Dark and Lovely has been a household name for many years. I know we used their products growing up. They have a pretty strong presence in Nigeria and throughout Africa and their products are readily available throughout the country. You can find them at most markets, supermarkets, SPAR, Jumia, Konga, Gloo.ng, Invivo Beauty, and many more establishments. They are also relatively affordable. I received the products from Dark and Lovely’s Moisture Plus range to review. Hopefully, you find it useful.
Dark and Lovely 3 in 1 Shampoo
Price: This shampoo ranges in price from 500 – 1025 Naira.
Size: 250 ml and 500 ml bottles
Perfect Cleansing, Instant Detangling, Moisture Fusion
Is Dark and Lovely 3 in 1 shampoo for you client? Absolutely! For healthy looking hair, hair and scalp need to breathe!
Dark and Lovely Expert Solution: 3 in 1 shampoo features Moisture Seal Technology ™ to 1) purify dirty scalp and hair (dirt, flakes, chemical residues …) 2) infuse moisture and 3) detangle your hair. The result? Perfectly cleansed, breathing scalp, smooth and detangled hair!
How to get there? Apply evenly on wet hair and massage. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat shampoo if desired.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 20, Cocamide Mea, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-7, Parfum/Fragrance, Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Glycol Stearate, Polyquaternium-10, Polyquaternium-47, Citric Acid, Sodium PCA, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Honey, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Ci 15985/Yellow 6, Aloe Barbadensis / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.
Fragrance: It has a slight fruity smell and I also notice a soap-like smell.
Texture and Color: Light orange and clear
My Take: This shampoo cleans very well and I would classify it as a clarifying shampoo because of the sulfates. My hair didn’t tangle while using it either. My hair felt clean but not stripped. I think this is a good shampoo for removing buildup from your scalp and hair. It promises to infuse moisture but I didn’t feel like my hair was super moisturized. I wouldn’t be able to use this and not use a conditioner afterward. This shampoo also contains EDTA, which is often used as a chelating agent. Chelating agents help to remove ions from your hair that lead to excessive dryness. However, it is not explicitly stated on the product that the shampoo can be used for this purpose.
Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus Oil Moisturiser
Price: 600 – 1000 Naira
Size: 500 ml
Everyday Moisture & Glossy Shine (with almond oil) Very Dry & Dull Hair
Is Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus Oil Moisturiser for your client? No doubt if your client has very dry and dull hair! Your client needs intense moisture and glossy shine. Dark and Lovely Expert Solution: Featuring almond oil and Moisture Seal-Technology ™, this formula helps capture moisture into each strand and boost shine.
How to get there? Before styling and/or after relaxing service with Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus relaxer, pour a small amount into palm and apply throughout hair for shiny, healthy-looking and easy to style hair, recommend to your client to use daily.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Cera Microcristallina/Microcrystalline Wax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Paraffin, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 60, Parfum/Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil/Sweet Almond Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Sodium PCA, Citral CI 17200/Red 33 (F.I.L. D53372/1)
Fragrance: sweet and fruity
Texture and Color: Thick, light pink cream
My Take: I found that I have to use this moisturizer daily. The moisture did not last when I used it alone. However, when I use the L.O.C (liquid-oil-cream) method, I noticed my hair stayed moisturized longer. I find this product works best after applying it to damp hair. I’m not a big fan of the LOC/LCO method because it makes my hair feel weighed down and greasy and I noticed that feeling when I used this product. One of the major ingredients is mineral oil. I think mineral oil gets a bad rap in some hair circles. It is an occlusive agent, which just means that it locks moisture in and out. I use mineral oil in some products but I find when it’s in moisturizers, it weighs my hair down. I find this product too heavy for my fine hair.
Dark and Lovely Corrective Leave-in Conditioning Therapy
Price: 475 – 505 Naira
Size: 250 ml
Intensely Moisturises. Helps Reduce Breakage. Rapidly Restores Softness and Shine. Dark and Lovely ® Corrective Leave-in Conditioning Therapy works all day to provide long lasting moisture for softer, silkier, healthier-looking hair. This corrective formula assists in preventing split ends and reducing dryness and breakage. Daily use protects the hair and provides a beautiful long lasting sheen.
DIRECTIONS: For daily use: pour a generous amount into palm, rub hands together and work from roots to ends. Style as desired. After shampooing, relaxing, or colouring: Towel dry hair and apply a generous amount into wet hair. Comb through. Do not rinse out. Style as desired
INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Polyquaternium-37, Isopropyl Myristate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Parfum/ Fragrance, Methyparaben, Polyquaternium-7, PPG-1-Trideceth-6, Xylose, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Sodium PCA, Limonene, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Linalool, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Citral CI 17200/Red 33 (F.I.L. D45951/1)
Fragrance: fruity floral scent
Texture and Color: Light pink, creamy liquid
My Take: I prefer to use this as a leave-in because it helps to retain some moisture with damp hair. It’s quite light so it doesn’t weigh down my hair. When I used it as a moisturizer, I had to use it daily because my hair would be dry.
