After years of struggling (and battling!) with my very curly, dry hair every day, I’m always on the lookout for products that help me to get control of my wayward hair.
Having used Elemis products with monoi oil, I already knew that I loved the scent, so when an assistant at Harrods suggested “Carol's Daughter”, it didn't take much to persuade me to give this hair range a try! Now, after a month of use, I am longing to share what I have discovered about this range.
To make sure that I could tell what the products were doing for my hair, I stopped using any other moisturising products, and only applied some hair mousse for styling and blow-drying.
I should add that I have a sensitive scalp and can have a reaction to products, so the product range's gentleness to skin was also very important.
About Carol's Daughter
Carol's Daughter is newly available in Britain was created by Lisa Price over twenty years ago. Although she did not have formative training in developing cosmetic products, she used her understanding of good ingredients to create her products. She approaches her blends of natural ingredients as she does when she is cooking delicious and nutritious food. Hear Lisa tell her story in the video below!
As I wasn't familiar with the Carol's Daughter brand I did some research and found that the products are highly suited to African and Caribbean hair, and it helps to moisturise and smooth my curls and frizz.
The assistant who recommended it to me clearly loved the brand and it didn't take much to persuade me to purchase the range: including a hair mask, shampoo and conditioner (these came with a bonus set of travel size products which was great!).
The principal ingredient is monoi oil, which is made from Tahiti Tiare Gardenia and Coprah Coconut. Monoi oil has been used over 2,000 years to heal and protect from the harshest conditions and the local people revere it and perform special ceremonies when making it.
Here's what it tells us on the packaging:
“Strengthening your hair is the only way to lengthen it so you can do whatever you want with it. To really fortify fine, fragile or chemically treated hair requires major nourishment found in the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask. Added to the rejuvenating Monoi Oil – a repairing Tahitian blend of the Tiare Gardenia Flower and Coprah Coconut Oil – is rebuilding Bamboo Water and protective Hydrolyzed Silk.”
The range doesn’t contain parabens (widely used as a preservative), petroleum, mineral oil, or artificial colours, so this range should be gentle enough for a sensitive scalp.
The hair mask comes in a flat, circular, translucent tub, without a scoop, as many other brands also market this kind of product. The shampoo and conditioner are presented in translucent bottles with a dispensing cap. The label of the product is golden in colour with white and black writing. After a month of sitting on the edge of the bath and being splashed, the bottle and label still look new and attractive to the eye.
The design of the dispensing cap is very interesting. The whole cap rotates as if to be totally removed, but actually it raises the level of the outer rim of the cap. The bottle can then be squeezed to dispense through a central vent! Not having seen this design before, I found it quite chic. The practicality of use was also very good as the bottle does not get waterlogged during showering. Read more or Review.
Mask Texture and Application Techniques
The instructions for application of the mask are to…
“Massage gently into clean, wet hair, giving a little extra love to your frazzled ends. Leave the treatment mask on for 5 to 7 minutes and then rinse well. Or, for an even deeper treatment, put on a plastic cap and sit under a dryer for 10 to 15 minutes.”
The hair mask has a thick, creamy consistency that is easy to smooth onto, and massage into, your hair with your fingers. You apply it to damp hair but I’ve experimented with applying it to dry hair (as recommended with other brands' hair masks) and I’ve had great success. When applied like this and left for 20-30 mins, while relaxing on the sofa, it dries into the hair and no cap is required to prevent dripping. I like this as I really hate mess! It could potentially be left on overnight without protection, and with little concern about transfer, but I haven’t tried that.
When I've been in a hurry, I've applied the mask in the shower and then avoided rinsing while I allowed it to penetrate the hair before washing it at the end of my shower. This seemed to work quite well, so I have tried doing the first shampoo without fully rinsing the mask for a more moisturised effect. Overall I found this less effective but better than not using the mask at all. The mask rinses easily and leaves your hair feeling richly conditioned.
After a full month of use, the level of the product in the container has gone down by about a centimetre, which is about a quarter of the pot (and I’m not mean with application of it!).
Carol's Daughter have recently added a smaller 113g container as well as the original 200g I’ve been using.
The shampoo has a translucent appearance and feels rich on the fingers, although less dense in texture than the mask. It also has less scent, not having the strong aroma of the mask. The product lathers well, leaving the hair feeling thoroughly cleansed. I don’t feel that I could manage without the extra moisturisation from the conditioner, but people who do not have dry hair might feel that the mask and shampoo are sufficient. Read more or Review.
The conditioner is thicker and more opaque than the shampoo. The fragrance is stronger and pleasantly lingers on the hair after washing. The conditioner is easy to apply and leaves hair tangle-free, manageable, and moisturised. Combing my hair after washing with this product was effortless and resulted in very little hair loss. Read more or Review.
The claim is that breakage is reduced by between 92% and 96% after just one use, depending on the product, and I’ve seen a marked reduction in breakage when combing. This is quite remarkable as I’ve not experienced this before!
My hair does not take kindly to any intervention with combs and will retaliate by ballooning into a ball of fuzz. For this reason I have learned only to comb it before washing and before drying and at no other time. Usually, I paste it into submission with products and oils and was a little nervous about going without any further moisturisation during my trial.
After the first wash, I thought my hair was a little dry (with the rapid mask technique mentioned above), but after subsequent washes it feels more moisturised. Even after the drying effect of the hair mousse, my hair still feels silky and soft.
Although a little on the pricy side, and not yet widely available in Britain, I think that if you have dry, curly, relaxed or straightened hair this product is worth seeking out. I have definitely noticed a reduction in breakage when combing, and my hair seems to need less moisturisation from other products than before.
The scent of this range of products is intoxicating, and will delight the senses. Hopefully in time it will be more widely available, but for the present it can be found in Harrods. A little expensive at the price of £82.00 for the three products I bought (£20, £26 & £36) but I got a free travel sized set from the same range (which I’ll keep for holidays). This isn't just my point of view, others are so convinced of the benefits of the hair mask that it recently won a Self Beauty Award in 2012!