When it comes to hair products, I'm like an unfaithful lover with a wandering eye. I stick closely to what I know and love, but I have a seemingly insatiable desire to see what's out there. My staples make me feel at home, but I love the thrill of the new product chase. But in 2014, I've decided that it might be time to settle down a little. I'm not hanging up my PJ hat just yet -- more like narrowing down the pool of product suitors. I have a lot of products -- some I love and can't live without, some I feel really good about and there's a high probability that I'll repurchase, some I like but won't repurchase, and some I can't quite seem to work into my regime. Time to let the last two go. I guess you can call this a spring cleaning of sorts. I'm going to narrow my supply down to those products which I absolutely love, and those I like enough to buy again. Now, this does not mean I will stop buying products. I will always, always, always try something new. But in order to do so, I need to make some room. So, here is part 1 products that I'll be holding near and dear to my heart for 2014 (please note that this list is subject to change and grow...the PJ struggle is real!):
note: ++ means Curly Girl Friendly!
Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake & Go
Back when I started this list in January, Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip occupied the coveted spot of Christina's Detangler of 2014. Shake & Go has effectively ousted Soultanicals! I'm in the process of doing my full Lawrence Ray Concepts line review, but let me tell you....this stuff is AMAZING!!!! I posted on Instagram a while back, timing how long it took to detangle a section of my hair with just Shake & Go. 51 seconds. Need I say more? I don't but I will. It's a great detangler, refresher, leave-in, and moisturizer. Click here for my full review! P.S. -- if you decide to purchase, go for the salon size bottle. #thankmelater
Infusium 23 Pro-Vitamin B5 (Repair & Renew) Leave-In Treatment
If Shake & Go is out of your budget, this product works just as well. It comes in a 33.8oz bottle for $9 or less, depending upon which place you purchase it from. It's a great detangler, leave-in, and refresher. If you need to restore hydration to your hair, this is definitely a great starting point!Click here to read my full review!
Shampoos & Cleansers
tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo
Always and foreverrrrrrrr, each moment with you, is just like a dream to me, that somehow came true.... Okay, maybe I shouldn't sing Luther Vandross songs about a product, but tgin's shampoo is one of those products that had me wondering, where have you been all my life? Click here to see why I gush endlessly about this shampoo, and the rest of the line.
Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Cleansing CoWash++
Every once in a while, a cowash comes along and shows you why it never worked out with any other cowash. Everything I ever wanted from a super gentle cleanser in a jar. Seriously. Tons of slip, tons of moisture, without sacrificing cleaning power. Under $10 for 16oz? Buyer. For. Life. Full review here!
Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner++
No, you're not trippin'. This spot used to be reserved for Aussie Moist. But as we enter the final months of the year, I have become acquainted with the greatness that is Tresemme Naturals. I want to find somebody to be mad at -- like why didn't ya'll tell me about this sooner? I always passed the Tresemme Naturals up because one, I never had a problem with silicones, and two, the bottle was always missing some significant ounces compared to the regular Tresemme conditioners. Call me cheap, if you will. But ever since kicking off the Max Hydration Method, this conditioner has been my BFF. I use it to cowash with or without baking soda, as a post-clay conditioner, and sometimes (most of the time) as a leave-in. And it's still under $6!
tgin Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner
Although this is considered a regular conditioner, the buttery goodness it brings has me classify it as a DC. Simply put, I love everything about it. Click here to read my full review.
Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask
I stumbled upon this DC almost by accident, and I'm ever so glad I did. It is the TRUTH. La verdad. Ni kweli. I'd look for other languages to say it in, but I have other things I need to Google instead. This deep conditioner will seriously make you wonder where it has been all your life. Don't quite believe me? Click here to read my review.
Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Hair Masque
AND Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner++
Honestly, I don't know which one I like more. By default, my frugality suggests I like the Jojoba Monoi...because it comes in a big ol' jar for the same size of 3-4 of those little packets. I love how thick, creamy, moisturizing, softening, shine-enhancing, and strengthening it is. But the Coconut Shea Masque is like love....in packet form. This super thick and creamy deep treatment will restore strength, shine, softness, and smoothness to your hair almost instantly. The only thing I hate is that it's not in a jar yet. Read my full review here! So for now, It's an even draw. I use them both. Gah.
Jamila BAQ Henna + Purgasm Shop Wild Cherry Treatment Hair Truffles++
I listed these as a duo, because I will never use one apart from the other. The Purgasm Shop truffles completely and utterly revolutionized my henna experience. I use henna primarily to treat my psoriasis, but I love the additional strengthening, thickening, reddening, and shining benefits. Click here to read all about my henna process.
Ouidad Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner & Styling Primer++
This one is a newbie for me, but it soared to the top of my must-have list. You know how sometimes, you just have a feeling about a product? That's what happened with this one. As soon as I opened the top and saw a a whipped cream-esque dispenser, I knew I was in for something great. This super thick and dense conditioner slays frizz, and packs a moisturizing punch. Full review coming soon! Update: I'm now lightweight hooked on Ouidad's Moisture Lock Leave-In as well. It *might* make the list before the end of the year!
Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Leave-In Conditioner++
Yes, Eden BodyWorks has infiltrated nearly every area of my regimen. You can't be mad at great products! The leave-in has a creamy, thick, serum-like texture that I haven't really seen before in a leave-in. It's not quite as thick as a regular conditioner, but isn't as watery as most. Great slip, tons of moisture, and works well under any number of products. You guessed it -- review coming soon!
ApHogee Curlific Leave-In Conditioner
Originally, I left this one off the list. Then, I realized how enamored I was with it and decided to tack it on. It's a great leave-in with phenomenal ingredients. Definitely a cost-effective alternative to the Ouidad option. Check out my full review here.
Moisturizers & Refreshers
Soultanicals Fluffalicious Curl Nutricious++
I started rocking with Fluffalicious in my transitioning period, and loved the lightweight moisture that it packed, stellar ingredients, and yummy fragrance. I hadn't ordered any in a while since I last ran out (sometimes, Soultanicals' shipping time frames worked my last nerve to be honest), but I took advantage of the Labor Day sale and stocked up on the big 16oz jar. Well worth every penny. Now, to make it last until Black Friday.... Review here!
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk++
I think the folks at Camille Rose might want to rename this one Curl Obsession Moisture Milk. Because once you put it on your hair, you'll become obsessed with it. I absolutely love it. It's a super thick (like, getting it out of the bottle might be a workout) creamy lotion that provides intense hydration and moisture for days. For more information, read my review of the Curl Love Moisture Milk here.
It's a 10 Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin
I got this for free with my $20 purchase at Ulta last month. I didn't think I'd use it or need it, much less love it. But I do! It's a good leave-in, but it makes an even better refresher product. Seriously. It transforms dry and parched hair to super soft, moisturized, and bouncy in just a few spritzes. I seriously keep a bottle of this stuff in my purse or gym bag at all times. It's a tad on the expensive side if purchased outright, but the bottles I do have, I got as a part of a free promotion at Ulta! Read my full review here.
TreLuxe Curl Supreme Styling Cream++
The new kid on the blog is definitely holding it down! I love Curl Supreme Styling cream -- not only does it provide super hydration, it also helps nourish the hair, strengthen it, and provides a light defining hold. It has tons of slip and works through the hair like a dream while fighting frizz and making your hair super soft. Check out my full review here!
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker (New Formula)++
This top spot was formerly occupied by the highway robbery in a tube known as TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier. In recent months, I've given that product the boot from my stash. The last few times I tried to use it, it just wasn't vibing with my hair. I'm no fool, so I returned my unused containers and kept it moving. The top spot was left wide open until Camille Rose dropped that "we fixed the formula" bomb. And I must say, fix it they did. I could never really get the old Curl Maker to work for me, so when the new formula came along and delivered CONSISTENTLY, I knew it would be love. Love it has been, and love it shall remain. Check out my video review and comparison with the old formula here!
Aunt Jackie's Don't Shrink Flaxseed Gel++
I purchased this product with all the skepticism in the world, I really did. I bought it pretty much knowing that it would be okay at best. I'm not above admitting when I'm wrong -- and boy, am I WRONG! So wrong that I shocked myself with how wrong I was. Aunt Jackie brought the realness with this product, and even though it isn't as flaxseedy as they'd like you to believe, it delivers -- well. And at under $10 for 15oz, I definitely have to keep this in the stash. Read my full review here!
Obia Natural Hair Curl Enhancing Custard++
Another product I enjoyed as a transitioner, and love even more now that I'm completely natural. Obia's Curl Enhancing Custard is one of those no-fail products that delivers no matter what you do with it. From wash and go's to a satin strip braidout, shine, definition, and softness is always the end result. I've got one jar that I'm trying to make last until Black Friday.... Review here!
Oils & Butters
Kyra Shea Medley's Original & Rejuvenation Butter Creams++
Although I'm not much of a butterer, I do like to treat my hair to a little luxe softness occasionally. The rich vanilla-infused Original Butter Cream fits the bill, and is heaven in a jar. The Rejuvenation Butter Cream is my hands down, #1 go-to edges defender. Are your edges in good hands? If not, put them in Kyra's!
Deepthi Organics Oils++
Yes, I just hopped on the argan oil bandwagon. But honestly, aside from coconut oil, this multi-purpose hair and skin oil is doing both serious justice. And the Shine & Control Hair Oil is really blowing my garnier silicone-laden serums out of the water. Check out my gush-fest review here!
I love a good pre-poo and scalp massage. Darshana's Ayurvedic blend of herbal extracts and oils is guaranteed to leave your hair soft, shiny, and ready to conquer the world! I might be exaggerating a little on that last point, but it is one of the best, if not the best pre-poo oil I've tried. It also makes a great scalp massage oil, and sealant to help prevent split ends and dryness.
Virgin, unrefined coconut oil is my ride-or-die. It's a super clutch staple that I use for virtually everything -- in henna mixes, to seal my wash and go's, and even on my dry skin. I typically purchase mine from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (the 365 brand) from the cooking oil aisle, those are the cheapest :)
Finally, the list is done! What products will you be trying this year? Check back often for updates, so you can start getting ready for Black Friday!