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When it comes to Black hair care, there’s very little that doesn’t end up being at least possibly damaging to our delicate strands, whether we’re relaxing and coloring or blow drying, straightening, and curling. Even wash n’ gos can cause problems if you don’t add enough moisture back into the hair, which means we all have to be diligent with our routines, no matter what style we choose. And despite all of the recommendations to co-wash more, shampoo less, and deep condition regularly, not all of us want to take the extra 15-30 minutes to let a treatment penetrate our tresses — even if our hair’s health depends on it.

But Dark and Lovely understands time (and healthy hair) is of the essence which is why they’ve created a new line of products called Damage Slayer to strengthen weak hair bonds, drastically decrease breakage, and restore softness and shine. The system fights seven common damage factors: moisture loss, breakage, heat, color, transitioning, relaxing, and the environment and, really, all you need to do is add five extra minutes to your typical wash day routine to reap the benefits.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try out the new line at L’Oréal headquarters and here’s how the process went.

Damage Slayer Pre-Treatment ($6.99)

The pre-treatment is the crux of the entire Damage Slayer line and is the first step in the repair process. Applied to dry, unwashed hair, the liquid formula penetrates strands at the core to reinforce bonds that have been weakened by things like relaxing or heat tools and help bring those bonds back together to create a healthy hair shaft. The product also creates a protective barrier around the strands to prevent future damage.

Because I recently added color to the ends of my hair and noticed a change in texture I was anxious to see what the treatment might be able to do.  The recommendation is to use the system in its entirety (pre-treatment, shampoo and conditioner) for six weeks to fully repair strands, though in just one use you should notice hair is softer and shinier. And within 3-6 uses, you can expect up to 96% less breakage.

Damage Slayer Shampoo ($6.99) and Damage Slayer Conditioner ($6.99)

After the treatment set on my hair for five minutes, I was given a quick wash and condition with The Restorer Shampoo and Strengthening Conditioner which are steps 2 and 3 in the damage slaying process. Like the pre-treatment, the conditioner simply sits on the hair for five minutes and then you rinse. Note: Once you complete the six-week regimen you can skip the pre-treatment during washes and use the shampoo and conditioner by itself as normal to cleanse and condition hair.


Damage Slayer Leave-In Spray ($6.99)

With the washing process done, Derick Monroe, the Emmy-nominated hairstylist my hair was entrusted to, lightly misted my wet hair with the Damage Slayer Leave-In Spray which seals in moisture and provides an additional protective barrier around the hair shaft to prevent future damage.

My hair was literally pillow soft after it’d been blow dried and very light. I also noticed how smooth it laid without any product other than the leave-in. Derick followed up by flat ironing my hair which left it sleek and shiny and then he added a few curls for style.

The only product in the line I didn’t try was the Damage Slayer Steam Conditioning Hair Mask which is the only steam mask on the market that doesn’t require an actual steamer — the steam from your shower is sufficient to activate the formula. This mask, infused with castor oil, “supercharges” your hair with moisture and is a great weekly treatment to stay on the damage-free path.

Damage Slayer Steam Conditioning Hair Mask ($6.99)

After getting my hair styled, I went home and wrapped it and when I took it down for my event last night my hair still had the same body, shine, and softness as earlier in the day. I definitely slayed the night thanks to Dark and Lovely.

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