Whilst perusing the shelves of Wild Oats’ Natural Living section recently, I came across a little treasure box of treats-a basket full of Giovanni hair and body care samples. I am all about free samples, so I snatched up one of each offering, the cucumber body wash, tea tree conditioner, and the golden wheat shampoo. I have always been curious about this brand-they have a product line of magnetically charged hair care products. They contain magnetites, or micro-magnets, that react positively to restore hair that has become negatively charged over time, resulting in a dry and damaged state. Interesting and innovative, certainly, but perhaps just another marketing gimmick-I wasn’t interested enough to pay the ten bucks a bottle to find out. So, even though the samples I picked up at Wild Oats weren’t the magnetic products, at least I could get a feel for the quality of the brand.
Let me say up front that I am quite picky about shampoos and conditioners; my hair is very fine and sensitive, and in turn is quite responsive to hair products’ respective quality. In general, I find that most moderately priced brands are about the same, with only a few really standing out as very good to excellent. There are many excellent but expensive salon and premium brands, but for practical and economical reasons, I find myself most often purchasing the grocery store variety. I can barely look at a bottle of VO5 or Suave without feeling weighed down or all tangly, but I am quite allegiant to Pantene. I am willing to pay a little more than its four bucks a bottle, but I have to know it is worth it. I have been sorely disappointed in Nature’s Gate (why does everyone love it so?) and kind of ambivalent about Jason brand hair products. They may be more wholesome ingredient-wise than Pantene, but certainly don’t have the same effects of manageability and softness.
Because of my past experience with the similarly priced organic brands mentioned above, I was ready for the same experience with Giovanni. I could not have been more mistaken. I knew it was different the moment I ripped the little sample pouch open; its fresh, light, herbal, slightly mint scent and lightest honey color simply seemed, (for lack of a more sophisticated word) “good.” The lather was perfect, rich and indulgent. Even before I applied conditioner, my hair already felt completely different: soft, fuller, and so clean. When my hair was dry, the result was incredible. It was so shiny and full, and it felt completely unburdened by any build up. I checked the pouch to see if it was perhaps a clarifying shampoo-one that is meant to strip unwanted build up. It doesn’t specifically say it is classified as a clarifying treatment, but does note that it cleanses hair deep-down, is for normal to oily hair, and removes natural oils without stripping hair. What’s more, it states that it “creates a clean palette for styles.” That sums it up-that is exactly what it does, and does it exceedingly well.
A reading of the ingredients is doubly reassuring, too. I was a bit concerned that something that performed this well may have an ingredient that would contraindicate daily use. First, the shampoo contains absolutely no laurel or laurel sulfates, which is a known skin irritant, and because of its abrasiveness, also used in heavy industrial cleaners. It is a common ingredient in most soaps and cleansers, and to be avoided when possible. Next, the ingredients pleasingly read like a tea list. 12 of the first 13 ingredients are essential oils, and the rest are vegetable derivatives. It’s a perfect ingredient list.
So, the ingredients are perfect, the results are perfect-could it get more perfect? Indeed, with its price. At about $7.50 a bottle, it simply cannot be beat. This is a premium product, at about a third of the price it is worth. It is also fairly easy to find. According to their website, GNC stores carry it, as well as Wild Oats. It can also be found online via various beauty websites. If your hair could use some rehab, Giovanni Golden Wheat Shampoo is your prescription. I just may spring for the magnets now!