March 3, 2015

Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner {Product Review}

Our family is a natural product loving family. We actively seek out products that are chemical and toxin free to use in our home and on our bodies. One of the areas we are currently working on improving is that of our hair care products. I'm especially looking for something that will help protect the color in my hair (my once a year splurge! LOL), provide lift and volume, protect me from split ends, and if possible clear up my dandruff. When I learned of the opportunity to do a product review of Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner from Koru Naturals, I was eager to put it to the test.

Koru Naturals Product Review

Product Information

Koru Naturals is a company with deep New Zealand roots. They began to bring in things like active manuka honey, lanolin, tea tree, manuka oil, rosehip oil and Rotorua mud from New Zealand to the United States, to share in the richness what New Zealand had to offer in the line of beauty products. In 2002, they opened their store for the world to enjoy and have been providing high quality natural products ever since.

One of their top products is their Emu Oil. The Emu Oil is available in several sizes (2 oz, 4oz and 8 oz) and is traditional Australian Aboriginal natural oil. It has not been clarified like many other brands, and retains the original minerals and vitamins it's so known for. Emu oil is recognized for being able to really penetrate the skin, but without clogging up pores. It's an excellent topical moisturizer and is also hypoallergenic!

Another product that is rapidly gaining popularity is the Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner. This hair product combo (8oz ea) contains the special New Zealand ingredients, manuka oil and manuka honey. These unique products from the Wild Manuka Tree, will "rid hair of impurities, act as natural antiseptic, and will leave your hair full of vitality and shine." Each of these products also contain renown ingredients like aloe leaf, roman chamomile, rosehip, lavender, and peppermint to help provide a great product for maintaining hair health. There is a larger demand for better quality hair products without many of the big no-no chemicals--these hair products will help fill that demand as they are also sulfate and paraben free!

I was given both the Emu Oil (2 oz retailing at $9.95 USD) and the Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner (set of 8 oz bottles retailing at $14.95) to review.

*Because of my religious beliefs regarding clean and unclean animals, I did not use the Emu Oil with my family, so my review will be focused on my experiences with the shampoo and conditioner.

How Did I Use this Product?

I usually wash my hair about 4 times a week--roughly every other day. I decided I would use these products for at least 3 of those washings. The first time I used it, I washed my hair in the sink (I usually wash it in the shower) so that I could follow the exact directions:

Shampoo: First, wet hair completely. Pour a small amount of shampoo depending on hair length into the palm of your hand. Massage the shampoo into the scalp, working through your hair, covering the entire hair shaft from root to tip. Wait 3-5 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water.

Conditioner: Apply to wet hair. Using hands or comb work conditioner through covering the entire hair shaft from root to end. Leave in for 1 to 5 minutes depending on how deeply you wish to condition. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Use as often as needed.

I felt the tingle of the peppermint oil as soon as I got it massaged into my scalp. It smells a bit--minty, but with hint of other oils. It's not like "wow! That smells great!" but it didn't stink to me.

One thing that I noticed is that because it is sulfate free, it doesn't lather up like most shampoos. I am used to this already, but had to remind myself that I didn't need twice the amount to make up for the lack of lather. It seemed like it didn't cover my hair with enough shampoo, but I kept doing it the same way as I always would. It felt good to let it sit on my scalp during the waiting time. I waited for about 3 minutes before rinsing off. I usually use hot water, so the lukewarm was a bit different but I chose to do it as instructed. (I've heard it's better to wash your hair with luke warm water anyways.)

I used the conditioner as directed as well. I allowed it to sit for 3 minutes  in my hair before rinsing. I then chose to blow dry my hair.

I noticed a few things right away...

#1 My hair dried more quickly
#2 My hair was super soft!

I have very thick and long hair. It usually takes a long time for my hair to dry whether air or blow dried. But I noticed that after washing my hair with this shampoo and conditioner, my hair dried super quickly and wow--my hair was so soft! I have used many hair products throughout my life, but this was the softest my hair has ever been. And that's saying something! My hair felt light and had great volume.

I was curious how the products would do with my hair, since I also have colored hair and am always worried something will mess it up. I found that it almost enhanced the color. My hair looked incredible and my hubby thought so too.

Since then, I have continued to use it about three times a week and I always use it on Saturday--since that is my Sabbath and the one day a week I "dress up" and actually do my hair. The products have continued to provide these results every time that I use it. It is ideal when I blow dry it right away after it's washed. Love-Of-My-Life thinks it looks amazing and really likes the way it looks when I do it the whole way from wash to dry!

