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November 21, 2018 8 min read
Originally published on June 22, 2018
Today I’m finally getting around to discussing my favorite curly hair products. This topic is what I get asked about the most on Instagram and even by my close friends who are natural. What products do you use? What's your favorite gel? Etc.
It was pretty difficult to pick favorites because I love so many things! But it was also a lot of fun to sit there and narrow it down as much as I could. These are my current favorites that I have in heavy rotation this summer.
Long Aid Naturals Manuka Honey & Bergamot Conditioning Cleanse - I like this for myself and my son is on his 3rd bottle. The smell is lovely, for a co-wash it cleans very well and it also has enough slip to detangle. It’s also very affordable!
Alaffia - Authentic African Black Soap - For a while, I hated shampoos because it was difficult to find one that cleaned my hair enough and at the same time didn’t dry my hair out. I realized that mostly co-washing wasn’t cutting it for me and went on the hunt to find the perfect sulfate-free shampoo (for me). I purchased this on Amazon after seeing a review online and I’m on my 3rd 32 oz bottle! I have since then found it at Whole Foods. This is almost comparable to Dr. Bronner's soap because it’s an “all in one” product that can be used in a number of different ways. I mostly use it to shampoo my hair and my son's hair once a week. It’s not stripping at all! Like with every cleanser I use, I shampoo my hair 2 times each wash and my hair and scalp are not left flakey and dry. Lastly, it only has about 5-7 ingredients depending on which scent you choose, and the scents are from essential oils.
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo - Even though I am not using this right now, I want to include it in my list because it was a favorite for a long time. Prior to clay washing, I was using this every other week (or as needed, alternating with the shampoo mentioned above). This shampoo is Curly Girl friendly, Organic and affordable. I have seen this brand at Whole Foods and at some TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores. If you need a gentle yet clarifying cleanser I would give this one a try.
Naturally United Curls Avocado Deep Conditioner - First things first, this product contains protein. For me, that means this isn’t a product I can use weekly, but I when I do need protein this has been my go to. The slip is just as amazing as I imagined it would be, coming from another small Black-owned brand ran by one lovely woman. It has a medium consistency, the smell isn’t overbearing and did I mention the slip? It’s currently sold out, along with her other popular products, you have to sign up for her email list or follow her on Insta to know when she has a sale going on. Totally worth it! Her customer service is amazing and she ships fairly quickly.
Annabelle’s Perfect Blends Kalahari Mint Deep Conditioner - Honestly this is just the one that I am currently on my 2nd jar of - any deep conditioner from this brand is great. This woman really knows what she’s doing in terms of hair and body products, but I think she’s literally a beast when it comes to deep conditioners. Moisture and slip for days on end. I always get her protein free deep conditioners so that I can use them weekly but like I said I’m sure her protein ones are great as well. If you struggle with retaining moisture and detangling your hair, like I did for YEARS, do yourself a huge favor and try Annabelle’s products!
Annabelle’s Perfect Blends Kalahari Mint Hair Creme- Not too thick, but still not thin, this has been my go-to leave-in product since I got it. It has worked well with pretty much every styler I try to pair it with and I don’t have to re-moisturize with added product for at least 3-4 days. I have it in the Kalahari Mint fragrance but she has countless scent options, she also has an Ayurvedic hair creme and a “Simple” one without Shea and Cocoa. Annabelle’s also makes moisturizers in “hair lotion” and “leave-in serum” form, these are lighter than the hair creams. I love the leave-in for my toddler.
Annabelle’s Perfect Blends Passion Fruit Curl Glaze - No surprise here.. I really love this brand. I went through a gel phase but I’m well past it these days lol. I prefer styling creams and light “jelly” textures. Why? 1. No crush, 2. No flakes, 3. No dry hair!! *drops mic*
Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls - I realize that pretty much none of these products are drugstore accessible. Although I prefer products from small brands for very good reasons (quality, ingredients, brand ethics, etc.) - this is a drugstore product I still very much love. Y’all might think I’m crazy but this is what I consider a strong hold. I use this gel over a leave-in conditioner when I know my hair is about to go through it. Like when I’m styling my hair to get on a flight to Canada and want my curls to stay intact the entire trip.
Fab You Life Sacha Inchi & Almond Detangling Milk - Guys this product is amazing. I feel like a broken record at this point - but it's true!! It’s labeled as a detangling/leave-in product. I did try it as a leave-in and it was good. I was definitely able to detangle, it smells great and I like the way this bottle sprays. However! It was very light and my hair felt like it didn't have anything in it. That’s not a bad thing at all but as a person who likes to refresh their wash and go’s as little as possible, I need my day 1 moisturizer to be slightly heavier, especially because I pair it with a gel or jelly. This leave-in works well for me during a braid out when I would pair it with a heavier cream/smoothie type product. As a refresher for a wash and go, this product is gold. The light consistency is perfect and it doesn’t weigh my hair down at all. I have been able to refresh day 3, 4, and even day 5 , wash and go’s effortlessly. If you like to refresh daily for aesthetics lol, or you struggle with maintaining moisture throughout the week, I would recommend this! I’m not surprised that this product has an aloe juice base. Y’all know how much I love fresh aloe juice for my hair! The other ingredients are lovely as well. Things like sacha inchi extract, coconut milk, manuka honey, etc.
Wet Brush Shower Flex - This brush has mixed reviews online. Some people say it rips their hair out or that their hair gets stuck - I haven’t had that issue. This brush actually really impressed me! I’m really happy I finally gave it a chance, although I detangle before I wash, that doesn’t get all the tangles out and then I would still have to sit in the shower for God only knows how long to finish finger detangling.
Denman Brush - The Denman brush also has mixed reviews and I use this brush sometimes as well. For the Denman, I think you just have to learn how to use it. I don’t use it to detangle, I think it definitely ripped my hair when I attempted that. I use it to define my curls every once in a while when I want that “perfect/super defined” look. The trick is to run it through a small section of hair, one time, from top to bottom, on hair that is already detangled and already has product. Then you scrunch that section. Finally, separate and fluff the curls once fully dry. If your goal is to define your curls and you run it through sections multiple times it really just gives you a stringy mess. These are my opinions based on my experience with this brush. I’ve had it for over a year. I also took out every other row of “teeth” to make it a bit more gentle. With this modification, I feel like I still get those super defined curls but they aren’t as tight. I get slightly less shrinkage than I would using the brush with all of the teeth in.
Wow, okay I’m done! I really wanted to pick one product for each category but it was literally impossible. I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if you have any questions you can comment below or send me a private message. Let me know if you have used any of these products or if there are any you would like to try!
I didn’t list an edge control here because I never lay my edges, like ever, so I would be lying if I said I have a favorite. I do own one by CURLS but it’s just ehh. I like the texture and the fact that it doesn’t flake or cause any build up - but it has zerooo hold. I am looking to buy one though so if you have any recommendations please leave them for me! I like to use edge control for protective styles.
Okay, I’m done for real. Thanks again for reading.
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