Lee Stafford are providing the goods with a brand new RANGE dedicated to curls. For the Love of Curls range is formulated with curls, coils, kinks and waves in mind.
I have been using Lee Stafford products for years; I bought my first heat protection from their range when I first got my straighteners and I still have a bottle in my bathroom now. Their mid-range price products are so accessible, so it’s great to see a whole new range dedicated to curls. Lee Stafford definitely understand that curl typing is only part of the picture when determining product effectiveness. Curls are so much more than what they look like, so factoring in characteristics is so important for choosing successful products. It’s wonderful to see brands not clumping all textured hair together and considering porosity and density in ingredient formulation.
Lee Stafford have made product selection even easier by seperating the products in this range into Wash Day, Refresh and Style. Lets get into it!
The Wash Day products are made up of a shampoo, conditioner and two types of hair masks; one for waves and one for curls and coils. I used the shampoo, which had a light lather for what felt like gentle but effective cleansing. Featuring ingredients such as Shea butter and Coconut Water, it was no surprise that my hair felt moisturised and not stripped after using. My scalp and hair felt clean after using and ready for the mask.
I always deep condition in between shampoo and conditioner. This allows my hair to benefit from a deep conditioning treatment, and then all the goodness is sealed with a final condition. I tried the mask for curls and coils, which contains protein in the form of hydrolysed soy, wheat and corn protein for extra strength. The texture of this was exactly what I would look for in a mask – thick, creamy and coating. I prefer masks to sit on my hair as ones of thinner consistency normally slip off, so this one was perfect.
As this is a protein mask, I wouldn’t use this every time I wash my hair, as too much protein can make my already sometimes dry and brittle hair even worse, but I would definitely reach for this when I needed a protein boost. I then followed with the conditioner, which had good slip – probably helped by the olive and coconut oil in it. My hair loves coconut oil, so I was really happy to see this ingredient featured! This mask contains humectants, which are great for drawing water, and therefore moisture, into your hair, but an important property/ingredient to keep an eye on as the weather changes.
The ‘wash’ part of this routine had an ingredient that I have not heard of before: Camellia Oil. After some research, this oil is a fast absorbing emollient which has sealing properties, so it is used to help retain moisture as well as soften curls. I reckon this ingredient came into play when following the mask with the conditioner.
The conditioner was a great medium consistency and had decent slip to do the final bits of detangling. It left my hair with a decent shine, which is normally an indicator of a decent wash day for me!
Overall, the ‘wash’ part of my wash day was impressive. My hair felt clean, moisturised and soft, which is the perfect base to begin styling. I often overlook shampoos and conditioners because for me the fun part is the styling, but I really liked how my hair was after I got out the shower. After looking online, I found that the Mask for Waves does not contain the hydrolysed protein ingredients, whereas the one for curls and coils does. The one for waves may be more suitable if you don’t need lots of protein as frequently (like me) or select the one for curls and coils if your hair loves protein.
Refreshes are a bit of a mystery to me. They are really hit and miss; sometimes they work out really well and other times my technique fails me and I end up shoving my hair into a bun until I can wash my hair properly. Based on this, I used these products for both a refresh and as part of my styling routine, that way I am not biased by my poor refresh technique!
The Leave in Conditioning Moisture Mist is designed for use on wet hair to inject some moisture in between washdays. I used this as a mid-week refresh on some dry curls. First, I sprayed my hair with water, added the leave in and then a small amount of the gel to provide some hold. The result was okay, but my hair does not tend to do well with spray leave ins, as they are normally thinner consistency. Unfortunately, this one was no exception and my hair was craving something thicker and creamier. However, I did use this at a later date to add some life to an old twist out and it was really good. I will be experimenting with this product further!
