I love this stuff. I have thick, frizzy, curly hair, and this product defines my curls and gets rid of the frizz without weighing down my hair. I apply it over a leave in conditioner on towel dried hair. Once it dries it is not sticky or crunchy. My curls are very defined, soft and bouncy.
My only complaint is the packaging. Im not sure why Giovanni decided to call this stuff "lotion", because as others have said it is the consistency of water. It can get messy trying to apply it. I am thinking about putting it in a spray bottle to see if that would be easier.
I put this product in my hair and then let it air dry before straightening. My hair is typically coarse and frizzy after it air dries but the Sunset Styling lotion really softens it. It also gives great heat protection, which is a must for naturally curly hair. The only downside is that the packaging was less than ideal - I purchased it online and the exterior of the bottle was a little sticky with spill residue by the time it arrived.
I have mixed feelings about this product. While it does work pretty well to control my curls and frizz, it is difficult to apply because it's liquid and it is a bit sticky. It feels like it dries out my hair a bit (although the ingredients are good and I don't see any drying agent in it). I think it may contribute to breakouts along my hair line so I am discontinuing it. It works better than the Giovanni mousse though.
I have very curly (with relatively loose, not tight curls), long, dry hair. This stuff, by and large works better than any conventional drugstore or natural product I've tried. (I haven't tried any extremely expensive products of any sort.) I put it on when my hair is still pretty damp, but not sopping wet from the shower, and it holds curl while taming frizz exceptionally well. I don't apply to the very top b/c it has a very slight weighing action, which I like. For folks who are trying to build body, I think you could do this very easily by just scrunching. With a blow drier you can accomplish any number of things, as the formula is highly adaptable and will support most styles. I only put 4 lippies because I need to be aware of the humidity levels that day so I know roughly how much product to use - too much will leave hair crunchy. But don't worry - I find that unless I go way overboard, I can easily get rid of any crunchiness by tossing/squeezing my hair with my hands a bit. The bottle also lasts quite a long time, as the product is in a liquid form, so only a small amount is needed each time. I have a lot of hair and it's not uncommon for a bottle to last me 6 months. Unless you have extremely fine hair, I would definitely recommend giving this a try with or without a blow drier - your choice, depending on mood!
There are 2 uses for this product:
Curly hair - I didn't notice any big difference from my usual products, not even the 'crunch' that most other reviewers have mentioned. So it worked okay, but not blown away.
Straight hair - AMAZING!! This was the only product I changed in my usual routine and noticed a big difference.
I usually have to flat iron my hair to get smooth silky hair, but this product leaves my (almost) like I have used an iron! And I have tried tons of 'salon' products over the years, but this beats them all.
Also - if you are trying to avoid parabens, do watch out for certain Giovanni products (I think their straightener gel and hair glue) that list them in the ingredients.
I have curly shoulder-length hair and live in a tropical climate. I need hold that can survive humidity but I dislike a producty feel. It took me a while to get the hang of this lotion. At first I had the extreme crunch factor that others have experienced. To me, crunch means HOLD. If you use it by itself on wet hair, you will have supreme crunch that doesn't really scrunch out well. But if I mix this lotion with something creamy (leave-in or a curl cream, something like that) it firms up the hold factor without the crunch. I use this three ways:
1) Mixed w/ leave-in in my hands then applied to wet hair for styling.
2) Because my hair loves a light mousse rather than a heavy gel, I make my own 'mousse' in a foaming pumper bottle and this works great as the 'hold' part of my recipe. I fill the bottle halfway with Sunset Styling Lotion, 1/4 water, and 1/4 liquidy leave-in (Biotera). This pumps out as a great mousse for me.
3) Mixed w/ a little water in my hand and lightly scrunched into dry hair as a curl refresher. (I don't ever really get 2nd day hair, but I can see how this method might work for those who don't toss and turn at night like a fiend.)
I'm really surprised by all the negative reviews. I really love this styling lotion and hope they never discontinue it. I have very thick Asian hair and it's always impossible to curl so I picked this up for $4.64 (absolute steal!) and it works wonders. I do understand the "crunch" or "crispy" texture the others have spoken about but you only need a very small amount. I use maybe a nickel or quarter sized amount (I have really long thick hair) and mix in some of Giovanni's Direct Leave-In Conditioner to keep my hair soft and it does the trick. I wish I had found this product for my wedding day. Even though I didn't wash my hair the night before or that morning, per the stylist's instructions, my hair was so slick that the stylist had a hard time curling it. If you feel a little uneasy about not washing your hair before a big event, as I did, because your stylist recommends not to wash your hair the night before then this could be the perfect product for you and you'll be able to wash your hair that same morning! It works for me and I get to feel fresh and clean for such an event. Although the product states that it also works for straightening, I wouldn't recommend it for that use. I would just use a leave-in conditioner and Shine of the Times Silicone Finishing Mist or any other silicone based product. They also came out with a new product called Straight Fast but I haven't purchased it yet so I can't comment on it but you can bet I will get it because I still am looking to replace the Frederic Fekkai's Glossing Cream that I normally use to straighten out my hair. Anyway, I hope this helps. I really believe that this whole line is underrated and I think it rivals that of Frederic Fekkai which was the line I was loyal to prior to finding these wonderful products for only a fraction of the cost of Frederic Fekkai's line. You also get the peace of mind of knowing what you're using isn't loaded with harmful chemicals. They should hire me as their spokesperson. HA! I sound like an advertisement for their products! Honestly, I just don't want this line to get pulled like so many other products that I loved. continued >>
The MUA is correct. There is a reason this here is at 0%. I was thinking 'everyone has different hairtypes,maybe this will work for me'.This,will work for no one.I wish I could attach an audio file to have you listen to the crunch this gave my hair.Off to clarify.
This should really be labeled Styling Water, as it isn't a lotion consistency whatsoever. It has the same delicious scent as most of Giovanni's conditioners, that tropical, bubble-gum yummy-ness. I have long-ish, wavy hair, and this stuff defines it decently without making it all crispy (but it can do the crispy thing if you apply too much while hair is wet). I pour some in my palms when my hair is dry, and rub it through to define and add some shine. It's good in this capacity. I wish they had made the product a little thicker, so it doesn't pour out through your fingers like it does. I will use up my bottle, eventually, but won't buy again because I prefer other products over this one.
Bad packaging - the 'styling lotion' is very runny, and inverting the rectangular bottle results in a lot of leakage. The lotion itself is quite sticky. Very plain, florally-something citrus scent... How does it work when styling hair? I'll give it a... 'meh.' Nothing special, I'd say. It holds my hair in place. Again, it claims to control frizziness (it doesn't.) It also claims to 'spread easily,' but this is only on slightly damp to damp hair. Dry hair? It sucks the product down unevenly. Argh! I'm not buying this again.