Verb Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner

Man I’m really on a “let’s test-drive new hair stuff” binge at the moment. Here’s some more! Woo!

So this stuff has pretty solid reviews on Sephora and Amazon — the majority are 4-5 stars, with a small minority of 1- and 2-star ratings. Which, in my experience, that’s pretty common : everyone’s hair (or skin, etc) is different, and something that’s wonderful and miraculous to me might be a disaster for you, if your hair is of a different texture from mine, or a different level of damage, and so forth. But I generally feel pretty confident about ordering a product when over 75% of the reviews or rankings are in the top two tiers, rather than in a more even distribution across all star ratings. Anyway, let’s take a closer look, yes?

WHAT IS THIS STUFF? 

Verb is an Austin-based company making hair care products “created by stylists” — and they’re cruelty-free, contain no “harmful” sulfates (by which I assume they mean the harsher and ubiquitous SLS and SLeS), and almost all of them are vegan, excepting two styling products that use beeswax and/or lanolin. Sounds pretty good! Also, almost all of their products are $14 — the 12oz shampoos and conditioners, the hair sprays, styling products, masques, everything — so that’s both convenient and quite reasonable (esp since you get free shipping on all orders!). Their products are also available on Sephora ($14.00 each for the shampoo and conditioner), and on Amazon for about $14.50 each (Prime) for the same size…OR you can currently snag a set of 32oz bottles of the shampoo and conditioner for $47.25 and free shipping (non-Prime)! HOLY COW THAT IS A VERY GOOD DEAL.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? 

The shampoo is fairly thick, and a slightly pearly pale translucent yellow. Verb calls the scent “grapefruit oatmeal,” but I’d characterize it as “a very light grassy botanical floral with a bare hint of citrus.” It’s a very fresh-clean scent, and non-perfumey. (YAY.) As is typical with many shampoos that don’t have SLS/SLeS, the first lather is … not super lathery, esp on quite dirty hair. But the second lather is WHOA OMG YES SUPER CLEANSING OKAY THIS SEEMS GOOD.

The conditioner is VERY thick, a pearly white, and very creamy. It looks creamy, it feels creamy in your hand, and it feels creamy when you distribute it through your hair. CREAMY. I left it up in a clip for a few minutes while I completed my ablutions, because it’s 1823 and we’re in a Sir Walter Scott novel. I was a little more thorough than usual in my rinsing, because, again, it felt REALLY CREAMY and I prefer my left-in conditioner to be actual designated leave-in conditioner. After rinsing, my hair felt nicely slippy, but not heavy or like it still had gunk in it.

Hydrating Shampoo Ingredients : Water, Sodium C14-16 Olephin Sulfonate, Sodium Laurylsulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DIPA, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycol Distearate, Ammonium Chloride, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Silicone Quaternium-8, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine (L-Arginine), Aspartic Acid (L-Aspartic Acid), PCA, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Glycine, Alanine (L-Alanine), Serine (L-Serine), Tetrasodium EDTA, Valine (L-Valine), Threonine (L-Threonine), Proline (L-Proline), Isoleucine (L-Isoleucine), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Phenylalanine (L-Phenylaline), Histidine (L-Histidine), Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Polyquaternium-44, Argania Spinosa Kernal (ORGANIC Argan) Oil, Quaternium-95, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Propanediol, Methylisothiazolinone, Trideceth-12, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Glycerin, C12-15 Pareth-9, C11 15.

Hydrating Conditioner Ingredients :Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride,Polysorbate-60, Quaternium-95, Propanediol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-55, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-37, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Sodium PCA, Polysilicone-15, Organic Argan Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sodium Lactate, Arginine (L-Arginine), Aspartic Acid (L-Aspartic Acid), PCA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Glycine, Alanine (L-Alanine), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Serine (L-Serine), Valine (L-Valine), Threonine (L-Threonine), Proline (L-Proline), Isoleucine (L-Isoleucine), Phenylalanine (L-Phenylaline), Histidine (L-Histidine), Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

NOTE : Are you keeping an eye out for ‘cones like I am? The shampoo contains Silicone Quaternium-8, which is a water-soluble silicone that doesn’t do the build-up thing. The conditioner contains Amodimethicone, which is a water-insoluble silicone — BUT, it’s one that has ~polymer action~ and supposedly both bonds to damaged areas of hair and doesn’t accumulate, so I’ll let that one pass. Polysilicone-15 is further down the ingredient list, and it serves as a UV-blocker/filter, washes off easily and also isn’t prone to build-up. (Yeah I looked all these up on a couple of different sites to see what they are and how they act. WOW we’re learning so much!)

HOW DID IT DO THO?

Okay, I love this. The shampoo felt effective but not drying, and it didn’t pull an inordinate amount of blue dye out of my hair (in fact, it seemed to pull less than most shampoos I’ve used? But then, it’s been a while since I recolored and thus there isn’t a shit-ton of dye in my hair now, so take that with a grain of salt). The conditioner felt, again, CREAMY and really lush, and I could easily get through my wet hair with a sparsely-pronged brush (Olivia Garden Finger Brush, as usual). And after letting it air-dry in a sloppy bun for a couple hours and then finishing with the blow dryer? YOU GUYS MY HAIR FEELS NOTICEABLY NICER. It’s VERY soft, but still feels clean, and the ravaged ends even feel a little softer/smoother/more supple than usual. Yes, slightly better than with the Acure stuff, and even maybe slightly better than with my beloved John Masters! Whaaaatttt. Also of note : I could still smell the very faint scent of the shampoo & conditioner (the shampoo seems slightly more strongly fragranced) while my hair was wet, but after drying, it just smells “clean,” and I can hardly detect any kind of perfume effect at all.

VERDICT : SO GOOD. I really really like this stuff. I’m actually surprised at how much I like this. I also love that all the shampoos and conditioners (except the Hydrating Mask) come in a “normal” stout cylindrical bottle with a press-to-open cap — none of that bullshit with the upright squeeze-tube with a bottom flip-cap that collects water and grows mold or mildew! I don’t have to decant it into a better container! And the big 32 oz bottles (which are already in my Amazon cart, duh) have a built-in pump! Intrigued? If you want to try them out without committing to full-size, both Sephora and Verb’s own site offer 2.3oz travel size bottles of the Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner for $7 each.

Tried it? Love it or nah? Perplexed by “grapefruit oatmeal”? Discuss!