{"id":606734156082,"title":"Is Herbal Essences Good for Hair? A Dermatologist Answers","created_at":"2023-12-03T15:26:42-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Herbal Essences Good for Hair? A Dermatologist Answers\",\n \"keywords\": \"is herbal essences good for hair\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner to give our take on whether or not the brand is good for hair. We explain which ingredients can improve the appearance of hair and explain why Herbal Essences was sued in 2021.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-herbal-essences-good-for-hair\",\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\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Nely Aldrich\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.D.\",\n \"FAAD\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/nely-aldrich\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.healthgrades.com\/physician\/dr-nely-aldrich-gf53b\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/nely-aldrich-16b99530\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Dermatology Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"skincare, anti-aging, wrinkles, acne, moisturizer, clinical research, clinical trials, hair, aging, sunscreen, soap\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center\",\n \"Northeast Ohio Medical University\",\n \"Kent State University\"\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\/Is_Herbal_Essences_Good_For_Hair_Thumbnail.png?v=1701664926\",\n\"width\": \"1881\",\n\"height\": \"1881\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/35226791\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2763764\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/24252083\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/maui-shampoo-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29110394\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30426516\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32387382\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.aboutlawsuits.com\/dry-shampoo-class-action-lawsuit\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22517595\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12196747\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"argan kernel oil\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"aloe vera\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"fragrance\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"synthetic preservatives\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Frankie White\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"BudgetGlam Babe\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"About Lawsuits\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-12-03\",\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 \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\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\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Herbal_Essences_Good_For_Hair_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1701647760\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eH\u003c\/span\u003eerbal Essences is one of the most popular drugstore shampoo brands. The company claims to use \"Ingredients You Trust\" in hair products that give customers \"Hair You Love.\"\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBut does Herbal Essences contain research-backed ingredients for improving hair quality, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any questionable additives?  And why was Herbal Essences sued?\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Herbal Essences Shampoo and Herbal Essences Conditioner based on clinical studies, to give our take on whether or not the brand is good for hair.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe'll feature unsponsored user reviews of the brand and explain why Herbal Essences was sued in 2021.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eShampoo Ingredient Analysis\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Herbal_Essences_Repair_Argan_Oil_Shampoo_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1701649479\" alt=\"Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Shampoo ingredients\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe ingredients in Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Shampoo are shown above.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThere are some ingredients in this formulation which are clinically shown to improve hair quality.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eArgania spinosa\u003c\/em\u003e (argan) kernel oil\u003c\/strong\u003e can protect hair against oxidative damage, according to a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/35226791\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology\u003c\/em\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAloe vera\u003c\/strong\u003e stimulates creation of collagen and elastin in skin, according to a 2008 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2763764\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e, which suggests it may enhance scalp health.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eEcklonia radiata\u003c\/em\u003e extract\u003c\/strong\u003e may promote hair growth, because a different species (\u003cem\u003eEcklonia cava\u003c\/em\u003e) within the same genus of kelp was shown to do so in a 2013 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/24252083\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhile there are some effective ingredients in this formulation, there are also some ingredients that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eFragrance\u003c\/strong\u003e may be a serious risk to human health according to at least one medical review, as we discussed in our \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/maui-shampoo-review\"\u003eMaui Shampoo reviews\u003c\/a\u003e article.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eMethylisothiazolinone\u003c\/strong\u003e is a \u003cstrong\u003esynthetic preservative that induces cell death and inflammation in human cells\u003c\/strong\u003e, as documented in a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29110394\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eEnvironmental Toxicology\u003c\/em\u003e journal.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt's worth noting that the above-linked clinical trial was a test tube study, which is a weaker standard of evidence than a trial with human participants. We still consider this data to be concerning.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eMethylchloroisothiazolinone\u003c\/strong\u003e is another synthetic preservative, and the authors of a 2019 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30426516\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e on this compound concluded that \"\u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003eDermatologists should be aware of this situation, and counsel patients to avoid products containing [\u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003eMethylchloroisothiazolinone].