Virtue is a haircare brand that’s been on my radar for quite some time. From what I know, they are the only hair company that uses vegan-friendly keratin in their products. The keratin they use is their own patent Alpha Keratin 60ku® which is human-derived. The science and research they’ve had to put into this reflects on the price and it’s by no doubt a very interesting company!
I got the Virtue Nourish & Flourish duo set for Christmas that included full size of both their bestsellers, the Flourish Density Booster and Healing Oil. I honestly thought I’d be testing out their shampoos and conditioners first, but here we are. With the holiday sales, this was at such a good value it was crazy to let it pass! Virtue includes Alpha Keratin in all their products. I was interested to see how they compare to other bonding products. I’ve been using these two products for a little over four months now, and I think it’s a good time to let you in on my thoughts…
Virtue Flourish Density Booster
This is like a spray serum packed with botanicals that help stimulate blood flow and facilitate that healthy hair growth. The Flourish Density Booster is made to prevent hair loss on mild to moderate hair-thinning. Can be used both in damp or dry hair. For best results, it should be applied daily and used in conjunction with the Flourish Shampoo and Conditioner for thinning hair.
I wanted this in my routine because I had experienced heavy hair shedding after taking the covid-vaccine. My density hasn’t yet recovered although it’s been two years since. And after my hair got to waist length I felt like my follicles could need some strengthening as I shed more than usual. And it’s not just that it looks like a lot because every strand is longer. My goal wasn’t to regrow hair but to reduce the daily shedding.
If it weren’t for the pungent herbal scent then I would’ve happily applied this daily. I had planned to use it every evening before going to bed. But I honestly couldn’t stand the scent lingering on my pillow. It didn’t either help that my boyfriend said I smelled like some pesticide… 😅 Eventually I settled with massaging it in on dry hair for one to three hours before washing it. I do sometimes apply it after washing on damp hair as the scent gets less strong when blowdrying. However, I usually forget and I’m not too keen on massaging a wet scalp as hair and follicles tend to be more fragile.
I spray and apply it on the sides, temples, and back where the density of hair is low. One month into use, I also got a Manta hairbrush. It really helps to spread and massage the product and is super gentle pulling minimally on the hair. But before that, I used a Denman D6 Palm Styler that worked just as fine. I also use a scalp massager quite identical to this one.
My hair grows slowly during winter. With slow I mean, barely a centimeter per month. So it’s taken a while to see any new baby hairs as this hasn’t really accelerated the speed of growth. But I would say that my temples are showing less skin. But it’s by no means the kind of regrowth you’d see on those instagram/tiktok hair growth accounts. That would perhaps take another six months to a year of use.
With that said, I did experience quite a drastic reduction in the amount of hair I shed, especially in the shower. It took about 5 uses to notice. But I’ve also detected that the shedding goes quickly back to normal once I’m not diligent with the use.
Overall, if you can handle the lingering herbal scent and apply it to dry hair, you don’t have to worry about it looking oily. Just don’t spray too much. Once it’s dried it gives the roots a little oumph making your hair look and feel thicker without any residue-feel.
You do get 120ml which will last you depending on the frequency of use and the area. After about four months, I’m only half in. But note I’ve only been using it on wash days, which has a frequency of two to three times per week. I have no doubt I’d see even better results if I used it daily and together with the rest of the products from the Flourish line. But I feel like my issue is not as severe to need all the products. A scalp serum will suffice.
Despite the scent, I am willing to continue using it and perhaps even repurchase it. As I’ve figured out a way to use it that doesn’t leave me with a headache. I also like that it has lasted me much longer than the Kerastase serums I’ve used in the past and loved. So while the price might be steep, it’s not as expensive as the Kératsse serums when looking at price per use! But observe, it says on the Flourish Density Booster that the product is ok for only 9 months after first use.
A Little Comparison…
In some ways I do and don’t prefer the Virtue Flourish Density Booster over the Kérastase scalp serums. Its formula makes it more suited to be applied on dry hair than the Kérastase serums – which are preferably applied after washing on a damp scalp. And while the spray nozzle could’ve been more like the one on the Ameliorate scalp spray, a spray is still better at covering a larger area than a pipette. The formula is also much more advanced and I find the Density Booster to be better at reducing shedding. But when it comes to scent and the actual wearability of the product, Kérastase wins for me.
Virtue Healing Oil
The Virtue Healing Oil is described as a multi-tasker that delivers shine, softness, and moisture but also helps repair, strengthen, and protect the hair strands with its Alpha Keratin. My top goal was to see how this compares to the Olaplex No.7 bonding oil and whether it could be a cheaper alternative. As price-wise you do get more with this one.
This oil is not your regular hair oil. It’s clear but has a cloudy mixture. Therefore it’s important to shake before use. I’ve needed to go a bit more than 3 drops on my long hair. But just like the Olaplex bonding oil, I find it to be too light for my hair. And shine-wise, I find Olaplex’s bonding oil to be a bit better.
This oil was designed with different hair types in mind. And I get that majority of people often prefer a very light hair oil. I personally just find this to be too light to the point it doesn’t do anything for my hair. The Virtue healing oil doesn’t even help smooth out and prep my hair for detangling like my favorite, the Oi Oil from Davines does. Neither does it do a good job of reducing frizz for me.
Then we have the fragrance… The healing oil smells very pungent of coconut and vanilla. I see that many love it, but I honestly hate it. Bumble & Bumble’s Invisible Oil-line has a much more sophisticated version imo. Like, even if I loved the results, I would not repurchase it solely because of the scent.
For me, this was a bummer product. I was really hoping for it to work as on paper it sounds so wonderful! But unfortunately, the scent gives me almost a headache. Usually, I can grow to tolerate a fragrance. But it’s been months and I still find the scent very bothersome.
The results have been kind of “meh” for the price. It failed to impress me and I saw myself rather reach for the Davines Oi Oil – despite not having any additional bond-repairing ingredient. As for the claims of strengthening and repairing the hair strands, I can’t say I’ve seen much of it with my own naked eyes. My hair has still been growing slowly as split ends are still a huge issue for me (because I stupidly had a period of heat styling it). I believe, to actually see a difference in that department, you have to use the whole system of products from Virtue.
Anyway, I was going to try out more products from Virtue, but after the issue with the scent from both of these products, I’m more reluctant. It’s a pity really, as I’ve heard many great things about their shampoos and conditioners.
A little Comparison
I will add that, even though I find Olaplex’s hair oil to be better on a few points, it’s not at all my favorite oil. That one too felt light in my hair and didn’t do much for me. And don’t get me started on how it even can be bond-repairing when Olaplex’s patented ingredient only can penetrate and work on damp hair… 🤨
For that reason, I kind of feel like the Virtue Healing Oil is perhaps better. But I personally won’t be repurchasing either of them and stick to Davines Oi Oil. Hair oil is such a personal choice. I like ones that are a little more viscous in texture. Not necessarily heavy on the hair. ‘Cause in the end, is it really bond-repairing and protecting if it doesn’t smooth, soften the hair, and help detangle it? I feel Oi Oil does a much better job at it (on my hair) than the other two.