Review: Infusium 23 Pro-Vitamin B5 Formula // Repair & Renew Leave-In Treatment

Reunited, and it feels so good.

Back in my earrrrrrrrrrrrrly transitioning days, I picked up the Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-In Treatment thinking somehow it would gradually heal or erase the horrendous heat damage to my hair. That's probably because the product made claims about restructuring and protecting stressed and damaged hair. While it didn't do a darn thing for my heat damage (because in all honesty, nothing will), I discovered that it did have one epic use beyond leave-in conditioning: detangling. Back in the day, I was pairing it with Tresemme Split Remedy (which I have since stopped using), but in 2014 I'm pairing it with another awesome product, that I'll discuss soon. For my throwback transitioner experience with Infusium 23 Repair & Renew, click here. But for now, let's get on with the 2014 review.

Note: They're the same!

Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-In Treatment and Infusium 23 Pro-Vitamin B5 Formula Leave-In Treatment are the EXACT SAME PRODUCT. Same formula, consistency, color, smell, properties, and everything. The only thing different is two of the preservatives at the end (Repair & Renew contains DMDM Hydantoin and Disodium EDTA while the Pro-Vitamin B5 Formula contains Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone) -- and these preservatives DO NOT impact how the product performs. The bottles look different (as pictured above), but everything else is the same. If you purchase at Target, Walgreens, WalMart, CVS or any drugstore, you will be getting the Repair & Renew bottle on the left. If your purchase at Sally's you might luck up on the same bottle on the left -- but if you can't find it, check for the bottle at the top of this article.

Ingredient List:
Aqua/Water, Amodimethicone, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, PEG/PPG 18/18 Dimethicone, Polyquaternium 11, Citric Acid, Betaine, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Trideceth 12, PPG- 2 Methyl Ether, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Threonine, Lysine, Alanine, Proline, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, PEG 8/SMDI Copolymer, Behenic Acid, Palmitoyl Myristyl Serinate, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Arachidic Acid, PEG-8, Polysorbate 80, Aminomethyl Propanol, Fragrance/Fragancia/Parfum, Sodium PCA, Methylparaben, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone 

Ingredient Analysis:
  • Amodimethicone: Silicone-based hair conditioning polymer that becomes water soluble (yes, a water soluble cone!) when accompanied by cetrimonium chloride and trideceth-12. [source]
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil: Polyethylene glycol derivatives of castor oil used to help form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of ingredients, also acts as a solvent to help ingredients mix that normally would not.
  • Panthenol: Vitamin B5, known for quick absorption into hair and providing moisture control.
  • Cetrimonium Chloride: Compound close in composition to Behentrimonium Chloride (see below). In addition to having the same penetrating, conditioning, and anti-static properties, centrimonium chloride has been scientifically proven to strengthen the hair when activated by heat.
  • PEG/PPG 18/18 Dimethicone: Silicone based polyethylene glycol polymer that acts as a surfactant and emulsifier.
Availability: Widely available. Sally's, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS, and more. You won't have trouble finding a store that carries the product, but you may have trouble finding it on the shelves. It tends to fly -- so if you catch it on the shelf, stock up.

Affordability: 33.8oz of liquid gold for $8 or less. I personally purchased mine from Sally's for $7.19 with my Beauty Club Card. Regular price is $7.99. I recommend purchasing from Sally's or Target because the Walgreens and CVS stores tend to overcharge and carry the product in smaller bottles.

Product Claim/Description: Infuses hair with a Pro-Vitamin B5 formula to deeply penetrate and repair the cuticle layers from damage. Detangles and strengthens, while helping protect against breakage. Lightweight formula won't weigh hair down - can be used daily. Can also be used immediately following chemical processing to help seal the cuticle, leaving hair healthy-looking with superb manageability and shine.

Performance/Delivery: Yes, yes, yes -- on every count, yes!!! I should have NEVERRRRRR stopped using this product! Not only does it enhance shine and increase manageability of hair, it makes the hair smooth and does a phenomenal job of hydrating. On top of being one of my hands-down Must Haves for 2014, it is by far one of the BEST detangling products I have ever used, ever. Spray it throughout the hair and watch Infusium 23 Pro Vitamin B-5 Formula Leave-In Treatment go to work! It can be used as a part of a pre-shampoo treatment (my favorite use), as a mid-week detangler, or as a liquid, water-based leave-in.

As far as color, it is milky white. The consistency is pretty much that of water. Not watery or watered down, but wet like water. The difference? If you pour some in your hand, you can feel the slip immediately. The fragrance is mild and slightly floral with fresh undertones (if that at all makes Overall, the Infusium 23 Pro Vitamin B-5 Formula Leave-In Treatment aka Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-In Treatment (why can't they just use the same name....seriously) delivers on every count.

Drawbacks: The major drawback is the confusion between names and packaging. Seems like they'd just streamline everything to make it easier for consumers. The one I have is recommended for professional use, but the Infusium 23 Repair & Renew on drugstore shelves obviously is for the general consumer-- even though the ingredients are the same. Beyond that, the squeeze-nozzle top is a bit awkward but a spray bottle provides a quick and simple workaround. But all in all, neither are deal breakers.

Bonuses: Where do I begin? 33.8oz of product for under $10. Superb detangling ability -- that can without a doubt rival the best detanglers out there (I say that with a straight face). Multi-use, great for all textures. The silicone it contains is water soluble (to assuage the concerns of CG folks). And lastly, it makes a great layer of protection for blowouts and heat styling -- thanks to the amodimethicone and cetrimonium chloride.

Bottom Line: A must have, hands down. If your hair feels out of whack and you need more than water to rehydrate it, this is a great product to do just that and more. If you spend too much money on detanglers, this product is also for you!

Overall Product Rating: 5 stars...hands down!

Best Practices: My favorite way to use the Infusium 23 product is as a pre-shampoo or midweek hydration treatment. Watch the treatment in action below!


  1. Thanks so much! I bought and now trying to figure out where it goes in the routine.

  2. Amodimethicone does not become 'water soluble' in the way the majority of people think. It's 'water solubility' means only that it blends well in other water soluble ingredients, making it much easier in the formulating process.

    It's still a stinker to remove from hair and it does require a clarifying shampoo now and then to do so, but despite that, I still include it in my heat protecting hair care formula.

    1. Thank you for this! I'm really interested in follow-up research -- can you point me in the direction of some good literature for it?

    2. I have used Infusium 23 for over 15 years.
      I went to make a purchase and yes bottles were different and in my opinion so is the solution with the addition of oil.
      Made my hair gummy.
      Had to return and searched online for Original 23.