Curly Nikki's 2012 Favorite Products for Natural Hair

Curly Nikki's 2012 Favorite Products for Natural Hair
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 27, 2012

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Ingredients: A vegetable oil derived from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant.

Description: Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil is processed the traditional way. Our Organic seeds are roasted and ground by a manual Grinder and then the crushed beans are boiled to extract the 100% pure, dark brown, organic oil. It is the darkest Jamaican Black Castor Oil because we roast our beans longer which produces more Ash Content in our oil than any other oil on the market. More ash content increases the effectiveness of the oil. Therefore the Sunny Isle brand will strengthen and increase the length of your hair faster than any other brands on the market today.

My thoughts: Just when I thought I couldn’t love castor oil anymore, Sunny Isle gifted me a bottle of their Black Castor oil. It’s rich and dreamy! I cut it with Argan Oil and I’m honestly dreading the day my supply runs dry. It’s good stuff for sealing as well as for warm oil treatments. When I’m bunning, I run it through my length and apply to my edges and sometimes even rub some into my scalp (put it in a color applicator bottle and go to town!). I’m super impressed and I will most certainly purchase in the future. For those of you looking for a product to act like a serum (the silicone laden ones), this oil is for you boo!

$10.99, available at Naturally Curly.

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Ingredients:Water (Aqua), C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Acetamide MEA, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Glycol Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-10, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-23 M, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Olea Europea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oill, Milk Protein, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sacha Inchi) Seed Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Diazolidnyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Salt, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde, d-Limonene.

Description:Infused with moisturizers and hair healthy natural ingredients, its rich, luxurious lather thoroughly cleanses hair and scalp without stripping it of natural oils.

My thoughts: One of the best ‘moisturizing’ shampoos I’ve used in a while. It does what many other similar products DON’T… actually cleans your hair. My scalp is cleared of the gunk and yet my strands don’t get that dry hay feeling. The moisturizing properties also help begin the detangling process. This product was gifted from Soft’n Free and I’d probably purchase due to the $5 price tag!

$5, available at Sof’n Free.

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Ingredients:Distilled Water; Vegetable Glycerin; Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol; Soy Butter; Ucuuba Butter; Soy Wax; Olive Oil Infused With Amla, Bhringraj, Burdock, Comfrey, Horsetail, Kelp, Neem, Stinging Nettle, & Yucca; Jojoba Esters; Castor Oil; Organic Unrefined Shea Butter; Fractionated Coconut Oil; Beeswax; Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (Paraben & Formeldahyde-Free Preservative); HE-Cellulose; Polyquaternium-10; Organic Aloe Vera; Vitamin E; Essential Oils of Black Pepper, Clove, Rose, Rosewood, Vanilla (3% Dilution), & Ylang Ylang.

Description: A rich styling butter that delivers moisture, shine and definition.

My thoughts: Okay, this one is worth a try if you’re looking for a soft hold product for your (wet or dry) twists, braids or even wash and gos. It gave me some pretty amazing hair in Los Angeles— shiny, moisturized, soft and defined. This too was gifted and while I liked it for my dry twist-outs (especially days 1 and 2), it built up on me after a few days (to be expected) and I probably wouldn’t purchase. I haven’t used it on wet hair (as it is intended) but I’ve heard nothing but good things. Try it and report back!

$18, available at Curl Mart.

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Ingredients:Jojoba Oil; Jojoba Esters; Mango Butter; Tucuma Butter; Beeswax; Stearic Acid; Vitamin E; Essential Oils of Bergaptene-Free Bergamot, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Lavender, Tangerine & Vanilla (3% Dilution).

Description: Hair Bling is a blend of oils, butters and waxes that delivers high shine along with amazing softness and subtle hold.

My thoughts: Shine? Come on with it! Softness? All day. Subtle hold? Ehhh… It’s a great product to add some sheen to your situation, but it did nothing for holding or defining my dry twist-outs. In fact, Jane Carter’s Nourish and Shine has more hold and it doesn’t have much of any. This would make for a great sealant and while I wouldn’t purchase it (it was gifted), I will gladly use the rest of my tin with a smile.

$18, available at Curl Mart.

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Ingredients:Purified Water, Cetyl Alcohol (derived from coconut) Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Certified Organic Coconut Oil, Panthenol, Certified Organic Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Certified Organic Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Certified Organic Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Certified Organic Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Methylheptyl Isostearate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Benxophenone-4, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Caramel

Description:Looking for a conditioner that provides MAXIMUM moisture and softness for your dry curly tresses? Look no further. Coconut Sublime Conditioner is guaranteed to soften the kinkiest curl, moisturize the driest lock, and detangle the most unruly tresses. Great for all curly hair textures especially dry, damaged, and chemically treated kinky, medium or coarse curly hair.

