An herbal shampoo + conditioner developed by a chemist from an ancient herbal hair rinse recipe might just be the answer to my oily scalp’s prayers.
This seems like the summer of hair care for me – I’ve already done a review on a pretty pricey Function of Beauty Shampoo that’s been all over the internet, but when I was contacted by the folks at Nature Queen Beauty and asked if I wanted to try out their herbal conditioner + shampoo and review it, I was intrigued and did some research before agreeing because I always like to know what I’m getting into.
According to their Our Story page, it all started with a chemist who experienced postpartum hair loss and tried numerous products that didn’t help at all – it was only until she tried an “ancient herbal hair rinse recipe” given to her by her grandmother that she saw results. Using her chemistry background, she finally managed to create this product after years of trying different batches.
What interested me the most was the following statement found on the home page of their website:
“Our formula consists of nine different herbs that have been traditionally used by Asian women for hundreds of years to combat hair ailments including dandruff, hair loss, infection, hair thinning, oily scalp, and dry scalp.”
If you happened to have read my Function of Beauty review, you’ll know that the main reason I wasn’t that impressed with the product was that since I have straight, easily manageable Asian-type hair, my only real “problem” is that it gets oily really quickly and irritated pretty easily. For this reason, the description of the Nature Queen Beauty products above really lured me in because of the fact that the ingredients have traditionally be used by Asian woman, so it gave me more hope that it would work for my hair.
Furthermore, a peek at how it works as shown above was also very promising. While my hair isn’t color-treated, cleansing without drying out my scalp is important to me (and probably everybody else) especially because my scalp is pretty sensitive. Additionally, although my hair probably isn’t thinning, I’m always pretty paranoid about hair-loss since I always feel like I just lose so much of it in the shower (does anybody else have this fear??), so reducing hair loss and promoting hair growth is also a nice added bonus.
As for shine and volume, shine is not something I have a problem with, but I could use a little help in the volume department. Finally, since I live in or near a city most of the year, protection against environment damage and dandruff is also really nice. For all of this, I really like how it tells you exactly which ingredients help with which problem.
Speaking of ingredients, I found the ingredients to be really unique – I honestly haven’t heard of a majority of these things, which only made me want to try it more. I have heard of Lemongrass being in cosmetic products, and while I know what Patchouli is, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it in hair care before. As for all the other ingredients, I… uh… have no idea what they are.
On the About section of their Facebook page under “Story,” the company also says, “it promotes healthy hair growth and scalp without harmful ingredients like paraben, GMOs, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial coloring, or artificial fragrance.”
Another thing that’s really cool about their website is the fact that they break down what you should see in terms of results after a specific amount of time. I think this is super helpful because a lot of times when I’m trying a new product out, I don’t know how long it’s supposed to be before I see any kind of the promised results because they don’t usually tell you, so oftentimes I get discouraged and stop trying it. Here, they tell you what to expect after one use, one week, two weeks, one month, and with continuous use.
Long story short, I agreed to do a review of these products and was sent the travel size shampoo + conditioner set for free. I was not paid for my review and all thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own!
When I received the product, it came in a cute little box in these paper-like “strings” that kind of remind me of an Easter basket. According to the website, “Much like the sustainable ingredients used that come directly from the earth, all of the packaging that holds these precious formulas are 100% recyclable.” I think this is a really cool aspect because a lot of packaging tends to be pretty wasteful, so anything that can help reduce waste is A+ in my book!
The product conveniently comes with a pump that can lock, which is nice for traveling. The travel set, which is what I received, comes with two 3.38 fl oz/100 ml bottles and normally retails for $16. With a combined total of 6.76 fl oz, the price breaks down to $2.37 per oz. This is pretty expensive, but I’ll get into that later!
THE PRODUCT ITSELF
The shampoo itself is a pretty thick brown color that kind of reminds me of liquid caramel. The conditioner is a cream color that feels surprisingly thin. The shampoo has a pretty strong lemongrass scent that I honestly wasn’t too keen about at first (it eventually grew on me), while the conditioner has a similar scent that’s a lot more muted.
As per the bottles, here is the ingredients list on both the shampoo & conditioner:
Shampoo: Purified Water, Sodium lauryl ether sulfate, Ageratum conyzoides, Ocimum gratissimum, Eleusine indica, Coco Amido Propyl Betaine, Palm kernel oil Diethanolomide, Morus alba, Dimethicone, Gleditsia, Ocimum gratissimum (Holy basil) essential oil, Oroxylum indicum, PEG 75 lanolin, Guar Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed keratin, Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon grass) essential oil, Sodium chloride, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) essential oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium benzoate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Magnesium chloride, Magenesium nitrate, ± Citric Acid.
Conditioner: Purified Water, Cetearyl alcohol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyquaternium 7, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, PPG-3 Caprylyl Ether, Quaternium 91, Linoleamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Hydrolyzed keratin, Ocimum gratissimum (Holy basil) essential oil, Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) essential oil, PEG-75 Stearate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Nut Oil, Myristyl Myristate, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) essential oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Magnesium chloride, Magenesium nitrate, ± Citric Acid.
