Monday, 11 April 2011

Review: Lush R&B hair moisturiser

This is the first of our reader and blogger dual product reviews. This is the long and more detailed version. A mini version is available here.  The product delivered to us was Lush R&B moisturiser (product sent to me and the lovely Bajan Lily). I highly highly recommend that you look at her post which is linked here as she did a very through review of her own and tested in on three heads of hair!

There was no conferring on our findings and here is our review

Q1: What product would you normally use in a similar way and how much does it cost?

BL: Based on texture/consistency alone, I can’t say that I have a product like this. This is like firm mayonnaise - thicker than a hair milk (which we do use), but thinner than a whipped butter or hair cream (which we also use). Since this sits somewhere in between and the suggested use is for moisturising hair, I’d say the equivalent product is Almocado Hair Milk (£9) and/or Almond & Avocado Cocoa-Shea Brulee (£7.50 for 200ml)

Jc: Giovanni Leave In is my standard leave in conditioner. I would probably add that I do not actually think Giovanni but its ingredients are fine and it does not build up which is good for me. It costs around (£10).

Q2: On a scale of 1-5 where would you rate this product?
1-Poor   2- Fair   3. Good   4. Very Good   5. Excellent

BL: 2 -Fair
Jc: 4 - Very Good possibly even 5 - Excellent

Q3:  How easy was it to use the product? 

BL: Easy enough I suppose, just scoop out the required amount and distribute through hair. The instructions say ‘smooth into freshly washed hair’, this gave me the impression that it would melt into the hair but it really took a while to ‘disappear’ into my children’s hair regardless of how small an amount I used.

Jc: Yes it was easy, it has a nice consistency but the scent is quite strong (then again if you have passed outside Lush you will know all about strong scents)

Q3: How well was your hair moisturised by this product? 

BL: Not very well. I tried this on both of my daughters - they have different hair types. The tighter coils drank this up and looked shiny for a couple of hours but looked dry and unkempt by the next morning. The looser wavier hair type gained some definition but felt a bit sticky. I also tried this on my (2 yr old) son’s very short hair and took forever to ‘rub in’ with no lasting (beneficial) effect

Jc: I played a little with this product and when applied to dry skin or hair, it was quite sticky. This led me to realise that it probably had a lot of glycerin. I followed the instructions on the jar and to be honest the result was only just ok. I then decided to use the product with the Oyin method. The Oyin method is simply apply the glycerin containing product to wet or dry hair and then have a shower allowing the steam to 'activate' the glycerin. This resulted in heavenly soft hair which I kept for 3-4 days, I loved it! 

Q4: This product retails at £9.95. Do you think it is good value for money?

BL: It is reasonaby priced when compared with competing products, however, it didn’t work for my family, so no.

Jc: It is similar in price to my (former) staple Giovanni and works better than it. I am yet to try the cheaper option of curl activator which may work just as well but sadly I live too far away from the African braiding shops which stock these products. Lush is literally 1 minute away from my office!

Q5: Would you add this product to your regular staples?

BL: No.

Jc: Yes, I already went to check in the Lush shop to see if it is there and it is (Side note, I also took the opportunity to scope out the other hair products in there . The staff were really nice and offered me some wine too! Sadly enough one of their conditioners actually has SLS! So while I would definitely repurchase the R&B, I would not try the conditioner).

Q6: Do you like the ingredients in this product? 
BL: Yes, it’s packed with goodies (oats, avocado, olive, coconut, jojoba and cupuacu derivatives) although the essential oils seem to be there for fragrance rather than therapeutic benefit.

Jc: Yes, I like glycerin. I have found it difficult to get a good mix in a product (whether made by myself or store bought). This R&B moisturiser actually works really well for my hair. I only need to resteam if I want a little more 'action'.

Thanks to Lush for providing the product for testing. Thanks too to Bajan Lily for reviewing it! I hope you all enjoyed reading this review and I would really encourage you all to try the Oyin method and see if it works for you with glycerin containing products!!

For more reviews on this product - here is the company website (over 100 reviews there!).
For more on the active ingredient glycerin - see it here in our ingredient dictionary!


  1. I bought some of thsi stuff a few weeks before and read pratically every review I could find, an dthen you go and do one >< I'm glad that you didn't feel there's a cheaper alternative... I've tried leaving in a whole host of cheap reccomended conditioners and no joy so far. I love the smell and my hair feels good so I guess I'll stomach the price for now.

  2. Confession: I only bought this because I tried a sample of it and got a lot of positive attention from a VERY cute guy. *blush* In reality the only thing it does for me is make my hair smell good...but I will try the Oyin method next time and see if it adds any softness as well. I happen to like Lush scents and if they attract cute guys, so much the better...but I'm not going to keep those guys if my hair is dry and crackly, lol...

  3. Thanks for the comments ladies.

    Oooooo the cute guy was sniffing your hair too......hmm :) Ok I'll stop teasing! I actually find Lush scents quite overpowering but I think I am in the minority.

  4. Ooooh! I'm so jealous that you have access to Lush.:) I have been drooling over there products for years now! I love how detailed your review is!

  5. Oooh! I'm so jealous that you have access to luch. I have been drooling over there products for like a year.:) Nice detailed review!

  6. I also find their stuff have overpowering scents but i'm sensitive to almost all kinds of scents anyway. It is so bad I cant even stay in their stores for more than a minute

  7. Jc could you share with us your hair texture and whether you feel this product worked better for you because of it?

  8. Hi Jc,
    Ça fait longtemps :-)

    Please,was you hair in braids when you used the oyin meth ? I don't see how you can do that on loose hair.


