(note: this will be a very long post about natural hair products. if you have no interest, or are a bit ADD, or are baldheaded, or are rocking a house of dereon lacefront (not hatin, just sayin), you may wanna abandon ship.)
since this blog isn’t about me, i haven’t said much about my holidays. they were great. i ate a lot of food, hugged lots of folks, did a lot of badly needed cleaning, and got some great gifts. one of those gifts was, like, the greatest gift i’ve ever gotten given my current obsession with hair products after going natural almost two years ago (i suck at this hair typing thing, but i’ve decided that my hair is at least closest to 3C, for the record).
one of my favorite websites to e-window shop is Curl Mart at NaturallyCurly.com. jokingly, i sent the wishlist made there to a couple of people. on that wishlist was a couple of things i needed, like a new bottle of DevaCurl’s No-Poo and a Denman brush since i lost mine while ago. also on the list: NC’s hyper expensive Curlarita, a product kit tailored for 3C hair (they make these kits, called curly cocktails, for all hair types). it’s like $70. crazy, right? right. i ask for ridiculously priced stuff all the time, but i never expect to get any of it. so when i woke up Christmas morning and found that my mom had bought me every single item on that wishlist??!! i put my head inside the box it all came in and screamed for half a minute. that is by no means an exaggeration.
since i’m broke these days, i haven’t had any chances to splurge on any new products to review. when i got this stuff i immediately wanted to run to wash my hair so i could try it out, but since it was Christmas and people would be in my house looking at me within a few hours, i had already washed, conditioned, and detangled the night before. so i had to wait until it was time to shampoo again (i use a sulfate shampoo about once a week), and then i decided i’d wait another week after putting the new stuff in my hair to do some good observing and see how it performs. it has been almost 1 week exactly. reviews commence now!
i guess i should start with a quick description of my own hair. um… it’s large and unruly. very, very thirsty. if i typed it right, it’s closer to 3C than anything.. my hair is kind of fine in texture, but large in volume. the curls are very coily, kind of like a drinking straw-sized straw set. right now my biggest problems are frizz and moisture retention.. sometimes it’s like no matter what i put in my hair or how much i put in it, even while wet, when it dries it’s like straw. it responds well to oil and deep conditioning treatments, though, though it’s easy to weigh down sometimes. i’m still trying to learn how to read it and gauge it’s moods.
so anyway, what i wanted from this whole curlarita business was a headfull of big, boistrous, well-moisturized looking curls (without them being weighed down).
the naturally curly website descibes the 3C Curlarita as “a heady elixer” that contains the following:
–Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner and Detangler, “for detangling and further conditioning;”
–Wild Woozle Pomade, “for moisture from the roots to the tips of your curls;”
–Curl Junkie CoffeeCoco Curl Creme, “for added weight and hold;”
–Long Lovely Locks Coco Light, “to reduce frizz and poofing;” and
–Blended Beauty Kick for Curls, “to keep the frizz and fuzzy hairlines away.”
it also came with a super wide toothed comb for shower detangling, which i didn’t need because i already have like 100 of them that i don’t use, and a swizzle stick that i don’t have any use for whatsoever. lol. it was cute though, i guess. and since my mom spent like a grillion dollars on all this fun hairtime goodness, they threw in a free bottle of Curl Junkie’s Assurance Leave-In Conditioner. how sweet are they?!
also included was a ‘recipe card’ which contained instructions and directions for use. after reading it and seeing that you’re supposed to use EVERYTHING in a single styling session, i kind of scrunched my face up. once, my ex told me that i put too much stuff in my hair at a time. i rolled my eyes like ‘whatever, you got a fade. you don’t know how this works!’ but then i thought about it and figured he had a point. lol. i really would prefer my hair care routine be a simple as possible, and i don’t think you really need to put lots of different products in your hair at once, just a couple of good ones. plus, with my hair it’s easy for me to go overboard and end up looking jheri curl-eqsue and stupid. so i’m just getting semi-good about paring down my product usage, and here comes this Curlarita telling me to put not two or three but FIVE different somethins in there. i made this face, but decided to be a good sport about it and give it a go.
i was going to supply the instructions word for word, but it basically says to use the products in this order after washing, conditioning and detangling: Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In, Wild Woozle Pomade, Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme, Long Lovely Locks Coco Light, and then once the hair is dry, spray with Blended Beauty Kick for Curls. this confused me because the order seems a little…. odd. my routine pretty much consists of leave-in, moisturizer, holding product (holding product optional… holding products usually weigh my hair down, and i don’t mind a little shrinkage, which holding products, for me, prevent). and i’ve always used pomades as holding products, so i didn’t understand why you’d start with that after a leave-in. but! whatever. this was put together by someone who knows more about hair than i do. i followed the instructions, though i did go a little easy on the Curl Junkie Coco Coffee Curl Creme stuff since it’s supposed to add weight to hair–my hair responds a little too easily to such products, and i didn’t want to weigh it down too much. i did use it though!
