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I don’t know about you but personally my biggest pet peeve when it comes to the natural haircare movement is brands claiming that they are about the Type 4 life when their products just don’t do the job.
Ever since I saw the Imbue Curl range in a Treasure Tress beauty box a few month ago, this vegan, “100% curly girl complaint” hair care brand has been on my radar.
Their packaging is cute. Their ingredient list does it for me. Their website is so easy to navigate and the Imbue Curls collection was formulated with the support of celebrity hair stylist Michelle Sultan; who has famously worked on Amber Gill, Alesha Dixon & Jordyn Woods.
Imbue Curls were saying ALL the right things but I noticed a few little red flags that made me question whether Imbue range actually worked on Type 4 Hair.
When I checked out the Imbue Curls Instagram, I didn’t see anyone with Type 4 hair who hadn’t been paid to use the range on their feed or on their tagged picture feed. I also noticed that they were trying to position the brand as being black owned . . . when it very clearly is not.
Usually these red flags would cause me to dismiss the brand. If I don’t see someone who looks like me or has hair like me actively being promoted by a haircare brand, I automatically assume that the brand (despite what it says on the bottle) is NOT for me but I’ve had so many questions and comments about this range – I (literally) had to put my money where my mouth is.
I purchased the entire range (minus the Imbue Curl Oil) so I can put an a complete unbiased, gritty, no holding back review, product by product. I used this collection over the course of a month – so get comfortable, as I breakdown which Imbue Curl products are REALLY for the Type 4 Hair Culture.
Imbue Curl Liberating Shampoo
BUY NOW: £8.99, LookFantastic
The Imbue Curl Liberating Shampoo is so harsh. It removes everything – hair gel, twisting gel, nutrients, moisture, EVERYTHING – from my hair. Normally that wouldn’t be issue as I tend to have a lot of gel build-up but this shampoo also gave my hair a sponge-like, cotton feel that I don’t like.
The second time I used the Imbue Shampoo, I made sure to use less product as I thought maybe I used too much product which is why it had such a negative effect on my hair – same results.
The next time, I came prepared and did a pre-pro before washing in an attempt to boost my hair’s moisture levels so that my hair was in a better condition BUT this shampoo still stripped everything and my hair feeling very dry.
If you suffer from an oily scalp/hair, then this shampoo would probably be right up your street but if you have low-porosity hair or have dry hair – the Imbue Curl liberating Shampoo is not for you.
Imbue Curl Respecting Conditioner
BUY NOW: £8.99, LookFantastic
As the Imbue Curls shampoo stripped everything from my hair, I thought that the Imbue Curl Respecting Conditioner would add the moisture back in – you know like a healthy product relationship – however I found that this conditioner just didn’t do much for my coily hair.
The first time I used the Imbue Curls Conditioner, I was surprised by how thin this conditioner was despite having a thick formulation. I usually detangle by hair when my hair still has conditioner in it but as this conditioner didn’t have enough slip, detangling my hair using my favourite detangling brush was a nightmare.
I had nothing to show for my efforts apart from the biggest hairball clump that I have ever seen.
The second time I used the conditioner, I would like to think I was better prepared. I used WAY more product and detangled my hair using a large, wide tooth comb and hallelujah, we got somewhere.
I don’t like this conditioner. I have used about about 2/3rds of the bottle and I don’t think it is very moisturising as I think it is just too thin to work with my 4A curl type but I think that this conditioner might work better on Type 3 hair types or chemically relaxed Type 4 hair but for me – this conditioner was a flop.
Imbue Curl Restoring Intensive Mask
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I love a good deep treatment mask.
All my money goes into treatment masks so the Imbue Curl Restoring Intensive Mask was the product I was most excited to try.
The instructions do say that you should leave it on for 5-10 minutes but I just took that as a healthy suggestion and kept this conditioner in for anywhere between 2 – 12 hours. I thought this protein-rich hair mask was very easy to apply onto the hair as it actually had a lot of slip to it.
I’m not sure about you but if you prefer to detangle your hair when your hair is covered with conditioner then this Imbue Curl Restoring Intensive Mask will tick your box! It does smell a bit like yoghurt – take that as you will – but I actually like this conditioner.
I wouldn’t use it as a deep conditioner as I prefer to use a more moisturising hair masque but I would use this immediately after shampooing my hair and before a treatment mask as the slip is just TOO good.
Imbue Curl Inspiring Conditioning Leave-In Spray
BUY NOW: £7.99, LookFantastic
If there was only thing from the Imbue Curl range that I think you would repurchase over and over again, it would be the Imbue Curl Inspiring Conditioning Leave-In Spray.
This Imbue Curls leave-in conditioner is lightweight, smells like bubblegum and has a very easy-to-use pump action nozzle with a decent spritz. When I used this on wet hair, I found that my hair had a gorgeous, healthy sheen to it. This leave-in conditioner does make things easier when it comes to detangling hair especially if you prefer to use a detangling brush vs. your fingers.
On dry hair, I feel like the moisturising qualities are much more evident and as I felt like this product really rehydrates my hair and prepped it for any cremes or lotions that I would use next.
Imbue Curl Empowering Crème Gel
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When is a gel not a gel? When it is a twisting creme and you know what . . . it’s not too shabby!
The Imbue Curl Empowering Creme Gel is a gel-creme hybrid that has been designed to soften and define your curls. This product has not been created to give maximum hold – let’s just establish that right now but if you want definition, a bit of shine and moisture then it works.
This is probably the only product from the Imbue Curl range that performed as you would expect it to.
I swapped out my usual twisting gel with this creme to do a twist out and my hair felt great. My hair was soft and my twist out lasted about 3 days. I also used this product as a styling creme to push my coils into a top-knot for the week (working from home vibes) and my hair has felt super soft all week.
Imbue Curl Energising Hydration Serum
BUY NOW: £7.99, LookFantastic
Despite using the Imbue Curl Energising Hydration Serum for the best part of the month, I still haven’t decided how I feel about this product.
The Imbue Curl Serum is a lightweight, tropical-bubblegum scented hair lotion that’s been designed to hydrate and
My hair does feel moisturised but it doesn’t stay that way. I found that I had to keep re-hydrating my hair during the course of the week as this serum worked but just didn’t supply the moisture levels that I am used to.
I feel like I would repurchase this as it is one of the few lotions that works amazingly well on my wigs but I don’t feel like it actually ‘energises’ my natural coils.
After reviewing six out of seven products from the Imbue Curl range, I believe that the Imbue Curl Range is too lightweight to be truly moisturising for Type 4 Hair. I have 4A hair and I struggled with the core elements of this range i.e. the shampoo and conditioner, so I can’t imagine how someone with a coilier hair pattern or thicker hair would benefit from the range.
Although I do LOVE the Imbue Curl Leave-In Spray and would repurchase this in a heartbeat, I would only recommend the Imbue Curls range for Type 3 hair types as I feel that they would recieve the most benefits from this range.
Which just goes to show that when a brand’s instagram page shows you who they cater for, you should believe them.