End of The Range Review: Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla

I’ve recently started doing product reviews again in earnest after quite a substantial gap. The last one was last month, the one before that was December 2018. I’ll try my best to recall all the pertinent facts about the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla range. I’ve been trying it over the last year and a bit. I know crazy right, who can make a product last that long? Well it’s mainly the shampoo that’s stood the test of time because we’re a co-washing household and I get distracted by other products almost constantly.

Th Black Vanilla range has a load of products – I tried the spray in Leave-In Conditioner, Hair Oil, Shampoo, Conditioner and the Hair Smoothie. There’s also a Combing Creme and Edge Control which, if I was being honest, wouldn’t choose to buy anyway. I’m not entirely sure what a combing creme is and I’m not entirely sold on edge control as a concept when trying to embrace a “natural hair journey.” Not to say I’ll never use edge control but that’s a different post altogether.

What Carol’s Daughter says


Infuse softness and shine with this moisture-rich recipe that revives dry, brittle hair. Infused with ingredients, like Sweet Clover Extract, Aloe Leaf Juice and Shea Butter, this nourishing collection has the best sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, hair smoothie and leave-in conditioner to transform unmanageable hair into incredibly soft hair you’ll rave about.

Also – No parabens, petroleum, mineral oil or artificial colours.

The Leave-In

This would get a similar critique to the Flora & Curl Jasmine Oasis Floral Hydration Mist. I don’t tend to like leave-in sprays. I feel like I’d have to use like half the bottle to get my hair damp enough to work with and get enough coverage for there to really be a point to it. Maybe I’m using it all wrong but this is why I prefer homemade leave-ins or just plain old water. I suppose that’s not a specific issue with this product but with these little misting bottles. Not a fan.

HOWEVER, when used on my littlest with the finest hair, I would say it worked better with hair that requires a lighter touch. On a positive note, it has a pleasant smell, as does the whole range even if there are some boozy smelling undertones (I would imagine due to the vanilla).

The Oil

This is a multi use product and can be used in a few different ways – hair and scalp massage, hot oil treatment/ pre-wash treatment, sealant and as a deep conditioner. I went the hot oil route. I’m not really sold on using products on dry hair but I was willing to give it a go. I purposefully didn’t use it to fulfil the role of a DC as I had the Hair Smoothie (which I will get to shortly and it’s good news). Anyhoo, I wasn’t sure how long to leave it on though – I decided 10 minutes once I’d worked it through all my hair. Then washing as normal.

After washing, I worked it into my damp hair to seal in some moisture and left my hair in doo doo plaits (you know like Felicia of Friday fame). Admittedly, my hair felt pretty good. I often don’t to the full LOC method (leave-in, oil and cream) and often stop at the oil knowing that I’ve sealed in the moisture. Basically, I was pretty convinced with this product due to the myriad ways it can be utilised.

I would also like to point out, that on the few times it was used after washing, my hair definitely looked shiny in a healthy way, not a greasy way. At the time, I was also doing a lot of ACV sprays while using this which I know can make your hair shiny but in my opinion the oil did the trick. The extra oomph.

All that being said, I think I prefer Olive Oil though.

The Shampoo

I’m not going to lie, the shampoo reminded of why I hate shampoo. It hadn’t occurred to me until using this how much the shampoo part of the washing process created tangles. And honestly, this shampoo more than most, I could feel my hair tangling even when I was trying to be careful and only using it on my scalp. I was still taking the scenic route around Knot City, and I would say this was the case more than with the average shampoo.

The Conditioner

Thick. Gloopy. Sticky even. There wasn’t any guidance on how much to use. Such as a dime size amount, which I don’t mind because I always ignore it anyway. I felt my hair needed 2-3 pumps at the time (my hair is a little longer now). I would say this gives good slip and helped with a fairly easy finger detangling session in the shower. And you want a short shower session if you care about water conservation and don’t want to become a prune. I, for one, spend too much time in the shower so anything that reduces that time is welcomed.

The Hair Smoothie

Okay, so this has been a so-so review so far. I haven’t fallen in love with most of the products, I’ve liked a couple and been a bit indifferent about a few others but the Hair Smoothie is amazing. The scent is not strong with this one but it has an extremely thick, caramel coloured fudge-like consistency. And you don’t need to use a lot at all. It goes a long, long way. I don’t have a hooded dryer. Therefore I opted for a plastic cap for 15 minutes, wrapped in a towel and a little rest and relaxation while it did it’s thing (wash days are a great way to get me-time if you struggle getting it normally).

I was so sold on this that I felt it was deserving of Holy Grail status after one wash. Seriously. I was that impressed. I couldn’t believe how good my hair felt considering how tired and dry it felt before I started washing. And you may think it was the cumulative effect of all the Black Vanilla products. But no, every time I used it, I got this great feeling even when coupled with cheap products or those with not so great ingredients. It made me feel like I stood a halfway decent chance of a good hair day! I really miss using it if I’m honest.

The Conclusion

It might sound bad but I’m going to be one hundred with you. I liked the range as a whole, obviously a special shout out to the Hair Smoothie (and the Conditioner deserves an honourable mention) I wouldn’t buy the Shampoo or the Oil again. Oops, I forgot the Leave-In which I would just leave out (see what I did there). But that Hair Smoothie – give me that good stuff.

Let’s keep growing together!

xx Lee xx

Have you tried this range?

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