It’s here! The loot of hair products I won in the Ouidad Unfurl Your Curl contest has arrived, and I feel like a kid in a candy store. I was expecting trial size bottles, but the Ultimate Gift Set included 8.5 oz sizes of everything except the repair treatment. Thank you Ouidad! Of course, I wasted no time, and set out almost immediately to sample the goods. Because I received eight products from the line, I’m going to review them in batches. In this post, I’ll review the following:
- Clear & Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo
- Balancing Rinse Essential Daily Conditioner
- Moisture Lock™ Leave-In Conditioner
- Tress Effects Styling Gel
Clear & Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo
To begin, this product, as they all do, smells very clean. I love a fresh, clean smell, which is especially important if you have a lot of hair that you don’t wash daily. I jumped in the shower, thoroughly wet my hair, then applied a silver dollar size amount to my scalp and worked it in. A little goes a long way! This shampoo is a low pH cleanser, and the description claims that it’s a low foaming formula, but it foamed right up on my hair, which I liked. My scalp tends to get oily and weigh my hair down, so I like a bit of lather. I used a tiny bit more for the rest of my hair and worked it through. I’ve been using a sulfate-free shampoo for the last few months, so I wondered if this would leave my hair feeling stripped. It didn’t. It did, however, give me that “squeaky clean” feeling, which I like after I’ve used silicone-based products, or if my hair is really dirty, but not necessarily on a daily basis. I’d definitely use this again when my hair needs a thorough cleansing, but not daily.
Balancing Rise Essential Daily Conditioner
Conditioner is probably the most important product I use, next to a leave-in. My hair is a beast to detangle, so I like products with lots of slip and nourishing ingredients so I don’t have to apply a ton of styling products afterward. Like the others, this product smells wonderful. Even better, it works wonderfully! It claims to “provide the proper protein balance” and make hair easy to detangle, and I’d have to agree with both. I always divide my hair into two sections to condition, applying a LOT of product, working my way up from the bottom to the top. I used about a fourth of the 8.5 oz bottle. I was surprised that this conditioner had some foam action to it, but even more surprised when it “plumped” my hair! It actually made my hair expand as it filled the shaft with moisture and protein. I’d started with pretty tangled hair, but detangling was easy with a wide tooth comb. I left the conditioner in for 10-15 minutes, then rinsed it all out, though the directions say you can leave some at the ends as a leave-in. I really liked this conditioner; however, I was surprised when I rinsed it completely out and my hair had a bit of that “squeaky” feeling leftover. It didn’t feel dry, but I’m not a big fan of squeaky feeling hair after I’ve conditioned. It was GREAT at detangling so I’ll definitely use it again; next time I just won’t rinse it out completely.
Moisture Lock™ Leave-In Conditioner
Of all the products, this one smells the best to me – a light baby powder scent. As far as application, this was my favorite product of the four! I really don’t have anything critical to say about this product. It felt light, smooth and conditioning as I raked it through, and I could see the curls and waves starting to form. A little goes a long way; I applied about a nickel size amount to each of two sections. Although I used this leave-in with a gel this time, next time I’ll use it by itself to see what the difference is.
Tress Effects Styling Gel
This is the product I was most hesitant to use, because I rarely apply gel throughout my hair. I like a lot of volume, and most times I can’t achieve that with a lot of gel. I do use it; I just smooth a little over the crown and scrunch it into the ends, but rarely do I section my hair and apply it throughout. But I was determined to use the product according to the directions, so I sectioned my hair into four, and applied about a nickel size amount to each. I even attempted Ouidad’s Rake & Shake method! (Yes, I was feeling fancy.) The gel was very light and not too sticky. I was curious to see what kind of hold this would give me, or if it would dry stiff and crunchy, as most gels do. Here’s what my hair looked like with all the products applied:
I probably should have chosen a better day to test these products, because it was raining and my hair was taking forever to dry. So after air drying for five hours, I finally diffused it dry. As it dried, it did feel stiff from the gel, but not overly so, and it was just the product doing its job and locking in the curl. Once I diffused and moved my hair around the crunch came out. Here are the results:
Sorry for the low lighting in these pics. My hair took so long to dry I ran out of good light! Overall, I really liked the results; my curls were super defined and shiny without sacrificing too much volume. To the touch, they were pretty soft; I felt only a tiny bit of the dryness that gel usually causes. A little bit of coconut oil will probably take care of that.
In summary, I will be using all of these products again, though some I will use differently now that I know how they work. I’d like to also try the shampoo and conditioner from their Curl Quencher line; I think the extra moisturizing ingredients would take care of the slight dryness I felt. Another review for another day!
Have you ever tried Ouidad products? Which ones work for you?