Noire Essence Shampoo & Conditioner Review – So Disappointed

Recently I have come to the conclusion that I would prefer not to do product reviews for money. I recently had a company contact me wanting to send me their products for review in which they pitched me with the standard offering of getting products for free.

Like most people, I’m a busy person. Life, work and my little Jasi give me enough to do in an average day that no human should comprehend having to tackle. In terms of money, my time may not be worth the same amount as Oprah’s for instance but it’s sure worth a great deal more than the cost of a random conditioner or a wig. I’m sure most of us would probably feel the same way.

I also feel that by not accepting free products for review, it allows me to be extremely open in my assessment of any products I do review and I am free to be critical without worrying that I have taken advantage of anyone. After all if I truly hated a product that I had been gifted I would prefer not to write anything than write something negative but that would be lying by omission.

So armed with a rejection email for any would be review suitors I decided that I will only ever review products that I was truly compelled to purchase myself. I use a ton of differnt products in an average year but there are only a few in my arsenal that are true staples.

I don’t bother reviewing those (as unfair as it may sound) simply because by having the “staple” status in my regimen, the assumption should be that I love them and only have positive things to say about them.

It was just my luck then that the first products I decided to review after making my grand proclamation should be the shampoo and conditioner set from Noire Essence.

Here are my thoughts on the products…

Noire Essence Shampoo & Conditioner Review

Purchased: At the natural hair week event I attended a few weeks ago.

Claims: No sulphates, no silicones, no mineral oils, no parabens.

Cost: £20 for the set ($30). I don’t mind paying a bit extra for products from a new black owned business. Naturally they don’t yet have the same distribution network of Pantene or Tresemme so I fully expect that their products will cost more than those I can pick up at at the supermarket.

Size of product: 200ml shampoo & conditioner bottles.

Scent: Pleasant mild citrus scent for both the shampoo and conditioner.

Thoughts on the product: Well this is where things get a bit more interesting (and detailed). After a long hot summer day in London, read very hot and humid, both mine and Jasmine’s hair was in need of restyling. Perfect timing because I had only just purchased these new products.

So like a child with a new toy I eagerly sectioned Jasmine’s hair into 6 twists after pre-pooing with some oil in preparation for washing. I love that new hair product smell, don’t you?

I squeezed a bit of shampoo into my eager hands and rubbed it into Jasmine’s twists. The sulphate free shampoo foamed pretty well on the first go but immediately I could feel that something was off.

I was getting the feedback from Jasmine’s hair that I usually get when we are clarifying her hair not a standard wash. No need to panic, I thought, clearly in spite of the shampoo’s claims that it “richly moisturizes hair”, it seemed to be doing the opposite.

Surely we could save the day with the “nourishing and enriching shampoo containing mango, aloe vera and slippery elm” right? But alas the only slippery thing about this conditioner were the claims. Have you ever had your hair feel drier after a wash than before?

I remember only once before, when I was still relaxed, that I came across a conditioner that made my hair feel like straw. It was an awful experience. All I could think as I desperately tried to detangle Jasmines hair with this so called detangling product was These conditioners still exist?! Even my husband commented on how weird Jasmine’s hair felt.

In the end after the wash I had to douse Jasmine’s hair with a leave in conditioner just to make it soft enough to detangle and style. And a very long styling session it was too!

To be sure that the experience with Jasmine’s hair wasn’t a fluke, I hesitantly climbed into the shower for my own experience. Having seen what the shampoo had done to my poor baby’s hair, I decided to co-wash only.

I noticed that the conditioner was thinner in consistency than most of the conditioners that I use. It certainly didn’t go on smoothly like most of my other conditioners and even without having used the shampoo beforehand, it simply did not moisturize my hair. I ended up using most of the bottle trying to get the elusive “detangling agent that eliminates knots” but it did not make an appearance.

The crazy thing is after rinsing the conditioner off, my hair felt slightly stripped! Basically after using the Noire Essence detangling conditioner my hair felt the same way it does after using my curls unleashed sulfate free shampoo.

Appalled with the results I decided not to bother fully detangling my hair until after I could get back home (we were at a hotel room) and get my hands on one of my regular conditioners.

I tried to make sense of the ingredient list to see if I could pinpoint the culprit. I am not in the least bit protein sensitive having used protein most weeks during the last 5 years and anyway the hydrolyzed wheat protein was way down the list so it is unlikely to have caused the problem.

I couldn’t figure it out in the end, nor could I be bothered to do so. All I know is that these products simply did not work well on either mine or Jasmine’s natural hair.

Value for money: Considering that you only get a 200 ml bottle which is barely enough for two washes if you have long thick hair, the value for money factor is very low.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely not with the same formulation! I have mixed the remaining conditioner with the shampoo to create what I assume will be a milder clarifying shampoo. I have not been brave enough to try it yet and throwing the remainder away is still a distinct possibility.

Conclusion: I am sure that somewhere out there is a lady with hair that’s prone to greasiness who absolutely loves these products but for me and Jasmine who have dry hair (or normal hair for black people) we simply did not enjoy these products.

It’s such a shame because I really wanted to like them. I had a really good banter going with the woman I purchased them from. She had a cute African accent and she said that Jasi was adorable. But all I can think about now is that I could have bought 4 bottles of Tresemme naturals for the same price!

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  • natalieiw

    I will tell my sister to look for these products because I’m sure its over in the U.S.

  • Nadine Fletcher

    A hhhhhh…….what can I say. It gets that way at times. We end up with products,
    we wish, we never taken a second look at.

    • True story. I’ve chucked them now. It wasn’t worth the trouble trying to figure out what to do with them. 🙁