My thoughts: Another great product from CURLS. It’s super slippery, moisturizing and rinses clean. I use it as an instant conditioner prior to applying a leave-in and my hair is still detangled and soft when I begin the styling process. It smells divine too! It was gifted from CURLS and I’d definitely purchase.

$16, available at Curl Mart.

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Ingredients: aqua (water), cyclomethicone, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, dimethicone, hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed wheat protein, dimethiconol, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, disodium edta, imdazolidinyl urea, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, tetrasodium edta, parfum/fragrance

Description: Davines Natural Tech Well Being De Stress Be-Phase Shelter spray is a unique product that conditions and protects both the skin and the hair. Shaking the bottle well before use mixes the two separate parts of the product for ultimate effectiveness. The wheat proteins incorporated into this sheltering spray provide intensive hydration and conditioning effects, while dimethicone and UV filters work against damage by protecting from the sun, chlorine, salt water and pollution. Using this product regularly can also help to prevent new split ends and breakage.

My thoughts: I was introduced to this product by Marie of Shi Salon in STL. This was the only product that she used on my damp hair prior to blow drying and flat ironing and it left my hair feeling like silk. There was no residue… almost as if my hair was product-less. It remained soft and moisturized for a week. Needless to say, I bought myself a bottle and have since purchased another bottle via Amazon. It may not be heavy enough as your solo leave-in, but would make for a good primer before your heavier leave-in products. It’s full of silicones, so if you’re on the Curly Girl diet, steer clear. Two thumbs up all the way over here :) I even apply it to my dry ends throughout the week.

$23, available at Amazon.

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Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behenyl Alcohol, Centrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Methicone, Buxus Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Oil), Lauryl Alcohol, Panthenol, Silybum Marianum (Silybum Marianum Seed Oil), Amodimethicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Rhizobian Gum, Tocopherol, Benzophenone-4, Ethylene/ Propylene/ Styrene Copolymer, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxylethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Citric Acid, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 15985 (Yellow 6), CI 16035 (Red 40), Parfum (Fragrance)

Description: Davines MOMO Moisturizing Revitalizing Creme Conditioner from Italy adds incredible moisture to the hair. Thanks to the exceptional moisturizing power of its components, MOMO Moisture Revitalizing Creme Conditioner is for dry and dehydrated hair. It works in response to the specific needs of moisturizing the hair.

My thoughts: Hands down, this is the best deep conditioner I’ve tried in a long time. It truly rivals my other favs (Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment and Curl Junkie Moisture Rehab), providing slip for detangling and tons of moisture. It leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth (not coated) upon rinsing. This is another product Marie introduced me to and I purchased it from her (expensive!) and will most certainly buy it again. The fragrance is light, herbal and pleasant.

$24, available at

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Ingredients: water, polysorbate 20, glycerin, sucrose, PEG-60 almond glycerides, polymide-1, PEG-17 dimethicone, fragrance, phenoxyethanol, cocamidopropyl betaine, caprylyl glycol, PVP, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, citric acid, disodium EDTA, sodium chloride, sodium lauroyl lactylate, methylisothiazolinone, sobic acid, citral, limonene

Description: Start your style with this sweet treat! Bed Head Candy Fixations Totally Baked is a super light, creamy formula that provides shape retention to add to the life of a hairstyle. This humidity resistant meringue provides a light hold, giving you weightless motion. Bed Head Candy Fixations Totally Baked gives you a long lasting boost, style and texture.

My thoughts: Y’all know I’ll try damn near anything that touts ‘volumizing’ on the label. And while it performs very well as a styler, sadly, I can’t say that it made my hair look any thicker. The hold is light and flexible and it (somewhat) withstood the Florida humidity. I’ll be shelving it soon because my hair doesn’t do so well with glycerin in the summer (highly porous and it needs no help absorbing more atmospheric moisture). The ingredient list is atrocious but I was pretty impressed with the results. This was gifted from TIGI, and I’d probably repurchase come Fall.

$16, available at Amazon.

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Ingredients:cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, dimethicone, isopropyl palmitate, dimethicone copolymer, fragrance, water, oryza satvia (rice) bran oil, polysilicone-15, propylene glycol, bambusa vulgaris extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract, hydrolyzed keratin, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, sorbic acid, butylparaben, ethylparaben, potassium sorbate, isobutylparaben, propylparaben

Description: This sweet treat candy coats each strand to fight humidity, add shine, and help speed up drying time. Delicious Crème Brule scent. TIGI Bed Head Candy Fixations Glaze Haze Benefits: Smooths flyaways. Adds luminous shine. Speeds up blow-dry time. Helps resist humidity for up to 12 hours.

My thoughts: If you’ve tried one silicone serum, you’ve tried them all. Seriously. But I really like that this one isn’t greasy. It has a thicker consistency and actually did pretty well in the Florida humidity earlier this month. I was gifted this product from TIGI and would definitely purchase.

$17, available at Amazon.


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