  9. Oui plus longtemps Kadiane! I opened up the back half of my head to do the test. I did one hlaf of loose hair with lush and the other half with giovanni. I find that the oyin method works really well with free hair or very loose braids because the steam from the shower can access the glycerin better. My hair is braided most of the time though and I still use it but for the purpose of the review I thought it was better to test it on free hair.

    Anon - My hair is what people would refer to as 4b/4c. About 10 years ago this used to be 4a/4b. Some have referred to is 4z. In essence I am 100% African with pretty much the tightest curliest quite kinky hair.

    I do actually think that this product would work well on all hair types including type 1,2 and 3 hair. I think on looser curls steaming may not be necessary at all.

    For kinkier hair types, steaming as per the Oyin method is great. I would say that glycerin is quite a difficult product to use. Its effect varies with the condition of your hair and the environment. Air conditioning, dry heat and humidity affect it. However if you can get the glycerin to bind to the right amount of water you will be in that 'soft hair' place for a long time!

  10. Thanks Jc. How did you manage the loose hair for 3 to 4 days without having to deal with knots. I know you have cut your hair so is it because it is short enought to be easy to detangle ?

  11. I generally do not have my hair completely free (as in an afro). I twist at night and then untwist and pin up in an updo or bun. Knots usually become an issue if I try to do afros or if I have my hair free for a long time (i.e two weeks or more).

    I grew my hair again (well rather I have not had time to cut it lol). It is now around 12 inches at the shortest, I think that it is fine to manage as long as I handle one small section at a time.

    So for example I did for large twists in the back to sleep and then I undid and smoothed each one out individually before pinning up the hair in a french roll.

  12. 4z lol I totally understand. Thanks for the info Jc, that really helps.

  13. Great Blog! Great work! I just discovered it and am impressed with the wealth of information that you have here! Well done! And thanks sooo much for reviewing products that are available on this side of the Atlantic.

  14. Thanks for the post Jc! I bought R and B a while back (I cocktail it with other ingredients) I also find that without right water balance it is tacky or sticky feeling.

    In regard to this comment:
    "Sadly enough one of their conditioners actually has SLS! So while I would definitely repurchase the R&B, I would not try the conditioner"

    I e-mailed the company asking them about that. They essentially said that SLS was used as a dispersal agent and for its emulsion properties (which you already are knowledgeable about).

    They went on the say that without SLS the conditioner would be dificult to rinse away and SLS also allowed Lush to control the pH of the product, making it more hostile to unwanted microbes. The result is that for a many of the liquid conditioners there is only one paraben as opposed to two parabens seen in other Lush products.

    (I could send you the full response if you'd like)

    Is your thinking that the conditioner would dry out the hair? I haven't bought a Lush conditioner (partially because of the SLS in it) so I would be interested to hear your take on it.


  15. Jazz Fest - SLS has the wrong charge for a conditioner (i.e it slightly lifts the cuticle rather than smoothing it down - this is partially why hair after shampooing may not feel so good).

    I do think that with a good formulation it may be possible to eliminate this charge effect but I choose to eliminate it entirely because there are hundreds upon hundreds of conditioners without SLS.

    I am not against SLS use, I just happen to think that it is an excellent shampoo ingredient not a conditioner ingredient.

    Conditioner is not intended to be completely rinsed off, it should have large surfactants that stick to hair and help give it softness and smoothness.

    I would personally opt for two or more parabens compared to SLS in a hair conditioner.

    However, all this is my choice based on how I view the evidence. You have to make your own decision based on the evidence.

    I feel that they made a bad choice to include SLS in a conditioner especially when current consumer thinking is that SLS in shampoo is too harsh.

  16. Thanks! Informative as always. :)

  17. I haven't tried the Oyin method with this conditioner. Perhaps that would work better. It costs $20/4 oz (whereas I saw the Giovanni leave in for $10 at the store). I'm hoping to find something cheaper that works as well. Does anyone have suggestions?

  18. Hello Jc,

    You may have covered this before and if so, please forgive the query, but what are your thoughts on Ammonium Lauryl Sulfates in general? I recently purchased a product from Lush--Curly Wurly and I am concerned that the first listed ingredient is Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate.

    I appreciate your help!

    1. Hi, I purchased that shampoo as well and I'm still asking for God's forgiveness cause forgiving myself is out of the question. It is the worst thing I have ever done to my self, It striped my hair of everything and left my strands feeling like hay. It caused my hair to tangle to the point of no return and I had to cut my hair. I'm sure you've already tried it and it may now be your staple product, but if you haven't I'd just advice you to be very careful and try out a small portion first.

  19. Urgh! I received a sample of this when I bough a hair mask(HAIR DOCTOR), shampoo(CURLY WURLY) and conditioner(RETREAD, it has SLS) but because I had such a horrible experience with the shampoo and conditioner, I didn't bother to try it. I just want to share my experience cause some of you may want to try out their other hair products when you go in search of the 'R & B'.
    It was at the beginning of my transition and I was still very unaware of ingredients. The shampoo had Ammonium Laureth Sulfate as the first ingredient and water as the fifth, not only did it stripe my hair, but my life too. I could feel it sucking up everything in me, my hair tangled and matted. Then the conditioner did pretty much the same thing, with it's stupid sulfate and no water having self(yes there is no water listed in the ingredients). My hair was so tangled and destroyed that I had to cut my hair that day, I just consoled my self with the fact that I was going to big chop eventually. The only good thing about the experience with Lush was the customer service. That said, I will NEVER, EVER, purchase hair products from them again. Then again what may work for me may not work for you and vice versa, so try them *AT YOUR OWN RISK*


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