Revisiting Old Friends With Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Published in: Guest Post, Hair, Herbal Essences

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.99)

As I sit writing this, I’m riding the Amtrak 69 train from NYC toward my hometown of Moriah, New York. I haven’t been home in a while, and it’s my grandmother’s birthday this weekend, so a lot of my cousins who I haven’t seen in a long while are going to be in town.

Making the trip by myself can be tiresome, but the scenery is nice. The Adirondack train runs daily from New York City to Montreal (and vice versa), so it’s a convenient, albeit long, trip (about as long as driving would take with stops to rest).


This week, in the spirit of visiting old friends and family, I also decided to revisit a shampoo I’ve tried before, but not since they updated the packaging and, I assume, reformulated it.

Now it’s called Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo ($4.99), but I think it used to be called Herbal Essences Naked Volume when it first came out. I remember being less than thrilled about the original version.

When I tried it back then, I was looking for something affordable that would cleanse my hair well and didn’t contain parabens and all that. The Herbal Essences Naked line was an affordable option.

While the Naked Clean and Refresh line (there’s also a $4.99 conditioner) isn’t marketed as “cleansing,” the combo gets the job done.

My hair is ultra-thin and fine, so experimenting with new shampoos and conditioners is always perilous. I don’t wash my hair often (maybe twice a week), but when I do, I typically alternate between a cleansing shampoo (for when my hair is super greasy or full of dry shampoo) and Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioning Shampoo, because I’m not about that brassy life. And some days I’ll use a combination of both.

The (new?) formula

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo definitely doesn’t lack in lather potential. If you’re a dime-sized amount user (short hair), you should get a good lather, but it shouldn’t be too much. I use about a quarter-sized amount for my hair and get a lot of nice suds.

The conditioner’s slightly thinner formula doesn’t do much for me… I usually only use conditioner on the length and ends of my hair, and this one doesn’t do much for my hair in terms of making my ends any softer or plumping them up.

The fragrance

Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner

Both of these are supposed to have a white strawberry and mint scent, but I’d say it’s closer to pure strawberry — almost too close, for me. I’d love to see Herbal Essences release something minty-er in the line, or add even more scents in general.


An alternative that I sometimes use for stronger notes of mint is Loreal Everpure Volume Shampoo, which also has hints of Rosemary and Juniper.

When I was using Herbal Essences more often it was years ago (more than 10!), so when I try their products now it’s a little like revisting an old friend. Clairol, who owns H.E., was acquired by Proctor and Gamble some years ago, and they made a lot of changes. They redesigned and renamed almost everything and spruced up the packaging.

Overall, Herbal Essences Naked Clean and Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner doesn’t super impress me, but I will give it another try one of these days. I don’t think the shampoo is the world’s greatest cleanser, but it mostly gets the job done. I do feel like I need to use a dry shampoo the next day to boost my volume.

Are you a fan of Herbal Essences? Have you tried the Naked Clean and Refresh line?

Marcella Yakalis

Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. Amy says:

    I’ve never tried this line but it is really great to have a no-additives option on the cheapo side. i tend to get a big tub of something natural at the closest natural foods store and use a tiny amount a few times a week. I’m with you on not totally stripping out the good stuff that plumps up wispier hair. Skinny haired girls, unite!

  2. Never tried Herbal Essences! But I’ve always been intrigued by the commercials, lol 🙂 Strawberry scent sounds niiiiiice! I don’t mind that you can’t really smell the mint.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Makeup Geek Full Spectrum Eye Liner Pencil in Plumeria + Ocean

  3. I never got along with Herbal Essences shampoos, I always found them to be quite drying on my hair.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … May 2016 Favorites

  4. Twyla Munden says:

    NEUTROGENA® Anti-Residue Shampoo is a great shampoo to use once a week to rid hair of product buildup and natural oils. I use it at least once a week on my super fine hair and its fabulous. They don’t make the conditioner anymore but still worth it. I’m not sure if its paraban free..

    • Marcella Yakalis says:

      I tried that a while back and I didn’t really enjoy it 🙁 I use one from Sally Beauty, I think from the Ion line!

  5. Chris25 says:

    I was also an Herbal Essences girl during the 90s. I recently bought the Smooth and Sleek shampoo and conditioner and the scent took me back to 1997. 🙂
    Chris25 recently posted … Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in On The Beach

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