Dark and Lovely Ultra Cholesterol Conditioning Mask
Price: 550 – 1500 Naira
Size: 250 ml and 500 ml
Ideal for Damaged, Relaxed, and Coloured Hair!
Dark and Lovely® Ultra-Cholesterol™ is an intensive conditioning treatment specifically formulated with Panthenol and Vitamin E derivative. This formula nourishes, moisturises and helps protect against split ends while gently detangling dry, damaged hair. Directions: Shampoo hair thoroughly with Dark and Lovely® Conditioning Shampoo. Rinse well. Apply a generous amount from roots to ends and massage through hair. For instant conditioning, leave on for 2 minutes. For deep conditioning, leave on 5 – 7 minutes. Rinse well Style as directed.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-37, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Methylparaben, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, CI 19140/Yellow 5, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Cholesterol, CI 47005/Acid Yellow 3, Parfum/Fragrance
Fragrance: It has a very heavy perfumed scent and it lingers after use.
Texture and Color: This mask is a thick cream and it looks bright yellow.
My Take: When I first used this conditioner, I applied it according to the directions. I noticed that it had practically no slip. It felt quite thick. I used it with heat for 30 minutes and my hair felt much softer. The fragrance is very, very strong and it smells like a perfume. The scent lingered until I washed my hair again. Not cool.
Subsequently, I used this conditioner as a pre-poo and I added oils to it (olive and coconut). There was an improvement with the slip and my hair still felt soft. If you plan to use this, I would recommend leaving it on for more that 10 minutes.
Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus No-Lye Relaxer (Regular)
Price: 950 – 1500 Naira
Intense Nutrition. Optimal Shine. Shea Butter + Extra Conditioning Shampoo.
Dark and Lovely’s best solution to nourish while relaxing. Silky straight hair, intense nutrition and optimal shine. Shea Butter Extract at every step
REGULAR – Strength for normal hair
INGREDIENTS: 1. Regular Relaxer Cream: – Aqua/Water, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Guanidine Carbonate, Paraffin, Cera Microcristillina/Microcrystalline Wax, PEG-75 Lanolin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polyquaternium-6, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Parfum/Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, CI 15510/Orange 4, (F.I.L. D31989/1)
2. Cream Activator – Propylene Glycol, Calcium Hydroxide, Silica, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide. (F.I.L. D44960/1)
3. Color Signal Neutralizing Shampoo – Aqua/Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycol Distearate, Coco-Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Parfum/Fragrance, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Citric Acid, PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Sodium Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Phenolsulfonephthalein, Sodium Hydroxide. (F.I.L. D34429/1)
4. Deep Conditioner – Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dictyldimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-37, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Parfum/Fragrance, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey,Citric Acid, Sodium PCA, Hexyl Cinnamal, Olea Europaea/Olive Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis/Jojoba Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima/Avocado Oil, Linalool, Panthenol, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 14700/Red 4, CI 17200/Red 33, CI 42090/Blue 1. (F.I.L. D31892/1)
Fragrance: All of the products have a slight fruity smell. The relaxer cream (with activator) has a slight fruity smell but you can still note the relaxer chemical fragrance. cream smelled like fruit + relaxer chemical scent.
Texture and Color: The relaxer mixed with the cream activator was a thick cream with an off-white color. The shampoo is light yellow and pearlescent and the conditioner is an off-white cream.
My Take: I used this relaxer for my recent touch-up. I was a bit worried that this relaxer was going to be strong. When I was younger, my mom used to use Dark and Lovely relaxers for all of us and I used to get terrible burns. These experiences made me a bit wary of how the relaxer would behave in my hair. Thankfully, I did a strand test to see how long the relaxer would take to process my new growth. The instructions also say to do a strand test. It’s good advice because you hair may react differently to your relaxer. I used some shed hair for the strand test and the relaxer processed the hair in 10 minutes. I know that that’s too fast for me so I added some oil to help reduce the relaxer strength.
The relaxer is very effective. It processed my hair faster than the ORS relaxer that I usually use. If you want your hair to get pretty straight in a short time. The relaxer didn’t irritate or burn my scalp. I was pleasantly surprised because of how quickly my hair got processed. If you want to have your hair really straight, you can use this relaxer. You just need to be mindful of the time since it processes quickly.
Overall, the products are okay. Unfortunately, some of the products don’t really react well with my hair. The products I would likely use again are the shampoo and the leave-in. Hopefully *fingers crossed*, Dark and Lovely/Soft-Sheen Carson/L’Oreal will launch some of the products they have in the US here in Nigeria. (Au Naturale and Amla Legend lines . . . I’m looking at you.)
Have you tried these products before? What was your experience?
Disclosure: The products reviewed in this post were sent to me by representatives of Dark and Lovely Nigeria. I have not received any compensation for writing this post. The opinions are completely my own and based on my experience.