For the purposes of this review, I’m going to be going off of the “results timeline” that I discussed above to tell you what I experienced when using this product. I received the shampoo + conditioner set on August 3 so I’ve been using it for approximately a month now!
- After One Use → After one use my hair definitely felt lighter and, SHOCKINGLY, more voluminous! I didn’t notice any change in manageability, but as I’ve said multiple times, my hair is pretty manageable to begin with.
- After One Week → Normally, I was my hair every other day, and although I can get away with prolonging that cycle one more day if I had to using an abundance of dry shampoo, I’d say that’s my usual limit. However, after about a week, my hair felt less oily somehow – I still stuck with the every other day schedule, but I noticed that I didn’t have to use as much dry shampoo on the off-day.
- After Two Weeks → I have been noticing a lot of baby hairs along my forehead, but I’m honestly not sure if that’s due to these new products or if I just haven’t noticed them because I haven’t looked for them before. For the most part, I still washed my hair every other day; however, I really cut down on the amount of dry shampoo I needed. I could have feasibly prolonged the hair washing for another day if I wasn’t so used to my schedule.
- After One Month → I’m currently at the One Month mark now! I’ve never really had a problem with breakage, but I have DEFINITELY noticed a change in the amount of fallout that I’ve been having. It seems that the amount of hair I find in my drain or on the floor when I comb my hair out has been halved, which is really nice for me (and my vacuum) to see. The BIG change that I’m most excited about is actually the state of my scalp – since my scalp gets oily and irritated easily, I’m prone to itching, and my scalp is rarely itchy anymore! This probably also has to do with the fact that I’ve finally bitten the bullet and tried going longer without washing my hair, which hasn’t been a disaster! I can go an extra day without washing my hair with no problem, which has saved a lot of product in terms of the shampoo + conditioner and dry shampoo!
- With Continuous Use → I technically haven’t made it past one month so I can’t really comment on continuous use, but *spoiler alert* I do plan to repurchase a full-size set of this, so I’m eager to see if the claims continue
Now I’m going to get into some pros & cons, which I will discuss more ~in-depth~ in the “Overall Comments” section!
- Travel Size → This is on the pricier end so it’s nice that there’s a travel set available. Although $16 is still pretty pricey for a shampoo + conditioner, it’s a lot less expensive than if you would have to pay for the full-size version, only to find out you don’t actually like it.
- Oil Control → This is the biggest pro for me because this is where I had the most problems with my hair and noticed the biggest difference. My scalp gets SIGNIFICANTLY less oily than it used to, which has resulted in me being able to push my hair washing off an extra day. This is not only healthier for my scalp overall because it gets less itchy and irritated, but saves me so much more time in the shower since I don’t always have to wash my hair, saves me so much more time in life since I then don’t have to wait for it to dry (I hate hair dryers for some reason), and it saves me so much more dry shampoo since I don’t have to douse myself in it anymore.
- Volume → I am #shooketh that this actually helped with volumization since I haven’t had much luck in that department in the past. This definitely wasn’t “necessary” for me in terms of a benefit, but it’s a pleasant bonus!
- Ingredients → The ingredients in this are super unique and I haven’t heard of most of them before. The coolest thing about them is that they really work since I’ve definitely noticed a difference.
- Origins → I think it’s really cool that this was developed by a chemist and has been “traditionally used by Asian women for hundreds of years” because that makes it seem more “personable” to me, if that makes any sense. Maybe it’s just good marketing, but I certainly have bought into it!
- Results → Having a “time schedule” of when you’ll notice specific results is really convenient, especially when the product actually does what it said it would. I didn’t have to keep guessing when I would see results and what results I would see because the results were pretty obvious and I knew when to look out for them!
- Scent → I’m going to be honest here and say that at first, I really disliked the scent. Lemongrass is one of the ingredients, and that particular smell does come through a lot. However, after I’ve continued to use it, the scent has actually grown on me! I don’t really notice it anymore, so I guess I’ve just gotten used to it!
- Price → $16 for a travel size set is #expensive. Period.
- Shipping Cost → You have to pay $5 for standard shipping (the only option), which isn’t ideal, but it’s not too expensive. It ships from San Francisco and I live in New Jersey and I got mine in three days (it shipped on July 31 and I received it on August 3)
Although this is pretty expensive, as I’ve said multiple times before, I think it’s worth it. The reason why I haven’t been 100% on board with pricier natural hair care products in the past (*cough* Function of Beauty *cough*) is because I didn’t notice a difference between those products and other products I’ve tried at the drugstore. In my last review, I compared the FoB products to more affordable OGX products because they performed basically the same for me and came to the conclusion that for me, it just wasn’t worth spending the extra money on FoB products because the only difference was that they were customized and I couldn’t justify spending the additional money to put my name on a bottle. However, I don’t think I can even compare Nature Queen Beauty to Function of Beauty or OGX because it has completely cut down the amount of oil my scalp produces, which I haven’t seen any other product do for me – other products have helped with oil control, but Nature Queen Beauty really has helped with oil reduction.
