Shinier, softer hair in just one week
Apple scent could be overwhelming to some
Not necessarily a "clean" product
Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo
We put the Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
When it comes to my in-shower products, you might say I’m a bit of a hair snob. The last time I bought my shampoos and conditioners from a major retailer like Target or CVS was when I was in college (that was a long time ago). As a professional hairstylist, I’ve become accustomed to finer things, only using higher-end products that most salons would use on their clientele, so when I was asked to test the Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo, I knew it’d be an interesting break from my norm. I was quite curious to put a more affordable option into my rotation and see how it held up against its higher-end competitors.
Keep reading for my honest review.
Best for: Damaged hair
Uses: For stronger, healthier, shinier hair
Potential Allergens: Phenoxyethanol
Active Ingredients: Active fruit protein, ceramide, and apple extract
Byrdie Clean?: Technically, yes, but fragrance/parfum is a listed ingredient that oftentimes includes the use of phthalates, and it’s hard to really know what that listed item covers. Phenoxyethanol is also damaging at high doses, and I think worthy of not calling “clean” regardless of the amount used in a product.
About the brand: Garnier was first founded in France in 1904 with the launch of its first-ever patented hair lotion. It wasn’t until the late ‘90s that the brand made a huge comeback with its blend of naturally inspired and derived ingredients into breakthrough formulas for beauty products.
About My Hair: Oily roots and frizzy ends
I recently joined the Peloton craze (highly recommend, might I add) and have been biking an average of five miles every day. Great for my mental and physical health—not so great for my hair and skin. My roots become oily much quicker than I’m used to, and showering every day isn’t the best option for my eczema-prone skin and my 2b wavy hair texture. Plus, living in the mountains off of well water has not done me any favors (a filtration system is high up on my to-do list).
Oddly enough, I’m also extremely lazy when it comes to my personal hair care. I rotate my wash and conditioning products regularly and almost always use a leave-in detangler or some sort. I do not brush my hair, ever. I air dry and go. Moisture is the priority I make to my hair and skin, but outside of that, I don’t do much of anything. Due to my sheer laziness, smoothing frizz and dullness on my ends remains a constant struggle, and I know well that these are typically signs of damage in the hair.
The Feel and Scent: Creamy apple bliss
This shampoo is creamy, like a warm icing, and it smells as sweet as a freshly baked apple pie. It lathered quickly, distributed around my scalp with ease, and left a squeaky clean feel to my roots after every use. I actually really loved how clean my scalp felt after using this shampoo. My roots were never weighed down until two to three days in a row of intense sweating interfered with their astringent magic.
The apple scent was heavily aromatic and clung to the air in my bathroom, with a wafted linger that slowly crept through my home and up the stairwell. It was rich and, in some ways, nostalgic of my college days. I only know cheaper products to offer this level of decadence in their perfumes. It didn’t bother me in the least, and unless you can’t stand the sweet smell of artificial apples, I can’t see a reason why you wouldn’t love the accompanying aroma.
Ingredients: Fruit proteins and extracts
Active fruit proteins are the key ingredients to the Garnier Fructis products, offering vitamins B3 and B6, along with fruit and plant-derived proteins, to help rebuild strength in fragile strands that are lacking healthy amounts of natural keratin (protein). In this particular formula, Garnier uses apple extract to stimulate hair growth with its use of powerful polyphenols and antioxidants. They also use ceramide extract here. Ceramides will typically coat the cuticle to help smooth at the surface. By using this extract, the Grow Strong shampoo hopes to fortify the hair against chemical and heat damage that naturally strips ceramides away, and protects the strands, leaving them shinier in appearance and silkier to the touch.
The Results: A deeper clean
My hair felt different immediately after use. My roots felt fresher, it air-dried better, and my clean hair lasted one to two days longer before inevitably looking oily from all the sweat.
After using this shampoo three times in just a week and a half, I noticed a softer, healthier feel to my hair.
I didn’t change anything about my hair routine or lifestyle while testing this product. My hair didn’t lose all signs of unwanted frizz, but it did appear shinier.
The Value: Unbeatable
At a budget-friendly price of under $5, I can’t think of a reason not to snag a bottle of this shampoo. I think if you have damaged hair from chemical treatment or frequent color in particular, where you’re already investing your dollars into another area of your hair’s maintenance, this small ticket item can have a big impact on restoring your hair’s health. Every other shampoo that’s currently in my shower costs at least $40 on average, and I was equally, if not more pleased with the results I got from the Grow Strong Shampoo.
Similar Products: Garnier Grow Strong vs Oribe Gold Lust
Oribe’s Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo and Conditioner ($49 and $52): Before testing the Grow Strong Shampoo, I was trying Oribe’s Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner. While I much prefer the luxuriously tantalizing scent from all of Oribe products over the cheaper one-dimensional smell of apple, I preferred the way my hair air dried while using the Garnier shampoo. I actually was experiencing more frizz with the Oribe products, and my washes weren’t lasting long enough to support my daily workouts. Oribe’s Gold Lust Shampoo is $49 for 8.5 ounces, and the Garnier Fructis Grow Strong is around $5 for 12.5 ounces! That is a wild gap, in my opinion, which only goes to prove that a higher price tag is no guarantee. Finding what works best for your hair type is worth exploring both ends of the spectrum, and the results may end up surprising you.
The Garnier Fructis Grow Strong Shampoo exceeded my expectations and blew my other cult-favorite washes out of the water. I can hardly believe the results I got from a product at this price point. I love the way my hair feels after using this product and the longevity I get with each use. All to say, I plan to finish the entire bottle, and I may even replenish it once I’m through.
- Product Name Grow Strong Shampoo
- Product Brand Garnier Fructis
- UPC 603084491865
- Price $5
- Weight 12.5 oz.
- Ingredients 1101676 fs4 aqua/water/eau, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauryl sulfate, glycol distearate, sodium chloride, amodimethicone, ppg-5-ceteth-20, parfum/fragrance, sodium benzoate, pyrus malus fruit extract/apple fruit extract, salicylic acid, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, trideceth-6, carbomer, linalool, niacinamide, pyridoxine hcl, limonene, hexyl cinnamal, citric acid, cetrimonium chloride, saccharum officinarum extract/sugar cane extract/extrait de canne a sucre, citronellol, 2-oleamido-1,3-octadecanediol, pyrus malus water/apple fruit water, fumaric acid, hydroxypropyltrimonium lemon protein, phenoxyethanol, citrus limon peel extract/ lemon peel extract, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, sodium hydroxide. F.I.L.# d191745/1 us patent: 7,514,091