Routine Shampoo Review: What are Routine Shampoo and Conditioner?
Routine is a luxury shampoo and conditioner brand that touts itself as “safe, simple, and effective (cited from the company’s FAQ page).
It is more expensive than other typical shampoo and conditioner brands – at the time of this writing, a bottle of the shampoo and conditioner cost $29.99 each.
The company promises improved hair health and reduced loss, but what’s actually in them?
Do all of the ingredients have solid research backing?
Are any of the ingredients potentially harmful to you?
Let’s dive deep into the products’ ingredients, scrutinize user reviews, weigh the pros and cons, and consider inexpensive and comparable alternatives.
After all, it’s not just about looking good; it’s about making informed choices for your health.
Routine shampoo ingredients
The ingredients listed above are taken directly from the Routine official website.
Many of these ingredients are backed by evidence-based studies, and I approve of them.
Let’s take a look at them individually…
Argan oil is backed by much research and has been shown to have hydrating properties, repair hair damage, promote healthy hair growth, prevent hair breakage, and improve hair quality.
In this study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2022, the researchers were able to verify that argan oil pre-treatment effectively protected hair against oxidative damage.
In this systematic review published in 2020, the authors show that Saw palmetto extract may promote hair growth, quality, density, repair damaged hair, and stabilize disease progression related to alopecia.
However, it’s critical to remember that while using Routine could potentially transform your hair care regime, its effects might vary depending on whether you have naturally dry or chemically treated hair.
The application of caffeine to the hair and scalp has been shown in clinical studies to minimize hair loss in men and women.
This randomized open-label multicenter study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology in 2017 verified that topical caffeine improves the anagen phase of the hair cycle (where hair growth occurs).
In fact, the study authors showed that topical caffeine was non-inferior to the most common prescription-strength medication used for hair loss, minoxidil 5% (Rogaine)!
At the molecular level, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid with a high affinity for hair proteins.
This unique characteristic allows it to penetrate the hair shaft deeply, nourishing and reinforcing hair fibers against external damaging factors.
This scientific study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2022 confirms the beneficial properties of coconut-based hair oil.
Coconut oil penetrates your hair follicles better than other oils, preventing protein loss and maintaining your hair’s natural moisture balance.
Aloe vera gel is known to lock in moisture in hair follicles and skin.
Biotin is known to strengthen the keratin infrastructure of your hair, reducing hair loss.
All ingredients above have solid research backing for healthy, beautiful hair.
However, one ingredient in Routine shampoo raises a small red flag – Phenoxyethanol.
Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative that has activity against a large spectrum of microbes.
It counters the growth of many Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and yeasts.
The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety states that Phenoxyethanol is safe for adults and children at a maximum concentration of 1%.
The ingredient label on Routine’s product does not specify the strength of Phenoxyethanol.
While it is likely that the strength of this ingredient is below the 1% threshold in Routine’s product, I urge the manufacturer to clarify this on the ingredient label.
Overall, I believe the hair care product Routine has research-backed ingredients and is likely to prevent hair damage, slow hair thinning, strengthen hair, promote hair regeneration, and make hair feel healthy.
Routine conditioner ingredients
The Routine conditioner includes all the ingredients in the shampoo.
Additionally, according to this medical review, the conditioner contains Jojoba seed oil, which has been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and hair growth-promoting properties.
The Routine conditioner also contains Tea tree oil.
Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to the product’s overall effectiveness.
A word of caution – some people might be sensitive to tea tree oil.
I’ll use myself as an example – When I used a product containing this ingredient, my scalp reacted to it, and patches of skin started sloughing off.
If you are unsure about how you might react to tea tree oil, I recommend patch testing to make sure.
Due to most of the research-backed ingredients in the Routine conditioner, I believe it is likely effective.
However, please use it cautiously due to the manufacturer’s inclusion of Phenoxyethanol and tea tree oil.
Real Routine shampoo review
Now, let’s look at some real user reviews:
This YouTube influencer provides a review of both Routine shampoo and conditioner after 12 months of use.
It should be noted that she does say Routine sponsors her review:
There are other reviews, most of which are glowing.
However, these reviews are posted on the brand’s official website.
So, take that for what it’s worth:
My non-toxic and inexpensive alternative to Routine
The links below are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I have tried myself or believe in due to their strong research backing.
I recommend Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo.
It is 100% Vegan and free of fragrance, toxic chemicals, and questionable preservatives.
Additionally, it contains research-backed ingredients such as Argan oil, rosemary leaf oil, and aloe vera.
You can learn more and purchase the Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo at this official Amazon link.
At the time of this writing, it retails for only $6.29!
The best part is that it has a “B” rating when entered into the Fakespot Analyzer.
This rating suggests that most Amazon reviews are from legitimate customers and are not fake.
To learn how to use this free feature, read my article Vibriance Super C Serum Review.
I recommend Carina Organics Citrus Daily Light Conditioner as a safe and effective plant-based option.
Like the Acure shampoo, it is free of questionable additives and has natural ingredients such as coconut and tangerine oil.
At the time of this writing, it retails on Amazon for $18.48.
This product also has a “B” rating on Fakespot, suggesting high credibility and trust.
You can check out the Carina Organics Conditioner here at the official Amazon link.
Note: Always consider potential side effects and benefits when choosing a product.
Despite Routine Shampoo and Conditioner’s research-backed ingredient list, I am not fully convinced that the products are worth their price.
Yes, their quality is better than the usual store-brand shampoo and conditioner, but comparable alternatives are much more inexpensive.
The presence of Phenoxyethanol is somewhat concerning, and I recommend interested buyers use prudence when researching this product line.