overall, i was pleased with the outcome of my hair after using aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllll this stuff. my hair, for some reason, usually looks a bit of a mess the day of a washing. i don’t know why. i usually have to sleep on it, wake up, spritz it with water, and give it a good shake before it starts to act right, and after that it usually looks great and will last quite a few days before i have to think about co-washing (which i hate and try not to do) or no-pooing (which i much prefer over co-washing). so the day after my wash, i was really pleased with what i had.. my curls were well defined and had a good snap to them (pull one, stretch, and let it go and it sproinged right back into place). and it smelled good which never ever hurts. and it somehow avoided being super weighed down, which i expected after using so many products at once. i did notice, though, that by the fourth day my scalp was itching something terrible!! i think it’s because i usually use coconut oil in my pre-wash, which is really good for dry scalp, but i didn’t do that this time. that’s probably what it was. but looking in the mirror after sleeping on my Curlarita-ized hair, i felt like i had found some stuff that definitely worked for me and was pleased.
now here are my findings on the individual products (note: all but one of these products are listed on the CurlMart website as being silicon free, but the Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme does list dimethicone among its ingredientt):
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In. i’ve actually used this before, waay way back when i was just beginning to wear my hair natural. it was one of the first products i splurged on and ordered online, that and the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard (do you ever wonder why all this stuff is always named after food?? curling custard, butter cremes, coffee coco stuff??). i remembered liking the Knot Today, and used it consistently until i ran out of it, which didn’t take long because it took a LOT of it to detangle my hair (as good a job as it did, i have since found some products that cost less, detangle better, and last longer). this second time around, i found it very, very difficult to detangle my hair with it. it could be because i have gotten used to detangling my hair with other products that don’t require me to use as much (mainly Cantu’s leave in conditioning creme… i use it before i wash my hair because it’s full of silicon, but omg detangling is a BREEZE), so i didn’t use a lot of the Knot Today. i know that i had to detangle twice, though–i used it in place of my Cantu for my pre-wash (usual pre-wash routine: wet hair w/ water bottle, throw in some coconut oil, top with cantu leave-in, detangle and let sit 30 mins) and after the shampoo that follows the prewash, my hair was right back to being tangled. i was PISSED. so i did it again. it was not an easy time at all. when i applied it as a leave-in, i noted that it didn’t feel as good and nourishing as my normal leave-in does.
overall, i guess, the Knot Today was cool. would have been better if i had used more. smells nice. works fine, not phenomenal. probably won’t buy again, but will use if someone gives me a free bottle. lol
Wild Woozle Pomade. i think this may be my favorite find in the box. now i was confused, remember, because i thought that pomades were for holding purposes, like gentler, more nourishing versions of gels or holding creams. when i read the label and saw that it could be used in the hair or on the body, it instantly made me think of Oyin’s Whipped Pudding, which i absolutely love with all my heart. i was still confused, though, because the pomade, like most/all pomades i have seen, looked waxy in its container, and i don’t know who would want to walk around with big greasy waxy looking skin. but when i actually rubbed the pomade between my fingers, i understood; it wasn’t waxy or greasy at all… it’s kind of like congealed coconut oil in that it is solid, but gives as you emulsify it, but instead of turning into oil in your hands it just kind of turns into… deliciousness. lol. it felt very nourishing and gave me the impression that it coats and moisturizes well. and i think it did; i really liked the way it felt on my hair when i smoothed it on. it felt better moisturized instantly, and i feel like this is where the shine i had afterwards came from. in fact, i’d say it did as good a job as oyin’s whipped pudding (though if forced to choose between the two, i’d probably go with the whipped pudding).
the only drawback here is the smell. it’s kind of reminiscent of Sister Jenkins sunday morning pastor’s anniversary perfume. kind of old ladyish. 😦 not quite a must have yet (maybe it will be upon a second usage, though), but i’d definitely buy it again.
Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme. i actually cant’ remember too much about this stuff. i remember that didn’t use a lot of it since it’s supposed to add weight, but that’s all i remember. i didn’t think there was really anything really substantial to it or outstanding about it. it smells pretty good, kind of lightly coconutty with a hint of coffeeness to it, as the title would suggest. it feels fine. beyond this i dont know what else to say about it, you know? it’s just cool for what it is. it could be that i didn’t use much of it and you just have to use more to really see what it can do but. *kanye shrug*
overall, i didn’t feel one way or the other about it, which means there’s little motivation for me to recommend it or to buy it again.
