I’ve been on the hunt for a new shampoo and conditioner since my Tigi Moisture Maniac stopped working out for me was discontinued and its successor sucked. I tried a Suave option out of curiosity and…nope. It is surprisingly difficult to shop for shampoo…first world problems, right?
Here’s my hair profile:
- Loooong. Mid-back, even after having four inches lopped off.
- Straight-ish. Sometimes wavy. I have no idea what the letter/number combinations mean or what I am in them, but I assume they’re really only relevant for curly-girls.
- Not colored/dyed (though I did do a DIY Hair Gloss once).
- Free of other chemical processing (no perms, relaxers, Brazilian Straightening witchcraft, etc).
- Not frequently heat-styled. I blow dry approximately every two weeks at the moment. This increases to 1-2x per week when the weather gets cold because mid-back length damp hair + cold = a big ol’ glass of NOPE. I curl or straighten even less often. I always use a heat protectant when I use heat tools. You should, too. Your hair is worth it.
- Not a ton of product usage. I have a serum I throw in when I blow-dry. I have one of the twelve thousand flavors of It’s a Ten! that I use every now and then. I use hairspray when I curl or straighten so my hair doesn’t get sassy, but nothing extreme. Basically, I’m trying to tell you I don’t personally contend with a ton of product build-up.
I like to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner although my hair isn’t particularly dry. On a whim, I grabbed a little tube (5.1 oz) of Therappe shampoo and the coordinating Humectress conditioner from the Nexxus haircare line (mid-range line available at drugstores). At first, I was confused, I spent a couple minutes searching for a Therappe conditioner; not finding one, I looked at the back of the tube and found that Humectress is the accompanying conditioner.
I popped the cap open of both Nexxus products just to see how they smelled. Although performance is far more important than scent when it comes to such a product, but we also don’t want a shampoo whose scent we can’t stand if the scent lingers, you know? Nexxus Therappe, according to the Nexxus website, is formulated with rosemary, chamomile, and nettle – but smells (to me!) like coconut…and was sold. The Humectress conditioner from Nexxus smelled nice too, but not nearly as nice as the shampoo.
When I showered that evening, I used the Therappe shampoo – it dispensed a thick, almost creamy shampoo that produced a creamy lather (I am not personally concerned about the use of sulfates in my hair at this time, but be advised that this is not a sulfate-free product). Have I mentioned that it smelled awesome? I left it in for three minutes as directed. When I rinsed, I was surprised and pleased to find that, with that step alone, my hair already felt somewhat conditioned. I haven’t gotten that feeling from a shampoo in years.
When it comes to conditioner, I prefer an obnoxiously thick one to coat my strands. I apply it, distribute it evenly, and let it for the remainder of my shower until the very end. This one, though thick, was not as thick as I prefer – not as thick as Tigi Moisture Maniac conditioner, and not even as thick as thick as the original Aussie 3-Minute Miracle. I slathered it onto my hair and let it sit – probably for at least five minutes. Humectress rinsed quickly and easily, leaving no residue that I could feel behind (Humectress is not silicone-free, either, if you care about that). My hair did feel moisturized, and I am satisfied with it – but it did not pack the conditioning punch I was hoping for.
Now here’s the kicker:
When I look up this product online through various outlets – Amazon, Drugstore.com, even Walmart.com, among others – there is a ton of backlash from long-time users who indicated that the product had drastically changed from something that was even better. Now owned by Alberto-Culver, and, therefore, Unilever, I am leery of future change. I absolutely hate when companies alter the formulation of popular, successful products (looking directly at you, PANTENE. Still dig your hairspray, though!) – the new stuff is rarely better. This isn’t a hatred or fear of change (yeah, hi, I work in IT. Change is part of my life) but really, the new formulations of shampoos and conditioners frequently occur to include inferior ingredients, or lower ratios of the quality ones to boost profit margins and I. Am. Not. A. Fan.
The Bottom Line:
So far, several weeks of use have yielded positive results (shiny! manageable! yay!) until this last week or so when my hair started getting greasier, faster For example, if I wash my hair Monday, I don’t usually need to do it again until Wednesday–and if I really need to, I can push it to Thursday – that ain’t happening with these Nexxus products (and yes, I only apply conditioner from about the ears down).
If things keep up, I will consider repurchasing Nexxus Therappe shampoo but it will not be my one and only; on top of my fear of discontinuation and formula change (it always happens to me. Garnier Fructis. Pantene Ice Shine. Aveeno Nourish & Soothe, Tigi Moisture Maniac. AH!), I find that my hair is on its best behavior when I change it up every now and then. Even though it smells awesome and feels great during use (at least so far!), I cannot commit to it–I liked it, so it is too good to be true. As far as the conditioner, Humectress was alright, but I am confident that there are better conditioners out there for me…so the hunt continues.
Update, well after the fact (11/2016):
In the long run, Nexxus Therappe and Humectress did not work out for me. Boo.
What shampoos or conditioners have you tried lately? How have they worked out for you?