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**REVIEW** Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla

Black hair (race, not color) tends to be drier than that of other ethnicities. My hair is probably some of the driest of dry black hair. And I wear it natural - no softening relaxers or smoothers to leech out my natural curl pattern.


I am always up for products that soften my hair, moisturize it and, with the best luck of all, make it smell nice. When I saw this at Target the other day, I was a little reluctant to try it out. For one thing, I have tried other products from the Carol's Daughter brand and mostly what I liked about them was the story of Carol's daughter. Then, of course, I am gun shy of many products that claim to be made for my kind of hair. I will thank Miss Jessie for that...

This time, it was the price that convinced me to try the product. I can't remember exactly, but I think I paid around $12 for this:

I'm glad I took the chance.

This stuff does what it says. I sprayed on just a couple spritzes around the outside of my 'fro, then scrunched it in to moisten the undergrowth. Boy, what an instant difference.

Of the 3 claims made right there on the label - to replenish moisture, improve manageability, and add shine - the only one I didn't notice with my use was the shine part. There's some shine, but mostly from the lack of crackling dryness that my hair had been suffering from.

If you keep up with this blog, you know that one of my favorite natural hair products is StaSofFro by Carson. It still is a favorite, but this Black Vanilla leave-in by C.D. is a whole other kind of  niceness.

StaSofFro gives me shine and softness. It's great for using in addition to other products that tend to give me extra curls or styling options. The StaSofFro was always a counterbalance to the drying properties of other products. Also, depending on the weather, I need to give StaSof a little time to work away the dryness. Sometimes, to get full softening results, I have to treat my hair 2 or 3 times with StaSof (letting it soak in between treatments). The Black Vanilla is great on its own and at the very first treatment.

The driest time for my hair is also the time that I achieve the perfect curliness: right after I was it. I always wished that I could freeze-frame the state of my natural hair to that point where it's almost-but-not-quite-dry from a fresh wash. It's the right kind of curly, but not dry. Until, well, it does finish drying. Then it's super-dry. That's when I have to start using the StaSof.

The Black Vanilla works as soon as I spray it on. There's no waiting for the product to work, and there's no need to keep re-applying. The best way to use it, I find, is to part my hair into sections of 4 - just like when I used to apply relaxer. I then spritz the root and scalp along each part-line, and add another spritz to the top of each section. I scrunch each section of hair to let the leave-in absorb and, done.

Best thing ever about this product is the smell. I love a nice vanilla scent, and this one is so glorious. It's not loud enough to be offensive or clash with any other perfume, but you just know that your hair will smell yummy should someone get close enough.

You can see (of you squink) the ingredients
I noticed that, like in StaSof, glycerin is a main ingredient. I think it's just a good combination of the other ingredients that makes this work so nicely.

Also like what it doesn't include
Another great use I love this product for is detangling. One of the reasons I'm not diligent about putting my hair up in twists overnight is that I hate hassling with the dryness. It seems that I do more damage from overhandling my hair - for twisting, arranging styles and general care - than I do from product use. I noticed that this really does make my hair much more manageable.

All in all, if I had 5 stars to give this product, I throw in 10. It's good stuff. It's so good that I'm going to have to check out some of the other products in the line.



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