Long Lovely Locks Coco Light. i actually forgot that i liked this stuff until i opened the bottle just now to refresh my memory, lol. the bottle describes this as an “ultra light hair moisturizing dew,” which is, at the least, very poetic. while this is not a heavy product, the texture is kind of slick and slippery, which i didn’t expect. when i think of dew, i think of a light spritzing of water. water don’t feel like this. lol. also, because of the packaging, maybe, i expected something a little like Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, more lotiony in its texture. i’m not complaining though; i love the slippery feel and property it adds, especially since this is an organic product. usually products that feel like this, in my opinion, are loaded with silicons and parabens. the ingredients in this are simply virgin coconut oil, purified water, glycerine, aloe extract, and a rosemary lavender essential blend. that’s it! how yummy is that?!
i can’t really remember what this did for my hair, but to be honest i think that with everything that i put in it that day, it’s tough to discern the effects of one from another. still, i’m willing to give this one a good review because of the potential i think it has based on its texture (i’m interested to see how this will help in a detangling session) and because i’m excited to give it another try with few other products so i can give it a good evaluation. it smells good, too. can’t go wrong with coconut!
Blended Beauty Kick for Curls. i was excited to try this because i have to spritz my hair with water every morning to reshape my curls and hair after sleeping on it. the water works fine because it kind of reactivates whatever products are already in my hair, so it doesn’t look too ashy, but i always thought it would be cool if there was a little extra something i could add to it to kick it up a notch. tried oil and it didn’t really make a difference since oil and water don’t mix. i tried rose water once and i thought my hair was going to fall out afterward.. it made it soooo dry for some reason. so ive been sated with water. Kick for Curls comes in its own spray bottle, and it looks a little like milk. texture wise, it is thicker than water, kind of like a thin serum. it has a sweet almond smell which i love love love. i sprayed some on my hand and rubbed it in and it made the skin there really soft. extra excite!
i used this in place of my uaual boring old water bottle the morning after i washed and used all of the other Curlarita stuff. it hit my hair and just kind of…. sat there. it looked like a bird had some bad mexican food and took its morning after anger out on my head. the bottle says to spray and scrunch gently, but even then i found it hard to get some absorption going. eventually i got all the little white beads to disappear, but after all the scrunching i had to do to get that to happen, i felt like i had a lot of extra frizz that i otherwise would not have had. because of this, i think, my results weren’t as stellar as they are when i just use water–with water, i just spray a few times, give a squeeze or two with my hands, and then let the water do its thing. this kick for curls stuff requires a lot more work for my hair. i feel like it wouldn’t be so bad for someone with curls looser than mine.
instead of spraying the kick for curls directly from its bottle into my hair, i got the idea to instead add a little bit of the kick for curls to my regular old water bottle in hopes that the water would help carry the kick stuff through and into my hair better. the good news is that when i spray the kick/water mix in my hair, there are no more little white beads and i don’t have to scrunch like crazy to work it in there. and it also makes my hair smell really, really good. the bad news is that other than that, i really don’t know what this does for my hair that regular old water doesn’t do. the bottle also mentions that it can be used for detangling, though; i’ll try that out next. until then, i’ll say that the Kick for Curls didn’t leave a lasting impression other than a yummy scent. i wouldn’t buy it for myself or recommend it to anyone with hair like mine. far more economical to just use water and let that awaken whatever is already in your hair.
overall, would i suggest the Curlarita to other 3C curlies? if you can afford it, yes. not necessarily because there are any must-have products in this kit, but because… why not?! lol it’s fun! it’s always exciting trying out new products, and if you can afford to splurge, by all means, DO IT. there’s nothing in the kit that i hated or thought was going to make my hair fall out. i’ll definitely use them all again since i have them. and finding one or two products that i’d actually buy again myself was the icing on the cake. i had a ball with this stuff, and since i still have more experimenting to do, there’s still more fun to be had 🙂
if u can’t afford it though? there’s no need to sell yourself or your children or steal from the 1st Corinthian Leather Baptist Church’s building fund to get it. truth told, there are likely other products out there (some you can probably find in your own kitchen) that are less expensive that can do what these products do. the trial in that though is finding them.
but if you can afford it, man, go in! they make excellent gifts–i can testify to that! halleluja this evenin!
THE END! we did it! go forth and get your hair together!!
OH WAIT DON’T LEAVE YET!! let’s chit chat first! if anyone has any questions about any of this stuff, or if anyone has used any of these products, i’d LOVE to hear how they worked/didnt work for you. i’d also love to know what you ARE using in your hair and how that’s working for you. got any tips? need some tips? need other suggestions? ask ask ask! share share share!