Thoughts on the Product

I really like the hair products. They just made my scalp and hair FEEL good. I have never had any shampoo or conditioner make my hair so soft and light. Love-Of-My-Life also used the hair products and while he was NOT a fan of the smell, he did think they worked great and he too thought his hair was softer than ever before. He also liked how my hair looked once it was dried. He says it just looked as soft as it felt.

While he didn't like the smell, I didn't mind it. Does it smell delicious? No. LOL. Does it smell good? Um, not really. But, I am also an essential oil user and am used to all KIND of scents--so this particular one doesn't smell any worse than what I'm used to. I also liked the little bit of tingle the peppermint essential oil in the products gave my scalp.

I was hoping that a "side effect" of using the hair products would be to improve my dandruff problems, and maybe it would after exclusive use. I didn't notice any improvement in the time I used the products. But since I have REALLY bad dandruff that I'm trying to get rid of, I still used my dandruff shampoo once or twice between using the manuka shampoo/conditioner. At some point I might do an experiment where I ONLY use the manuka shampoo/conditioner for about 3 weeks and see what happens as I know you need to "Detoxify" your scalp sometimes to make it go away. But since I don't like having flakes when I go to church (my one time a week I dress up! LOL!), I haven't experimented with it yet.


While the manuka shampoo and honey conditioner are toted to have no sulfates or parabens (which is great news!), there are still a few ingredients I'm not totally fond of and are found on many of the "chemicals to avoid" lists: Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Tetrasodium EDTA, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (to name a few) are found in these products. These are ingredients that are "no-nos" for people wanting to go with chemically free products. As you know, I try to go as chemical free as I can in our household and that includes my beauty products. As I said earlier, I'm working on finding a shampoo/conditioner that fits the bill--and while these hair products are DEFINITELY healthier for you than most commercial hair products, they still aren't free of all the bad stuff I want to avoid.

Let me mention size real quick. These are 8oz bottles. I go through 8 oz bottles of shampoo like nothing because I have long thick hair. After using these products about 3 times a week for the last few weeks, I'm already at least half way through my bottles. For someone like my husband, an 8 oz bottle can last a long time--I cannot make it go that far. Thus I have to take that into consideration when I look at the price. While $14.95 for the set of 2 bottles isn't that dreadful, $7 a bottle is MORE than I'd feel comfortable paying, even for a 10 oz, much less an 8 oz. So in my case, it's NOT a good buy, because I would be using a bottle about every 2 months. Less for the conditioner! I need my bottles to last longer than that to meet my budget. I have seen other organic/natural hair products with similar ingredients (though not exact) which are priced less and are larger bottles that I would choose first.

Would I Recommend Koru Naturals products?

Although I did not personally use the Emu Oil, I have heard that is a top choice for dealing with eczema and other skin problems. Many of my friends use Emu Oil with great success and love the way it deals with their eczema and psoriasis, as well as just the dry hands and skin from winter weather. I know that it is highly rated as natural addition to your daily moisturizing routine by many sources. Simply type in "Benefits of Emu Oil" on a search engine to see them. One of my mom friends just this week commented how she loved her Emu Oil (not Koru Naturals brand) and was bummed that she was all out. When I offered her mine, she was ecstatic!

As for the shampoo and conditioner, I really really like it. I am always on the lookout for new organic or natural alternatives to standard shampoo. I am satisfied with the way it makes my hair look and feel. Especially the feel. I think that with regular use of the product, my hair just felt healthier. While it's not "perfect" in regards to being completely "bad" chemical free, it is a vast improvement over the majority of the products out there. I recommend this product to anyone looking for a more natural shampoo that still provides high quality. I also think that the $14.95 for the set is very reasonable--if you have SHORT or thin hair where you aren't using more than a dime size amount with each washing, especially considering it is a higher quality product with more natural ingredients.

Will I buy myself more when this runs out? Hmm. I might buy a set to use once a week for when we go to church and I want my hair to look its best. But it's just not financially sustainable with the amount of product it takes me to wash my hair--regardless of how GOOD for me the product is. It's definitely a splurge for my budget.

What would make it more reasonable? The same price with a much bigger bottle.

Want to Know More?

I reviewed the Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner($14.95 for set of 8 oz bottles) and Emu Oil (2 oz $9.85). There were several other products reviewed by our team, so I hope you will go and see what else Koru Naturals has to offer!
Koru Naturals Review

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