Affordable price point
Fully detangles and nourishes hair
Doesn't smooth as well as it softens
Not Byrdie Clean
CHI Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner
We put CHI's Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
As a hairstylist, I believe the way we care for our strands begins in the shower. The shampoos and conditioners used to tend to our specific needs are the foundation for everything else that comes afterward. Shampoos and conditioners take into account the way we style or don’t style our hair, the periodic treatments it endures, and the specific hair type and texture we have. At least, this is what our shampoos and conditioners should be doing for us.
It’s easy to get trapped into using products that have gotten comfortable for us but maybe no longer serve our hair’s needs. I like to think about my shampoo and conditioner the same way I think about exercising: I rotate. Switching up my products throughout the week is like varying my workouts—I want to keep my body guessing what it’s going to encounter next so it’s always growing stronger. Similarly, I don’t expect my hair’s needs to remain the same year-round, and I want it to stay healthy despite any changes in my lifestyle. All that being said, I was happy to include CHI’s Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner in my weekly lineup with its target of repairing and strengthening dull, damaged hair. Keep reading for my honest review.
Best for: Weak, dull, or damaged hair.
Uses: A rebuilding, strengthening, and softening treatment.
Potential allergens: Not likely
Active ingredients: Jojoba and argan oils, Keratix technology
Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEGs.
Price: $30 for the 32-oz. duo
About the brand: CHI Haircare is a Houston-based company that was started in 1986 by hairdresser Farouk Shami, with a mission to provide cutting-edge technology and safe environments for hairdressers. CHI now has over 500 partner schools, as well as a range of products that target a variety of hair needs.
About My Hair: Overworked from lots of testing
Lately, my hair has been encountering more than it's typically used to. I’ve been testing more hot tools and products as of late, which has increased my strands' exposure to both heat and frequent washing. If I’m not testing a product or tool, I let my hair air dry. I haven't dyed my hair in probably three years now, but there's still some old color lingering around my ends. I’ve never done a keratin treatment or any other type of major chemical processing. Sweating from daily exercise has made my roots greasier than normal, so I’ve been washing 3-4 times a week, which is twice as much as I did prior to this lifestyle change.
Prior to testing CHI's Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner duo, I was alternating between Virtue Lab’s new Curl Shampoo and Conditioner and Oribe’s Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner. My focus lately has been on bringing out my natural waves and allowing them to air dry as smooth and defined as possible. I’ll typically apply a leave-in spray or smoothing cream to help shape and maintain my texture.
The Feel and Scent: Rich and tantalizing
The CHI Keratin Shampoo has a rich, jelly-like texture that's almost pearlized, and the conditioner is thin but effective. Together, the formula offers an easy lather and lightweight hydration that emits the most tantalizing scent. The shampoo distributes easily around the scalp and gives it a squeaky-clean feel as you rinse it out. The conditioner never left a greasy residue or weighed-down feeling after leaving it on my hair for at least 3 minutes as instructed. My hair felt clean and light after each use, and the scent kept me coming back for more.
My hair was so much softer than normal and generally just felt easier to manage.
The Science: Keratix technology
CHI’s entire line of Keratin products uses their patented Keratix technology. These formulas work to sustain protection of your hair’s natural protein (also known as keratin). By strengthening keratin, this technology improves hair's elasticity, which in turn helps prevent breakage. Keratix offers an intensively hydrating effect that stabilizes and enhances the hair’s strength, resulting in softer, shinier strands.
The Ingredients: Nourishing oils
Aside from the Keratix, jojoba and argan oils are also key ingredients in the CHI Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner formulas. Jojoba’s benefits include moisturizing strands from the inside out, maintaining a healthy scalp, encouraging hair growth, controlling dandruff, and repairing damage. Argan oil makes strands smooth, soft, and shiny thanks to nourishing properties from its antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. With all of these traits in one formula duo, I can’t come up with a reason why you wouldn’t want to give it a try.
The Results: Soft, manageable strands
Because this product is a part of CHI’s keratin line, I was expecting to end up with significantly smoother hair. But when I let my hair air-dry naturally, which is what I do most days, it didn’t look all that different. However, it felt different: my hair was so much softer than normal and generally just felt easier to manage.
When I blew out my hair while testing a few new dryers, I definitely noticed how smooth my hair seemed to become with styling, as well as how long that lasted. Overall, my hair seemed stronger and more capable of taking whatever I threw its direction, and it upheld every heat style while maintaining a healthy, natural-looking effect. After using this shampoo and conditioner duo for a week, my hair felt stronger and more manageable.
The Value: Truly a steal
You can purchase this shampoo and conditioner in a variety of sizes. I tested the 32-oz. duo, which I can confidently say is going to last me an eternity. At around $30 for two mega-sized, effective hair products, this is a huge deal. Most other shampoos I was using prior to the CHI Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner were roughly $40-$50 for the shampoo alone, and at much smaller sizes. To get two 32-oz. bottles at the same cost as some 8-oz. versions is a steal for sure.
Similar Products: You've got options
Amika Rescue Team Kure Repair Wash Care Hair Set: With its innovative bond cure technology, Amika’s Kure Repair set ($39) will help transform hair wherever it's experiencing the most damage and breakage, rebuilding strands to combat damage and everyday stressors. Plant butters and vegan proteins help to nourish and hydrate for stronger, moisture-retaining hair.
Virtue Recovery Discovery Set: Virtue’s repairing and strengthening set ($36) has a high cost per ounce, but the brand's innovative technological advancement just might justify the price. Their Alpha Keratin 60ku is the first of its kind, mending individually damaged strands by depositing keratin protein directly into the cracks of each cuticle in need of repair. Intrigued? You can give this discovery size a go to decide if the results are worth making a bigger investment.
The CHI Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner duo wasn’t life-changing for me, but I did encounter some major perks: it gave me softer strands, easily manageable hair, and clean, hydrated results, all for an impressive value. My hair wasn’t as noticeably smoother and more defined as I was hoping, but the scent and softness kept me coming back for more.
- Product Name Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner
- Product Brand CHI
- Price $30
- Weight 32 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Shampoo: Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Silk, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Disodium EDTA, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Glycol Distearate, Steareth-4, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene. Conditioner: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Silk, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-8, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene.