Monday, March 4, 2013

Review: L'Oreal EverCurl Hydracharge Shampoo and Conditioner

Hair product companies have begun to ride the sulfate free wave in recent years, and L'Oreal has been one of the companies at the forefront.  It started with their EverPure line, and now this year they've released a similar line that is supposed to be for people with wavy and curly hair.

Here are the products in the EverCurl line along with their official descriptions taken from the L'Oreal website, with some added thoughts on each in brackets:
  • Hydracharge ShampooEverCurl Hydracharge Shampoo quenches and softens perfecting each curl’s shape. Infuses hydrating nourishment without weigh-down. Curls are softer, more manageable without frizz. Its rich lather and natural aromatic properties help invigorate the senses. 100% Sulfate-Free, No Harsh Salts, No Parabens, 100% Vegan [this product is not silicone free]
  • Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner: EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner is an innovative, gentle way to cleanse and condition curls in one simple step.  Our formula helps preserve each curls’ natural moisture.  Low-lathering crème cleanses and helps reduce friction to keep curls smooth, soft and manageable.
  Ultra conditioning formula is infused with hydrating botanicals. 100% Sulfate-Free, No Harsh Salts, No Parabens, 100% Vegan, No Heavy Waxes [I will also add that this product is silicone free, making it a conditioner wash option for those following the Curly Girl method!]
  • Hydracharge Conditioner: EverCurl Hydracharge Conditioner quenches and nourishes perfecting each curl’s shape. Infuses hydrating nourishment without weigh-down. Curls are softer, more manageable without unwanted frizz. Natural aromatic properties help invigorate the senses. 100% Sulfate-Free, No Harsh Salts, No Parabens, 100% Vegan [this one is also silicone free]
  • Hydracharge Leave In Cream: EverCurl Hydracharge
 Leave-In Cream provides intense 
hydrating nourishment with no weigh down. This ultra-rich formula feeds curls with moisture, helps
block frizz and nurtures each curl’s elasticity and shape. 100% Sulfate-Free, Non-Drying, 100% Vegan [not silicone free]
  • Sculpt and Hold Gel: EverCurl Sculpt & Hold Cream-Gel combines the care of a rich hydrating cream that conditions + a styling gel that shapes without weigh down. Curls remain smooth and hydrated. 100% Sulfate-Free [not silicone free]
  • Silk and Gloss Dual Oil Care: EverCurl Silk and Gloss Dual Oil Care is a dual-phase formula that helps detangle and separate curls while adding shine. This weightless 2-in-1 oil infuses silky moisture without greasiness. Curls are soft, more manageable without stiffness or frizz.  100% Sulfate-Free, Botanical Oils [not silicone free. This product has the most silicone, which isn't surprising given that it wants to add shine.]
So as you can see, even if you're following the strict no sulfate, no silicone Curly Girl method, there are two products in this line that you can try out! And for those following a sulfate free routine while using silicones (like me!) this whole line is your playground.

Alright, so let's get to it.  I picked up the shampoo and conditioner (not the cleansing conditioner, the "regular" conditioner) from my grocery store.

EverCurl Hydracharge Shampoo

I was really worried after picking up these products that they would be too strongly fragranced.  I have used stuff from the EverPure and EverCreme lines, and I hated the scents.  They were so strong and so fake, they made me sneeze!  So it was a huge relief when I jumped in the car outside of the store, popped open the top of the shampoo, and my nose was greeted with a pleasant marine scent.  It's definitely scented, but it's not as heavy as in the other lines.  I also think it's a much nicer smell in general.  I find that it does not linger strongly on my hair to the point that I smell it all day, but if I grab a handful of hair and smell it directly, I can detect it.

The product itself is creamy white.  It passes the "if I hold my hand upside down, does it fall out of my hand" test, so I would call it a thicker product, but it isn't a cream consistency.  To me, it looks and feels like a thickened up regular shampoo, as opposed to a cream.  

For being a sulfate free shampoo, this stuff lathers wonderfully.  I would say it's got the most lather of any sulfate free shampoo I've personally used.  You can really work up a very spa-like washing experience.  I know a common complaint of those switching from sulfates to sulfate-free shampoos is the lack of lather (though keep in mind the lather isn't really what cleans!), but you won't feel like you're missing out with this product.

After rinsing this out, my hair feels clean without feeling stripped, which is fantastic.  It leaves my hair feeling moisturized, but not so moisturized that I feel like I could skip conditioner.  It's just a nice, non-stripped feeling.

I do think that using this shampoo cut down on frizz.  I have now tried it many times with conditioners that I have been using for a long time, and I find that compared to my usual shampoos, this one leaves me with a smoother finished result.

Bottom Line
I love this shampoo!  I think it cleans without stripping, the scent is pleasant but not overpowering, and it gives a really nice lather when you work it into your hair.  I will absolutely keep using this and will repurchase.  Check it out here!

EverCurl Hydracharge Conditioner

Again, as with the shampoo, I was concerned that the smell would give me fits.  But, like the shampoo, the scent is there, but not overpowering.  It definitely seems like L'Oreal listened to complaints about the other lines when making the formulations for these products.

This conditioner is a thick white cream.  It comes out of the bottle in a really silly little stream.   If you have a lot of hair, I could see it taking a while to get enough product out for your use.

The first time I used this conditioner, I thought it was more or less a disaster.  When it dried, my hair was way too soft.  It had lost nearly all of it's curl holding ability, which is obviously not what you want in a curly hair care product. 