Most benefits I’ve experienced from were all tied to the fact that the other shampoos/conditioners also don’t contain parabens or sulfates, which is the same story for these products. One thing I would like to address is the fact that although this doesn’t contain “sodium lauryl sulfate,” it DOES list “sodium lauryl ether sulfate” as one of its main ingredients. I thought this was a little fishy at first, but after doing some quick research, I’ve learned that these two ingredients aren’t the same thing:
- According to Chemistry Store, “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth [or Lauryl] Sulfate (SLES) are both surfactants and are added to products to increase the foaming action when the product used. This is done due to the widely accepted notion that foam equals product performance.” It also says the main difference between the two is in the manufacturing process and although both are very similar, SLS is a skin irritant and SLES is formulated be much milder and not irritate the skin, which is why many manufacturers prefer to use SLES due to the fact that it’s supposed to be gentler on the skin and hair.
- Suma also clarifies “SLS is a powerful degreasant and can cause the oils from the skin to be stripped out. It can be sensitizing to many people. SLES is also a degreasant but is less sensitizing to the skin. That is not to say nobody will find it sensitizing.”
The main point I took away from these two sources is that SLS and SLES aren’t the same thing – Nature Queen Beauty DOES NOT contain SLS, but it DOES contain SLES, which is meant to be milder and less irritating, but that doesn’t mean it won’t irritate anybody. I haven’t had any problems with these products and I have a pretty sensitive scalp, so that’s my own personal experience with it, but as always, do your own research and use at your own risk!
Moving right along – because I previously mentioned price and it isn’t a proper Amanda Review™️ without me whipping out Excel, let’s do some math! If you don’t like math or like me, you can either skip ahead, or stop reading because I know I can be more irritating than SLS! (Haha chemistry pun)
Above, I’ve broken down all of the available product offerings from Nature Queen Beauty to see how much you’re actually paying per fl oz of product. You can see that you’re paying a lot more per oz for the travel set than you would for the bundle, which makes sense because general pricing practices usually incentivize people to buy more by reducing the actual price they’re paying per amount of product. If you for some reason wanted to buy the shampoo or conditioner separately, you’d be paying $0.03 more per fl oz than you would just by buying the set.
Above is a table from the previous review I keep mentioning just to compare the prices. As you can see, you’re technically paying less per fl oz for Nature Queen Beauty than you would for Function of Beauty ($1.20 vs. $1.88). OGX is still way more affordable, but again, while you can always compare pricing, I don’t think you can really compare the products themselves.
For me, this gets a 10/10. Is it expensive? Again, yes it is, but it’s also so worth it. I can justify the price by taking into consideration how much time this saves me since I don’t need to wash my hair as much, as well as how much product I’m saving. I sound like a broken record, but I really have cut down tremendously on the amount of dry shampoo I’ve been using, and since I don’t need to wash my hair as often, I’m also cutting down on the amount of shampoo/conditioner I need, which means I can make the bottle last a lot longer. My scalp feels so much better – I always thought I got pretty lucky with my hair, but it’s kind of crazy now that I realize what my hair could be.
After about one month of use, I’d say I probably have around 30% of each 3.38 fl oz bottle left. If I keep up this rate, I could make both of them last probably around 5 months. I could do some more Excel math here, but I think you all would kill me, so let’s just leave that rough estimate at that 🙂
One other caveat for me initially was the scent, but as I mentioned, I quickly got used to it. I had a few of my friends smell it for themselves and one of them really liked it, one of them disliked it, and the other one didn’t really have an opinion on it, so it just goes to show that it’s all personal preference. If you are sensitive to smells in general you may not like this just because the scent, although not necessarily bad (again, personal preference!), is strong, but if you’re open to anything, I’d say it’s worth a try.
Something I’d also like to mention is although this seems to have been marketed towards people with Asian-type hair due to the emphasis of tradition of being used by Asian women, I’m sure this would work for other hair types, although I’m not 100% positive of that. Different products work differently for different hair types – my curly-haired friends all raved about Function of Beauty, which I wasn’t super impressed with, so I’m not sure if they would have the same reaction to Nature Queen Beauty. Again, make sure you do your own research first before trying it for yourself – the nice thing about Nature Queen Beauty is that you can try the travel size version first before investing in the larger option!
One thing I wish wasn’t a thing is paying for shipping; however, I do have a “refer a friend” redemption code where you put your name and email in and get a code for $5 off, which, conveniently, is the price of the shipping:
I’m leaving for Italy at the beginning of September, so I’m actually going to place an order for the full size shampoo + conditioner set because I want to bring it over with me. If anybody ends up trying this out or has tried it before, let me know – I would love to hear your thoughts!
- Chemistry Store // “Understanding the Difference Between Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate“
- Suma // “SLS and SLES Spot the difference?“
*Disclaimer: As already mentioned, I was sent the travel size version of these products for free (thanks Nature Queen Beauty!) and agreed to do a review on them. I was not paid for this review and as always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!
*Updated 9/13/17: to include full shampoo + conditioner ingredients list