Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Garnier Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Refreshing Shampoo and Conditioner

Garnier Whole Blends Green Apple & Green Tea Refreshing Shampoo and Conditioner
(retail: around $5.50 each, 12.5 oz.)

After I first posted about the new Garnier Whole Blends haircare line (more info about the entire line here), I was excited to find these in-store and make a purchase. When I finally found these at Walmart a while back (they're at just about every drugstore and big box store at this point), I immediately gravitated toward the Green Apple & Green Tea formula, although I still am not exactly sure what "Refreshing" means. Of course I know what the word means, but in the context of shampoo and conditioner, it's sort of vague. I mean, don't ALL shampoos and conditioners refresh the hair, to a certain extent? Well now that I have been using these products for a few weeks, I think I have it figured out. I'll explain in a bit.


I think it's important to note that Garnier is not claiming that the ENTIRE formula is a natural blend; the formula is just "enriched with" a natural blend (see pic above).


I still think these bottles are adorable (I mentioned that in my original post). They have a very retro 70s feel to them, and I just love that.

Both the shampoo and conditioner are made in the USA. Here's a closer look at the labels:

SHAMPOO:




CONDITIONER:




Shampoo and conditioner

As you can see, the shampoo is colorless (it's not as thin as it looks in this photo; it just started to absorbed into the paper towel before I photographed it), and the conditioner is opaque with a light green tint to it.

If you're new to the blog, let me briefly explain my hair. I have long, naturally wavy hair (it hits my bra strap in the back). My roots are oily and my ends are dry. My hair is prone to frizz, and it's fine in texture but I have a lot of hair. My hair is also color-treated. You can see some pics of my hair both frizzy and not frizzy in one of my previous reviews HERE.

So what does "Refreshing" mean? Well according to the label, this is an "invigorating formula that revitalizes hair and boosts shine". To me, this is partially true. My hair didn't feel "revitalized" or "invigorated" after using these products but it did appear a bit more shiny. To me, this shampoo and conditioner feel like clarifying products. They're light, just like clarifying products, and they don't provide much in the way of moisture or hydration. In fact, I would say the opposite is true, for me at least. My hair felt dry after using these products, and actually DURING use, I could feel some dryness. The shampoo isn't super high-foaming but I noticed that after I rinsed, my hair felt quite dry and I was eager to apply conditioner. The conditioner doesn't have much slip to it, so I find that I need A LOT of it just to feel like I'm adding even a bit of hydration to my hair. And there is absolutely no detangling with this conditioner--my hair is prone to tangling and it was a challenge to brush out my tangles after using this conditioner. In other words, I would not suggest this particular formula to anyone who is in need of moisture, hydration, or detangling.

So did these products both feel and behave like clarifying products? Yes and no. I used these products after I had a little bit of build-up from some styling products that I wanted to remove, and I would say they did an effective job at removing build-up. However, I have noticed in the weeks that I've been using these products, my roots get oily at a faster rate than when I don't use these products. I can usually skip a day of washing and get away with not having to reach for the dry shampoo, but when I use these products, my bangs in particular get pretty oily by the next morning.

As for how my hair looks after I use these products, well as I said above, my hair does seem shiner. But I find that my hair appears a bit flatter, and my curls are not as bouncy when I use these products. I do see a tiny bit of frizz reduction, but nothing dramatic. Overall, my hair just feels a bit dry and flat. 

As for the fragrance, that's where this product shines. I LOVE the scent. It's heavy on green apple with just a tiny bit of green tea in the background and the scent seriously lingers in my hair. I mean, 24 hours after my shower I can still smell it in my hair, and so can Mr. G. So if you like scented haircare, and you like a scent that lasts, you'll certainly be pleased with the fragrance of these products.

Oh! I also want to mention that I tried using these products with reverse washing, and the results were good, but not great. I was happy with how my hair looked after it dried (a bit more volumized and bouncy), but my hair wasn't moisturized enough to my liking, and I just prefer other shampoos and conditioners for reverse washing. 

FINAL VERDICT: Not a love-match for me, but perhaps these products may work for you if your needs are different from mine. I think that if you generally don't need much moisture or hydration, and perhaps if you have short hair or straight hair that doesn't need frizz control, these products may work for you (especially if you like scented haircare). But if you need moisture and hydration from your shampoo and conditioner (and a lot of slip from your conditioner for detangling), I don't think these products are quite going to cut it. And if you prefer lightly scented haircare products, you'll certainly want to look elsewhere since both the shampoo and conditioner are strongly scented. 

Have you tried anything from the new Whole Blends line yet? If so, what have you tried, and how are those products working for YOU?

The products featured in this blog post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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42 comments

  1. Love this one. The scent lasts for days. I shampoo every three days and it still lingered. It's the only shampoo I've come across that is so intense on the green apple note.

