The Good: Cleans hair, Lathers well/rinses out, Inexpensive
The Bad: Scent is a little off, packaging.
The Basics: Despite problems with the initial scent and the failure for the smell to linger on the hair, Suave's Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo actually cleans hair wonderfully!
It is hard not to like Suave shampoos; they tend to be relatively inexpensive and they do the job they set out to do. Suave is not known for making hair care products that light the world on fire, but they do make wonderful products that actually clean where they claim to clean and leave hair feeling fresh and manageable. I have a pretty great love of all things strawberry, so when I discovered Suave's Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo, it was one I picked up without so much as smelling it. I had faith.
Unfortunately, that faith has been somewhat undermined.
Suave has been expanding its line of inexpensive shampoos and conditioners. In virtually every market in the United States, Suave shampoos and conditioners may be found on sale for $1.00 for a 15 fl. oz. bottle. Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo is a scented shampoo for all hairs that appeals to those who want their hair smelling slightly fruity, unfortunately, the scent is a little off. The 15 fl. oz. bottle is a cylindrical tube bottle with a flip-top lid that is easy enough to open with one hand, save that it is not contoured and does get slippery when wet. Indeed, the shape of the bottle might not necessarily be problematic save that when it is wet, there is very little friction on the bottle and it slips from one's hand quite easily.
Even more problematic is the lid. The lid is a standard flip-top lid and so long as the bottle is not wet, there ought to be no problem with using one's thumb to flip the top. The issue, however, is that the top of the bottle is a pressure ring, not a screw on top. What this means is that when one applies pressure to the top to open the spout, the user is almost just as likely to flip the entire top off. This is annoying and my first experience with Suave's new shampoos led to an incident where the top came off of one the bottles through sheer force of gravity and perhaps the best advice I might give is to hold the bottles by the bottom.
Inside the bottles is Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo and it is a light red, almost pink, translucent gel. This shampoo has almost no leg and it seems more watery than viscous. Strangely, this does seem to be a more fluid shampoo than many of the other Suave products I've tried.
The scent is also problematic as it has a somewhat alchoholy - almost medicinal - scent to it. Unlike the VO5 Strawberries And Cream Shampoo, Suave Fresh Mountain Strawberry smells less like strawberries and more like . . . well, sweetened chemicals. Out of the bottle, the smell of the Fresh Mountain Strawberry is actually somewhat nauseating.
What saves this shampoo is that the scent becomes very strawberry scented when in the shower. When in the shower and one's nostrils are opened by the steam (I tend to like very hot showers) this shampoo diffuses reasonably well. In the steam and heat of my showers, this scent is properly reminiscent of strawberries and it makes the bathroom smell delightful.
When it comes to use, this is a simple shampoo and one need only flip the lid and dispense a small amount into the palm of the hand before applying it to the hair. The Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo requires only about a quarter-sized dollop to clean a full head of hair. This lathered up remarkably well, which meant I could get away with using less of it. I have long hair and as a result, shampoo can be an annoying expense when the shampoo I am using does not lather up and clean well.
In the case of the Fresh Mountain Strawberry, it lathers up wonderfully, such that a quarter-sized dollop can easily stretch to coat a very full head of hair, like mine. Suave products seem to be quite good at that and in this way, Fresh Mountain Strawberry does not disappoint. Used judiciously thus, the 15 oz. bottle may easily last a full month to six weeks with daily hair washings. This makes its value a little greater than some shampoos I've recently tested and a pleasure to use.
And, quite simply, as a shampoo, it works. Hair comes out looking and feeling cleaner after its use than before. I think the most objective test for a shampoo is to see if hair is cleaner using the shampoo vs. rinsing your hair with water alone and for the basic functioning of a shampoo the Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo lived up to that basic litmus test.
I like shampoos that leave my hair smelling delightful, like whatever scent they have lured me in with. Given that the Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo is strawberry and therefore a scent I am biased toward to begin with, I was somewhat disappointed to discover the scent washed right out. Getting over the initial chemical scent to have patience to discover the strawberry scent in the shower was one thing, but to then not have the scent linger on my hair is disappointing. I have a lot of fond memories with strawberry-scented things and this shampoo is not likely to be adding to that.
Fresh Mountain Strawberry Shampoo has no discernible conditioning properties. There is a separate conditioner that has the same scent. As it stands, Fresh Mountain Strawberry works wonderfully as a day to day shampoo that will clean your hair, but for those looking for actual moisturizing qualities or something that will do more than simply strip away dirt and bothersome scents, this is not the shampoo for you, with or without its accompanying conditioner!
This is a perfectly average shampoo.
For other Suave shampoo reviews, please visit my takes on:
Juicy Green Apple
Suave Professionals Rosemary Mint
For other health and beauty product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.