After 20 years of being natural, I’m still a product junkie.

By now, I do know what my hair needs, but I still can’t resist the lure of trying something new. So when I got the opportunity to review LUS Brands hair products, I found it ironic that this line purports its shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in to be all that you need to take care of your waves, curls, or coils. It’ll never be said of me that I don’t like a challenge.

So myself, a coily, and my best mom friend, Cynthia, a curly, put LUS to the test.

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The System

There are three steps to the LUS system: cleanse, condition, and the leave-in or what they call the All-in-One. The shampoo and conditioner is good for all curl types, but the All-In-One gives you three choices: wavy, curly, or kinky/coily formulas. Their goal is to help you eliminate the 50 products in the cabinet under the sink and the inevitable layering on of products to get your hair in the zone.

For optimal results, LUS encourages consumers to remember that their products are activated by water and to use half of what you would normally use. Half? Even the conditioner? Eek.

Ingredients

Even before I used it, I was impressed by the ingredients. They are free of sulfates, silicones, synthetic dyes, gluten, parabens, mineral oil. If you have problems with allergies or have any skin sensitivities, these products seem safe to try.

Their flagship ingredients include moringa oil, shea butter, castor oil, and silk protein (only in the kinky/coily leave-in).

First Impression

What struck me first was how easy it was to handle the bottle. I’ve got tiny hands and in the shower things get slippery. It was incredibly easy to grab, open, squeeze product into my hand, and put back down again.

The smell was extremely pleasant. Not overpowering or peculiar. I won’t name names, but some product smells give me an instant headache or have an odd smell that flips the tummy a bit.

I did two rounds with the product: a wash in go and two-strand twists. I loved how my hair felt with the wash in go. It was softer, with very little frizz. Cynthia’s hair responded well with first use, as well.

“After first use, LUS made my hair softer, lighter and shinier,” said Cynthia. “My hair looked amazing, defined curls, healthy, not frizzy at all.”

Product Breakdown: Shampoo and Conditioner

I definitely noticed the “less is more” to be true with the shampoo. I don’t use a ton of shampoo anyway, but I followed the instructions and used half of what I normally would. Water “activates” it for sure. There was more than enough lather throughout my hair.

Now the conditioner was a little harder to get a handle on. When I applied conditioner to my head, and then added water, it felt like some of it rinsed out. It seemed like I didn’t have conditioner in my hair. However, when I detangled my hair, I had no issues. Comb went through my hair easy. But I didn’t have that slip that I am used to when detangling.

Cynthia had a similar experience, adding that it was hard to cover her entire head without overusing it.

“In the video, she said the conditioner wouldn’t be washed out after adding a little and squeezing down, but I felt I lost some in several cases,” she said. “I also didn’t see an advantage to letting it sit for 3-5 minutes before activating and combing. Seemed inefficient. Maybe comb it out during those 3-5 minutes and add more product if needed? Not sure.”

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Image: Cynthia Type 3a

Curly Protocol

Cynthia used LUS for a week and while after the initial use her hair felt incredible, with subsequent use, she says it felt like her hair was drying out.

On day 1, she completed the full protocol (shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, diffuser). After skipping day 2, on day 3 she washed, conditioned, applied leave-in, but let her hair air dry; her hair was a little frizzy, only some parts were shiny. Repeat on day 4, and her hair was visibly drying out. On day 5, she wet her hair a little, added diluted leave-in and diffused. Her hair looked better for a few hours, but still looked to be drying out. On day 6, she used her own protocol/products (she was swimming at the gym and didn’t want to risk further dryness) and noticed her look great again, maybe even better than it normally does. Finally on day 7, she used the LUS full protocol and her hair looked better than days 2-5, but not as good as that first day.

“It’s possible my hair looked great on day 6 after going back to my old products because LUS did a great job cleaning out the build up on the earlier days,” she says. “But it was also clear that after day 7, my hair was still too dry from using the product multiple times in a week. For me, LUS isn’t moist enough for regular use, so I would continue to use once a week and use my other products 3 times week.”

Cynthia says after watching the videos she was confident in following the protocol, but in practice lost patience because she wasn’t able to figure out the right amount of conditioner to use without using the entire bottle.

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Image: Carisa Type 4c Wash n' Go

Kinky/Coily Protocol

On my one-day old wash in go, I washed, conditioned, detangled and two-strand twisted my hair. LUS advises constant spritzing with water before applying the leave-in and twisting. This is something I do anyway, so wasn’t a big change for me. Being aware of how much product I was using was. You don’t need a lot to coat the strands. In fact, I probably used too much on a few patches of hair.

When after twisting my hair and letting it dry, the good news is that there was no residue. Even on the parts where I overdid it with product, it dried nice and clear. My twists were firm, but not hard and felt moisturized. The next day, I untwisted my hair. Now, I have fine strands so my twist-outs always look sparse. Especially when my hair is so short (it’s about two inches); I don’t typically style or stretch my hair until it gets to 3 or 4 inches. But the hold and definition were stunning. As I write this, I am on day 2 of the twist out and it looks just about as good as the first day.

Final Thoughts

There is no question that these are high-quality products. But it does take a bit of trial and error, particularly when applying the conditioner and all-in-one, to figure out what works. And LUS does say to take the time to experiment with different techniques on their info page. Curlies may also want to try the kinky/coily leave-in if you find the curly leave-in isn’t quite doing the job. Overall, these are products definitely worth giving a try.

Have you tried LUS products? How did they work for you? Let us know in the comments!