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Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo And Conditioner — A Minty Mess


How do I even begin to express my disappointment with this new collection of haircare products from Carol’s Daughter? Okay, let’s start with aesthetics: the new Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo has this sludgy brown color, like what you’d find on your Wellies if you trekked through the muddy fields after a major downpour. It’s not a clay color — that would seem way more familiar and hence enticing. No, this looks like slimy muck. I kept looking at the bottle skeptically, hesitating to put it on my hair.  But hey, you can’t judge a book by its cover, right? There have been plenty of products that looked a bit frightening but proved to be fantastically effective (case in point: the Pangea Organics Japanese Matcha with Acaii & Goji Berry Facial Mask). And so I gave the shampoo a whirl. The story only gets worse from there.

First, squeezing any product out of this bottle was next to impossible.I felt like I was holding one of those old-school exercise hand grips with the two plastic handles that you attempt to squeeze together. Eventually, I just gave up, unscrewed the top and applied the shampoo to my damp hair. Done and done.

And then, of course, I detected the product’s smell. Now, I admit, I’m not a big fan of peppermint. Sure, I like mint in the contact of oral care products but, beyond that, I’m not really a fan. Still, if it’s a fresh minty scent, I can usually tolerate it. The Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo, however, doesn’t smell like a fresh mint leaf — more like a room that’s had a Vicks Steam Guard Vaporizer running for hours. The mint smell has this medicinal quality that’s completely off-putting: I felt like my sinuses and my chest were being cleared — and, while that’s cool and all , that wasn’t the goal of this particular endeavor (not to mention that I don’t want my dome to smell like a jar of Vicks Vapor Rub).

As for the shampoo’s performance, it’s also not stellar. The product is extremely rich and it can be hard to handle. It does lather up but, oddly enough, as I worked it through my hair, it would make my strands get tangled up (which would be so odd, since my hair wasn’t tangled before shampooing it). When it first happened, I figured it was just a one-time, freakish event. But then it kept happening. Not cool.

The Rosemary Mint Conditioner isn’t quite as disappointing since it does, in fact, leave hair feeling replenished and smooth thanks to the Panthenol and jojoba oil in the formula. Unfortunately, the conditioner also features that Vicks-like smell I found so repulsive. Also, it didn’t quite go far enough in terms of detangling my hair (and, as I mentioned, the shampoo consistently left my hair knotted up), and I wound up having to resort to another Redken’s Smooth Down Detangling Cream to work its magic.

The one positive: the peppermint oil in these products leaves your scalp feeling nice and cool. But when that’s the best I can say, well, that speaks volumes in and of itself.

Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo, $12.50, and Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner, $17.50. Available at Sephora.com

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