Product Review: Dark & Lovely Au Naturale

Hey you guys!

At Naturals In The City 6, a number of us got samples from the Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Line, to test and give feedback. I was hoping to post this when the line was officially launched here but it’s been close to a year and Dark & Lovely has recently come out with the Au Naturale Anti-Breakage Line in the obodos. Still no news of an official Nigerian release, but I did see it at Casabella, Ikeja- so I’m just going to let my thoughts out now.

Yes, Dark & Lovely- a line you know and probably once loved is making moves in the business of Natural hair now. Dark & Lovely Beautiful Beginnings- the orange one for Coarse hair was my relaxer of choice. I was pretty excited when I learnt about this development because, Dark & Lovely is no stranger in Nigeria, and so the products may be relatively cheaper, because they already have a strong presence here. [let’s hope we don’t have to wait till 2030 lol]

So here they are:

The full Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Line

The full Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage Line

6 different products make up this line but what do they have in common?

The yummy scent of mangoes. They also claim to have “No mineral oils, no parabens and no petrolatum.” Technical science aside, aren’t petrolatum and mineral oil in the same category?

Fancy ingredients Bamboo milk and mango oil that together claim to be part of an Anti-Shrinkage Formula. It is also worth noting that these two ingredients being greatly advertised are way down the lists of ingredients.

My hair type: Kinky, Low-Porosity 4C hair. High density, but my individual strands are quite thin.

This is a 6-in-1 review, long enough already, so you could refer to the ingredients and official product descriptions over here.

1. Hydrating Soak Shampoo

I did not pre-poo or mix any oil in before using this shampoo so I could experience the strength of it. There’s nothing hydrating about this shampoo. It’s just like every other shampoo I’ve tried with sulphates [It has Sodium Laureth Sulphate. (SLES)] It super cleans, it strips. Fear not, you can still make the most of it with these tips.

2. Knot Out Conditioner

I think this is my favourite product from the line. I enjoyed co-washing with it because my hair did not feel stripped afterwards. It felt soft and I finger detangled with ease. I really like it, and I think it has the best smell!

3. Coil Moisturising Soufflé

This product is described as a gel but there’s nothing gelly about it. It is of a creamy consistency. This is a decent leave-in conditioner, made “For Coily Hair”. My hair was soft and well moisturised for most of the day. I like it as well.

4. Curl Defining Creme Glaze

This is a leave-in “For curly hair”, an alternative to the Coil Moisturising Soufflé for coily hair. Though I have no “curls” to define, I tried it anyway, and well, nothing happened. LOL. It’s pink and pretty though, but not as moisturising as the Soufflé.

5. 10-in-1 styles Gelee

The definition I had after I loosened my twists was something! Something good! I used this with the Coil Moisturising Soufflé, and my hair stayed moisturised. As I took out the twists though, I experienced some flaking. It wasn’t clear whether this was from my hair or scalp. (Definitely the product though, not me. I have no scalp flaking issues now, or at the time of testing this product)

6. Sheen Sealing Nectar

This one is described as a leave-in but I don’t see how. It is an excellent sealant, use as little as you can, but so are natural oils. I may reconsider this product on the day I finally decide to straighten my hair with a flat iron or something. I think I may prefer it as (part of) a heat protectant, or as a substitute to hair spray. It is recommended by them for use on scalp but considering the silicones and other inorganic ingredients in this and how thick this is, I think this is a horrible horrible idea!

Is Dark & Lovely Anti-Shrinkage really Anti-Shrinkage?

This line claims to have a special Bamboo milk and Mango seed oil formula in each product that helps you defy shrinkage.

I remember a few people were complaining about this at the meet-up, wondering why Dark & Lovely should be Anti-Shrinkage if its really here to care for curls. Because curls = shrinkage. True, true, very true. But I’m the type of person that likes to watch/study Advertising for fun, so I really wasn’t bothered in the least.

I didn’t notice any less shrinkage with my hair sha, and I can say from an objective unemotional standpoint that this is just a big FAT lie marketing gimmick. #WeSeeRightThroughYouLoréal!

If you’re looking to try anything from this line, Casabella is a good place to start. Where to Find deets in the Directory.

Bloggers Acharacha and Ifeyinwa also gave Au Naturale a run. You can read their reviews here on Acharacha by Nature, and Love, Ifeyinwa.

Have you tried anything from this line? Would you be trying? What are your thoughts? Would you trust natural hair products from a relaxer company? Let’s talk!





12 thoughts on “Product Review: Dark & Lovely Au Naturale

  1. I went “hmmm” when I saw anti-shrinkage. One natural described her coils as “happy” when they shrunk after she rinsed out her conditioner because they were well moisturised. Isn’t shrinkage part of being natural? D&L shaaa.
    Still I wouldn’t mind trying the knot-out conditioner based on your review, and maybe the soufflé as well. I like the packaging too


  2. I tried the leave in conditioner and the soufflé. I hated everything about this line. It completely dried my hair out and left a lot of residue. I had to re wash my hair the next day to get it all out.


  3. Hi Ekene,

    How are you doing? Please where can I find a salon that crotchets in place of fixing? In Lagos or Abuja and if you have a price range it would be most helpful.

    How is Calabar?

    Thank you


    • Hey Chinwe,
      Calabar is good 🙂
      In Abuja, you can get crochet braids at Lumo Naturals. That’s where I got mine done, and I paid 3500.
      I also know that in Lagos, the Savvy Chic Hair & Beauty Hub does this too, but I don’t know how much they charge. 08090613325 34a Awolowo Rd, Ikoyi, Lagos
      Address for Lumo Naturals is on the Where to Find page.


  4. I’m in the transitioning stages (5 Mons with no relaxer) Andi have enjoyed the beyond gentle sulfate free shampoo, the 10-in-1 glee and the sheen sealing necture. I have see the trick wit using the Gelee is that a little goes a long way. You don’t have to put a lot on you hair. If you section your hair off and put some on each section (damp) it does not flake.


  5. I absolutely hated this product I am of Polynesian decent and I was just simply trying to find a product useful for my hair. So I wanted to try this out. By far the worst mistake I’ve made with a hair product. The smell to the oil stains on my clothes and having oily hands from touching my hair. This product gets an “F” on my list of hair products.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I made a mistake by buying the whole line of this. First of all the two only good thing are the knot out conditioner and the fact that they make the hair smells extremely good. After using this for a month, my hair started falling out, needless to say my roots were dry and something in the product completely had my strings of hair falling from the scalp. I never had my hair falling out this much before so imagined my surprise. Yes the leave in did keep my hair moisturized and soft but after it dries up the hair had left over residue which I was forced to wash out. I was not impressed so I switch!


    • i am experiencing the same problem too my hair is falling out after using the shampoo conditioner ,i was wondering what am suffering from ,


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