Saturday, February 12, 2011

An Average Conditioner For Average Hair With An Average Scent: Suave's Fresh Mountain Strawberry Conditioner.

The Good: Conditions hair, Rinses out well, Inexpensive
The Bad: Not at all as strong scent, packaging.
The Basics: A very average conditioner to accompany an average shampoo, Suave's Fresh Mountain Strawberry Conditioner conditions and does little more.

For some time now, I have been reviewing different hair care products, at least the inexpensive ones, because I feel there is an important service to be derived for those of us who like our hair, but do not spend all day and all of our disposable income on it. As a result, I have been reviewing quite a few of the shampoos and conditioners from Suave and VO5. I was rather surprised to discover that it has taken me so long after reviewing Suave's Fresh Mountain Strawberry shampoo (reviewed here!) to get around to reviewing its accompanying conditioner. The irony, I suppose, is that there is little difference between the two products in that both are remarkably average and what brings them down a little bit is the scent.

Suave's Fresh Mountain Strawberry conditioner is a decent enough conditioner, but it is surprisingly lackluster in the scent department, which is a bit of a drawback for those who like scented hair.

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 conditioner is a scented conditioner for normal hair that appeals to those who want their hair smelling slightly fruity. Unfortunately, the scent is rather weak. 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 and conditioners (which have identical bottle types) 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 conditioner and it is a light pink, opaque cream. It is about the consistency of hand lotion and requires the bottle to actually be squeezed to dispense the product. The conditioner is smooth and consistent in its color throughout the bottle.

The scent is a bit problematic in that it is almost nonexistent. Opening the bottle in the store, I thought perhaps my olfactory nerves were just overwhelmed, but I soon discovered that the Fresh Mountain Strawberry conditioner is just a very weak, subtle strawberry scent. Moreover, when in the shower, when all my pores are open and my senses are most alive, the scent is - if possible - even weaker. Unlike the VO5 Strawberries And Cream Conditioner, Suave Fresh Mountain Strawberry smells only faintly of strawberries.

When it comes to use, this is a simple conditioner and one need only flip the lid and dispense a bit into the palm of the hand before applying it to the hair. The Fresh Mountain Strawberry conditioner requires only about a half-dollar-sized dollop to clean a full head of hair. Like most conditioners, I find myself using at least twice as much conditioner in proportion to the shampoo. I have long hair and as a result, conditioner can be an annoying expense, but this was fairly easily worked into my hair with only about twice as much conditioner as shampoo.

Because it cannot be used all that judiciously, the 15 oz. bottle only lasts me about three to four weeks. This is still a fair value compared to some of the more expensive conditioners on the market, but it is not anything to write home about. Usually when I purchase the Fresh Mountain Strawberry products, they are on sale and I purchase two conditioners to every bottle of shampoo.

As for performance, this conditioner works. Hair comes out protected and there has been a drop off in split ends since I started using it. I think the most objective test for a conditioner is to see if hair is if hair maintains its bounce and elasticity and if any split ends are present, if the number is maintained or goes down. With Fresh Mountain Strawberry conditioner, my hair has been adequately protected from any further damage and it has not gotten worse. This conditioner acts well as a barrier to harsh chemicals in my workplace and I have not had any new split ends since trimming my hair and beginning to use this product.

I like conditioners that leave my hair smelling delightful, like whatever scent they have lured me in with. Given that the Fresh Mountain Strawberry conditioner is strawberry and therefore a scent I am biased toward to begin with, I was somewhat disappointed to discover the scent was so subtle and what there was of it washed right out.

As it stands, Fresh Mountain Strawberry works wonderfully as a day to day conditioner that will protect your hair, but for those looking for actual moisturizing qualities or something that will do more than simply hold the line against the elements, this conditioner might not be the right one for you, with or without its accompanying shampoo!

This is a perfectly average conditioner.

For other Suave conditioners, please check out my reviews of:
Ocean Breeze
Juicy Apple
Orchid Petal
Suave Professionals Rosemary Mint

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

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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