Did V&M A Hair Story Emu Shampoo Save me from Oily Scalp and Dandruff?

The first time I tried V&M A Hair Story Emu Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, the experience left me so disappointed. The shampoo was so runny that when I used the pump for the first time, it almost squirted the shampoo straight at my face. Worse, I felt it made my dandruff worse. So I threw it away mercilessly. But because I read lots of amazing reviews, I bought it again on my trip to the Philippines last February. And after emptying the entire bottle to the very last drop and bubble, I now have a different hair story to share.

One More Chance, Baby
I found out that aside from the Orange and Peppermint-based version which I tried and tossed out earlier, the shampoo has another variant that uses Rosemary Extract. So I bought the Rosemary-based version and kept my fingers crossed. First and second washes were still bad but I persevered for a whole week and that’s when I started noticing some major difference.

Wonderful in controlling Oil!
Most of the other anti-oily scalp shampoos I’ve tried before only controlled the oil for 2 hours but A Hair Story actually made my oil-free scalp last for almost a day. When I went for my Beijing 101 Consultation about 3 months ago, my scalp appeared quite healthy on the scalp scanner. My follicles were not clogged with oil and I had very little dandruff. It was as if I was looking at another person’s scalp!

Sadly, Good Things Never Seem to Last
Alas, the shampoo suddenly stopped working. Well, it still helped keep my scalp oil-free but it stopped doing anything for my dandruff just when I was about to finish the bottle. I have a theory, though. I think the shampoo started to over-exfoliate and over-dry my scalp because I stopped doing oil hair masks. If I continued with my weekly moisturizing hair and scalp masks, my scalp might have stayed “balanced” which might have prevented it from drying and flaking. Unfortunately, I’ve already ran out of the shampoo so there isn’t any way for me to test whether my theory is right.

Might Dry the Hair
Just like most shampoos made to combat oily hair and scalp, A Hair Story has the tendency to dry the hair. But I noticed that sometimes, when my hair was in good condition, it’s able to maintain just the right amount of moisture as long as it’s dried properly.  Washing my hair backwards worked really well while I was using this shampoo.

Ingredients, Scent and Texture
The shampoo’s texture is almost as runny as water but it lathers pretty well, better than most natural shampoos out there. It’s most likely due to the Gugo, which is a popular anti-hairloss and anti-dandruff natural lathering ingredient used in lots of naturally formulated shampoos in the Philippines. This wonder Gugo had recently piqued my interest due to my hair loss and dandruff issues. Scent-wise, it’s strongly refreshing due to the Rosemary which helps kill the usually musky smell of oily hair. I used about a pump and a half for my waist-length hair every wash.

Price & Availability
A Hair Story retails in two sizes: 130ml at S$13 and 250ml at S$22. Sadly, unless you live in the Philippines, you can only buy it through their multiply store and the ordering process looks so confusing since there is no checkout counter. I think–only “think”– the shipping fee to Singapore is around S$30 which is ridiculous! You’d think that at that price the package would need to cross the Pacific Ocean to reach Singpore but it’s only a 3.5-hour flight from the Philippines.

Toss or Keep?
Currently, this is a “potential” HG item for me. So as soon as I figure out how to go around the ridiculous shipping costs, I’ll probably buy at least three bottles. No other naturally formulated shampoo has made a remarkable difference on my oily and dandruff-prone scalp so although it was a disappointing start and end, I’m willing to give V&M A Hair Story yet another chance.

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  • http://myorganicjourney11.blogspot.com/ Alexandra

    I had the same experience with the Moogoo Shampoo. It worked remarkably well in the beginning and now, sadly, I can’t even touch it cos it made my dandruff worse.
    Now, I am using a calming shampoo, ( which yields good results but can be drying ) and alternate with a natural shampoo, just to keep my scalp balanced. So far it worked.
    Alexandra recently blogged..Review: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Yeah, I read your review about that Moogoo Shampoo, I think. And my experience is exactly the same. At first, the improvement was so remarkable I couldn’t believe it. But then it just stopped working. My scalp suddenly couldn’t stop flaking and I’m not sure what went wrong although I have I feeling it’s because I depended on the shampoo too much and stopped doing my hot oil treatments.

