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{"id":556716785737,"title":"Routine Shampoo Review: Worth the Insane Price?","created_at":"2022-07-03T00:05:34-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Routine Shampoo Review: Worth the Insane Price?\",\n \"keywords\": \"routine shampoo, routine shampoo reviews, routine shampoo review, routine shampoo and conditioner, routine shampoo and conditioner reviews\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team reviews the ingredients in Routine Shampoo and Routine Conditioner based on published medical studies to see if the products are likely to improve hair quality and reduce hair breakage. We highlight some issues we have with the one of the preservatives the brand uses.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/routine-shampoo-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"creator\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Routine_Shampoo_Thumbnail.png?v=1656821398\",\n\"width\": \"3219\",\n\"height\": \"3219\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/35226791\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29949176\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/better-not-younger-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12715094\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/curology-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5093181\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31988350\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8197201\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.drbronner.com\/collections\/hair-care\/products\/organic-hair-rinse\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"coconut oil\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"jojoba oil\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"phenoxyethanol\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"preservatives\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-07-03\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Routine_Shampoo_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1656821344\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eR\u003c\/span\u003eoutine is a high-end shampoo brand that claims their formulation is “safe,” “simple” and “effective.” Their products are very expensive, and at a price point of around $25 per bottle we would expect a superior formulation.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the ingredients in Routine shampoo and conditioner based on published medical research to determine if we believe the brand will actually make your hair healthier and stronger, or if we believe the same effects can be achieved at a much lower cost.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRoutine Shampoo Ingredient Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Routine_Shampoo_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1656821323\" alt=\"Routine Shampoo ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRoutine Shampoo has a large number of active ingredients. One of the most important is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eargan oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e which is extracted from a tree native to Morocco.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eArgan oil \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/35226791\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in medical research to reduce damage to hair follicles, and also may be effective for reducing breakage due to its hydrating nature. This is a great ingredient for a shampoo formulation.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSaw palmetto extract\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another likely effective ingredient. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29949176\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that saw palmetto extract promotes hair regeneration and helped repair damaged hair in mice. This botanical ingredient appears to be effective because it can decrease inflammation of the follicles.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe like the inclusion of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ecaffeine\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in this formulation as well. As we noted in our review of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/better-not-younger-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBetter Not Younger hair serum\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, topical application of caffeine has been shown in medical trials to potentially limit hair loss in both men and women, primarily by increasing the duration of the anagen phase of the hair cycle, which is when hair follicles are generated and grow.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother active ingredient in Routine Shampoo is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ecoconut oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which is one of the plant oils with the most proven dermatological benefit. In \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12715094\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trials\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, coconut oil has been shown to prevent hair damage “remarkably,” because it’s able to penetrate inside the hair shaft and reduces protein loss. Coconut oil also has favorable effects on skin, so it’s a beneficial ingredient for scalp health as well as hair health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eAloe vera\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is another efficacious ingredient in this product. As our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/curology-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCurology reviews\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article details, aloe vera has moisturizing properties to both skin and hair. It has a unique phytochemical profile, and its ability to lock in moisture will likely prevent breakage and damage in hair over time.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eClearly Routine Shampoo contains a number of effective ingredients. We do believe this product is likely to be effective for improving hair quality and reducing breakage. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis shampoo comes in three scents. We would strongly recommend that consumers interested in this product purchase the unscented version, as fragrance chemicals used in personal care products have \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5093181\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003edocumented\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e toxicity concerns.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRoutine doesn’t actually list fragrance on the ingredients list when you toggle between unscented and scented, but this seems to be an error on their end and not suggestive that their scented products are free of fragrance, because it makes no logical sense that the ingredients list of a scented and unscented product would be exactly the same. It seems more likely that the brand may have forgotten to list fragrance on the scented versions.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOur only (minor) concern about this product is that it contains the preservative \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ephenoxyethanol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. While it’s a relatively safe compound, it has \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31988350\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003esome toxicity concerns\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, and we believe that the preservative \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eethylhexylglycerin\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a better choice as it seems weaker based on medical research we’ve previously reviewed.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInterestingly, Routine Shampoo contains both of these preservatives, which seems like a bit of overkill to us for a simple shampoo formulation. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not recommend this product due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol and due to the use of two separate preservatives, but we do believe that this product is better-formulated than most shampoos on the market.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRoutine Conditioner Ingredient Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Routine_Conditioner_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1656821298\" alt=\"Routine Conditioner ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRoutine’s conditioner has a very similar formulation to their shampoo, which isn’t surprising because both products are used by consumers mostly to improve hair quality, scent and reduce breakage. We haven’t come across much medical research suggesting that hair conditioner is necessary, or that it provides benefits to hair quality above using a well-formulated shampoo alone.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRoutine Conditioner actually has every single active ingredient we reviewed in the previous section, including coconut oil, aloe vera, caffeine, saw palmetto extract, argan oil and the two preservatives. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAt the time of writing this article, a full 76% of the ingredients in the conditioner are also in the shampoo. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because many of these ingredients are proven to be effective, but it does seem to suggest that buying both products would be a waste of money because there’s so much overlap.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne ingredient unique to the conditioner is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ejojoba seed oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which is one of the best botanical ingredients for hair care products. An extensive \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8197201\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of the cosmetic benefits of jojoba oil, published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePolymers\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal, found that topical application of jojoba oil to hair improved hair fiber, protected hair thread, and improved breakage resistance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis is the only ingredient of note that’s different between the two products in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGiven that the conditioner contains jojoba oil, we would recommend Routine Conditioner over Routine Shampoo to consumers who are only planning to purchase one of the brand’s products.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHowever, we do not recommend either product because of their preservative choices.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eBetter Alternative\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe would recommend \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.drbronner.com\/collections\/hair-care\/products\/organic-hair-rinse\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDr. Bronner’s shampoo\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e over either Routine formulation. We have no commercial affiliation with this brand; they just have a great formulation.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe Dr. Bronner’s shampoo contains organic coconut oil, organic jojoba oil and organic olive oil to moisturize and heal damaged hair. Its scent comes from organic lemon oil and organic orange oil rather than fragrance. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnd most importantly in our opinion, this product contains zero synthetic preservatives, proving that it’s possible to formulate a plant-based shampoo without the need for preservatives.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe Dr. Bronner’s product also costs only $9.99 (\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003e$1.25 per ounce\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e), while Routine Shampoo costs $29.99 (\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003e$2.14 per ounce\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRoutine is a high-quality hair care brand. Both of the products they currently sell contain many botanical ingredients proven to be effective for improving hair quality based on published medical research. We do not recommend either product due to inclusion of one particular preservative, and due to the use of two preservatives overall.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe would recommend Dr. Bronner’s shampoo over Routine Shampoo as it’s around half the cost, free of preservatives and contains many effective botanical ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe urge Routine to update their ingredients list to include the fragrance chemicals used in the scented versions of their products, because it appears they may have forgotten to do so.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-07-03T00:16:05-04:00","updated_at":"2022-08-18T23:46:40-04:00","summary_html":"We review the ingredients in Routine Shampoo and Routine Conditioner based on published medical studies to see if the products are likely to improve hair quality and reduce hair breakage. We highlight some issues we have with the one of the preservatives the brand uses.","template_suffix":"","handle":"routine-shampoo-review","tags":"_related:personal-care-products, _related:shampoo"}

