Am I writing a post about shampoo? I’ve written about more mundane things, but this isn’t any shampoo, I’ll have you know. This is Herbal Essences we’re talking about here.
I remember being perplexed and oddly curious about the Herbal Essences commercials when I first saw them in the 90s. I was only vaguely familiar with the brand at that point, having seen it in a few friends’ parents’ showers (oh hi, I’m the person that will rummage through your bathroom, don’t let me pee in your house). My mom exclusively purchased Pert Plus in these huge green CostCo jugs with a pump (she still does this), so I wasn’t privy to a variety of shampoo brands as a lass.
But there was just something about those commercials, the women, the blooming flowers…
Seems like they were trying to get at something. I didn’t know what. I was enticed. I wanted that shampoo.
I’m a strong, independent white woman who don’t need no man… as long as I have my shampoo and matching conditioner from Herbal Essences. Hey wait, is that Buster Bluth?
Originally, I thought Herbal Essences came (hah) onto the market in the 90s, but I was off by a couple years. Or decades. Herbal Essences was founded in 1972.
The early commercials from the 70s keep with the nature theme and even states that “Your hair will get very excited”. Could this be 20 years of foreshadowing?
They didn’t stop at risque shampoo commercials, either. Herbal Essences also put out a line of body washes in the 90s:
Even sex therapist Dr. Ruth got into the “totally organic experience”:
My mom finally relented and bought me some Herbal Essences of my own after I convinced her that it would help tame my big, long, fluffy, French hair. It did a pretty decent job at it, so I continued to use it for years. After they switched their formula in 2006, I hoarded as many of the old bottles as I could. They’re reintroduced the old line in 2013, but like with most things that get a revival– it just ain’t the same.
I still sing the Urge to Herbal jingle, no matter what shampoo I end up using.
I dated a guy once that sniffed my hair and told me he knew I used Herbal Essences and that guys love Herbal Essences. I dumped him shortly afterward because that was the least creepy thing he had going for him. Seriously.
Lastly, leave it to Canada to make it weird…