Saturday, January 18, 2014

***REVIEW*** 4 Naturals Afro Stretch Curl Cream

4 Naturals Afro Stretch Curl Cream. Make a note of it. It's some good stuff. If this were a 5-star rating system, I'd give this product a 6.

For the ladies rocking their natural hair, if you are like me and find that your hair dries out after several hours or overnight, you might fall in love with this curl cream. I also love that it helps enhance my natural curl pattern and - of course - eliminating the shrinkage. And for anyone asking about the "shrinkage" thing, here ya go:

As someone said: "The shrinkage is real!"
Does it Work?
Now, I'm not looking for the kind of stretch shown in that pic. My TWA is still pretty teeny. I just needed something to bring my curl pattern and get rid of the dryness. When I first tried the cream, I used it on clean, dry hair. Results? Amazing! My hair was moist, but not greasy. My curl pattern took a little work because I didn't follow the instructions about working the product from scalp to ends. Once I used the correct procedure, I could literally watch the change happening as I worked each section of hair.

My Warnings
When I tried applying the product to my hair still damp from a wash, I didn't like it. The main problem here was that I couldn't tell when I was using too much of the cream on one spot. When applied to my dried hair, I had a better sense of the change in moisture and curl pattern. After applying to my damp hair, I ended up with a over-saturated mess. Yuck. I didn't want to let all the cream I'd used just go washing down the drain, so I did a roll-tuck style for a couple of days, tying my hair in t-shirt material at night. I finally got rid of some of the saturation, but, boy - with this cream, a little really does go a long way. You've been warned.

With most products, you can ignore the directions. Like me, you might think it's not that big a deal in how you apply this cream - as long as it gets on your hair, right? Wrong.  Take the time to apply it to sections of your hair and make sure you work it through properly. It took about fifteen minutes for me (probably because I was busy watching TV talking on the phone!). After working it through, I checked my hair, feeling for dry sections and looking for places where the curl pattern was off. It's worth the time because I can get through a couple of days without having to apply any more cream. When I take off my satin hair-wrap in the morning, I have to spend just a couple minutes styling my hair. I will just use my fingers (dampened with a little water if needed) to stretch the curls a bit. If I sleep without my wrap, I might have to use a little-itty bit more cream.

Ingredient information
I read some of the reviews on the 4 Naturals site and have to agree that some hair types might not get much "stretch." I didn't, but the moisturizing benefits make this product a keeper for me. And, because I know that many women are concerned with what is and isn't in the hair products they use, here is the ingredients list I found on the jar in the order given:

(* the links are to more info on an ingredient)

On the front of the jar, other claims: no harsh alcohols, paraben and dye free, no petroleum, mineral oil or silicone.

I really like that 4 Naturals designed the container to show clearly which hair type the product is for. This one: "4 Kinky - Coily".  And, by the way, this is a Bronner Bros product. I got mine at Sally's Beauty when I returned another two products that didn't work for me. This stuff runs around $10 for the 6 ounces I got. Sounds pricey, but because I can use this so sparingly, it's cheaper in the long run than other products that just haven't worked.

This particular product is for Kinky-Coily, Type 4 hair that tends toward dryness. I'm no expert, but I think that it might be too heavy for some of you ladies. Again, I love that the product site has good information, like this.

I didn't think to take Before & After photos until after I had done my hair again tonight. I will do an update soon. In the meantime, I'm going to be on the lookout for someone who's used products similar to this one.