REVIEW | Aveda Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo & Conditioner

Hey Beauties! If you've followed this blog for a while, then you already know that I adore Aveda products for both skin and hair. As a matter of fact, their shampoo formulas are some of the few on the market that I truly trust for my kinky, 4C hair. Why is that? Aveda has been apart of my wash day routine for years

My Cherry Almond Story

As a little girl of color before the many black-owned natural hair brands lined the shelves, my mom would wash my hair with Aveda's Cherry Almond Bark (now simply called Cherry Almond) shampoo and conditioner. I absolutely dreaded the lengthy process of detangling and hot combing my hair before a fresh week of school, but I did look forward to the sweet scent of Cherry Almond Bark. There was nothing better than having my scalp massaged with a scent that I could only describe best as a little girl "like cherry pie". 

Each wash, I would request that my mom use this particular shampoo and conditioner. It made my early hair experience a thousand times better and I genuinely looked forward to it...until one day, my mom told me that she could no longer find Cherry Almond Bark and that it had been discontinued (in 2007) by Aveda. I was extremely crushed and hurt. We used what was left of the shampoo and conditioner we had and then it eventually became another distant childhood memory. 

Over the years, my mom and I have reminisced about the wash days when she used Cherry Almond Bark. This always lead me to continue hoping that Aveda would one day bring the duo back. I've searched the internet high and low for similar products, but could find absolutely none.

We Asked, They Answered

Last June, I tweeted Aveda practically begging them to bring back Cherry Almond Bark... (receipts from Twitter below)

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...and this summer they actually have! I was scrolling through Instagram on Sunday and stumbled across a post on Aveda's page for Cherry Almond -- apparently I was a few weeks late on the news thanks to the stupid IG algorithm. *rolls eyes* You can probably imagine just how ecstatic I was though! I literally bounced around the house singing and thanking the Aveda gods until I rushed out to the Aveda Experience Center at NorthPark Center a few hours later to pick up my own duo. And here I am to tell you all about the products I love so much...

Naturally Derived Ingredients

The Cherry Almond aroma is crafted by Aveda's pure-fume™ masters from an amazing 38 flower and plant essences which includes naturally derived tonka bean, ylang ylang and certified organic orange. Of course, both formulas also contain sweet almond oil and cherry extract.

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Cherries offer a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants which can help promote hair growth; sweet almond oil is a personal favorite of mine and helps strengthen hair. Plus, I love to eat both of them as snacks!

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You may notice that sulfates are used in the Softening Shampoo, but Aveda notes that babassu and coconut-derived ingredients are used meaning that the cleanse will be gentle rather than harsh and drying. The Softening Conditioner contains certified organic coconut oil and shea butter, but no silicones. See below for the ingredients listed on their website:

Softening Shampoo - Water\Aqua\Eau, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Propanediol, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside Crosspolymer, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Serrulata Flower (Cherry) Extract, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquaternium-10, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Sodium Phytate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

Softening Conditioner - Water\Aqua\Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Serrulata Flower (Cherry) Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lactic Acid, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Geraniol, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate

Beautiful New Packaging

The packaging for Cherry Almond Bark used to be very simple and in-line with the rest of Aveda's packaging at the time. Now, the packaging is much more updated across the board and the new Cherry Almond is no exception. The new bottles and tubes are a natural almond color with magenta outline silhouettes of cherry blossoms and caps/lids. It's super cute and a very nice design.

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Step 1: Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo

In the shower, I began my routine by rinsing my hair with water under warm/hot water. I know that for us naturals a dime size of product doesn't always work for the entire head, so in order to prevent wasting I use a dime size at a time on sections of my hair. 

Consistency: This shampoo has a pretty normal consistency for this type of product; however it does remind me of the Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse. There is a pearly appearance and suds very minimally. 

Scent: Both the Cherry Almond shampoo and conditioner have the same sweet, floral scent. I loved massaging my scalp and stimulating the scent. Every Aveda scent gives a different experience aside from the benefits and results. They're all very enlivening, but this one is less herbal and floral-like.

The Results: Once through massaging, I rinsed the shampoo out with warm water. My hair didn't feel difficult to detangle and my hair also was not dry after using that's a huge plus especially for curly, Black hair!

Step 2: Cherry Almond Softening Conditioner

After rinsing the Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo, I followed with the Softening Conditioner. I worked it through sections of my hair. Do to the scent, it was so hard for me to not squeeze it out in huge globs! I can be pretty heavy-handed when it comes to a good conditioner. Thinking to myself: dime-size, dime-size. I'll definitely have to invest in the liter sizes!

Consistency: The conditioner has a creamy lotion-like consistency. It also has pretty good slip and helps detangle the hair while distributing through each section. It's not a heavy or thick conditioner, so those with fine strands won't experience impossible tangles when using this. 

The Results: My 4C hair LOVES heavy products from conditioners to stylers because my high-porosity hair drinks up the moisture and hydration. The shea butter in the Cherry Almond Softening Conditioner leaves the hair very moisturized and soft after rinsing with cool water. Dry hair after rinsing my conditioner is no bueno for me, so I was happy with the results.

I followed by twisting out my hair using my favorite Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter blended with almond milk and honey because I like keeping with ingredient themes when it comes to my routines!

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I am extremely happy that Cherry Almond is back on the Aveda shelves! It brings back so many childhood memories for me. I'm not sure if Cherry Almond is limited edition or if it will be permanent, but I'm crossing my freakin' fingers that it will remain available for a long time! Aveda, I know I said "just one more time"...but can Cherry Almond stick around?! I am considering purchasing the larger liter sizes next month because I'll be CRUSHED if I don't have some to last me for a WHILE. I highly recommend you try it out while it's available, Beauties! See below for a code to sample them and receive free shipping on your next order.

Cherry Almond is free from animal by-products, silicones, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, gluten and synthetic fragrance. These products are 98% naturally derived.

Shop Aveda Cherry Almond Shampoo & Conditioner // Receive a free Cherry Almond sample duo + free shipping with any order using code: SOFT78

Disclaimer: I purchased Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo & Conditioner with my own money. This post is not sponsored by Aveda. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.