Prior to the pandemic, I would have immediately disliked the Herbal Essences Potent Aloe & Mango Shampoo & Conditioner based on the scent alone. Something about a mango aroma didn't seem particularly appealing to me. But sitting inside by yourself for six months (and getting a produce box that sends you a random assortment of fruits and vegetables biweekly with a disproportionate amount of mangos) will make you change your ways, though. Suddenly, I love eating the tropical fruit, and I love this hair-care duo. Call it exposure therapy.
The shampoo and conditioner don't just smell like mango for the sake of turning your showering experience into a brief beachy moment. Both formulas are spiked with mango fruit extract, too. Rich in vitamins A and C, it helps amplify shine while strengthening and nourishing hair.
My curls can attest to this, and they are incredibly specific about products. Shampoos have to be hydrating to help detangle and soften while obviously cleansing. After I wash it out, my hair basically has to feel like I just used conditioner — even though it was definitely a shampoo. The Herbal Essences Potent Aloe & Mango Shampoo checks these boxes with the help of aloe.
When it's used as a skin-care ingredient, "The pulp of the aloe plant is water-rich, soothing, and hydrating," Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told Allure. The same applies to hair. The Potent Aloe & Mango Shampoo is free of sulfates and parabens, too, so you aren't left with that squeaky film that convinces you your hair is clean when it's actually just stripped of moisture. It still lathers up, though, which I love because my brain may or may not be programmed to believe that's what should happen when you wash your hair.
My medium-fine hair also requires a conditioner that doesn't make it feel too soft because my curls forget how to define themselves if it is. The conditioner can't be too heavy with oils either or my hair will feel weighed down. Aloe steps up to the plate once again with the Herbal Essences Potent Aloe & Mango Conditioner to give my hair lightweight-yet-effective hydration. It's basically the gel-cream moisturizer of conditioners.
Together, the Herbal Essences Potent Aloe & Mango Shampoo & Conditioner creates a frizz-free, smooth base for styling with a curl cream or gel. (I'm partial to the 2020 Best of Beauty Award-winning Curls So So Def Vitamin C Curl Defining Jelly.) All the while, my hair feels soft and clean for days.
Check out the full list of Allure's 2020 Best of Beauty winners.