The Good: Inexpensive, Intriguing scent, moisturizes hair very well, Scent endures
The Bad: Takes a bit to rinse it all out, Does not revitalize hair well
The Basics: A decent conditioner, VO5's Herbal Escapes Free Me Freesia Conditioner has an intriguing scent and protects hair well, even if it does not regenerate hair.
As it frequently happens, whenever I review a VO5 shampoo after a month of usage, I find myself reviewing the accompanying conditioner. Given that the other day I reviewed VO5's "Free Me Freesia Herbal Escapes Shampoo" (reviewed here!), it is largely unsurprising that I would now find myself reviewing Free Me Freesia Herbal Escapes conditioner. Fortunately, this is a conditioner that enhances the shampoo’s scent and works generally well, making it easy to as enthusiastically endorse it as the shampoo it compliments!
VO5 is fairly well known for having inexpensive shampoos and conditioners. In virtually every market in the United States, VO5 shampoos and conditioners may be found on sale for $1.50 for a 15 fl. oz. bottle. Free Me Freesia Herbal Escapes conditioner, like the shampoos in the line, is an attempt by Alberto VO5 to create products that make one’s hair smell amazing and make the bathing/showering experience feel and smell incredible. The Free Me Freesia conditioner actually succeeds admirably on that front. The 15 fl. oz. bottle is a fairly flat (with rounded sides) bottle with a flip-top lid that is easy enough to open with one hand. The bottle is not contoured and does get slippery when wet.
Inside is the Free Me Freesia conditioner and it is a light purple/lilac - almost white - opaque fluid. This conditioner has an asterisk; the conditioner seems designed to strengthen hair as it offers to double the strength of one's hair when used with the corresponding shampoo. Like most VO5 conditioners, this makes no claims for dramatic hair changes. This is not advertised as a "dry to normal hair" conditioner, nor a "normal to oily hair," so the assumption here is that it is designed for all hair types and will not so much change the composition of one's hair, but rather protect what one already has.
The scent is an intriguing blend of lilac and vanilla, which seems to be what Freesia is, though in the conditioner, the floral scent is definitely stronger than the underlying spice component of the aroma. When in the shower and one's nostrils are opened by the steam (I tend to like very hot showers) this conditioner effervesces its floral scent. It is a decent, inoffensive smell that is very relaxing and compliments the shampoo it is associated with perfectly.
When it comes to use, this is a versatile and standard conditioner 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 Free Me Freesia moisturizing conditioner requires at least a half-dollar-sized dollop to condition a full head of hair. I have long hair and as a result, conditioning can be an annoying expense as conditioner does not, traditionally, lather up to spread the way a shampoo does. As a result, I go through at least twice as much Free Me Freesia conditioner than I do shampoo.
Even used judiciously, the 15 oz. bottle lasted only two and a half weeks with daily hair washings and conditioning. One might want to keep that in mind when purchasing this combination if they have long hair. Indeed, my hair only comes down to the shoulder blades; people with waist-long hair will likely need even more conditioner to make this product work as it is supposed to.
And as a protecting and moisturizing conditioner, the Free Me Freesia works. The Herbal Escapes Free Me Freesia combination worked fine at protecting my hair. Usually, I get split ends within a week of trimming them off, but in order to do a thorough review of this product, I trimmed my hair and did a faithful regimen of using this conditioner and its corresponding shampoo and after two and a half weeks, there are still no split ends!
I tend to like shampoos that leave my hair smelling delightful, like whatever scent they have lured me in with. Given that the Free Me Freesia Herbal Escapes Conditioner barely smelled only mildly like lilac to begin with, I was a little surprised that it left such a strong floral scent in my hair after it was rinsed out. To be fair, the conditioner when used with the shampoo, seemed to eliminate other scents from my hair and made the slightly more complicated aroma of the shampoo endure better than the conditioner or shampoo alone. As well, the Free Me Freesia conditioner prevented the drying out of my hair, which most frequently leads to split ends.
With the corresponding shampoo, hair does appear to be protected. What it is not is changed at all in terms of body, luster or bounce. The Herbal Escapes Free Me Freesia wants us to believe it strengthens hair, but I am unsure how to judge that for effectiveness. I try not to pull things with my hair and the only reasonable condition I think day to day users might have as a litmus test would be in the amount of hair that ends up in the hairbrush. In this case, it seems about the same as before I started using this. My hair seems to detach with the same frequency as before, so if it is getting stronger, it's not happening in an easily demonstrative way.
But, at least it protects. The Free Me Freesia works fine as a day to day conditioner that holds the line against wear, tear and weather damage while making hair smell good, but for those looking for actual moisturizing qualities - something that will add bounce and make a noticeable difference in the quality of your hair - this is not the conditioner for you. But with its accompanying shampoo, this conditioner does seem to do its thing and well enough to be an inexpensive option for those who like their hair, but don't want to spend their whole budget on it!
For other VO5 conditioner reviews, please visit my commentaries on:
Moisture Milks Strawberry & Cream
Nourishing Oasis Energize and Volumize conditioner
Vanilla Mint Tea Tea Therapy
Passion Fruit Smoothie conditioner
Blackberry Sage conditioner
For other health and beauty product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.