The first thing I look for is effectiveness. Next thing: affordability. Other things play a part, such as availability and brand identity. (BTW, I mainly consider brand because I think the bigger the brand, the more true their hype should be. Also, I like to see lesser known brands get the attention they should.)
Dove is a huge brand. I like most Dove products (hair, bath, and hygiene) because the brand is generally very truthful in their claims. They don't tend to overstate things in their ads. I was happy to see that, like so many other big brands, Dove was getting deeper into the natural & kinky/curly hair game. I think that this might have been around a while before I noticed:
That's Quench Absolut from Dove Advanced Hair Care Series.
I'm so used to seeing the familiar Dove logo on store shelves that I almost ignored the product. That it was not a shampoo or washout conditioner make me stop to check it out. Then I spotted this on the label:
Heck yeah! Right?
The price was very nice (under $6 for the 3.3oz container) especially for Alaska. What I wanted to test was how well it was going to do on my dry hair. Since I got this at Target, I know that I could do an easy return if I was disappointed.
I am not disappointed. Well, I am a little, but that's because I only recently spent waaaay more money on about 4 other products that (best case) work equally as well as the Dove, or (depressingly) don't work half as well. Keep the price of this product in mind. 6 bucks...
The one thing that I notice is that the list might not be as "natural" as some people would like. I'm all for products being as natural as I like my hair, but I do want my hair to feel as good as it looks. So, you know, what can I say? Here is the list of ingredients in Quench Absolute:
Lactic Acid, Amodimethicone
Disodium Edta, Gluconolactone
Peg-7 Propylheptyl Ether
Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil
C10-40 Isoalkylamidopropylethyldimonium Ethosulfate
Yellow 5 (CL 19140), Red 33 (CL 17200), Blue 1 (CL 42090)
As far as how this works on my hair, I can say that the relief from dryness is instant. Also, I love that I can apply this and not lose styling. You know how some products, when applied during the day, will weight down or just throw off the style that you worked so hard on.
Before using the Quench, I went through my evening routine. I moisturized my scalp (using a product that I will review tomorrow) and about a quarter inch of my roots. Next, I sprayed my hair with a mixture of water and black castor oil, then I did about 6 rows of 2-strand twists down the sides and back of my head. Before I tied up my hair for the night, I sprayed on some StaSofFro. (BTW, my water/oil mix is in an 8 oz bottle. 8 oz water/6 drops of oil added, then shaken often as I use it.)
Next morning, my hair was still well-moisturized so I just took out the twists and styled my hair into a curly/coily 'fro. As usual, my scalp was fine but, after about 5 or 6 hours, I started noticing some dryness in hair. Perfect chance to put Quench to the test.
This is what the product looks like, by the way.
It's pretty thick - a lot like a heavy lotion - and I was worried that my hair would be weighed down or that I would lose some curl definition. (If you can see from the photo, I actually rubbed a little around on my palm to give you an idea of the initial wetness it leaves.)
I find that I can either rub it between my palms, then pat it onto my hair or (and this is my fave way) I can rub some between my thumb and fingers and dab it on in dry spots. I only needed to use it once on the first day. The second day, I wanted to apply more a few hours after the first application, but something dawned on me. To save product, I got my water bottle out, set the spray to the finest mist possible, then sprayed over my head to absorb some mist without getting my hair too wet. That is going to be my method from now on. No use re-applying product when I can just amp up what's already there.
The day after using it the first time, I checked to see if there was any flaking or buildup. There was not. This is Day 4 and I didn't have to apply more product. I did the water mist trick and notice the softness came back and stayed even when the water dampness was gone.
Remember what I said about this being thick like a heavy lotion? Well, I have been thinking about how my cousins and I used to use actual lotion on our hair when we were younger. Not to take anything away from Dove, but I think their product is a lot like lotion that has been tweaked in the lab to make it more hair friendly. I mean, other than buildup problems, using regular lotion might work just as well. I'm just saying...
So, yeah, this is one of those products that I will be ranting about. The price looks even better when you realize that you don't have to use so much from day to day (even without my little water trick!).
Last of all, in case anyone was wondering, I don't think that people with straighter hair would be able to use this with good results. The lotion-y texture would be too much for finer, straighter textures. I guess if someone was going to be wearing their hair pulled back and tucked, they could use this as a protective product. Not a bad idea if you're trying to nourish and baby damaged hair - no matter the texture or type.
Now I have to go and check out the rest of Dove's Advanced Hair Care Series.
***NOTE ABOUT (MY) DRY HAIR***
I want to mention something I recently learned about dry hair. An overload of protein can cause that dry, straw-like feeling I sometimes get with my hair. I didn't know about this - which is why I have done egg treatments more often that I should. I checked some of my hair care products and noticed that, yep, the ones that are protein-free (or even mostly so) are the ones I get best results from.
When I did figure this out (thanks, Google), I immediately looked for a source to help keep me straight on ingredients. Once again, it's Curly Nikki to the rescue! She has a list up to identify ingredients that are proteins or humectants. Lifesaver!!! Once I checked the list, I realized just why it is that my hair will crave something like Aussie Moist - especially when I'm dealing with certain hair issues.
So, go and check out that list on Curly Nikki. Matter of fact, bookmark the site. I rely heavily on C.N. for discovering new stuff and learning about hair care. You will want to go back time and time again, trust me.