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Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Care Collection


I’ll admit: over the last few years, I’ve been disappointed with Carol’s Daughter hair products. Whereas I once swore by the Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, using it to give my curls more bounce and definition (and we’re talking about back when the only way to get Lisa Price’s goodies was to trek to her quaint Brooklyn store), I’ve discovered that recent tweaks to the formula have rendered it a bit too feeble for women like myself, chicas with particularly dry, curly, frizzy hair that needs a major dose of moisture. Even the cute cow print on the repackaged Hair Milk Curl Definer couldn’t make up for the fact that the product has been watered down so much that it’s now completely useless to me. At the time, I couldn’t help but feel like Carol’s Daughter was trying too hard to cater to a broader range of women (read: a multi-racial demo) and that, by doing so, it had lost sight of the specific needs of its core African-American and Latino base. Discouraged by the change in product strength and quality, I looked for other options — from Miss Jessie’s to Moroccanoil.

But my sense of hope has been rekindled with the launch of the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Collection — or, to be more precise, with the introduction of the Carol’s Daugther Monoi Repairing Hair Mask ($28 at CarolsDaughter.com), which was formulated to strengthen breakage-prone, ultra-dry, color-treated or otherwise damaged hair.

The collection also includes the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo ($18 at CarolsDaughter.com) and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner ($20 at CarolsDaughter.com), but neither of these blew me away. The shampoo was unremarkable and, while the conditioner smelled delicious, it did not manage to detangle my tresses at all — well, unless I used a tennis ball’s worth of product, which then resulted in me having slightly greasy and weighted hair. When I rinsed my hair, it was so knotted up, I still had to apply a detangler prior to combing. I was shocked by the outrageous claims on the packaging (all the products claim that they have been “clinically proven to reduce breakage by 95%”). Sure, most hair care brands employ hyperbole to sell their wares, but this was just an egregious lie. How could a shampoo and conditioner that left my mop as tangled up as Medusa’s head possibly reduce the chance of breakage? Had it not been for the Ouidad detangler I used, I’d probably still have a wide-tooth comb dangling from my hair!

Fortunately, the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask proved to be this collection’s saving grace. First, the treatment smells like a bed of gardenias doused with fresh coconut water. The whipped texture is equally delightful, making you feel like you’re in a destination spa as you smooth it onto damp hair. After leaving it on for 20-25 minutes and rinsing, you’ll notice your hair feels markedly softer, smoother and even stronger. Once you dry your hair, you’ll notice it naturally looks more voluminous and has a bit more oomph to it. It’s like an electro-shock treatment for damaged hair, zapping it right back to life!

The Monoi Repairing Hair Mask, like the other two products in the collection, relies on authentic monoi oil, an ingredient used in ancient Polynesian beauty rituals. To develop the oil, Tiare gardenia flower buds are handpicked and soaked in the first-press oil of Haaari coconuts for at least fifteen days. Once this waiting period has elapsed, the monoi oil is ready for use and can be applied to skin and hair to condition and soften.

Other vital natural ingredients used include: hibiscus extract, which detangles tresses; coconut-derived surfactants meant to cleanse hair without stripping it of necessary natural oils; hydrolyzed silk, which protects hair from future damage; protein-rich bamboo water, which strengthens hair strands; and panthenol, which conditions hair.

Since the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask is meant to deliver a more intense dose of moisture, it also features: shea butter, which nourishes and hydrates tresses; emollient and replenishing moringa seed oil, which is rich in palmitoleic, oleic and linoleic acids, as well as vitamins A and C; sunflower seed extract, which safeguards your hair color and protects your mane from harmful UV rays; cassia seed extract, meant to fortify hair; and babassu oil, which can stimulate hair growth and is particularly useful for women with wavy to curly hair.

My advice: skip the shampoo and conditioner, but do snatch up the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask. The scent of coconut and gardenia alone will make you appreciate the investment!

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