I' was so excited about the launch of Dark & Lovely's Au Naturale range in South Africa (Designed specifically for the South African market, there's a plaiting pudding cream...), which couldn't come soon enough. I can't believe how long it's taken them to launch a natural hair care range considering how long they've been operating in South Africa....tsk.tsk.. But let by gones be by gones...
I'm happy to say that this review will be done in collabo with my BFF; we're both on a natural hair journey and certified product junkies. We got the products from Clicks and Dischem when they first launched (So for slighlty cheapper than the recommended retail price). She reviewed the shampoo and condtioner, and I reviewed the condtioner and mositurizing butter.
The Moisture-Replenishing shampoo is egg yolk yellow in colour and slightly runny. It’s got a strong mango and tropical fruit fragrance, not unlike the Mango range from the Body Shop; A bit strong for my liking, but I’ll live. I used it as a clarifier after a protective style and as a weekly shampoo since purchasing. From the first wash, it lathers quite well (yay for suds!!) cleanses my fine strands clean without stripping; which is what I want, from my shampoo. I have shampooed my hair with this product both with and without pre-pooing and it delivered the same results. My strands are quite fine and dry out quickly so this is a win in my book. I just would recommend only shampooing twice if you really need to (i.e. you've been rolling in mud and/or attended the colour run). In my case, a moderate amount went a long way so I think this bottle may last me about two months.
Price: ZAR 39.95
The Knot-out conditoner in this range also has a strong Mango fragrance but I'm not complaining. I must confess I'm more of a deep condtioner girl, so I used this conditioner as a pre-shampoo treatment/detangler.
The Verdict? It's great! It's got a ton load of slip which is what I need. It really made my from more manageable and removing knots easily. (I finger-detangle and follow that up with my Denman brush).
For pre-poo, I normally mix my conditoner with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and this condtioner works really well with JBCO (so that's another plus).
I feel like this is a great alternative (It's silicone-free) for those of us who miss Tresemme Naturals something fierce (I'm still mad about that by the way...How could they take it away from us?)
It’s light and with a creamy spreadable consistency. The fragrance was something akin to mango and tropical fruit smoothie; a bit overpowering for me, but bearable. Plus it doesn’t linger.
I first used it as a detangler on my 4b strands and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It has SLIP. As in you can detangle with your fingers or paddle brush with ease (provided your hair isn’t extremely tangled). So that passes the first test. The downside is that you have to use quite a bit of product to saturate your hair. But as it’s fairly inexpensive, I don’t mind it.
I also tried it as a deep conditioner and left it in for 20min. Here.... ja, it’s not a deep conditioner. It’s not bad but it left my hair wanting a bit more. I tried again but added some of my favourite oils for extra extra-ness. This time it did a better job. But since I hate doing that, I think I will just stick to it as a quick conditioner or a detangler.
Price: ZAR 39.95
Afro moisturizing butter
I decided to go for the moisturizing butter instead of the plaiting pudding cream because I have a strong aversion to pink creams. Why must you be so Dark & Lovely? Pink? Really?! NO!
The moisturizing butter is quite firm with a smooth texture, which I really like (no dripping all over the place). The fragrance...I don't like at all. It's very chemical (trying to be herby..I don't know) It smells a little like Sunlight dishwashing liquid to me. That being said I really like how it feels in my hair. It's super mosturizing; great for use as a the moisture component in conjunction with an oil to seal. Also gives great slip if you're detangling your hair post-wash. I also used it on my hair with my whipped mafura butter when I installed Marley twists.
For those who are silicone-sensitive, it does contain dimethicone. So despite the not so awesome fragrance, we're keeping it!
Price: ZAR 79.95
My final verdict: All three of these products are super affordable. They're available in selected Dischem and Clicks stores. Also, Clicks has an online store, you can order there too.
So Dark & Lovely, well done! Took you long enough.
Her final verdict:
All in all, this combo is great and budget friendly if you’re looking for good, cheap products that do the job well. Will I repurchase? Yup! It’s worth it.
What's your verdict on the Au Naturale range? Yay! or Nah!?
See you in my next post,
*Product images are from www.darkandlovely.co.za