\"\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eOverall, we consider \u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003eHerbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Shampoo likely to strengthen and protect hair, but we don't currently recommend this product due to the three inactive ingredients listed above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eReal People Try Herbal Essences\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA YouTube creator named Frankie White shared her experience using the Aloe line from Herbal Essences:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ciframe data-sanitized-allowfullscreen=\"\" data-sanitized-allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" data-sanitized-frameborder=\"0\" title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/wOK02cWwWFM?si=-0I61aJDvGUjZ7ea\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA YouTube creator named \"BudgetGlam Babe\" reviewed Herbal Essences' rose hip shampoo and smoothing spray:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ciframe data-sanitized-frameborder=\"0\" data-sanitized-allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" data-sanitized-allowfullscreen=\"\" width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/fhw9MXLSCN8?si=o8C2prR9DPqLIeTM\" title=\"YouTube video player\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eConditioner Ingredient Analysis\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Herbal_Essences_Repair_Argan_Oil_Conditioner_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1701663201\" alt=\"Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Conditioner ingredients\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThe ingredients in \u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003eHerbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Conditioner are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e \u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eArgania spinosa\u003c\/em\u003e (argan) kernel oil\u003c\/strong\u003e, \u003cstrong\u003ealoe vera \u003c\/strong\u003eand \u003ca data-encoded-tag-name=\"meta\" data-encoded-tag-value=\"\" data-encoded-attr-charset=\"dXRmLTg=\"\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e \u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eEcklonia radiata\u003c\/em\u003e extract\u003c\/strong\u003e are included in this formulation, and we explained in the previous Ingredient Analysis section why we consider these ingredients likely to support hair health and appearance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eFragrance\u003c\/strong\u003e is also included in this formulation, but the two synthetic preservatives we highlighted in the shampoo are not.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003ePhenoxyethanol\u003c\/strong\u003e is a synthetic preservative shown to be toxic to human cells in a 2020 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32387382\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe consider this formulation to be healthier than the shampoo formulation, but we don't currently recommend it due to the inclusion of fragrance and phenoxyethanol.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWhy Was Herbal Essences Sued?\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eIn 2021, Herbal Essences was sued in a class-action lawsuit because of a recall.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAccording to \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.aboutlawsuits.com\/dry-shampoo-class-action-lawsuit\/\"\u003eAbout Lawsuits\u003c\/a\u003e, some Herbal Essences products were recalled because they contained benzene, which has the potential to cause cancer.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe plaintiff alleged that the Herbal Essences products were marketed in a false and misleading way, because benzene was not mentioned.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt the time of publishing this article, it's unclear what the status of this class-action lawsuit is.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSince the products containing benzene were recalled, we have no reason to believe this is an ongoing consumer safety issue.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eOur Clean Hair Care Picks\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Shampoo_Image_20df2087-a8ba-4c39-adbe-7dd14757ec84.png?v=1666993226\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3SViT6y\"\u003eAcure Vivacious Volume Shampoo\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e is our top shampoo pick, and\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eonly costs $7.49\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eat the time of updating this article.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThis shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ealoe vera juice\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eargan oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan\u003e. It also contains \u003cstrong\u003erosemary leaf oil\u003c\/strong\u003e which was shown in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22517595\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan\u003ePhytotherapy Research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan\u003e journal to promote hair growth.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/track.revoffers.com\/aff_c?offer_id=267\u0026amp;aff_id=7240\u0026amp;url_id=7700\"\u003eHappy Head Topical\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top hair growth solution.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThis formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12196747\/\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/a\u003e to increase hair count by 11%.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eConclusion\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHerbal Essences contains active ingredients that are good for hair. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe analyzed the ingredients in Herbal Essences' Repair shampoo and conditioner, and we consider both products likely to improve the appearance of hair.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHowever, both products also contained ingredients that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective, including synthetic preservatives and fragrance.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHerbal Essences was sued in 2021 because of a recall related to a potentially carcinogenic ingredient, and it's unclear to us what the status of that lawsuit is.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-12-03T23:51:23-05:00","updated_at":"2023-12-03T23:56:10-05:00","summary_html":"We analyze the ingredients in Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner to give our take on whether or not the brand is good for hair. We explain which ingredients can improve the appearance of hair and explain why Herbal Essences was sued in 2021.","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-herbal-essences-good-for-hair","tags":"_related:hair"}

