Posted on: November 1, 2011
Yesterday on Twitter #CurlyHairGirls was trending. There was a buzz around a new Flickr album, “My Jewish Hair.” Keeping with that trend, a post dedicated to my Jewish hair.
The story of going from relaxed hair (chemically straightened) to natural has been documented in this blog before. I think it’s been about 5 years since I’ve put chemicals on my hair (okay, I did get a free dye job a few months back) and I try to use products that are natural, paraben-free, alcohol-free, sulphate-free and all around good for the health of black, natural hair. I’ve been through so many companies and products I could write an entire blog. Luckily, there are dozens of great curly haired blogs on the interwebs, my favorite is Curly Nikki. It gives black women who have natural hair tips on styles, maintenance and photos.
Since there are already a slew of amazing blogs for curlies, just a post from me. For the past week I’ve twisted my hair, and I think I like it. I think.
I decided to give Twisting a go for several reasons.
1-Natural hair products cost a lot of money. I’m a Hair Rules devotee. I send everyone to their salon for their free hair modeling (read free hair cut) and get updates on other hair modeling events in the salon, which is how I got the color. Anyone who asks me about my hair and my routine gets an ear-full about how much I love Hair Rules. It’s an obsession a sick, expensive obsession. I do it because it’s a locally owned business and they really care about their clients. The salon is a swanky place where every texture is celebrated. They understand the science behind curls from kinky natural hair to wavy fine hair. Not only that, the salon is the stylists are incredibly kind, patient, and thorough. When your hair is finished, the owner comes by to check in and assure that you’ve enjoyed your service. It’s amazing. And Expensive. Truth, I’ve never paid for a Hair Rules in-salon visit, I do the modeling. The product, though, is not free-that you have to buy. So for 8oz or 16oz of product I usually throw down about $80-$100 on cream shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, product, and finisher. Spending an extra $100+ a month on hair product when my funds are tight is no longer an option. So I’ve gone back to the drawing board-a hodgepodge of different products my hair seems to agree with.
I’ve settled my hair routine on Miss Jessie’s Cream Shampoo $16.99 for 12 oz and Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shae Butter Restorative Conditioner and Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie both $11 for for 12 oz. I was still spending about $32 on the big jar of Hair Rules Curly Whip which is still a lot of money for hair products. So I decided to try twists to cut some corners on the product spending.
2. When I use Hair Rules for a wash and go style I’m normally okay to walk around with a wet head, even though my hair doesn’t actually dry until the evening on an average day. In late spring, summer and early fall I can work it out, in the late fall and in the dead of winter it’s down right freezing. I don’t have a hooded dryer and I don’t like how my hair turns out when I use a diffuser. Thankfully, Deva Curl has an alternative diffuser that I use in a pinch, but I usually like the way my hair looks when it’s air-dried. In the winter, air drying usually results in frozen hair and a cold head.
On the train women who want to talk hair usually ask me if my hair has been twisted. I’m fortunate to have a really great curl pattern on the back of my head. The front of my head’s curl pattern is more wavy than curly and ends up looking straighter, or like undone twists I’ve discovered. So with the thought of cold, frozen head coupled by mounting hair care costs I decided to take the plunge and twist my hair.
I’ve done it twice now and it seems to be a hit with everyone, but me. I think it will take some getting used to. So my new hair care routine is to wash with Miss Jessie’s, condition with Shea Moisture and use the Curl Enhancing Smoothie to twist and untwist my hair. I have a secret stash of Hair Rules Curly Whipwhen I just don’t want to twist (it is an hour process), but for now, I’m happy with it. I think. I just wish it was bigger, though it has more movement.
For folks who want to know, here’s the products I have tried and my opinions on them based on my texture of hair:
Miss Jessie’s-No way in terms of their curl-enhancing product. It’s too thick for my hair and the scent is way too over-powering. It was the first product I used when I went natural but, I was getting really intense migraines. Their cream shampoos are amazing though, reasonably priced and aren’t overly scented. In a pinch I can scrub my scalp and detangle in one go. It’s sort of like a shampoo and conditioner in one.
Mixed Chicks-Not so much for my hair texture. I bought a tub of their deep conditioner and went through it in under two weeks. I have a lot of hair, it’s really thick but not really kinky. This product and my hair didn’t get a long well.
Deva Curl-Deva Curls Nopoo is my go-to back up. At $20 for 12 oz it’s a bit more expensive than Miss Jessie’s, but’s not scented. Their conditioner is just “okay” for my texture, but not quite thick enough to handle the detangling that needs to get done. None of their curl products work for my hair. I have friends who SWEAR by DevaCurl and the salon here in NYC. Rumor has it, they cut your hair curl-by-curl. My friends who have gone to the salon come out looking Ah-mazing. Mind you, these friends aren’t black so perhaps, for my texture of hair it’s not ideal. If you’re just a curly, go right a head!
Kosher Kurls-Yes, that’s the real name and it’s amazing. I use it as a leave-in conditioner. It’s cheaper than Hair Rules leave-in conditioner and you get more product. I have a curly-haired non-black friend who uses it as her curl product and loves it. I tried it as a product and it didn’t work to define or stretch my curls, as a leave-in though it’s amazing and helps product stretch further.
Shea Moisture-I gotta tell you, I got this product a year ago from Target because it’s all natural, cruelty free and paraben-free. It was also free of instructions on how to use the product. I tossed the Moisture Mist and Conditioning Milk to the back of my product bin and forgot about it. The other day in a “fancy” Duane Reade I saw it and was once again wooed by the low price point. This time, the labels had instructions. New favorite conditioner. $11 for 12 oz.
Hair Rules-Hair Rules are my hands-down absolute favorite product ON THE PLANET. If I had endless amounts of money I’d get my hair done there every month and only use their products. But, they’re products are some of the most expensive on the market. Not for no reason. They’re natural-based, cruelty-free and the salon is top notch. They offer hair modeling, demos and skype classes all of the time. Plus, they give in-store tutorials on how to care for your hair and have had classes for parents with racially and ethnically diverse children. I mean, how awesome is that? Their products are like heaven in a bottle. When I use them my hair is the softest out of any product I’ve tried. Last time I was in the salon the receptionist gave me a tip to add water to the bottle when I can’t get any more product out. It stretched the product for another two washes. Alas, it’s too expensive and for now at least I’m just using their Curly Whip when I wash and go.
All of the products I’ve listed are products that I have tried. I would recommend all of them if you are a curly-haired girl. From white girls with wavy hair to black girls with coarser curls I think all of the products are great. It really is a matter of testing them out and finding what works best for your texture. An expensive experiment, but a lot of them have samples you can get if you just ask.
Curly Haired Girls of the World UNITE! Say NO to the straigheners!
No salon, organization, or person has paid me to write about their products. These are my observations after five years of experimenting with hundreds of dollars of hair product. If you want to send me FREE products go right ahead