Routine Shampoo Review: Worth the Insane Price?

Routine Shampoo Review: Worth the Insane Price?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.
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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Routine is a high-end shampoo brand that claims their formulation is “safe,” “simple” and “effective.” Their products are very expensive, and at a price point of around $25 per bottle we would expect a superior formulation.

In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Routine shampoo and conditioner based on published medical research to determine if we believe the brand will actually make your hair healthier and stronger, or if we believe the same effects can be achieved at a much lower cost.

Routine Shampoo Ingredient Review

Routine Shampoo ingredients

Routine Shampoo has a large number of active ingredients. One of the most important is argan oil which is extracted from a tree native to Morocco.

Argan oil is proven in medical research to reduce damage to hair follicles, and also may be effective for reducing breakage due to its hydrating nature. This is a great ingredient for a shampoo formulation.

Saw palmetto extract is another likely effective ingredient. A clinical trial published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences found that saw palmetto extract promotes hair regeneration and helped repair damaged hair in mice. This botanical ingredient appears to be effective because it can decrease inflammation of the follicles.

We like the inclusion of caffeine in this formulation as well. As we noted in our review of Better Not Younger hair serum, topical application of caffeine has been shown in medical trials to potentially limit hair loss in both men and women, primarily by increasing the duration of the anagen phase of the hair cycle, which is when hair follicles are generated and grow.

