A review of curl products for natural black hair
Recent trends show that more Black women are saying goodbye to the liquid hair crack also known as straightening relaxers and embracing their natural tresses. Dangerous to your health, relaxers can cause chemical burns to the skin, permanent hair breakage and loss, and other types of hair damage. With Black women undeniably known as the largest consumer of hair products, manufacturers are rushing to add new products designed specifically for black natural hair to your local beauty and grocery stores. As a natural girl since 2008, I understand the challenges of detangling and taming thick and vast amounts of hair in efforts to get a coifed curly look. It’s not easy but the two tips that never seem to fail are:
Natural hair must be hydrated with oils frequently and deep conditioned at least weekly.
Beautiful Curls is a new product from Alaffia, a community empowerment project in Togo, Africa. Alaffia has a line of all natural shampoos and conditioners made from Henna, Shea butter, and honey. The Beautiful Curls line has products for both kinky and coarse hair types as well as fine hair. These handmade products smell great and provide hair with major hydration. The downside is the products don’t loosen the curl and leave a white residue in your hair during the application process that eventually disappears as the hair dries. This product provides limited curl definition. Beautiful Curls is available at the MD -based My Organic Markets (MOMs) grocery stores for $14.
4. Curls – Goddess Curls Kukinut Oil Elixir
Goddess Curls is a styling gel that works wonders for defining and defrizzing curls. However, it can leave your hair extremely crunchy and a little sticky when it dries. This product is stated to be all natural and organic; however there are several ingredients that appear to be chemicals. The Kukinut Oil Elixir is a combination of several oils including soybean, coconut, mango, sweet almond, evening primrose and others. The elixir does lessen some of the crunchy feel of the hair after it dries but will weigh the hair down. Goddess Curls and the Kukinut Oil Elixir are available at Target for $7.99 each.
3. Shea Moisture – Curl Enhancing Smoothie
The Curl Enhancing Smoothie is made of hibiscus, Shea butter, coconut oil, Neem oil and a ton of other moisturizing ingredients. This product made it to my top 5 because it provides curls with some serious hydration that diffuses down to the hair root and doesn’t just sit on top of the hair. The con is your hair is left with a greasy feeling when it’s dry. The smoothie defines the curl but doesn’t manage the frizz as well as other products. I use this product as a deep conditioner or moisturizer on dry hair rather than a styling agent. Find this product at Target or Walgreens for $7- $9.
2. Bumble and Bumble – Curl Conscious Calming Crème
Curl Conscious Calming Creme is a fabulous product. It has some ingredients that are more than 5 syllables so it most likely is not an all natural product. The crème makes your hair super soft and light, and gives your curls bounce and body. The drawbacks are it doesn’t provide a lot of slippage (loosening of the curl) and curl definition, and it’s pricey. Also, if you use this product without adding a styling gel to it your hair will rise like bread dough. You can purchase this product for $28 at Sephora.
1. Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and Knot Today
The Kinky Curly Curling Custard and the detangler/leave-in conditioner, Knot Today, rate at the top of my list. These are all natural products with no drying alcohols, mineral oils, or silicones. Knot Today is truly the most effective detangler and conditioner I’ve tried. It softens your hair and loosens the curls…lots of slippage! The Curling Custard lengthens and defines your curls and provides even more slippage. It’s important not to over apply the curing custard as it can make your hair feel crunchy; however, the day after the initial application the steam from your next shower or any humidity will soften your curls. I usually mix a little of the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious, mentioned above, with the Curling Custard and apply to my hair to keep my hair bouncy. What’s great about the Kinky Curly products are your curls can last up to 4 -5 days after the first application with no additional product to add or styling needed. The downside of this product is the hardness of the hair from over-application and price. You can find Kinky Curly products at Whole Foods and Target. Target is usually sold out, so you might have better luck finding the Curling Custard at Whole Foods. Curling Custard runs $17 (8oz) – $29 (16oz) and Knot Today is $12.