Can You Get Your Hair Vitamins From A Shampoo?

Putting OGX Vitamin E and Vitamin B5 shampoo and conditioner to the test.
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Putting OGX Vitamin E and Vitamin B5 shampoo and conditioner to the test.

I love doing this column simply because it is rad to compare all of these different products that have the same general purpose. It's like a long-term investigation, like The X-Files

Hello, are you the shampoo for me?

Hello, are you the shampoo for me?

Sometimes I'm going to be reviewing the priciest stuff ever, sometimes affordable stuff. Today I'm taking a look at two of OGX's new offerings: Healing + Vitamin E and Moisture +  Vitamin B5. 

Bonus fact: OGX is a widely available drugstore brand that stays on-trend and follows the lead of professional brands by using similar buzzy ingredients, such as Awapuhi, argan oil, and kukui nut oil.  

OGX Moisture + Vitamin B5 Shampoo and Conditioner

OGX Moisture + Vitamin B5 Shampoo and Conditioner

What: OGX Moisture + Vitamin B5 Shampoo and Conditioner, Healing + Vitamin E Shampoo and Conditioner

OGX Healing + Vitamin E Shampoo and Conditioner 

OGX Healing + Vitamin E Shampoo and Conditioner 

Intended users: Healing + Vitamin E is meant for damaged hair, Moisture + Vitamin is to soften hair and add body, but neither specifies for hair texture, so you can presume that everyone can use it regardless of texture.

Intended results: Healing +Vitamin E is meant to repair damage past and future, while combating frizz. Moisture + Vitamin B5 is meant to add moisture and soften hair, while giving daily protection.

Price: Each is $7.99

Price per ounce: $1.62

Notable inclusions and exclusions: Shampoos are free of sulfates and parabens, B5 series contains panthenol, which fills in damaged spots in hair strands, E series contains vitamin E to soften strands. Both formulas contain polyquaternium-10 in the shampoo, which adds conditioning power to the washing step. The conditioners are traditional water/glycerin/silicone formulas. This is where you really see the difference between pricey/salon formulas and drugstore. One has recognizable scientific names for botanicals, and the other has a whole lot of -ate's -phyl's and an alphabet's worth of abbreviations. Mind, I am not saying chemicals are bad, just noting the differences.  

Overall Impression

Moisture + Vitamin B5 Shampoo: According to a friend who has sniffed celebs in a retail setting, this shampoo smells exactly like Jonah Hill's cologne, so my guess is Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, because the shampoo def reminds me of that cologne. Sulfate-free, but still very very sudsy, I felt much more of a thickening effect than a softening effect. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 Cat with heart eyes emoji

Moisture + Vitamin B5 Conditioner: This one is a bit sweeter-smelling than the shampoo, a little more apple-y and softer--the Michael Cera to the shampoo's Jonah Hill. The formula is a standard batch, with silicones, fatty alcohols, water, and glycerin, and again I found it to be more volumizing than moisturizing. It added slip, but wasn't too heavy to use.  

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Cat with heart eyes emoji

Healing + Vitamin E Shampoo: I much prefer the smell of this line, with its softer amber-type scent, with a wee twist of Elizabeth Arden Sunflower or Clinique Happy. This stuff smells like the '90s to me. I liked the washing style of this formula, too; plenty of suds. It didn't strip my hair but got the buildup out. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 Cat with heart eyes emoji

Healing + Vitamin E Conditioner: Unlike the Moisture + Vitamin B5 version, the conditioner of the E family smells a bit stronger than the shampoo.  It reminds me of the Pantene Pro-V of my pre-teen years. Another traditional style conditioner, you get the usual run of ingredients with the addition of Vitamin E. I liked it well enough, but it didn't stand out from the many other formulas I have tried.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Cat with heart eyes emoji

For once in this column, I liked the shampoos better than the conditioner. I think that they are both viable drugstore options, but that they may be confused in the labeling. I find the effects of the two vitamins in question to be opposite than described.  

Panthenol (B5) is a hair filler and volumizer, having the effect of filling strands and repairing them temporarily, whereas Tocopherol Acetate (e) is more of a softening ingredient that adds moisture to dry hair. In my opinion, E can only heal living tissues, dead tissues it can only penetrate and moisturize. 

My solution? Cocktail them! I mixed the two together and it went over a lot better than using them separately. Though they may be confused, both of these formulas are viable options for the drugstore set.

  • Any OGX fans? What is your fave? The Coconut Milk line smells so awesome! 
  • Do you give your shampoos and conditioners the cocktail treatment?

Photos: Darnell Scott