straight – pin straight shampoo

Cleansing Ingredients

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA

Conditioning Ingredients

Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-10

Hello Hydration moisturizing shampoo:

Cleansing Ingredients

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA

Conditioning Ingredients

Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-10

Break’s Over – strenghthening shampoo:

Cleansing Ingredients

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA,

Conditioning Ingredients

Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-10 (plust they Plus they threw in some pearl powder and a suspending agent to give it a sparkly appearance but it doesn’t really make it perform any differently.)

These are all conditioning shampoos, very much different than the others. And very different than the old Herbal Essences. But these shampoos are very similar to another product, Pantene’s Smooth and Sleek!

Pantene Smooth and Sleek:

Cleansing Ingredients

Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide MEA

Conditioning Ingredients

Glycol Distearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone,

This similarity is not surprising, in fact, we’d expect it because Herbal Essences and Pantene are both owned by P&G. It’s very common for large companies to use their best formula technology across several brands.

The Beauty Brains Bottom Line:

Herbal Essences has done an interesting job of restaging their brand but they didn’t make any revolutionary changes to their shampoo formulas. What does this mean? If you liked the the way the old Herbal Essences shampoo worked and you like the new fragrances, then you will like this new product just fine. But if you didn’t like the way it left your hair feeling before, then don’t expect this new version to do anything different. But even if you don’t like the way the products work you should take a look at them on the shelves, the labels are interesting to read and the fragrances are fun to smell. Leave a comment and let us know if you want us to review the conditioners and styling products too.

PS “Are You A Beauty” did a nice post on the new line.

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