AR Blog

March Review: Shampoo + Conditioner


March Review:
Shampoo + Conditioner

Keeping things “clean” was not just an objective for my hair in hunting down a good wash duo. All products tested were clean and clear of parabens or sulfates.

Hi Everyone! 

I’ve decided to do a recap every month or two of the products I’ve tried and tested out. I feel like that’s a big part of my job to stay informed on what’s new and available, and on some level I’m likely looking for some accountability on that — so this is it. We’ll see how I do. 

Note: I’m not a huge beauty connoisseur, oddly enough. I’m a minimalist. I don’t like holding on to things that don’t serve a purpose. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve tried to casually throw out gifts from family members that we literally do not touch, ever, and my husband has caught me and stopped me for the sake of sentiment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ice queen. I’m sentimental too... on some level. I have tons of letters and photographs in a box that need to be digitized sooner than later, but our family should know by now that we live in New York, meaning, we have very limited space. If we ain’t usin’ it, I don’t want it! Anyway… when it comes to beauty products, I don’t see the point in hoarding. I mean, they too have expiration dates just like our food does. Use it or remove it. 

To kick off my reviews, I decided to begin with shampoos and conditioners. I didn’t set out to test these products with any intention of writing about them. I’m just looking back and sharing my honest experiences. The one key element that I noticed upon reflection was my effort to choose “cleaner” products, so I’m hoping to shed some light on that as well. I have a few months’ worth of testing to share (maybe 6 months?), so this is more than usual but here’s what I’ve been working with:

image c/o    @scribnerslodge

image c/o @scribnerslodge

Scribner’s Lodge
My husband and I went up to this Brooklyn hipster hotel for a weekend vacation after I worked a wedding in Phoenicia, NY. It is really such a beautifully curated space. I loved all the details, including but not limited to, their bath products. I bought all of it, haha. The shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion… and even the diffuser. I went h.a.m., you guys. It all smelled so good! All their products are made with essential oils rosemary, peppermint, spearmint and cedarwood, and I think the lotion had eucalyptus in it too. The combination of all the essential oils used is such a heavenly experience. I was just beginning to aspire towards going fully clean with my beauty regimen, and this was my second attempt. I had previously purchased the full bath line from True Botanicals, and while I have loved their skincare products, their bath products were not my favorite. My hair never felt clean, it was just sort of drab. Blah. Although True Botanicals didn’t really do anything special for me, Scribner’s gave me hope again as my next baby step toward going cleaner. When I saw that everything was completely plant based and free of petroleum products, parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, it was an easy sell. Just writing about it, I want to restock because I miss the scents so much. My husband and I were both using all of their products and loving them. It’s the first time we’ve collectively shared shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion and used all of them down to the very last drop. 

image c/o    @virtuelabs

image c/o @virtuelabs

Virtue Labs
As soon as winter approached and my pregnancy was kicking in full throttle, my hair was getting frizzier than usual so I switched gears. Well, at first I began using Wella’s Leave-In Conditioner Spray that I had left over from doing Paris Fashion Week on Eugene Souleiman’s team and that was super helpful. But after quickly running out of that and my Scribner’s products, I turned to Virtue Labs’ Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner. It definitely did what I needed it to - defrizz, soften, smooth - thanks to their specialty Alpha Keratin protein. It’s their secret sauce for repairing the hair from the inside out. And even though they don’t use any sulfates (which are usually what make the hair lather up when you’re washing) there was a thicker lather than I had had from True Botanicals or Scribner’s. Even though I realize lather does not equate to a good wash, I’m admittedly trained to feeling cleaner when there are more suds. It’s comforting, satisfying. Can’t help myself. What I liked about this stuff in particular is that I was able to skip shampoos every other time and only condition my ends.  The conditioner helped to keep my hair smooth between washes, and my hair was holding up well without washing each time, so why mess with a good thing, ya know?

image c/o    @evolvh

image c/o @evolvh


I was introduced to the founder of EVOLVh through a mutual friend. We connected over the phone and had one of those magical discussions that come from putting two entrepreneurs together. So much synergy! We’re both inquisitive, have salon experience and an understanding around working on a small start-up. All that to say, he sent me some stuff to try and I’ve been so impressed by everything! So much so, that we have an exciting collaboration to announce soon! 

I started with their travel size UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner and holyyyy cow you guys. It made such a huge difference on my hair!!! Normally when I travel, I struggle with my hair a little bit. I don’t take my regular products with me because I’m a minimalist when it comes to packing my carry-on as well, and normally my hair (and sensitive-eczema-prone skin) will suffer due to the change in climate, water quality, and hotel product quality. UGH. But this stuff was life saving. It enabled me to air dry my hair, which is always my preference. It just made my hair soft and touchable, not dry and brittle, and it really enhanced my natural wavy texture in the most desirable way. 

image c/o    @naturelabtokyo

image c/o @naturelabtokyo

NatureLab Tokyo

This is where I’m currently at. I began by testing one of their styling products (will share in another post) and I loved the results SO much that I caved and tried their Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. What I love about it: botanical technology. They use bamboo stem cells to strengthen the hair and promote hair growth, which I can honestly say, has worked. Granted, I’m pregnant, so yes I have more baby hair (and chin hair) and that is a totally separate matter of hair growth, haha. But I do give credit to this wash duo for how fast my hair is growing. Also, this is admittedly very superficial, but I really like their packaging. It’s simple and it looks really nice in my new shower. What can I say, I’m a sucker for aesthetics. 

Alright, wow! I did not foresee having so much to say/share. It’s my first post. I doubt they’ll be this long every time. For my next review, I’m going to write a post that focuses strictly on styling products. Stay tuned… 

Please let me know if you guys find this helpful! I’d love your feedback. If you decide to try products recommended based on this review, I want to know how it goes! If you have a different hair type and your experience with any of these products is different from how I’ve described them, I want to know! There is no one size fits all when it comes to haircare. I want this space to be an open forum and I believe we all have a voice in educating one another when it comes to the efficiency of beauty products.