Herbal Essences Conditioner

These are the two formulations of Herbal Essences I've come to depend on.  I imagine that if you were to chemically analyze me, you'd find I'm probably about 15% composed of this stuff by now.

These are the two formulations of Herbal Essences I've come to depend on. I imagine that if you were to chemically analyze me, you'd find I'm probably about 15% composed of this stuff by now.

It appears that Herbal Essences is discontinuing its classic conditioners (depicted above) in favour of a new line of candy-reeking ones with annoying, cutesy names (None of Your Frizzness! SHUT UP.) and packaged in wavy bottles designed to appeal to 13-year old girls. Guess how I feel about that.

Classic Pink Herbal Essences Conditioner is the only thing I’ve ever found that makes my giant hair look good. I use it in obscene quantities- half a cup to condition & detangle every time I wash my hair, and then another half-cup after every shower, combed through & left in to make the curls stick together, and then another teaspoon every other day or so, smoothed over the surface of my head to keep things looking tidy. I go through at least 2 bottles a month. Luckily it’s only $4, and it’s really the only product I use, so my haircare expenditures remain very reasonable even if my usage does not.

Why is it so good? Let me count the ways. It makes my hair slippery, no easy feat since my long, curly, fine, endless pelt wants to live off the grid, back to nature, in a big fat frizzay knot on the back of my head. Herbal Esssence conditioner is moisturizing without being greasy, and it coats my nest of hair so it doesn’t get all staticky and fluffy- yet it still makes it shiny. Also it smells okay, kind of like candy-flowers, familar candy-flowers. I’ve been soaking my head in this stuff since I was 18, so I actually can’t smell it any more, but anecdotal evidence tells me I smell of this product very strongly indeed. So the fact that it doesn’t smell like butt is nice. Every time I’ve tried switching to another product, it’s been awful because I use so. very. much. conditioner. that when it’s a new scent and I can actually smell it, I gag from the candy-coated floral sweetness of my own head. My life is really hard, you guys!

So I’ve been keeping an eye out for this stuff, and to my dismay, most stores have ceased to carry it. I’m down to my last half-bottle, and today I looked in a major drug store, a major grocery store, and three corner stores– and I only found one bottle. None of the Toronto grocery delivery services had it, either. With growing anxiety, I declared it an emollient emergency and started trolling Amazon and Ebay for American suppliers.

I sent a terse, panicky email to Reuben asking him how much of this stuff he’d allow me to ship to, then stockpile at, his place in NYC ’til some undetermined time in the future when I cross the border (no doubt surrounded by a maelstrom-like mushroom cloud vortex of untamed hair) to pick it up. Bless his heart, his reply came in minutes: “as much as you need, I’ll find a way to store it.” This is a true friend. At some point I will undoubtedly make him sorry he’s so nice to me by deluging his apartment with a flood of sweet-scented pink slime, but first there was one more avenue to try.

Using every wile I possess (mostly my whiny whiles), I convinced Scoots to brave his most hated of places, that palace of economy, Wal-Mart. And guess what? The giant box store of evil overconsumption not only enabled my addiction, but did so for $2.97 a bottle, which is 25% off what I usually pay! But I only bought a few. Just what was on the shelf. I didn’t, like, ask anyone to go to the storeroom or anything, that would be unreasonable.

Brand loyalty. The cat isn't judging me.

Brand loyalty. The cat isn't judging me.

I feel much better now.


13 Responses to Herbal Essences Conditioner

  1. Donnie says:

    I’m going to NYC in December…do you want me to sneak a few bottles back?

  2. Janine Falcon says:

    Actually, HE is coming out with a new super-moisturizing shampoo and conditioner duo that they say delivers more conditioning moisture than any of their previous formulas. It’s not hitting stores until January, but I should have samples in a couple weeks. Let’s make dinner plans so I can give them to you to try.

  3. Janine Falcon says:

    Er — if it turns out this older formula in the pale pink bottles is the only thing that works for you, start hitting dollar stores…

  4. stamperoo says:

    The older formula in the pale bottle actually is better- it’s creamier- but the current formulation is ok too, I just use a little more of it.

    It’s not just the moisturizing aspect of the product though, because other moisturizing products don’t work at all. There’s some chemical in this HE stuff that smooths the hair cuticle like nothing else. It detangles like a mofo & adds a ton of shine.
    I think it may be stearyl alcohol or stearamidopropyl dimethylamine. But I dunno.
    There’s a curly blogger who’s doing trial-and-error to sniff out the active ingredients that kick the ass of bossy curly hair: http://biracialhair.org, and she finds it challenging too.

    Don’t get me wrong, though- for sure I’ll try your new-fangled conditioner- thanks for the offer! You can blog my results! –and dinner would be awesome, lemme know when’s good for you.

  5. […] to the point where I think this morning I found a bartender caught in it. This is why I use so much conditioner. Untamed, it was like having a possum and three wolverines wrapped around my head all […]

  6. Jen says:

    I hate when products I love get discontinued. =( Happens too often.

  7. maria says:

    Finally meeting someone in life like me. I love this conditioner and what it does for my hair. The worst thing is that the guy I like … he loves the smell and I have not been able to return to find anywhere, so my life is sad. Would give anything to have a little … : (but you can not get in Colombia. and changed the formula and do not smell the same, nor does the same for your hair.


    Por fin en vida encuentro alguien igual que yo. Adoro ese acondicionador y lo que hace por mi pelo. lo mejor es que el niño que me gusta adora ese olor y no lo he podido volver a encontrar en ningun lugar, por lo que mi vida es triste. Daria lo que fuera por tener un poco… :( pero no es posible conseguirlo en Colombia. ya cambiaron la formula y no huele igual ni tampoco hace lo mismo por tu pelo.

  8. reese says:

    how do i find this stuff agin or an alternate that works the same as the classic pink bottle does

  9. Corina says:

    Hey, I was going on a search for the sage Herbal essences shampoo and thru google images found your blog post. This is amazing (that you found some). I’m sure that in the past 3 years they erradicated every last “old” type of their shampoo and conditioners. I’ve been in about every hair care section of local stores around the Washington DC and southern Virginia area, and NOTHING.
    I can’t even find anything on Ebay or Amazon.All i have now is this picture to look at the smell of it in my memory: http://blogpopuliblogdei.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/herbal-essences-shampoo-clarificante.jpg

    I’m curious if you found anything online that would carry it? If so, could you shoot me an email. Thanks so much :)

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  11. Ruby says:

    It’s not discontinued, they have started (ONLY JUST STARTED) Selling it in australian stores, They’ve been selling the “teenage girl” ones here for years but these ones are new, I really do prefer the coloufull ones…

  12. annette says:

    Good news it’s coming back and even better formulation!

  13. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but
    I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something completely unique. P.S My apologies for being
    off-topic but I had to ask!

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