First Impressions: Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner

Recently I finished a shampoo and conditioner set from Color Wow. It was the Color Security Shampoo and Conditioner for Normal to Thick Hair. I adored the set and will be purchasing them again. However while I was using the set, I accumulated several sample/travel sized containers of shampoo and conditioner.

So I figured that before I started a new full sized bottle (and trial) I would work my way through the sample sets and see if any of them were ones I wanted to try out in the full size. The first set I pulled from the collection is the rahua Classic Shampoo and Conditioner. I have seen this brand around and I have to say I do find the bottles and their look appealing. I am also taken in by their descriptions and ingredients.

According to the rahua site the Classic Shampoo is…

Formulated with rare, sustainably sourced ingredients, this rich, restorative shampoo leaves hair soft, silky, and luminous, and scalp soothed. Made with omega-9 rich Rahua oil and naturally scented with the fresh, woodsy aroma of Palo Santo oil, this cult-favorite formula is concentrated and will keep scalp in balance—not too oily, and not too dry.

Best for all hair types. 

This shampoo retails for $34 and looks golden in the bottle. It is lovely to look at. It is golden in the sample size as well, but it is hard to tell through the white plastic. The Conditioner is the classic white conditioner and has the exact same description as the shampoo so I won’t copy it out a second time. It retails for $36.

Both of the products feature rahua (ungurahua) which is pretty much where the name comes from. It is supposed to strengthen hair and promote follicle growth. The signature scent of the product comes from the palo santo oil also known as holy wood. According to the rahua website this holy wood was…”prized by Amazonian shamans since the Incan era for its spiritual purifying properties, the essence of this wild tree is Rahua’s signature scent. Its sophisticated, earthy aroma offers a soothing aromatherapy experience.”

There are other ingredients, each sustainably sourced and each claiming to do wonderful things for the hair, but i will stop there because it is the signature scent that is most memorable.

Don’t get me wrong, the shampoo and conditioner are really nice. The shampoo lathers nicely and feels luxurious in the hair. It rinses out cleanly. The Conditioner leaves hair silky soft and when using it I did not need a detangler spray at all. I just let my hair dry naturally and it was quite easy to comb through. i used a bit of MoroccanOil to tame some fly aways and i was good to go. (I use the light Moroccanoil even though I have thick hair as I find it is lighter on my hair and prefer it even though it is targeted for fine hair. At $15 it is a product well worth keeping around, just as an aside.)

The products worked well.

Better than well in fact.

I just can’t get past the scent. It is a very pungent scent that lingers. It is spicy but somehow bitter. If it was just something that I could use in the shower and wash away with the suds I would be okay with it, but the scent lingers in the hair and you get a whiff of it every time you move your head, or at least I did. There was enough shampoo and conditioner in the tubes for three washes, which is about a week’s worth of shampooing and conditioner for me as i wash my hair every other day. I lived with the shampoo last week and now the tubes are empty. While I love the feel of my hair, I am more than ready for the scent to go away. It is a fine product and I love the sustainable growth and harvesting practices. I even love that they have a sustainability set so you can buy refills and just reuse the same bottle.

I love all of the benefits both to my hair and scalp and to the environment and local populations, but I just can’t take the scent of this shampoo and conditioner. This is one of those products that I really wanted to like because I love the thought behind it, but I just can’t deal with an entire bottle of this. One week with the scent of the palo santo oil was more than enough. Because I really like their ethos I may look into other products rahua offers that do not contain the oil but a full sized version of this will not be coming home with me anytime soon.


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