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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review: Sunsilk Captivating Curls products (Spoiler: I love 'em!)

Seriously, what took me so long to try Sunsilk? I am the queen of drugstore hair care products but for some reason or another, I just never got around to trying the Sunsilk Captivating Curls line until recently, despite the fact that the products seem to be made for my type of hair.

Let me begin by saying that I've been testing these products for 7 days without interruption or use of any other products on my hair. My hair is fine in texture but I've got lots of it. I have oily hair at the roots, dry at the ends and it's color-treated. Also, it's naturally wavy, but it's an inconsistent wave that needs the help of a product to make it look good. My hair is med-long and it falls just above my bra strap.

Let's begin with Captivating Curls De-Frizz Shampoo.

Right off the bat, I loved the smell. It's clean, fresh, soft yet invigorating and it reminds me of a green shampoo (Agree, maybe?) that I used to use when I was a kid. I absolutely love this scent! Also, I love the actual color of both the shampoo and conditioner (very light green). I don't know why, but I guess I have a preference for hair products that are light, seafoam green in color. Weird. ANYway, I love using this shampoo because you don't have to use a lot to get reeeeeally great lather (rich and thick), yet it rinses out easily. My hair does not feel dry in the slightest after I rinse out this shampoo, but it does feel like it's very lightly coated. For me, this is a good thing because my hair is pretty damaged on the ends from years of coloring. But even though you can feel a slight coating on your hair after you rinse, it does NOT feel like your hair isn't clean. Perhaps this is due to the Aloe-E in this product (a combination of aloe vera, algae extract and Vitamin E) which helps to hydrate your hair and keep the frizzies at bay. Whatever it is, it works and I likey!

Next up: Captivating Curls De-frizz Conditioner.

My favorite thing about this conditioner (aside from the color and fragrance) is the fact that, unlike a lot of drugstore conditioners, I do not need to use a palm full of product to actually feel like my hair is conditioned. I use about a heaping teaspoon of product and apply everywhere but my roots (my hair's very oily so I never condition at the roots or I'm in big trouble) and I leave it in while I shave my legs (don't we all do that?). By the time it's ready to rinse, my hair is so soft and hydrated but--here's the most important part--it's not heavy or weighed down or too conditioned. If you're a fine-haired girl, you know exactly what I mean. Sometimes you can immediately tell when a conditioner is too heavy, just by the way your hair feels after you rinse it. And if your hair feels too soft, then you know that it's going to look flat and lifeless when it dries. You don't get any of that with this product--when your hair dries it's just soft, frizz-free, bouncy and shiny! Perhaps this soft yet light feeling is also due to the Aloe-E in this product. Whatever it is, it feels awesome.

Next up: De-Frizz Leave-in Creme

As you all probably know, I don't go a day without using my Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner. Normally, something would have to contain shooting stars that burst out of the bottle for me to even look at another leave-in conditioner. But, because I love the De-frizz Shampoo and Conditioner so much, I decided to give this "other" leave-in a shot. Just to see.
To be perfectly honest, the first time I used it, it did nothing for me. I regretted not using my Giovanni because my hair just didn't feel "special". But then I remembered my own golden rule: "Find your sweet spot!" If a hair product doesn't work the first time you use it, it could just mean that you didn't use enough, or you used too little. I'm telling you, it's all about finding that sweet spot; the exact amount that will work in your hair. So the next day I tried again and, this time, I used three pea-sized amounts instead of two, and viola! Success. My hair felt soft, hydrated and manageable yet it wasn't heavy or overly conditioned. And absolutely no frizzies. Wavy and curly-haired girls, you MUST try this product. You will be amazed at what it can do. Oh, and the best part: It doesn't dull your hair! In fact, I think it amps up the shine a bit. For me, I would say it's neck-and-neck with my Giovanni, which is pretty much the highest compliment I can give a leave-in conditioner. BUT, I will say that the fragrance is better than Giovanni. It's fresh and clean but just a tiny bit sweet and tart. I can't really explain it but it's invigorating and it instantly puts me in a good mood. Also, since Giovanni Direct Leave-in seems to be getting harder and harder to find in stores, I might just make a permanent switch over to Sunsilk De-Frizz Leave-in Creme sooner rather than later.
Lastly, the Captivating Curls Gel & Cream Twist.

Let's not mince words here: I am a low-maintenance kind of gal and my hair care regimen usually ends with leave-in conditioner. But I guess the cool spiral twist of cream and gel called to me (who isn't a sucker for cool packaging? Come on!) and I also wanted to know why some love and some don't love this one.

