Can You Get Your Hair Vitamins From A Shampoo?

Putting OGX Vitamin E and Vitamin B5 shampoo and conditioner to the test.
Publish date:
January 15, 2015
vitamin e, damaged hair, ogx, shampoo, hair care, moisturization, shampoo files, healing, vitamin B5

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.

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.

What: OGX Moisture + Vitamin B5 Shampoo and Conditioner, 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