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    1. So glad to hear you're enjoying this one, and that you agree with me about the scent! It's crazy how long it sticks around, right? :)

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  2. try the honey. it's the best. i bought the green apple yesterday at work (walgreens) and it's so so. My hair is dry but i'm addicted to the fragrance. after trying all of these (whole blends), the honey one is hands down the best

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    1. I agree! The honey one is the best :-) My hair was actually pretty easy to comb out after I used it.

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    2. That settles it! I'm going to HAVE to try the honey line. In addition to your recs, I received several on Instagram and Facebook about the honey line as well. Thank you, ladies! :)

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  3. HI, G. Great review. I think I've mentioned before that we seem to have similar hair types, so l doubt this particular formula will work for me. I absolutely hate oily bangs, so anything that has the potential to cause oiliness is a no-go for me.

    I *might* look at the other formulas to see if they might work with my hair type. (BTW, I still love the L'Oreal leave in 8-in-1 product you reviewed last year. I've found that when I know I might be heading towards an oily hair day, spraying the product in my hands allows me to selectively place the conditioner where it's most needed.)

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    1. Yeah, I think this one should be a skip for you, girlie. BUT, I have heard nothing but raves about the honey line, so that's going to be next on my list (maybe you might want to give that one a whirl too?).

      I'm SO glad to hear you're enjoying the L'Oreal 8-in-1, but I have heard that it's been discontinued! Can you believe that??? I am SO bummed. Devastated. So I'm using other things now and so far Verb Ghost Oil is the one I keep returning to. It's $15 at Sephora but one bottle lasts forever. If you missed my mini review of it, link is below. Something to consider, for my hair twinsie! :)

      http://nouveaucheap.blogspot.com/2016/04/last-minute-sephora-vib-sale-ideas-my.html

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    2. Discontinued?!?! Ugh. Never fails. The minute I fall in love with something - boom - it's gone. I'll definitely check out your link, though.

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  4. Hi G,

    I have very similar hair type to you (I really love when you review hair products for this btw) and I love the coconut water line from this range. It's meant for moisture but I love that it doesn't weigh my hair down or leave it feeling stripped.

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    1. Aaaw, yay for another hair twinsie! :D

      Thanks so much for the coconut water rec. I will have to try that one! So many people (here on the blog and on social media) have also suggested the honey line. I'm definitely going to try that one too--maybe you might want to give it a whirl as well?

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  5. Great review G. It's good to know because I do want to try something other than the Honey mask that has reached holy grail status for me! I tell you G., you really should try it. I no longer need to use leave in conditioner and my hair looks and feels beautiful!!!

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    1. SOLD! Thank you so much, R.! I have heard so many raves about the honey line, and now I MUST try the mask if it's reaching HG status for you!!! :D

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  6. I am so happy you mentioned how this worked for you with reverse washing-I'm addicted to it!

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    1. OMG, reverse washing is amazing, right?? :D

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    2. I have the same hair type as you G, and I want to try reverse washing, what products do you prefer to use for that?

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    3. Rona, click the link in my post that says "reverse washing" and you'll see my detailed post about this! :)

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    4. I love it, G. Thank you so much for introducing us all to it!

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  7. These would be a no-go for me anyway because of the SLS. I got off that train a long time ago and I'm not getting back on. However, I do have a suggestion for you, G since you don't like these for your hair: use the shampoo as a body wash ( they typically have similar ingredients anyway) and the conditioner as "Shaving cream" for when you shave your legs. I've done that before and it works great. That way you're not wasting product. And if you enjoy the shampoo scent so much, you'll likely enjoy it as a body wash. Great review, as always. It really does sound like this particular set is for clarifying which they probably should have put on the label. I guess that's what the "refreshing" means to them.

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    1. Thanks, girl! I love using haircare products that don't work for me in other ways! I also use shampoos as hand soap at the kitchen sink sometimes--helps when your hands are extra greasy. Also to clean makeup brushes! :)

      And you're so welcome--thank you for the kind words about the review. I really do think this line should have been labelled as a clarifying, since these products really do behave exactly like some drugstore clarifying products I've used in the past!

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  8. When it comes to hair I have the bad side in every category. Dry, splitting/breaking, refuses to retain moisture or grow, it's very fine and I don't even have a lot of hair to begin with! It's curly, which I love my curls, but it just makes extra work for me. I still have yet to find shampoo and conditioner that helps and I have tried everything from high end to suave. It's rapidly turning grey and dying my hair severely damages it. :( Time for a wig if this new Garnier doesn't work! Lol.

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    1. Based on how you describe your hair, I would definitely skip the green apple line, but it sounds like the honey line might be a winner...for both of us! Look at the comments above, and Robin's about the mask. I think we both should look into the honey line...STAT! :)

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    2. Take a look at how you treat it in general. Curly hair is different.. it needs to be babied. If you are using heat, sulfates, silicones, even brushing it frequently you can be damaging it. You hair sounds a lot like mine did a few years ago.. I started treating it like it was the most delicate thing in the world and now it's completely manageable with zero product, down to my waist stretched, and healthy to the ends. I use the Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion shampoo and conditioner.. I only shampoo my roots about twice a week but co wash every day, and use the same conditioner for leave in/styler. I only use my fingers, oil it and put it up every night, and air dry.

