Review: Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner (#1 Drugstore Haircare?)

I recently saw an ad campaign featuring actress Leighton Meester, though largely known for her work as the Blair Waldorf on teen drama series Gossip Girl, I had always appreciated her underrated vocals and indie gigs. She was promoting the hair care line Herbal Essences, and described a particular affinity for a product I had previously owned, the Smooth Rose Shampoo and Conditioner. Having concerns about dry and unruly hair for years, coupled with a proclivity to dye my hair every color found in nature and use hot styling tools, I hazard to guess I have tried upwards of 100 different products for hair of all different price points.

Oribe, Pureology, Kai, Bumble and Bumble and R&CO top the list of very expensive treatments I was happily willing to shell out for in exchange for a hair miracle. So it would certainly seem unusual for a product junkie to find a favorite new item hiding on the drug store shelf next to Maybelline mascara for under $10. Score for influencer marketing! Cautiously optimistic, I was convinced to give it another go, and pleasantly surprised by the outcome. In doing test comparisons and fairly extensive research, I attribute these products exclusively to hair health and restoration.

The smell is lovely and the improvement in texture of the hair is visible immediately. If you want to save money and gain a new (perhaps old-new) hair favorite at the same time, this 90s fan-favorite is definitely recommended without reservations.

I wanted to test out the Smooth Line (with rose hips) again specifically to develop a more comprehensive list of positive and negatives, bearing in mind other reviews, concerns, and varying hair types.

Before we begin, make sure you’re ordering Herbal Essences from a legitimate retailer, NOT from a counterfeit seller. For your convenience, here is the Amazon link to an authentic Herbal Essences retailer.

Is it worth it? Does it work for different types of hair? While I would certainly recommend the shampoo and conditioner to any friend seeking nostalgia and shiny locks, with some further breakdown you can evaluate if this product line is right for you.

We found it to be very effective and safe for all hair types as well as daily use.

Review: Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner (#1 Drugstore Haircare?) 1

Review: Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner

Some of us may remember Herbal Essences from childhood, especially 90s kids. The smell triggers strong olfactory memory, immediately bringing me back to childhood hours spent in the bathroom crying as my mother begrudgingly tried to detangle my curly mop of “hip”-length hair. I vividly remember the cruel irony of a product called “no more tears,” that failed to deliver on its promise. We try to leave these anecdotes in the past for a reason.

But Herbal Essences was always the go-to, saving time and making the situation slightly more manageable. Herbal Essences as a company drives strong business by priding itself on being based in “authentic beauty” and a free-spirited nature. They opt for colors found in nature, a sense of freedom, natural quality of ingredients and packaging items with a simple but classically attractive aesthetic. The driving force behind the logo? A sensorial experience in the form of great haircare. The smooth line in particular was a staple 90s product brought back to the company, much to the delight of consumers, with the hashtag “blast from the past.” Agreed, this is one older, dare we say “vintage,” product line that feels both classic and renewed. In fact, part of the offering seems to be selling memories to a set demographic.

After all, why fix what isn’t broken?

Herbal Essences Rose Shampoo & Conditioner
Credit: Herbal Essences

Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner Ingredients

The smooth collection shampoo and conditioner employs an infused blend of Vitamin E, rose hips and jojoba extracts to deliver smooth, silky and shiny hair with restored luster. It is ideal for all hair types, including color-treated, and is free of any silicone product or mineral oil. It’s suitable for daily use and PH-balanced. Further breakdown regarding ingredient benefits:

Vitamin E

  • Adds and restores shine to the hair, restoring luster and improving signs of dullness
  • Improves circulation and flow to the scalp, improving overall hair health
  • Balances oil production, suitable for dry and oily hair types
  • Shown to prevent hair loss in clinical research studies and testing
  • Adds shine and renews radiance

Jojoba Oil

  • Helps moisturize the scalp and hair
  • Acts as a remedy for dandruff or flakiness, improves dandruff
  • Promotes volume/thickness of hair, body may be restored to the hair
  • Many claim it can prevent hair loss and promote volume because the oil moisturizers hair follicles, preventing dryness leading to potential loss
  • Rich in antioxidants for hydration and nourishment
  • Rich in vitamins and nutrients that heal, repair and nurture hair

Rose Hips

  • Repairs damage and dryness on the scalp and hair
  • Adds bounce, shine and silkiness
  • Repairs damage from heat styling tools and color treatments
  • Renew lifeless, damaged or dull hair
  • Improves scalp conditions (i.e. dandruff)

Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner Pros & Cons


  • Lovely fragrance without being overpowering
  • Suitable for all hair styles and types
  • Suitable for very dry or damaged hair, including color-treated hair
  • Leaves hair smooth, soft and repaired
  • Money back guarantee if any customer dissatisfaction or allergy occurs
  • Formulated with safe ingredients and without any silicone product or mineral oils
  • Great value for price
  • Works for very thick hair but also has volumizing benefits for thinner types
  • The shampoo and conditioner certainly work in tandem, but can be used as standalone products as well, or with other treatments


  • Some customers have claimed the product creates build up or product residue, but this is a rare opinion and certainly contrary to most reviews
Herbal Essences Rose Shampoo & Conditioner 2
Credit: Herbal Essences

Review: Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner (#1 Drugstore Haircare?) 1

Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner: Worth It?

Herbal Essences Smooth Line Rose Shampoo and Conditioner have fully healed my color-treated, heat-damaged hair. They’re almost therapeutic in nature. Hair is left feeling soft, smooth and smells great. Sometimes the smell lingers and I’ll notice it in the shower or working out at the gym, without being overpowering or headache inducing. Speaking of the gym, the shampoo is a perfect product to toss in your gym bag after a work out.

Compared to other lines upwards of 5 times the price, I would definitely recommend saving money and getting results at the same time. Often we think that price is directly correlated with benefits, and typically more expensive products do source higher quality ingredients, but in this case the formula is perfect for all hair types. It treats dry, dull and unruly hair particularly well. Nostalgia, great hair and a fuller wallet? Cheers to that.

I hope the manufacturer continues selling this blast from the past indefinitely, because its tried and tested and absolutely works! With the help of positive reviews and feedback, we’re hopeful this product will never devolve into obsolescence again.

Herbal Essences Rose


We recommend this product!

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Beverly Friedmann

NYC Native. Photographer/writer; focused on fashion, street style, and architecture. Lover of human beings, equality, and animals!

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