      • http://myorganicjourney11.blogspot.com/ Alexandra

        From previous experience, I think I relied on the shampoo too much that I didn’t ‘balance out’ my sebum with an alternate shampoo. Too much of a good thing isn’t too good, I think. What you mentioned is true, must balance out the scalp with mask and such.
        Alexandra recently blogged..Review: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

  • http://amagpie.blogspot.sg/ Angie

    Hi Vivi, first off..great blog! Beyond being very informative, I love the sense of humour you inject into your posts! :)

    My HG shampoo is Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender..I tried countless shampoos before that..nothing gave that wow factor and my hair was like straw. This one was perfect..left my hair smooth enough without it being fly away or limp..& gave texture to my hair (I have short hair so that’s super important) but after a while it lost its omph somehow and my hair went back to being blah again..luckily it didn’t give me flakes or anything. Anyways I read somewhere it’s advisable to rotate shampoos..prevent product build-up or something like that. So I used my partner’s shampoo (unfortunately one with sulfates)..it turned my hair into straw but guess what – the following day I switched back to my beloved Avalon Lavender & it was wow all over again! And it’s back to working well for the past week. I’m now searching for another affordable sulfate-free shampoo to rotate with the Avalon. Any (that can buy in sg) to recommend?
    Angie recently blogged..Blooms & A Happy Tummy

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Angie, thanks for visiting my blog. :)

      There are a lot of SLS-free shampoos available here in Singapore. I’ve reviewed one from Sukin, easily found in Guardian/Watsons. It’s not fantastic but it’s cheap and might be good enough as a “rotation” shampoo. Based on your description of your hair turning “straw-like”, I guess you need shampoos that contain protein ingredients. Avalon Lavender has hydrolyzed Wheat protein while Sukin, if I remember it correctly, has Silk proteins.

      • http://amagpie.blogspot.sg/ Angie

        You’re welcome :) I found you through vivawoman. Pleasantly surprised that there are quite a few Sporean organic blogs out there…

        Thanks for the recommendation, and for zero-ing in on the protein for me! I’ve tried Sukin’s products before (night cream and facial wash) few years ago and remember not being that keen on the smell..too sweet-ish? I will check out the shampoo though..
        Angie recently blogged..Have A Cuppa

  • http://raspberrysquirt.blogspot.com Hazel Uri

    I’m from philippines and i’m so glad that there are products made in our country that reach overseas especially organic ones :) i agree about the shipping costs part. there are products i want to order from other countries but i’m discouraged because of the int’l shipping (i don’t know how it works). you could use standard shipping, i think. it would take a few more days for the package to arrive though. but ordering natural products and making it stay stored somewhere would probably affect its formulation. hmmm
    Hazel Uri recently blogged..Weekly Reads #03 + a little something from my heart

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Hazel, yes there are a couple of other brands that I’ve seen from other bloggers but I’m not sure how easy it is to buy them overseas. I’m actually planning to buy about 5 of this shampoo so I just have to worry about one big shipping fee– but because it’s very hot here in Singapore, I’m also worried about the shampoo’s formulation going rancid after a while, just like what you mentioned.

      Are there sprees in philippines? Maybe you can join to save on shipping costs :)

  • http://www.bebeautysmart.com BeBeautySmart

    Vivi, when I first read the name of the shampoo “Emu” I was like: “it is made from emu oil, so it means they kill emu…”
    Oh well, it happens… I am just hesitating if it’s ok with me, or not.


    Usually when we use a natural product the symptoms are getting worse. This happens because the body gets rid of the bad stuffs first and takes time to regenerate itself. Natural ingredients always help the body to do this process itself, they don’t work instead of it.

    So if a symptom (like dandruff) comes back all the time, it means something still doesn’t work well in the body.

    But give it a chance. Who knows? Maybe it just takes time to work on your hair :)
    BeBeautySmart recently blogged..Chemical hair dyes and their effect to our health

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Yeah, the company they get their Emu oil from probably has an emu bird farm… I understand that some people are not comfortable with using emu-based, or in general, non-vegan products. But personally, at this point in my “transition”, although I may not be necessarily happy, I can still accept emu oil in beauty products.

      I agree with you that my dandruff is more of an internal issue. When my diet was very healthy, my eczema, dandruff and dry patches improved a lot. My dandruff seems to be also linked to my hormones and stress levels. Whenever I’m particularly wrung out about something or my period is coming, I suddenly get worse dandruff outbreaks.

      • http://www.bebeautysmart.com BeBeautySmart

        I am not vegan, so I have no idea why I am not comfortable with this emu based shampoo. And I know emu oil is really amazing. So I don’t judge you or anything!:)

        Oh, yes. I am the same. I am suffering from eczema too and if I don’t watch my diet, then it gets worse.
        Which dandruff do you have: oily or dry?