I love Acure for so many reasons, but mostly because they make organic beauty affordable. As a curly (technically, wavy) girl with no willpower, the money I spend on hair products really does add up. And, as I have been shifting toward clean and organic brands, it is hard not spend money because quality ingredients are expensive. Recently, I picked up Acure’s Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo, Ultra-Hydrating Conditioner, and Leave-In Conditioner. After using them together for a few weeks, I wanted to share my thoughts in case you’ve been considering purchasing them, too.
I first came across this brand at Target and Whole Foods a while ago, but honestly, was too focused on purchasing more well-known curly hair brands to pay it any attention. When I started to get my wellness-loving sister-in-law into the Curly Girl Method, she mentioned really enjoying Acure’s volumizing line. With her recommendation, I found this brand to be a great staple as it is organic/clean/green, effective and affordable. And, they have the most sarcastic little instruction labels on the back. If I can laugh when I do my hair, that’s a plus!
According to their website, Acure is a personal care product brand “founded on sustainable principles to provide the highest quality natural and certified organic personal care.” (emphasis added). If the italicized words confuse you, head over to my post on natural beauty buzz words, where I deep-dive into some of these terms. Acure not only strives to use high-quality, plant-based, organic ingredients, but it is also paraben free, sulfate free, phthalate free, mineral oil free, petrolatum free, silicone free, cruelty-free, and vegan. They also proudly challenge the notion that healthier products are not high-performing and have third-party clinical testing to support the effectiveness of their products. With better-for-you-and-the-planet shampoos and conditioners for $9.99 USD, what’s not to love?
Of the three, this is my favorite. Per the packaging, this shampoo is ideal for dry or damaged hair. I would not consider my hair to be terribly damaged anymore, but it is certainly dry. For my hair, I find the shampoo effectively cleans my hair without stripping it of critical natural oils. I found the shampoo to create a very rich, velvety lather that suds up very quickly. However, it was also very moisturizing, in that it did not leave my hair feeling squeaky clean or dry as it does after using a clarifying shampoo like Kinky Clean Come Clean. It also did not leave my hair feeling weighed down. Yet, as is my experience with all lathering shampoos, I still have to detangle after with conditioner.
As compared to other lathering shampoos I have used, I will say that this feels thicker in consistency to the Innersense Hydrating Hair Bath with a heavier weight on my hair and richer lather. It has a very comparable lather Not Your Mothers Naturals Curl Enhancing Shampoo but is also thicker in consistency and only feels slightly heavier on my hair. NYM is not a really a comparable product in terms of ingredient quality, but still a lathering shampoo I have always loved and one that is pretty similar to this Acure shampoo. And, it is NOTHING like DevaCurl Low Poo DeLight, which has to be one of my most hated purchases, largely because the protein content does not agree with my hair and I do not care for the runny texture.
Speaking of protein, this product is also protein-free, which is great for my protein-sensitivity; protein is actually one of the first things I personally consider when purchasing a shampoo and conditioner. This is because when the cleaning/conditioning aspect of my routine has protein, I have to be mindful to use protein-free products as stylers. I know everyone has a different protein/moisture balance, but this is how I’ve learned to strike mine.
As for the rest of the ingredients (below), I was impressed to see so many natural and organic ingredients, consistent with the brand’s claims. This is an oil and fruit-rich shampoo, with fatty acid-filled pumpkin seed oil, argan oil, organic sea buckthorn oil as its headliners per the description. Additionally, the label boasts ubiquinone/Coenzyme Q10, which apparently has anti-aging benefits and reduces hair fall. Literally had no idea what CoQ10 was until using this product!
Interestingly, all of these oils and the CoQ10, while described as the featured ingredients, are quite low on the ingredient list. Featured higher are a variety of vitamin-rich natural fruit extracts. Given the label claims, I was a bit disappointed, as I was expecting the opposite. However, I have no complaints about how this product performs (lather, cleansing, etc.) It also contains almond extract, which explains the very sweet, almond scent.
