I’ll be honest, I typically don’t have a hard time finding products that work for my hair texture. I’m a product junkie mostly because I like trying things that are new, not necessarily because I need something different. But a few years ago I tried one of the products in Dark and Lovely’s Au Naturale line which was pretty new at the time and it didn’t do anything for my curls. Turns out, I was using the wrong product for my hair type.
A few months ago we told you about Dark and Lovely’s new Clumping Curl line, designed to reduce shrinkage, moisturize hair, and define curls. I was on the fence about giving the cleanser and creme gel a try, but when I learned it was designed specifically for Curl Type 3a-3c, I figured, why not? My hair has also been extremely dry lately and I wanted to see if a new product might fix things.
Before washing my hair, I did a pre-poo oil treatment to try to improve my dryness. After about 20 minutes of letting the oil penetrate my hair under a conditioning cap, I rinsed and prepared to wash. The first thing I noticed about the cleanser is its thick texture. I actually squeezed the product into my hand and then checked the bottle to make sure it wasn’t conditioner. That’s when I noticed the directions advise you to use the cleanser like a co-wash: “Massage a generous amount of the Clumping Curl Clay Cleanser throughout wet hair. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes to soften hair for easy detangling. Rinse thoroughly.”
As soon as I applied the cleanser I felt my hair begin to soften, thanks to its Kaolin Clay, Argan and Coconut Oil composition. I let the product sit on my hair for about four minutes as directed and then rinsed. In addition to how soft my hair felt, I also knew my hair was completely clean. I’d been using a lot of gel on my hair recently and the cleanser removed all of the buildup I had as well as the hardness on the ends of my hair.
I didn’t towel dry or comb through my hair at all after cleansing. While my hair was completely wet, I began applying the Dark And Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Clumping Curl Crème Gel. As I always say, I love a good creamy gel because it saves me a step in the styling process, but not all products like this are created equal. What distinguishes Dark and Lovely’s duo is the clumping aspect. Clumping is a washing and cleansing technique using a number of different products like Bentonite Clay, Apple Cider Vinegar, water and oils to bind hair strands together, creating thicker, more defined curls. This line basically takes all those steps and the mess out of the process with a cleanser that binds curls and a Crème Gel that holds the curls together.
I applied the Crème Gel to my hair section by section, stretching as I applied the product, and then I let my hair air dry. Within a couple of hours, my hair was almost completely dry and my curls were super defined and shiny.
I was also pretty amazed the product lived up to it’s anti-shrinkage claim. Since I’d tried this style on my hair just the day before with a different product I could tell the difference in my curl length and fullness with the clumping cleanser and gel, and the sheen my hair had was far greater. To finish the look I just applied a little gel and edge control on the sides of my center part and my edges and I was good to go — and pleasantly surprised the wind didn’t knock the sails out of my curls Saturday evening.
If you have a coarser hair type but still want to check out Dark and Lovely’s anti-shrinkage technology, the brand’s Au Naturale Coil Moisturizing Souffé is an option for 4a-c curl types.
Have you tried any Dark and Lovely Au Naturale products? How’d they work for you?