Welcome to Black Girl Approved, where ESSENCE staffers share what’s new and tried-and-true in style & beauty.

Having started my natural hair journey in 2014, I’ve spent countless hours diving into natural haircare. My six-year education in pursuit of products that will give me the perfectly finished natural curl is worthy of a PhD .

After much time and money spent researching products that promise definition, shine, anti-frizz, and popping coils, I often became baffled by different outcomes after using the same products. And then, eureka! I recognized my hair journey didn’t start with the final look when I walked out the door, joined a Zoom or starred on Instagram. It began with the shampoo.

Is my hair really clean? Will it damage my color? Is it nourishing or drying? Will it compliment my other products? A few questions I learned to ask myself as I navigated the expanding shelves and online stores. All shampoos are not alike. And, it’s not necessarily that one is bad or good. It’s user preference.  


For me, the road led to the world of “no poo” cleansers. Admittedly, unlearning the need for a lathering shampoo as a hair cleanser was challenging. But, the moment my stylist washed my precious curls with DevaCurl’s No Poo Original, I was immediately sold by the fresh scent of peppermint and how amazing it felt on my scalp. It checked all the boxes and became a permanent staple for my hair regimen.

My home experience was no less rewarding. The slip made washing effortless, a feeling I previously reserved for the conditioner. And I truly believe it allows my hair and scalp to produce my natural oils that help prevent hair dryness that is normally amplified by the use of styling products and coloring.

Now, me and my natural curls are more than ready for my Zoom close-up.

About Carmen Jones (@mscarmenj): When she’s not producing high-level events for ESSENCE as an Experiential Director, she loves pampering the passionate beauty girl within from makeup to hair care, and everything in between.