Beauty Hair Here's How This Organic Hair Care Line Works on 6 Different Curl Types InStyle editors put it to the test. By Tess Garcia Tess Garcia Tess Garcia is a freelance journalist, certified yoga instructor, and contributing writer for InStyle. You can also find her discussing politics for Bustle, or exploring her Latinx heritage for Refinery29 and Teen Vogue. She hopes to bring a unique Gen Z perspective everywhere she goes. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on October 21, 2021 @ 11:00PM Pin Share Tweet Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: Getty Images Curly hair is frequently left out of the clean beauty conversation. Popular brands in the space often overlook curl-specific products, and those with coils and waves know that regardless of the ingredients, once you find something that really works, you cling to it. But when I came across rave reviews of the curl line from organic hair brand Evolvh, I realized I'd never seen anything like it. It's a multi-product regimen free from sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances, and textured-haired customers can't seem to stop obsessing over it, using words like "amazing" and "beautiful" to describe the products' effects. I know what you're thinking, and you're right: Our writers absolutely had to try it. I Tried The $8 NYX Powder TikTokers Can't Get Enough Of To create a comprehensive trial, six InStyle staffers with different curl types selected a few Evolvh products we thought would best address our unique concerns, including frizz, dryness, and a lack of definition and volume. We integrated the products into our usual routines for 3 to 4 weeks. If we regularly used a product the brand doesn't offer, like a hair oil, we continued to integrate it into our routine, but Evolvh was the common denominator between every wash and styling day. At the end of the process, our group documented the good, the bad, and the frizzy. We even sent our photo team before-and-after images of our hair, a few of which are featured here. In the end, there were two Evolvh products we all truly loved — and one we all agreed fell short. SmartCurl Hydrating Wash Shampoo According to Evolvh, this shampoo was formulated to cleanse curls without stripping them of the natural oils they need. It's color-safe and made with vitamin-rich kiwi seed oil, strengthening castor oil, and moisture-retaining sweet almond oil. Together, the ingredients aim to boost hydration without weighing hair down. Courtesy Available at Evolvh, Amazon, Macys What we loved: This shampoo removed buildup from our hair and scalps without drying them out. Plus, it's gentle on tangles and scented with essential oils instead of chemical fragrances. Best for: All curl types What you should know: The shampoo doesn't contain additives like sulfates, so you might notice it has a thinner consistency, and doesn't lather as much as many commercial shampoos. Because of that, a few of our testers found they needed to double-wash their hair to get it fully detangled and squeaky clean. Tester quote: "I love the consistency of the shampoo — it's a light fluid that gently cleanses." –Rachel Nussbaum, Beauty Ecommerce Writer Courtesy WonderBalm It's hard to describe the consistency of this styler, which is one of a kind. It falls somewhere between a nourishing oil and a strong-hold gel, and the resulting balm-like texture is true to its name. Evolvh says its silicone-free formula delivers "high-impact smoothing and definition" in all curl types. Courtesy Available at Evolvh, Amazon, Walmart What we loved: WonderBalm's non-sticky texture provided us definition without crunchiness or buildup, and it virtually banished frizz, leaving curls soft and extra defined. It helped preserve our testers' curls, too, which made them last for days. Best for: Tight, frizz-prone coils and curls What you should know: This formula was too heavy for our testers with fine, loose ringlets, but it did a remarkable job on coarse, tight textures. It works best when applied a little at a time and distributed evenly through curls with fingers or a comb. Tester quote: "I loved this product so much. It coated my hair well and left it super soft and defined." –Kayla Greaves, Senior Beauty Editor Courtesy SmartCurl Hydrating Conditioner Evolvh's curl conditioner promises to strengthen and soften hair while diminishing frizz. Its central ingredients are the same as the corresponding shampoo's, though it comes out slightly thicker. Its product description notes that it also increases color retention in chemically-treated hair. Courtesy Available at Evolvh, Dermstore, Macys What we didn't love: This conditioner fell short when it came to hydrating and detangling curly hair, especially among testers with thick, tight, or coily curls. It didn't provide much in terms of hydration, and rather than send curls springing back to life, some found it actually diminished definition. In the words of one writer, it left coarse strands feeling like they were "thirsting for more" post-wash. What you should know: Two of our testers — one with thick, tight curls and another with fine, loose curls — actually ran out of product before the three-week trial ended. Tester quote: "The conditioner didn't even come close to detangling my hair enough, which made it hard to comb in the shower. I had to use A LOT of product to detangle and spread it throughout my hair, which caused me to run out of the conditioner while I was only about halfway through the bottle of shampoo." –Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Product Reviews Writer Courtesy Final Thoughts We love to support the clean beauty movement, but we have yet to find an organic line that meets the specific challenges of curly hair. While many of our testers reported that they would add Evolvh's SmartCurl shampoo and WonderBalm serum into their regular hair care routines, the brand's conditioner left us feeling (and looking) flat. It wasn't moisturizing at all, and every expert knows that's a big red flag for healthy curls. "Moisture is everyone's concern, but the type of product you should use depends on how you like to wear your hair," Tippi Shorter, celebrity hairstylist and Global Artistic Director at Mizani, tells InStyle. She says your shampoo and conditioner should put hydration first — but when it comes to post-wash styling, it's up to your preference. "If you want long, stretched out curls, a firmer hold with moisture and weight is key. For a full finish, a lighter hold without extra moisture is best." And if ultra-defined ringlets are your goal? According to Shorter, the more moisture retention, the better. "Definition comes from hydrated hair," she says. "Hold products that also have hydration seal in the definition." That's where a product like WonderBalm excels. Its nutrient-packed formula is made to lock in moisture, which is why it should be the last step in your routine. The Skincare Ingredient You Should Be Adding to Your Haircare Routine No matter how you like to wear your hair, a great styling routine comes from trial and error, and it's not a one-size-fits-all process. "Too much product will weigh your hair down and leave a white or dusty residue on your hair. Not enough product will end up frizz, dullness and curl expansion before the day is over," Shorter explains. She recommends starting off with less, since it's easy to add more but nearly impossible to take product away once you've applied it. Evolvh runs on the expensive side, but thankfully, some of its curl products are available in $29 Discovery Kits, so you don't have to invest tons of money to find out if they work on your unique hair type. If you ask us, it's worth giving at least some of them a whirl.