This article was originally published on XO VAIN.
If you've been reading xoVain for as long as I've been writing here, you are familiar with my love for brands like Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, and Mielle Organics as I've written about them multiple times. When I started thinking about doing this regular feature on black-owned beauty brands, I knew I was going to have to branch out and try some new (to me) hair care brands as well.
Despite my hesitation, I am glad I tried Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, as it's led me to add some new favorites to my hair product lineup.
Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) was one of the first women to become a self-made millionaire by selling hair care products for African-American hair in the late 1800s early 1900s. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur she was also a philanthropist and passionate civil rights activist.
In early March of this year Sundial Brands (also home to Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage) relaunched the brand exclusively at Sephora. The brand has four collections with various products to meet individual needs and they were kind enough to send me the Frizz fighting collection (minus the Humidity Block Curl Gel).
I liked everything that I tried but there were a few products that I really LOVED. Here's a breakdown of what I was sent:
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What I liked about this shampoo is that it properly cleansed any build-up I had on my scalp from styling products and made my hair feel clean without being brittle and dry. It does include Coconut, Moringa, and Grapeseed Oils in addition to Shea Butter so it's definitely more moisturizing than most shampoos.
The only thing that kept it of my "great" list is that it is a bit pricey for a shampoo in my opinion ($24). I don't use shampoo that often (once every week to two weeks) so the cost offsets a bit but I've found shampoo that I like for less.
When I first poured this conditioner into my hand I didn't think it was going to work for me because the consistency was not as thick as I'm used to. It's formulated with the same oils as the shampoo, so even though it had a thinner consistency, it still made my hair feel super soft after I rinsed it. I think it definitely does the job well but I still like a thicker conditioner.
I typically use coconut oil straight out of the jar to add a little extra moisture when my hair is feeling crispy or to hydrate my hair before I shampoo. Again price is a factor in this not making my great list because it's also $26 and it is just fragranced coconut oil — literally. It's coconut oil blended with scented essential oils. That said it does smell really freaking incredible. I put a little in my hair one day and got a ton of compliments so take that as you will.
My version of curl refresher spray is usually just some conditioner mixed with water in a spray bottle, tbh. I have tried store-bought refresher sprays before but was never any more impressed with them than my own concoction.
This refresher mist is the first one that I've tried that I really love. I wrap my hair up in a silky scarf every night before I go to sleep and then in the morning when I wake up I'll spray a refreshing mist on my hair and shake my curls loose. With other sprays (including my own) I usually have quite a bit of frizz still and some of my curls don't quite bounce back to their normal shape. This spray seemed to give me a smoother result and more defined second-day curls.
I love a good styling cream/milk but I typically have issues finding one that isn't too heavy for my fine curls. I've found some that have worked well, but this is my new favorite as it gives my curls beautiful definition without making it feel greasy or weighed down. Add to that the fact that it smells amazing (a bit like cake frosting) and I am one happy camper.
Serums don't usually work too well for me because my hair soaks them up as if they never even existed; it's a magical disappearing act. This serum is thicker in consistency than others I've tried and it actually lasts on my hair, controlling frizz without feeling oily. I've taken to mixing a pump of this in with the curl defining milk and the combination makes my hair feel so soft!
I've been using these products now for over a month and I definitely have noticed that my hair has been feeling a lot healthier. After all the lightening I did to prep for purple this summer, my hair was feeling pretty dry. My stylist even complimented the softness of my hair when I got my last cut (which is pretty much the highest compliment)!