Reg: August 2001 Location: Lexington, MA Posts: 2587
Date: May 27, 2005
Price you paid?: $4.95
I was originally only interested in the shampoo, because I was sick of the high-tech nonsense of the drugstore haircare products, but I heard such good things about the conditioner I had to try the latter, too. And I'm glad I did.
This is not like the conditioners one generally sees nowadays. For one thing, it's this odd brown gloop. Unlike many modern conditioners (this is an original formula from over 25 years ago!), it doesn't have that luxurious, creamy "slip" that silicone technology has given to the beauty industry. All the better, I say, because silicones build up on the hair, and lead to dullness and dryness. Plus, without much "filler" slip agents, there's not much to get in the way of the botanical extracts and your hair.
In other words, the product feels watery, without substance, but that feeling of substance that so many modern conditioners provide (Pantene, for one) is misleading. My hair feels perfectly moisturized (which must mean it's good for the hair indeed, as conditioners never have enough moisture for my hair), not dry or parched, though originally when I approached this product, it was with some trepidation, because I didn't expect it would be enough for my dry hair. If anything, this is more genuine nourishment than any of the more high-tech conditioners I've tried in the past.
Because it's concentrated, a little goes a long way. Which is nice, because though it's not expensive, it's not cheap either. It's a good value for the money.
And as for the scent... !!! I'm in heaven. I'm picky about scents, though my nose isn't exactly mainstream in its choices. I tolerate most florals well enough, but I loathe fake fruity scents (i.e. Garnier, Herbal Essences). This is the most glorious earth-goddess scent (mostly myrrh), woodsy, herbal, spicy (sorta like Aveda)—and it lingers. Marvelous.
ingredients (I don't know what most of these botanicals are supposed to do, but I find it very impressive that there are only two ingredients that serve only cosmetic purposes: the emulsifier and the preservative)
purified water, extracts of chamomile, nettle, ho-lien hua, nelumbo nucifera, comfrey root, cherry bark, schleichera trijuga, kusambi bark, burdock, and yucca; vegetable emulsifying wax, coconut oil, methylparaben, myrrh oil, lavender oil.
UPDATE: Wow, this stuff is really concentrated. I've never used so little product for my hair before... and I've got dry hair that generally needs slatherings of conditioner. Using too much actually overloads my hair. I love it, though. I really love it, though... my hair feels like it's breathing for the first time in a very long time.
Reg: August 2001 Location: No. California Posts: 8194
Date: September 30, 2006
Price you paid?: None indicated
No 'cones, works pretty well
Not widely available, b & m wise
Oh, I have to update this, because I just went on a vacation--the kind where you spend a lot of time swimming in the ocean, going into chlorinated pools, and baking in the sun--in a climate so warm and humid (mind you I'm from the South; difficult to get too warm and humid for me) that you need to take a shower and wash your hair twice per day.
And, I have been taking my biotin supplement pretty faithfully. I'm still no Brooke Shields but my hair is genuinely thicker than before.
I brought along Alba Botanica Hawaiian Honeydew shampoo (which I will need to review soon) and a small bottle of Nature's Gate Herbal conditioner, hoping the shampoo would be mild enough and the conditioner sufficiently stalwart to turn ocean hair into easily comb-able hair, otherwise, hey, I'd be screwed.
What I began to do is wash my hair right away and then rub in the conditioner (ends of hair only) and let it sit in my hair for the remainder of the shower.
What can I say? It really did work.
It's slipping my mind now, how much I paid for this. I think it was around $6 or so.
I bought it mainly on Dain's rec; I tried the shampoo twin of it some years ago and didn't like it. The shampoo smelled too strong to me.
But Dain's daily hair conditioner recs have always been interesting. In the early days of The Lipstick Page forum, she recommended a conditioner called Smash the Finisher. I'd never even heard of that brand, yet there it was all along, sitting on the drugstore shelf, and it turned out to be one of the few conditioners that worked on my hair (dry, colored ends, with a naturally oily scalp).
Fast forwarding to now...for historical purposes, it's well to note that Smash disappeared from b & m stores years ago...I saw her review for this "brown gloop" and decided to give it a try.
Prior to this, I had used Pantene Smooth & Sleek daily conditioner for over a year. Why the change? I don't know if it can be directly attributed to the silicones in Pantene, but at one point I started to find both this (and it is a good conditioner) and my Pantene Sheer Volume shampoo irritating to my scalp. Not horrendously irritating, but definitely itchy. I don't like itchy.
I've used Nature's Gate Herbal for three weeks now, every day. It's been okay...moisturizing enough for dry processed ends, yet not so moisturizing that it makes my naturally oily scalp freak out.
The scent is quite pleasant. I don't know if they've reduced the scent in both shampoo and conditioner, or if it just seems less strong because it's a conditioner (I use just a bit and only on my ends), or if I just like it better now than before, but scent is key for me in hair products.