Is Herbal Essences Good for Hair? A Dermatologist Answers

Is Herbal Essences Good for Hair? A Dermatologist Answers


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

Herbal Essences is one of the most popular drugstore shampoo brands. The company claims to use "Ingredients You Trust" in hair products that give customers "Hair You Love."

But does Herbal Essences contain research-backed ingredients for improving hair quality, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any questionable additives?  And why was Herbal Essences sued?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Herbal Essences Shampoo and Herbal Essences Conditioner based on clinical studies, to give our take on whether or not the brand is good for hair.

We'll feature unsponsored user reviews of the brand and explain why Herbal Essences was sued in 2021.

Shampoo Ingredient Analysis

Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Shampoo ingredients

The ingredients in Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Shampoo are shown above.

There are some ingredients in this formulation which are clinically shown to improve hair quality.

Argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil can protect hair against oxidative damage, according to a clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Aloe vera stimulates creation of collagen and elastin in skin, according to a 2008 medical review, which suggests it may enhance scalp health.

Ecklonia radiata extract may promote hair growth, because a different species (Ecklonia cava) within the same genus of kelp was shown to do so in a 2013 clinical trial.

While there are some effective ingredients in this formulation, there are also some ingredients that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective.

Fragrance may be a serious risk to human health according to at least one medical review, as we discussed in our Maui Shampoo reviews article.

Methylisothiazolinone is a synthetic preservative that induces cell death and inflammation in human cells, as documented in a clinical trial published in the Environmental Toxicology journal.

It's worth noting that the above-linked clinical trial was a test tube study, which is a weaker standard of evidence than a trial with human participants. We still consider this data to be concerning.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is another synthetic preservative, and the authors of a 2019 medical review on this compound concluded that "Dermatologists should be aware of this situation, and counsel patients to avoid products containing [Methylchloroisothiazolinone]."

Overall, we consider Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Shampoo likely to strengthen and protect hair, but we don't currently recommend this product due to the three inactive ingredients listed above.

Real People Try Herbal Essences

A YouTube creator named Frankie White shared her experience using the Aloe line from Herbal Essences:

A YouTube creator named "BudgetGlam Babe" reviewed Herbal Essences' rose hip shampoo and smoothing spray:

Conditioner Ingredient Analysis

Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Conditioner ingredients

The ingredients in Herbal Essences Repair Argan Oil Conditioner are shown above.

Argania spinosa (argan) kernel oil, aloe vera and  Ecklonia radiata extract are included in this formulation, and we explained in the previous Ingredient Analysis section why we consider these ingredients likely to support hair health and appearance.

Fragrance is also included in this formulation, but the two synthetic preservatives we highlighted in the shampoo are not.

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative shown to be toxic to human cells in a 2020 clinical trial.

We consider this formulation to be healthier than the shampoo formulation, but we don't currently recommend it due to the inclusion of fragrance and phenoxyethanol.

Why Was Herbal Essences Sued?

In 2021, Herbal Essences was sued in a class-action lawsuit because of a recall.

According to About Lawsuits, some Herbal Essences products were recalled because they contained benzene, which has the potential to cause cancer.

The plaintiff alleged that the Herbal Essences products were marketed in a false and misleading way, because benzene was not mentioned.

At the time of publishing this article, it's unclear what the status of this class-action lawsuit is.

Since the products containing benzene were recalled, we have no reason to believe this is an ongoing consumer safety issue.

Our Clean Hair Care Picks

Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo is our top shampoo pick, and only costs $7.49 at the time of updating this article.

This shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like aloe vera juice and argan oil. It also contains rosemary leaf oil which was shown in a clinical trial published in the Phytotherapy Research journal to promote hair growth.

Happy Head Topical is our top hair growth solution.

This formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is clinically shown to increase hair count by 11%.

The brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Herbal Essences contains active ingredients that are good for hair. 

We analyzed the ingredients in Herbal Essences' Repair shampoo and conditioner, and we consider both products likely to improve the appearance of hair.

However, both products also contained ingredients that we consider to be questionable from a health perspective, including synthetic preservatives and fragrance.

Herbal Essences was sued in 2021 because of a recall related to a potentially carcinogenic ingredient, and it's unclear to us what the status of that lawsuit is.