Let me say that when I used it alone (without using the leave-in first) and I blow-dried my hair using a diffuser, I was not pleased with the results. My hair didn't feel crunchy, yet it wasn't as curly as it should have been and it seemed kind of dulling. BUT, when I used this product WITH the leave-in (I applied the leave-in first, then the gel-cream) and I let my hair air-dry? Oh my GOODNESS! I had curls for DAYS, and not just regular curls, but long, flowing ringlets and not one bit of crunch. My hair was soft but with zero fly-aways or crunchies. This is one of the few instances where if you follow the directions on the bottle to a "T", it totally works! Just like the bottle says, I used two pumps of product (for long hair) and I applied it onto damp hair (the wetter the better, I've come to find out) and I twisted my stands after I applied it. Then I let it air-dry (just as the instructions tell you to do) and WOW, WOW, WOW. If you want those long, beachy, free-flowing ringlets, you must try this product.

Final Analysis: If you have fine-to-medium textured curly or wavy hair, you MUST try these products. But even if you don't have curly hair, I think these products would be outstanding on any hair that is fine-to-medium in texture. They make your hair soft and manageable without feeling weighed down in the slightest. Using Sunsilk Captivating Curls products is like regaining control of your hair. But I'm not certain how these products would work on extremely coarse, curly hair because I'm not sure they will provide enough control (but I could be wrong, of course). The Leave-in Creme is unbelievably fantastic if you hair is anything like mine (if you don't believe me about this product, check out the reviews on here). And if you have the time to let your hair air-dry, definitely give the Gel & Cream Twist a try for that carefree, beachy ringlet look.

All Sunsilk products are about $5 or less (YES!) at your local drugstore, grocery store and big box store. Also, currently has a BOGO 50% off deal.

Here's a pic of my hair taken just moments ago at 11:30PM. This is after I air-dried my hair at 10AM after using all four Sunsilk products. I didn't do a thing to my hair after it air-dried and I was driving in a car with the windows rolled down, I walked around all day and have not used hairspray or brushed it all day. Crazy!! Sorry for the bad pic but it's late and I'm exhausted. :)

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and gratis samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. So I checked out the ingredients for the shampoo and gel cream (they intrigued me the most) here's what I found: The shampoo contains some basic surfactants, silicone and glycerin, and film forming agents. This is why your hair feels lightly coated. The gel cream actually contains many conditioning ingredients, as well as Cyclopentasiloxane--my favorite ingredient! Those, combined with film formers like Carbomer and PVP are what give you the light hold without the stiffness that other products might give you. :D Just thought I'd share!

    Also, do you think you could review Sunsilk's Waves of Envy Sea Mist? I'm curious.

  2. Hey Anthony! Thank you SO much for doing all this research. That word I can't pronounce (the eight-syllable-word that's your favorite ingredient) must be pretty awesome if it's what's making the leave-in do such wonders for my hair. Your comments are always so helpful! Also, I posted a pic of my hair taken just moments ago--my hair NEVER looks like this after a long day.

    I will definitely pick up some Waves of Envy Sea Mist and test it for a later review. How could I not, after having such luck with this line?

    Thanks again! xo

  3. YAY! I am definately going to pick up the gel & cream twist and the leave in conditioner! I've been waiting for a different product to try after I couldn't find the Suave healthy curls! thanks! =)

  4. Hi Alexandra! I actually would highly recommend, if you can afford it, purchasing the shampoo and conditioner and using all 4 products together. I have since tried using the styling products after using other shampoos and conditioners and the chemistry is just not the same. I'm usually all for mixing and matching different lines, but I've got to tell you that using all 4 products really does work best in this case. Hope that helps, and please let me know what you think if you pick these up? Good luck! :)

  5. Wow girl your hair is long!! I so wish you lived here in chitown, I'd love to do it sometime cos I neverrr get to work on long hair lol. It looks great though! :D

  6. Anthony, I would almost be willing to fly out there at this point. lol. I am having the WORST luck with finding someone here in SD to cut my wavy, long hair. Every stylist I go to lately ends up giving me this really dated look when all I want is modern layers to go with my side-swept bangs. Is that so hard?? I even ask them before I book an appt: "Are you sure you know how to cut curly/wavy hair that's long?" And they always say, "Yes, of course!" and then I walk out looking like Steven Adler on Celebrity Rehab. I wish I could say that's a joke but it's not :( There has GOT to someone in San Diego who knows how to cut layers into wavy hair so that they don't poof out on the sides, right?

  7. I so miss the Gel & Cream Twist! That use to be my favorite , holy grail, staple in my morning routine for high school and college ! I wish they would bring this back .


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