No matter what type of hair we have - kinky, curly, coily, straight, fine, thick, short, or long - we know how frustrating it can be to find products that suit our individual hair care needs.
Speaking for myself, I get to try a lot of products in exchange for doing these reviews, but I also go out hunting on my own sometimes. And I also bag something... One day, I spent a gift card on 8 different hair care products from a local store. Curling creams, styling gels, polishers, conditioners... I ended up taking every last one of them back. Not one of them worked.
By the way, my name is Trudy, and I am a product junkie.
|Credit to Elle & Necie at Natural Hair Daily|
That might be a bit harsh, actually. I'm not the kind to just try different products out of a bad habit. I just have trouble finding things that work, so I have to do the buy-and-return thing. Often. And, believe me, I have no trouble returning a product that doesn't work for me. (This is why I am starting to be way more careful about ordering things online if I don't already know the brand. More on that later.)
This review is for 3 different products I have recently tried. I have a few different goals when I'm looking at hair products. Since my hair is coarse and damaged, and I wear it relaxer-free, I have problems with moisture retention and breakage. For styling, I like having a gel or curl cream for twisting my hair at night (either bantu-style twists or corn-row twists), so that I have more curl definition during the day. Finally, I like good cleansing and rinse-out conditioners. I will alternate fully shampooing my hair with just massaging in then rinsing out a good conditioner, which is called "co-washing" the hair.
|Credit to Natural Hair Problems|
So far, I have a good shampoo that works well to clean my hair without stripping it. I use J,R. Liggett Moisturizing Shampoo Bar. The only thing I don't like about it is that, if any gets in my eyes, it burns like hellfire. I'd love to find a bar that works as well and doesn't have that kind of effect on the eyes. For conditioning, I have a few different favorites. I like Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle Moist for deep conditioning after a shampoo. For co-washing, I use Aussie Moist 7-in-1 conditioner. For deep conditioning with heat, I prefer Elasta QP Ultra Hydration or Cream Cholesteral (by Proclaim) because they are both extremely affordable and effective. The QP comes in such a huge size that I rarely have to stock up. With the Proclaim, I add water and shake the container to thin it out because less works better, plus this gives me a higher yeild of product.
With the cleaning and conditioning covered, what I still needed was somthing to use as 1) a daily leave-in conditioner and, 2) a moisturizing, non-sticky, non-greasy feeling cream for doing my twists. I was hoping for products that would be both affordable and effective, but I was willing to pay more depending on quality.
Recently, I tried out 3 products and am only unhappy with one. Let me back up and say that I am extremely happy with 2 of the products and supremely unhappy with 1 product. (On top of being unhappy with it, I'm irritated at the process required to return it. But, again, more on that in a moment.)
Let's start with the positive.
I found a wonderful daily leave-in conditioner that works even on my dangerously dry hair. It's this one by KeraCare:
The photo from the BeautyClicks page is better than mine...
I love this stuff. It's light, but very, very moisturizing. I only have to use the smallest amount. What I like to do is apply it to the roots of my hair just before I take down my twists. Once I have the twists down, I apply a little more of the KeraCare to any dry spots.
The thing is, KeraCare products are not cheap. This 4oz bottle is around $16. OUCH!!! But - and here is what it took me a minute to figure out - in the long run, it is much cheaper than a higher priced 16oz product I tried. And that is the one product that I loathe...
That right there is from SheaMoisture. Let me say now that SheaMoisture is one of those brands that seems to get a lot of undeserved (IMO) positive hype. Anytime I read something about natural hair, I hear "SheaMoisture is the stuff!"
Bullcrap. I think the brand just has great marketing.
That leave-in by SheaMoisture was horrible. It was sticky going on and, after it dried, it felt slighty tacky to the touch. My hair might have been less dry, but I couldn't tell. The worst thing is that the price is crazy expensive for such lackluster results. (To be fair, a lot of folks seem to love SheaMoisture products. This is the second thing I've tried from them and I was underwhelmed both times. The other thing I tried was a small foil pack sample of some curl cream. Yuck. At least I didn't pay for that mess.)
I'm sending the SheaMoisture back (even though that means printing out a return label and praying I didn't toss the box it came in... ~sigh~)
I hate SheaMoisture so much that I don't want to spend anymore time discussing it. So, back to the positive.
The next product is one that I tried for the first time a long while back. I think I got the mostly empty bottle from a family member. There was only a little bit left and I loved it, but had to search for the bottle to get the brand name. It's Curl Envy 24-hour Moisture from the Marc Anthony Strictly Curls line. At $7.99 for a 4.5oz bottle, this is super affordable. (Side mention: My dumb self, I thought that the singer Marc Anthony owned the line! "Tell me, baby girl, coz I need to know...")
What I love, love, love about this leave-in is that it's perfect for doing my twists at night. Before finding this, I was just spritzing my hair with water at night. That worked great for styling my hair, but it didn't really boost the moisture throughout the night and after I took down the twists. When I use this moisturizer, I have a lot less dryness in the morning. My routine now is to spritz my hair with water, add a little bit of this product, then do my twists. I can really feel the difference in the elasticity of my hair when I'm doing the twists. There so much less breakage and pulling. LOVE it.
While I also love the KeraCare, I have to say that I think that the results are a bit similar with the Curl Envy. The KeraCare moisture lasts longer, but... At the price, I can always afford more Curl Envy.
So that's the rundown on a few products I've been trying out. I will try to come back and update this when I've used the KeraCare and Curl Envy for a longer period of time. Also, a friend of mine saw a leave-in by Dr. Miracle when she was at WalMart. She said she thought it would be something good for me to review so she picked up a bottle to give me. Isn't that sweet? Anyway, I will do a review of it when I've tested these other products for a while.