I tweeted about how confused I was by this result, and the L'Oreal twitter replied to me!  As a side note, I like that a lot of big companies are watching for references to their products on Twitter and reaching out to customers.  Really smart customer service. Whoever was tweeting to me recommended that I use less product.  Now, every curly girl knows that you need a lot of conditioner to make your curls happy.  So I won't lie, I laughed and thought, "Yeah right..."

But, for the purposes of a thorough review for you guys, I took the chance.  I used less than a quarter sized amount (my normal conditioner amount is probably two to three quarters depending on the product).  

Well dang. They were right.  You need to use way less of this conditioner than your instincts tell you too.  After using less, my hair got its hold and bounce factor back.  

The slip of this conditioner is not amazing.  It has a bit of resistance when you try to take it through your hair.  After having figured out the amount of product to use, this is my only lingering complaint.  

Bottom Line
I like this, but don't love it.  I wish it had better slip, and there is a bit of a learning curve with respect to how much of it you need to use.  I don't find that this weighs me down.  It will stay in my conditioner rotation, but the jury is still out for whether I would repurchase.  Probably if it's on sale.  I think someone with more coarse hair or thicker hair than mine might enjoy this more.  Check it out here!

Final Thoughts
I will definitely be trying more in this line.  I think it's pretty decent thus far.  What would you guys like to see reviews for?? Let me know in the comments!


Mary said...

Thanks for reviewing these! I'm been looking into trying them, and this helped.

CurlyQ said...

Could u review more from this line, I am sold on the shampoo and conditioner, but my hair gets super frizzy and I don't know what product would work best.

Laura said...

I will definitely let you guys know when I get more stuff! I definitely want to try the leave in, so I'll probably pick that up next

Jas said...

Thanks for reviewing!

CurlGirl said...

Thanks for that review. I'm a little confused though. I just read the CG method and you mention that silicones are not good for the hair, but you seem to be using it. Could you please explain why? I'm about to embark on the CG method and would like to have as much info as I possible can.

Thanks again, and great site!

Laura said...


So, as I mention in my CG guide, there is an option that is sort of in between using traditional shampoo with the very harsh cleanser sodium lauryl sulfate and using just a gentle conditioner wash. This is called "modified CG." I use a "low poo" which is a shampoo that has more powerful cleansers than what you find in a conditioner but not as harsh as sodium lauryl sulfate. Since I'm using something with stronger cleansers to wash, I can use silicones in moderation. I try not to load up on them, still, but I do not completely avoid them.

I use this approach rather than true CG because my hair is very fine and gets weighed down easily, which the stronger cleanser helps with. I also am on a student budget, so not completely avoiding silicones can be a little cheaper since most drugstore products, like this L'oreal stuff for instance, contain silicones.

Even though my hair was curlier and healthier when I was following the true CG method, with this, I get some wiggle room in the variety of stuff I can use and I get a little extra help with greasy/fine hair. With using a less-harsh shampoo, I find that I am still able to get healthy hair, which is always the goal!

Anne said...

hi! I tried this product line for the first time and it really worked on moisturizing and texture! The problem with my hair is that for a long time I've been straightening it and now I really want my curls back. The top of my hair is curly and I like it but the bottom part is dry and maybe a little wavy or straight. I used the Hydracharge shampoo and the regular conditioner after that I used the leave-in and the cream/gel. I didn't use the cleansing conditioner. Should I use it? I was planning on starting the CG method and I was also wondering if I could use this leave-in conditioner or should I buy a new one. Do you have any recommendations? I REALLY WANT MY CURLS BACK!!!PS: My hair is 3B and my bangs are 3A. I got this from

Curly12 said...

Could I use this leave-in conditioner for the curly-girl method even though it has one silicone but it also has natural oils.

Laura said...

The silicone in it is amodimethicone. I would definitely give it a try, because the "a-cone" is one that doesn't generally build up even with conditioner washing. If you start noticing build up (gunkiness around your scalp and dry but greasy strands), give it a wash with a gentler shampoo (for example, one with sodium laureth sulfate or coco betaine instead of sodium lauryl sulfate)

Laura said...

I'd give the cleansing conditioner a try if you like the other things you've tried from the line. Since you're starting on your curl journey right now, I'd recommend a good protein treatment followed by deep conditioning. There are lots of ways to do this at home with homemade ingredients (here's a protein treatment for making at home:; for a deep conditioner to follow it, I would combine olive oil, mashed avocado, and a normal conditioner. If you want a store-bought protein treatment, I would go with Nexxus Emergencee [pricey but good] or Aphogee Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor [cheap at Sally's Beauty Supply]).

Cami said...

I used it - a major issue I had with it is that the blue "foil" stuff on the bottle itself just flaked off in my hands like I was building a smurf sand castle (after the bottle got wet). I ended up having to buy travel bottles to put it in because it was getting everywhere. Other than that, I didn't hate it.

Kristin said...

Hi - thanks so much for the post. I LOVE that you showed pictures of the products - I can almost always tell (within a range) how well a product will suit my hair by seeing it. Can you post a picture of the leave in conditioner? I've been trying to replace my Aveda products (they are not cheap) and have found decent success with Marc Anthony but i'm not sure what leave in/style prep to use. I'm also trying to switch from Paul Mitchell's twirl around - have any of the sculpt and hold gel you can show too? Thanks!

Bethany Coumos said...

Hi Laura,
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog! I've been reading everything like crazy since I am on my CG journey! I started almost a week ago and Anne, my hair sounds exactly like yours! Curly on top and stringy/wavy near the bottom. I just purchased the nexus emergencee and can't wait for it to come. So i should do a deep conditioner as well then? I also recently had a trim and yesterday trimmed my own hair using the method from the CG book. 😁 hope I didn't ruin it. Haha
Thank you again Laura, everything has been so helpful!!