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    3. Great comments. I will try your tips and perhaps try the Shea line.
      I already don't use heat, brush when dry or shampoo everyday and have noticed a little difference. And yes G, you are right, the green apple is probably the worst choice now that you say that. I did have in mind to try the honey though :)

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    4. What do you use for co-wash btw?

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  9. The first thing I thought when I saw the bottles was, "Is this 1978?" I kind of love the packaging and the green apple scent is a nice throwback. I wonder if they mean clarifying because of the salicylic (sp?) acid in the shampoo. Isn't that supposed to clean the scalp really well?
    I'm going to have to sniff this next time I spot it in store, but since it has sulfates in it, it's a pass for me. I'm at the point where the only cleanser I really like is a cleansing conditioner.

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    1. Right?? I LOVE this retro packaging! :)

      And yes, I think this should have been called a clarifying line, for sure. What CC are you using right now? Any favorites at the drugstore?

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    2. I'm using a couple from SheaMoisture right now. The high-porosity one in particular, and then the 10-fruit one.
      I did see this shampoo in store, and gave it a sniff. It does smell awesome -- like a really good memory. I wish I could get a candle in that scent.

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  10. Great review G! I have to agree with the others, the Honey line is the best. I also have fine hair with dry ends and it works really well. I tried the coconut/cocoa butter one first because I liked the scent but it was way too heavy. I just bought the Green Apple leave-in spray and tried it once so far. It smells great but seems like an ordinary leave-in conditioner, nothing too special or groundbreaking. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the great feedback, Jen! So incredibly helpful! I am DEFINITELY trying the honey line next. Can't wait!! :D xo

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  11. Thank you for this review! My hair is like yours so I really appreciate it. I am using the honey shampoo and like many otheres here, I like it. I have this green apple shampoo and the coconut shampoo still to try, but I will temper my expectations for the green apple shampoo based on this review. I did try the green apple leave-in spray and for $5.49 (Wal-mart) I like it, it's decent. For the price and the great scent, this line of products is pretty good but not out of this world, I suppose.

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    1. Yay for another hair twinsie! I think it's safe to say the green apple line should be a pass for you, since it really did nothing for me except add a bit of shine. I am for sure trying the honey line next and I can't wait! xo

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  12. i would love to try the apple one, since i like anything apple scented. i do have color treated hair though, i didn't see anything that states safe for that. don't wanna loose my color too fast using this. does anybody have more info on that

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    1. In my experience, products that act like clarifying products (like these green apple ones) are NOT best for color-treated hair so I would probably skip these. When I had red hair and was super concerned with prolonging color, I avoided all shampoos that contain SLS, since that really does tend to strip the color prematurely from the hair. So if that's a huge concern for you, try an SLS-free shampoo and I bet you'll notice the difference. :)

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    2. Thanks April, your reply was actually very helpful. I did not know that. And yeah my hair is reddish which is always a little harder to keep up

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    3. No problem! (I'm G. by the way, not April) :)

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  13. My husband I love the Honey line. He has thin fine hair and I have thick coarse hair and it works for both of us! My hair feels so soft and shiny and manageable after using the honey.

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    1. I am SO trying the honey line next! Thanks so much for the rec--so glad to hear it's working for both you and your husband! :)

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  14. I have hair that sounds a bit similar to yours, oily roots, dry ends, prone to frizz. I studied these one day AT Walmart and ultimately went with the coconut one, not the coconut vanilla but just coconut. I don't like how it works with my hair. I use it here and there since I was crazy and bought the huge bottle. I may try another formula but I'm just not sure which one to go for next. I like the idea of this shampoo if I can find one to work for my hair.

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  15. My hair is VERY similar to yours in all ways and I recently stumbled upon Trader Joe's tea tree tingle Shampoo and Condition and LOVE it.

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  16. The honey deep conditioner is great. Smells delicious and has tons of slip. I love the Apple Green Tea spray detangler, and Coconut serum. All smell wonderful & I too love the retro packaging!

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  17. It seems you and I have very similar hair. I just bought the coconut oil one (brown) and I serioisly cant get over how amazing my hair feels. I have only used it once but sounds like may be much better match for you as it os "smoothing"and the coconut oil has really hydrated my dry ends but not weighing down my curls.

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  18. i bought these as soon as i found them in store because i was OBSESSED with the fragrance, but i hate hate haaate it! it makes my hair frizzy and flat at the same time, my curls fall right out, and my hair gets FILTHY in the time it usually takes to get a little bit oily. :( i'm still intrigued by the honey line, but very turned off by the apple. so unfortunate.

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