Disclosed is a unique vehicle system which provides a desirable rheology to products formulated therewith, enhanced dispersion of actives therein, and improved deposition of actives therefrom. This vehicle system comprises a primary thickening agent which is a nonionic long chain alkylated water-soluble polymer, and a secondary thickening agent which is a water-soluble surfactant, dispersed in a compatible solvent. Optionally, a rheological aid, which is a chelating agent may be included in the vehicle system. Also, optionally, a distributing aid, which is a water-soluble polymer of either high molecular weight or strong ionic character may be included in the vehicle system. These vehicle systems are useful in cosmetic compositions which are used to deliver an active component to the hair or skin. The vehicle systems are particularly useful in hair care compositions, especially rinse-off hair conditioning compositions, because they effectively deliver the hair conditioning component to the hair without depositing a substantial amount of the vehicle material onto the hair.