by Erin F.
I like to think of myself as minimalist when it comes to hair care, but the truth is more that I'm lazy. My routine consists of washing my hair every other day, adding a drop of marula oil to my ends after towel drying if I need extra moisture, a quick blast to blow dry my roots or let it air dry (I rarely blow dry it completely dry) and, if I'm feeling really ambitious, a light spritz of Intelligent Nutrients hairspray to smooth my frizz. So, with shampoo being the central player in my "minimalist" hair care routine, I'm always hoping to find a natural formula that will magically solve all my hair woes. (Probably not realistic, I know!)
A bit about my hair: I have medium-length hair with an oily scalp and ends that tend toward dryness. My hair is medium-fine in thickness and the texture is a combination of fine, straight hairs, loosely wavy hairs, full-on curly/coarse and even zig-zaggy hairs. Due to bouts of shedding caused by thyroid disease, I always have shorter hairs growing in, which tend to form a small frizz halo. My hair is notoriously picky about conditioners and styling products. It has the tendency to go limp when I try them, or to frizz out even more, hence my minimalist routine of products that don't annoy my picky hair.
So, when I was sent a bottle of Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Volumizing Shampoo ($24), I was excited to see if it would perform hair magic on me. It claims to be for "those with thin, fine, limp, and/or lifeless hair who want to kickstart growth while more immediately, increasing the appearance of thicker & fuller hair." Sounds good to me!
I wasn't familiar with the Briogeo brand, but the ingredients for this shampoo looked sufficiently clean (no sulphates, parabens, artificial fragrance, or wheat protein), and included aloe juice, argan oil, coconut oil to add moisture, biotin, panthenol, ginseng, and ginger to nourish the follicles, and maltodextrin starch to thicken the hair shaft, so I was happy to test it. I'm sensitive to artificial fragrances and, as a person with Celiac Disease, I avoid wheat, even in topical form (there is research showing that it can provoke skin reactions in sensitive individuals with weakened skin barriers).
I've tried many natural shampoos, from basic to high end, and few have really impressed me, so I was eager to see how Blossom and Bloom would perform and if it could stack up to my favorite, but pricey ($34 for 8 oz.), natural shampoo. The first thing I noticed was the pleasant scent. It smells more like a salon product than the shampoos I'm used to using, which tend to smell more herbal. This smells like a bright combination of grapefruit and sweet orange, with a hint of ginger and something vaguely perfumey and earthy that I can't quite place. Looking at the ingredients, there is no fragrance listed and no other essential oils beyond the citrus and ginger, which leaves me to assume that I'm smelling the ginseng extract. The texture is a medium-thick gel and it lathered really well, leaving my hair feeling clean, but not overly stripped or dry. I only had to use about a quarter-sized dollop to get a good lather. The scent lingered lightly in my hair all day, which was a new experience for a natural shampoo. Usually the scents fade pretty quickly. It didn't bother my fragrance sensitivity, though.
Throughout my month of using it, I played around with letting my hair air dry as well as blow drying it fully to get a good idea of the performance. When it air dried, I can't say I noticed more bounce, but it definitely felt thicker, and it was shiny and soft and the wavier parts of my hair were slightly relaxed without being limp. When I blow dried it, it was very noticeably bouncier and had more volume than usual, without sacrificing shine or softness. The bounciness and shine even persisted after being windblown and being slept on (my hair often looks flat and duller the next morning)! I was quite impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of having such bouncy, shiny hair! It didn't magically tame my frizz halo, but that tended to settle down as the day went on.
All in all, I'd say I had a lot more good hair days than usual and really enjoyed using it. The price point is reasonable for well-performing, high-quality shampoo ($24 for 8 oz.). I washed my hair every other day and I still have a good 2/3 of a bottle left, so it's decently economical. It's something I would definitely be happy to continue to purchase.