Another active ingredient in Routine Shampoo is coconut oil, which is one of the plant oils with the most proven dermatological benefit. In clinical trials, coconut oil has been shown to prevent hair damage “remarkably,” because it’s able to penetrate inside the hair shaft and reduces protein loss. Coconut oil also has favorable effects on skin, so it’s a beneficial ingredient for scalp health as well as hair health.

Aloe vera is another efficacious ingredient in this product. As our Curology reviews article details, aloe vera has moisturizing properties to both skin and hair. It has a unique phytochemical profile, and its ability to lock in moisture will likely prevent breakage and damage in hair over time.

Clearly Routine Shampoo contains a number of effective ingredients. We do believe this product is likely to be effective for improving hair quality and reducing breakage. 

This shampoo comes in three scents. We would strongly recommend that consumers interested in this product purchase the unscented version, as fragrance chemicals used in personal care products have documented toxicity concerns.

Routine doesn’t actually list fragrance on the ingredients list when you toggle between unscented and scented, but this seems to be an error on their end and not suggestive that their scented products are free of fragrance, because it makes no logical sense that the ingredients list of a scented and unscented product would be exactly the same. It seems more likely that the brand may have forgotten to list fragrance on the scented versions.

Our only (minor) concern about this product is that it contains the preservative phenoxyethanol. While it’s a relatively safe compound, it has some toxicity concerns, and we believe that the preservative ethylhexylglycerin is a better choice as it seems weaker based on medical research we’ve previously reviewed.

Interestingly, Routine Shampoo contains both of these preservatives, which seems like a bit of overkill to us for a simple shampoo formulation. 

We do not recommend this product due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol and due to the use of two separate preservatives, but we do believe that this product is better-formulated than most shampoos on the market.

Routine Conditioner Ingredient Review

Routine Conditioner ingredients

Routine’s conditioner has a very similar formulation to their shampoo, which isn’t surprising because both products are used by consumers mostly to improve hair quality, scent and reduce breakage. We haven’t come across much medical research suggesting that hair conditioner is necessary, or that it provides benefits to hair quality above using a well-formulated shampoo alone.

Routine Conditioner actually has every single active ingredient we reviewed in the previous section, including coconut oil, aloe vera, caffeine, saw palmetto extract, argan oil and the two preservatives. 

At the time of writing this article, a full 76% of the ingredients in the conditioner are also in the shampoo. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because many of these ingredients are proven to be effective, but it does seem to suggest that buying both products would be a waste of money because there’s so much overlap.

One ingredient unique to the conditioner is jojoba seed oil, which is one of the best botanical ingredients for hair care products. An extensive medical review of the cosmetic benefits of jojoba oil, published in the Polymers journal, found that topical application of jojoba oil to hair improved hair fiber, protected hair thread, and improved breakage resistance.

This is the only ingredient of note that’s different between the two products in our opinion.

Given that the conditioner contains jojoba oil, we would recommend Routine Conditioner over Routine Shampoo to consumers who are only planning to purchase one of the brand’s products.

However, we do not recommend either product because of their preservative choices.

Better Alternative

We would recommend Dr. Bronner’s shampoo over either Routine formulation. We have no commercial affiliation with this brand; they just have a great formulation.

The Dr. Bronner’s shampoo contains organic coconut oil, organic jojoba oil and organic olive oil to moisturize and heal damaged hair. Its scent comes from organic lemon oil and organic orange oil rather than fragrance. 

And most importantly in our opinion, this product contains zero synthetic preservatives, proving that it’s possible to formulate a plant-based shampoo without the need for preservatives.

The Dr. Bronner’s product also costs only $9.99 ($1.25 per ounce), while Routine Shampoo costs $29.99 ($2.14 per ounce).

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Conclusion

Routine is a high-quality hair care brand. Both of the products they currently sell contain many botanical ingredients proven to be effective for improving hair quality based on published medical research. We do not recommend either product due to inclusion of one particular preservative, and due to the use of two preservatives overall.

We would recommend Dr. Bronner’s shampoo over Routine Shampoo as it’s around half the cost, free of preservatives and contains many effective botanical ingredients.

We urge Routine to update their ingredients list to include the fragrance chemicals used in the scented versions of their products, because it appears they may have forgotten to do so.





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