In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.
Crown Affair is beloved for its high-quality hair products and accessories such as brushes, combs, and one of the best microfiber towels on the market, and after putting over a year of development into their latest launch, the brand recently debuted its first-ever daily cleansing products: The Ritual Shampoo & Conditioner.
Now, the beauty industry is bustling with more knowledge about hair health than ever before—brands, editors, and hair stylists all around the world are realizing that to have hair that looks the best in its natural state, one must use ingredients that provide nourishment, clarify the hair, and boost strength and moisture for the roots and strands. Often, that starts in the shower with shampoo and conditioner. Crown Affair promises that this new product duo will lift dirt, grease, and pollutants from all hair types, fortify and repair broken bonds, and add a non-greasy shine that lasts — all in a formula gentle enough to use daily or whenever you wash your hair.
Given that I put a ton of time, money, and effort into caring for my 2B curls, I wanted to see if this new formula would live up to its hype. Could it tame my frizzy hair? And will it amplify my naturally voluminous curls? Well, I've used this duo for about three weeks, and here's what I've found.
My Natural Hair
These days, my hair has been looking better than ever — but that hasn't always been the case. I have a solid hair care routine full of moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, scalp scrubs, curl cremes, hair oils, and volumizing sprays.
However, if I don't take care of them, I find that my 2B curls frizz up easily. Additionally, my hair is extremely long right now and has become rather heavy which, without the proper tools and products, weighs down my curls to a straighter wave and diminishes the volume at the top of my head to basically nothing. Plus, my hair naturally errs on the dryer side, which can make it resemble a dark brown pile of hay. So, when it comes to my hair’s needs and wants, moisture, volume, and curl definition top the list.
Although I *do* have a plethora of products to care for my texture, I notice that my entire routine depends on my shampoo and conditioner. So, if I'm not starting my routine with high-quality, protein-rich, and moisturizing formulas in the shower, nothing can save me from resembling Hagrid and his wild mane.
The 411 On The Ritual Shampoo & Conditioner
So, how can Crown Affair's new Ritual Shampoo & Conditioner help? First up, the shampoo contains hydrolyzed wheat protein, which helps to build bonds that might have broken due to heat, sun, or color damage. Additionally, hydrolyzed wheat proteins hydrate and lubricate the hair to deliver smoothness, shine, and diminish frizz. This shampoo also contains coconut-based surfactants, which are clean substitutes to sulfates, for a sudsy clean that won't strip your hair of vital nutrients. This is especially important if, like me, you have curly hair and moisture is a must.
If you're already a fan of Crown Affair's Renewal Mask, then you'll be pleased to know that it was the inspiration for the brand's new Ritual Conditioner. Like the mask, the conditioner contains Tsubaki seed oil, an ingredient that originates from Jeju Island in South Korea, which delivers non-greasy hydration deep into the hair shaft. Additionally, the beetroot in this formula helps strengthen the hair by providing vitamins B and C, which boosts shine and can even help prevent hair loss.
And in typical Crown Affair fashion, these formulas are completely clean and free of PEGs. Plus, (I find this to be important) the chic, minimalist packaging blends in beautifully with any bathroom — no harsh colors and intense fonts in sight. Oh, and the formulas smell superb — they're reminiscent of what an eco-friendly, five-star hotel would offer in guests’ showers.
My Hair Post-Crown Affair
But, enough about the technicalities — how do the Ritual Shampoo and Ritual Conditioner perform in real life?
I decided that in order to see the actual effects of this shampoo and conditioner duo on my hair, I'd have to get rid of all other products in my routine. This means that I did not use one curl crème, hair oil, dry shampoo, scalp clarifier, moisturizing mask, or volumizing spray during testing. Additionally, I did not heat style my hair in order to see if this duo *actually* diminishes frizz and adds volume. (This part wasn't difficult for me — I air dry my hair almost every day.)
Before hopping in the shower, I brushed out all the knots, and then applied a half-dollar sized dollop of shampoo to my scalp. I massaged it into my roots and down to mid-length, then rinsed and repeated (as the instructions recommend). For a sulfate-free formula, this is pretty typical, as the lack of traditional (and harsher) surfactants means you have to manually work away the grease and dirt. Following that, I applied a similar amount of conditioner focusing on the mid-shaft all the way down to the ends. Once fully coated, I brushed my hair with a wide-tooth comb, gathered it in a clip, and let it sit for five minutes.
Next, I wrapped my hair in a microfiber towel for about twenty minutes while I did my skin care routine, and then I parted it and allowed it to air dry.
I typically shampoo my hair every two days since I have oily roots that fall flat quickly. At first, I used Crown Affair's Ritual Shampoo & Conditioner every two days, but I immediately noticed more hair volume that made my roots look and feel cleaner for longer. Then I tried using it only twice a week since I didn't see the need to wash my hair as often.
The added volume at the crown of my head is what struck me the most since using this duo — especially since my hair is so long and heavy right now. Additionally, my curls are far more defined, and there is very little frizz, even without using my typical regime of styling products. Is it entirely gone? Of course not, but compared to other formulas I’ve used, it’s a pretty noticeable difference. The shine boost is also welcome, and overall my hair looks and feels less brittle. Basically, I'm now in a constant state of rocking tousled sex hair, something for which I certainly strive.
Is This A Crown Worth Wearing?
I've always known that shampoo and conditioner play a key role in keeping hair strong, shiny, and healthy but I didn't realize that a duo could work as well as the Crown Affair Ritual Shampoo & Conditioner. Still, $67 isn't an amount of money that many people would nonchalantly throw into something that (literally) washes down the drain. But I do think it’s worth the investment for the amount of time I can wait between shampoos without feeling greasy, the noticeable lift and volume, the minimized frizz, and how strong and moisturized my hair feels overall. Would I still use a clarifying shampoo and moisturizing mask in addition to this duo for deep cleaning my scalp and repairing damage? Definitely. But I’ll be keeping these clean formulas stocked in my shower from here on out along with a few other of my go-to hair products.
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