The serum lotion is like an oil-based lotion. The texture and finish is really light and subtle, and it pumps out like a non-sticky lotion. I sprayed with water and used the serum-lotion as a finsher after using the leave in moisture mist. For my medium density, high porosity hair, I’m not sure if the serum-lotion fit into my routine – I think I would prefer an oil or a lotion so I could layer them up. I would probably reach for this if I wanted something light to refresh the hairs on the nape of my neck, which are finer.
I think these products would really suits fine, low density waves and curls as they are lightweight and full of really great, moisturising ingredients that won’t weigh hair down. For me, I think I will continue using them when my twist out needs a boost towards the end of the week, but the thicker products are needed for a wash and go type style.
Now for my favourite part of wash day – the styling! There are three products in the styling line; a gel, curling custard, and taming oil. I have tried the gel and the curling custard.
The gel is described as a ‘lightweight gel without the crunch’. I styled on wet hair after using the custard and found the hold was a good middle ground. It worked really well on my refresh day to add more definition to some curls that needed a little more definiton. If you want a firmer hold, you may want to layer your gel products. A surprise product that I really enjoyed was the curling custard. ‘Custards’ are traditionally a blend of a leave in conditioner and a gel, to provide both moisture and definition. The consistency of the curling custard was not like ones I’ve used in the past – it was creamy and had some good slip. Paired with the gel, I really liked the results that this produced, it was moisturising with a decent, moveable, soft, hold.
‘Custard’ products I have tried in the past have not worked very well, as they have been on the ‘gel’ side. I really loved this creamy take on a styling custard. My hair drunk this up and an important factor for me was that the results lasted in a ‘wash and go’ style. When scanning the ingredients, the custard does contain Sodim Sulfate, which may raise a red flag if you are avoiding ‘sulfates’ and following the Curly Girl Method. However, this is not a harsh sulfate (unlike Sodium Lauryl Sufate) and is low down on the ingredients list. I am not strict on the CGM (Curly Girl Method) and after doing some research on Sodium Sulfate, this is distinctly different from harsher sulfates and I don’t think this will have a significant drying effect on my curls.
For me, the stand out products were the ‘Wash’ products, the Curling Custard and Gel. This combo would be a solid wash and style line up that I would use again and again. If I had to choose a top three it would be: Custard, Mask, Gel, in that order.
I often overlook shampoo and conditioner, but without a clean and moisturised base, styling wouldn’t be as good! Based on that, I added the shampoo, conditioner and mask to the stand out products, with the mask being my favourite. I would recommend each of the other products to different hair characteristics, scroll to the bottom of this post to see my recommendations.
I really enjoyed trying these products in different styles and routines. It is clear Lee Stafford have considered characteristics when creating these products and they have thought about how to style curls, coils and waves, which is so commonly overlooked. To style and hold curls, we often use more than one product and Lee Stafford have provided multiple combinations through these different products. I think this range is really great and there is something for every curl type, pattern, and characteristic. The products are really accessible, as they are stocked in Boots and online and range from £6.99 – £9.99. They also do larger bottles in the shampoo and conditioner for £12.99, which is perfect for reducing packaging and is great value for money
The ingredients list sounds rich and indulgent, which can sometimes be concerning for fine hair in case your curls are left weighed down. However, the blend of these incgredients, particularly the styling products, are light and airy so I think it would be suitable for fine and/or low density hair. The refresh products are a light texture and denisty, making them ideal for hair that could be susceptible to build up, so it may be good to start here! The hair mask was great for my hair needs, and the hair mask for waves (which I didn’t try) may be less dense than the one for coils and curls. I think it’s good that you can have a choice without compromising on the other fab ingredients.
All products in the range have the noticeable, signature Lee Stafford scent; if you know, you know. I would describe the scent as sweet, perfume and rich. I found the scent a little more subtle on the wash day products than they are in the styling products. If you like perfumed scents that people will notice as you move past them, these are the products for you. The scent mellowed over time and, for me, they smelt slightly different in the refresh products.
Here is a summary of who I think would find these products successful – I’ve summarised based on the products I’ve tried!