Pros: Long-lasting scent; keeps hair clean; may not 'prevent' fading but tempers it; natural ingredients
Cons: Lather almost too thick; no squeaky clean feeling; can feel tangles after rinsing
There are times when my entire goal for shampoo shopping is to get something that will work with my current hairtastrophy. Then there are times that I will pick up bottle after bottle to open, squeeze and sniff. Yep, it's all about the scent. My first experience with Suave Professionals Black Raspberry + White Tea Color Care Shampoo was of the latter shopping variety.
This shampoo actually had a few things going for it from the shopper's standpoint. I was initially visually attracted to the slim sage green bottles with the subtly cinched middle for easy holding in the shower. I also liked the nice lip on the flip-top cap for the same ease-of-use reason. After having done the sqeeze-and-sniff test on all the scent options, I decided on the Black Raspberry + White Tea. It didn't hurt that I'll lean toward anything that says white tea, or that it was a color care shampoo. Not just any color care shampoo, but rather one that, being of the Suave Professionals line, is "Salon proven to protect as well as Aveda." That "professionals" tag also means it costs at least a dollar more than your basic Suave shampoo. More on the color care later.
I was surprised to find, when perusing the ingredients, that the shampoo really does have white tea and black raspberry in it for their antioxidants, and they're near the top of the list. So many times I've been disappointed by the name of a shampoo (indicating its ingredients) being misleading. Not so, this time. In fact, this one also includes many of my other favorites . . . chamomile, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass and aloe. I'm suddenly having the urge to put on a pot of tea.
Right from the start, you will know that this is not a man's shampoo. The scent is the typical perfume-y berry, more berry than perfume, however, so it worked for me. The application of it was . . . well . . . a little difficult, I guess you could say. The lather was so thick that, coupled with the thickness of my hair, I really had to work to get it through. I was tempted to squeeze a tiny bit more into my palms, but with as much lather as there already was, I decided against that. Thankfully, it rinsed out easier than I thought it was going to, but it didn't give me that squeaky clean that I like. It also left my hair feeling that the conditioner would be a must to help with detangling afterward. I always use conditioner, so I guess that's not necessarily huge, but I much prefer when my shampoo does some of that work itself, just in case I'm running short on time.
I've mentioned before that the natural wave and thickness of my hair tends to make it want to frizz and poof. Not being a shampoo made specifically for that issue, I wasn't expecting too much, but was happy to find that it certainly wasn't as bad as it could have been. If I was just stepping out for a quick trip up to the store and back, I can leave the house without feeling too frumpy, but I wouldn't push it too much beyond that.
The best part is the longevity of the scent. If I have my hair in a ponytail, I can immediately smell the berry goodness when I take out the hair tie. I even had a time when I was walking in light rain the following day, and the dampness brought it out. And, of course, I love when someone else notices and says how good my hair smells. Not all shampoos will get such results.
So, back to that color care thing. I've never used Aveda, so I can't comment on the comparison, but I have to say that I would never pay the $16.00 price tag for the Aveda if it has the same results as this. It's not that the Suave Professionals was particularly bad. It's just that it didn't seem to prevent my color from fading any more than any other shampoo I've used that's a color protectant.
What it comes down to is that Suave Professionals Black Raspberry + White Tea Color Care Shampoo might be worth the extra dollar or so, not because it's being touted as a "professional" shampoo, but rather because it kept my hair cleaner feeling longer than the basic Suave does and my hair color didn't fade any more than expected. I could have been happier with it, but at least I wasn't paying the salon prices that some other brands are asking for.