Let me preface this review by telling you that I'm a long-time fan of Infusium 23. Their Moisture Replenisher Conditioner has a permanent spot in my shower and I love the way it works for my particular hair type. So when Rite Aid was having a sale on Infusium a while back, which coincided with some coupons in the newspaper, I jumped at the chance to purchase their newest Color Defender products (I think I ended up paying just $2.99 each for these!):
Infusium 23 Color Defender Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner
(retail: around $7.99 each, 16 oz)
So let's start with the shampoo:
I'm not a chemist, but I believe that the "sulfoacetate", "sulfosuccinate" and "sulfonate" in this shampoo are gentler alternatives to sulfates:
Since I'm guessing that there are three sulfate-alternatives in this shampoo, it's easy to understand why this shampoo does lather well even despite the absence of sulfates. Again, I'm no chemist, but I'm trying to account for the fact that, unlike other shampoos I've used that contain no ingredients beginning with the prefix "sul", this shampoo lathers in much the same way as a sulfate-rich shampoo.
Moving down the ingredients list, you'll see that there are three different types of "cones" in this shampoo as well. Well, I'm afraid that this is perhaps one too many, because I find that this shampoo leaves a rather heavy coating in my oily-roots-dry-ends-color-treated hair. The texture of my hair is fine, and it's naturally wavy as well. I have long hair (it hits my bra-strap) and although I love moisturizing shampoos, I find this one to be too rich for my hair type. I need a shampoo that's going to leave my hair feeling less like hay, but not so coated that it weighs my hair down and leaves it flat. This shampoo is so rich that I have a very difficult time rinsing it out. In other words, I'm never quite sure when to stop rinsing. After a good amount of time rinsing out this shampoo, the texture of my hair feels like there's still shampoo left to be rinsed. I find this guessing game to be a bit frustrating, actually.
So let's move on to the conditioner:
Now this is interested (well, to me at least). There are two 'cones in this conditioner (remember, the shampoo contains three) but they're lower on the list than the parabens. In theory, this means that there are more preservatives (parabens) in this formula than 'cones. No WONDER this conditioner didn't work for me. You see, I find that, unlike the shampoo, the conditioner doesn't provide enough moisturization. I don't feel any slip in this formula (the slick feeling that helps detangle your hair) and after I rinse, my hair doesn't feel nearly as soft as when I use the Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher conditioner.
FINAL VERDICT: For my particular haircare needs, I find the new Infusium 23 Color Defender Shampoo to be too heavy, while the Color Defender Conditioner doesn't provide enough moisturization. In my humble opinion, they put too much of a good thing into the shampoo, and not enough of a good thing into the conditioner. I'm very sorry these products missed the mark for me--oh how I wanted to love them! On the plus side, I do enjoy the fragrance of both products, because they smell very similar to the original Infusium products, which I love.
Have you tried the new Infusium 23 Color Defender products? If so, how did they work for you? I hope that some of you find them to be a great match for your hair type--unfortunately they're not a love match for me.