I think you have to admire the “Yes to….” brand. They have created products people really like, at mass market price points, featuring organic fruits and vegetables and, they say, free of common and dangerous chemical ingredients. From Yes to Carrots (“nourishing”) to Yes to Cucumbers (“soothing”) to Yes to Tomatoes (“anti-acne”) and now, Yes to Blueberries (“age refresh”), they have also expanded the range and its targets. TIA asked me to look at the new Shampoo and Conditioner in the “Yes to Blueberries” line, and I love blueberries – so why not?

The “Blueberries” line is billed as “hair repair” for heat- and chemical-treated hair, based on the known antioxidant properties of the fruit. (I noticed that Marta reviewed one of the Yes to Blueberries face products.) Specifically, Yes-to says that these products are 98% natural, “formulated with blueberries to protect hair with antioxidant superpower; clover flower with its healing properties to mend damaged locks; and sunflower, which is packed with fatty acids to restore shine and protect against breakage.”

My hair is healthy and quite thick, though certainly color-treated to the point of abuse. Still, it wasn’t crying out for repair, though I can always use a better shampoo. I used the Yes to Blueberries Healthy Hair Repair Shampoo and Conditioner for a couple of weeks, and it was fine. It looked and behaved more like a regular mass-market shampoo and conditioner than like a boutique-y, “natural” shampoo (which is confirmed by the ingredients list), in terms of thickness, foaming, feel, etc. I didn’t see any marked difference or improvement in my hair – texture, manageability, shine – but I didn’t feel it looked any worse, either. It was a perfectly fine shampoo/conditioner.

I have to question whether the unique ingredients trumpeted in the marketing are really there in quantities sufficient to make a difference (even assuming they can affect hair condition, which is a question way beyond my pay grade). Most entries on the ingredients list look indistinguishable from the usual alphabet soup I see in the drugstores. In fact, the third item listed for the conditioner, with the appealing name of Behentrimonium chloride, is, according to the TIA Ingredients database, not only an “anti-static and conditioning agent… a great defrizzer and emulsifier,” but also a toxic compound.

I am not a purist, and I always ask the question about price/performance. It’s hard to argue with a brand that puts a lot of good stuff (or at least, less bad stuff) in consumers’ hands at the cost of $7.99 for enormous 11.5-ounce bottles and is available everywhere from Target to the neighborhood grocery. I think this product does a decent job. I’d love to love it, but I don’t.

Ingredients in Yes to Blueberries Shampoo: Water, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Xanthan Gum, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Stearyl Dihydroxypropyldimonium Oligosaccharides, Lupine Amino Acids, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Ipomoea Batatas Root Lees Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (100% Natural Fragrance), Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol

Ingredients in Yes to Blueberries Conditioner: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Stearyl Dihydroxypropyldimonium Oligosaccharides, Lupine Amino Acids, Fragrance (100% Natural Fragrance), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Ipomoea Batatas Root Lees Extract, Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Trimethylolpropane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Phenoxyethanol, Capryl Glycol, Sorbic Acid