All in all, it is not my favorite conditioner in the world, but at this price point for an organic, clean product, it certainly does the job and left my hair feeling soft and moisturized. I can’t begin a review of this conditioner without addressing its interesting texture. It is not thin or watery but somehow still feels runny in texture. As for its feel, it has a medium-thickness and feels very emollient. I don’t think have come across a conditioner that feels or looks like this. Otherwise, I would certainly share some comparisons for reference.
However, don’t be deceived by its appearance and texture. When mixed with some water, it had decent slip and melts well into my hair. For the sake of comparison, it is not as “melty” or water-based in its feel as DevaCurl One Condition, but it worked for me. As a bonus for me, its ability to mix with water and runny consistency made it work well for squish to condish. I first use a small palmful of conditioner to detangle and then I rinse it out. Then, I follow-up and an additional small palmful for squish to condish. I have not tried this as a cowash, as I sensed that the oil content would make it too heavy for my low-to-medium porosity hair.
Its key ingredients are very similar to those in the shampoo, making this product its obvious complement. I’ll note that in addition to the claimed headliner ingredients, which are lower on the ingredient list, this conditioner, like its shampoo pair, also contains fruit extracts. It also contains glycerin in the middle of the list, so if you prefer glycerin-free products, this is something to note. Like the shampoo, it has the pleasant almond scent and is protein-free, both of which I am a fan.
I will lead by saying that I was not as impressed by the leave-in as I was the shampoo and conditioner. I wanted to love this because of its killer ingredient list and because I purchased it on clearance for $4.99 (regularly, $8.99). But, alas, no dice.
Here is what I like about the product: 1) ingredient list (below); 2) the lemongrass/lavender scent; and 3) that it has a spray nozzle so I can spray it directly into my palms and control how much I use.
Here are the weak points: 1) it is thinner/runnier than I like for a leave-in and 2) I just simply could not find the right balance of how much to use. For example, 3-4 sprays in my palms to refresh using praying hands didn’t seem to do much, whereas 5-7 sprays weighed down my hair and made it feel sticky. As a leave-in on wash day, I had a similar experience. I didn’t feel that it added any palpable moisture when I used 3-4 sprays but felt it was too much when I used 5-7. These are my thoughts after using this product 4-5 times over the past two weeks alongside the Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner with either the Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic and Innersense I Create Hold.
Another interesting aspect of this product is the label claim that it contains “argan stem cells.” The nerd in me was so intrigued by this, but when I saw that argan cell culture was the second to last ingredient, I did feel a bit disappointed. This, coupled with the lackluster results, certainly left me a bit deflated.
My conclusion thus far is that I won’t be repurchasing this, but I may continue to experiment with it with other shampoos/conditioners and styling products to see if I have better luck.
If you have dry hair (especially if it is low/medium porosity and protein sensitive like mine), I think you may really enjoy the Acure Ultra-Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. While I have yet to try every affordable organic haircare line out there, at the moment, the shampoo and conditioner are now among my trusted standbys when I need a protein-free base for my routine. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the leave-in, but who knows…you may love it!
Overall, if you are looking to dip your toes into organic/clean curly hair brands, I think Acure hair products should have a home in your beauty cabinet. Now that I’ve gotten a taste, I’m curious to try their volumizing conditioner as a cowash and their clarifying shampoo for when I periodically degunk.
One last photo…because its totally normal to proudly display your hair products alongside your wedding photos:
Footnote (if you consider purchasing any of these)
My heart nearly skipped a beat after I used the shampoo and conditioner, liked them, but could not find them ANYWHERE on Acure’s website or at my local Target! I calmed down as soon as I learned that the company has just gone through a branding/packaging facelift. The Shampoo, Conditioner, and Leave-in have now been re-branded as part of Acure’s “Mega-Moisture” line with white and yellow packaging. According to the Acure website and my comparison of the ingredient lists, the formulas, however, appear the same. And, if you’ve read my previous post on hydration versus moisture, you know I’m doing a happy dance because calling these products ultra-hydrating when they are actually very moisturizing (oils galore!) was really irritating me, ha!
FTC: I purchased all products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own. There are also no affiliate links in this post. All outbound links are purely informational.