Sunday, January 30, 2011

Despite The Smell, VO5 Split-Ends Conditioner Is Worth Stocking Up On.

The Good: Softens hair well, Seems to prevent split ends
The Bad: Medicinal smell.
The Basics: Not my favorite VO5 conditioner by any means, the V05 Split-Ends Treatment Conditioner is average-at-best and is a decent basic conditioner only.

When it comes to hair care products, conditioners often are the ones which leave me feeling most ambivalent. After all, I can understand the purpose behind shampoo just fine: it cleans the hair. But with conditioners, the principle and the practice do not seem to mesh. After all, the idea is you put the product in your hair and it helps to protect hair and rejuvenate it over time. It’s a solid idea, but when it comes to the practice, reason says if you rinse the product out of your hair, it’s not likely to keep working on your head! So, with conditioners like the Split Ends Treatment from V05, I’m left more skeptical than pleased.

In the case of Split-Ends treatment, I purchased this with the accompanying shampoo (reviewed here!) and I’m long past the time when I’ve had split ends to worry about. Since getting married, I’ve paid more attention to my haircare and as a result, I’ve been much more careful about letting my hair get brittle. I’ve also been experimenting with so many different shampoos and conditioners and not doing such things as blow drying my hair, so I no longer have split ends. Fortunately, VO5’s Split Ends treatment conditioner does not cause split ends, but the claims to help restore hair that has split ends is somewhat questionable. Given how many different conditioners I’ve used of late without seeing any resurgence of split ends myself, I was rather unsurprised when this adequately protected my hair against splitting ends. This, however, seems more a basic function of conditioners these days as opposed to a genuine selling point of a conditioner. As such, the VO5 Split-Ends Treatment Conditioner stands as a decent basic conditioner, but nothing more.

Split-Ends Treatment Conditioner is part of the basic line of VO5 hair care products, shampoos and conditioners that supposedly helps revitalize dry and damaged hair and protect it from the elements. It comes in a 15 fl. oz. plastic bottle and has an opaque light aqua (blue-green) color. In most retail outlets, it may be found for $1.00 when on sale. VO5 has a strong reputation (well deserved) for providing inexpensive hair care options and this more medicinal product seems to be their attempt to capitalize on the fear that comes from having hair that is damaged from coloring and styling products. The Split-Ends treatment conditioner is remarkably average, but is not bad. It may often be found bulked together in packages of three, the standard 15 oz. bottles connected by an outer shrinkwrap. This is not the most incredible way to bulk hair care products, but it does seem to be the standard.

The bottle is a simple soft plastic bottle with a hard plastic flip top lid. Recently, V05 remade their bottles to prevent slippage and the flatter (instead of tapered) bottles seem to be more slip-resistant when wet. The top easily flips open with a single thumb and makes it very easy to dispense the conditioner from inside. Even so, the top can crack if the bottle is dropped too often, but most people are not as clumsy as me. As well, this new bottle design may be closed easily with just a thumb.

Despite the fact that it does not say it on the bottle, the Split-Ends Treatment Conditioner is a dry to normal conditioner (at least that was my experience). I came to this conditioner with pretty strong hair to begin with. Still, the bottle claims that the rich formula will result in two times stronger hair, but I found that even when applied generously and thoroughly, at best the conditioner held the line as opposed to truly revitalizing my hair. My hair looked good from using this conditioner, but it did not improve in condition in any way.

I have long hair and in order to get enough of this conditioner to adequately coat my full head of hair, it took at least two dollops of conditioner, half-dollar sized each. This is a lot of conditioner and while shampoos lather up, conditioner does not. Instead, this conditioner requires almost four times as much product to cover the same area as most VO5 shampoos. This means that as far as usage goes, the $1.00 value shampoo and the $1.00 value conditioner just became a $5.00 hair care regimen, though that's not bad considering it can be stretched to last approximately two months.

The real problem is that the results are merely adequate. Unlike many conditioners that actually add volume, shine and bounce to hair, the Split-Ends Treatment conditioner merely prevented split ends and drying after about a week's use. There was a mild improvement in hair shine (luster), but nothing in the way of body.

Like most conditioners, this requires a thorough rinsing in order to get it all out. I discovered very early on that this is not something that may be rushed with this product as it becomes a very heavy wet/waxy coating when it is not properly rinsed out. This is problematic for those who are on-the-go and eager to get out of the shower (especially if one has a lot of hair and doing a proper washing means finishing up as the hot water runs out!).

So, on the conditioning end, this is - at best - adequate. It lives up on the most basic conditioning functions, but it is not much of a moisturizer or bodybuilder. This is a rather subtle conditioner, but it works. It might only be ideal for maintaining low maintenance hair. Indeed, shorter hair where body and luster are not as important, this conditioner may well meet the needs of the person using it. But for longer hair, hair that is exposed to many elements, this is not the ideal product for.

Neither is it the ideal product for those who want to lock a scent into the hair. First, like the accompanying shampoo, Split-Ends Treatment has a terrible, medicinal smell and for those who like hair care product which smell good, this is not it. While it is cone-free, this smells like ammonia and it locks its own unpleasant scent into the hair, in addition to making a shower smell like a trip to the hospital. Within two hours of washing and conditioning with the Split-Ends Treatment, the scent is gone from the hair. This, I found, was a relief to me given I was not a huge fan of the scent to begin with.

VO5 Split-Ends Treatment holds the line, at least and not all products can say that. Unfortunately, for the amount of product to make it adequate, there are others that will do more for the same price. Even so, this becomes a very good basic conditioner for those who do not like strong scents of anything other than hair on their head.

For other VO5 conditioners and other hair conditioners, please check out my reviews of:
Passion Fruit Smoothie
Blackberry Sage
Tigi Curl's Rock Leave-In Moisturizer


For other health and beauty product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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