The green bottle is still around, but who’s buying it?
Remember 2-in-1 shampoo commercials? There were a couple of kinds—the ubiquitous Head & Shoulders, which always had the best commercials, the blue one (Selsun Blue), and the green one (Pert Plus). When was the last time you saw Pert Plus in a store? Please DM me the exact location and price per fluid ounce and a picture of the bottle and how much dust was on it.
For some reason, Pert was the “male” brand, because it was like, “look, we’re the original 2-in-1 formula and if there’s anything men appreciate it’s a no-frills shower approach!” Remember the 3-in-1 version?? Nice and dumb and basic for men (which is not coincidentally why all the men use Dr. Bronner’s now). Pert was the best-selling ‘poo brand in 1990!!?!
WHY HAVE WE FORGOTTEN PERT??? Why did Pert “fail?” It didn’t really fail entirely because it still exists, but why did it recede from view? Some very confusing business lingo happened in 2006 which I as a laywoman read to mean “P&G sold Pert Plus in 2006” and then the “portfolio” of companies that had possession of it sold it to another brand conglomerate, Helen of Troy, and along the way Pert’s branding has totally suffered, which is to say it has been pretty nonexistent in the “dandruff shampoo space,” if you will, which—yes, good question, is Pert Plus a dandruff shampoo? Not really but they do have one formula available, and it was the 2-in-1 bit that was making you conflate it with Head & Shoulders.
Anyway, Racked to the rescue with this wonderful history on the forgotten green bottle:
Pert, in addition to being an old and semi-forgotten drugstore brand, also likely fell out of favor, at least among women, because of cleansing conditioners (also referred to as co-cleansers), like this Racked-approved one from R+Co. They became popular as part of the “no ‘poo” trend. They are generally free of sulfates, which have gotten a bad rap over the years for being stripping and drying, which is true for certain hair types. This new generation of 2-in-1s feel more like conditioners, while Pert definitely feels like a traditional shampoo.
Basically what happened next was: Axe! But also Innovative Brands LLC didn’t do much for Pert Plus marketing-wise. But now Helen of Troy has a new bet, which is an edgy (haha) new bottle (angles instead of curves just how we like our men), and a spokesfighter/brand ambassador, Elias Theodorou. Look at that hot man in green shorts who punches people for a living! He has long beautiful man-bun-length hair. Doesn’t it make you just want to buy some Pert (no more plus)?
T-minus how long until we see a wide-scale embrace of sulfate-full shampoo? You know, for that nice, slippery, retro feeling.