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!):
I originally set out to do this list in 2 parts. I started in January, and it is now April and I had yet to get to part 2. That's because I was trying new products :) I've finally tried a slew of new products, revisited some oldies, and drawn a few conclusions about what will make my hair the happiest in 2014. Oddly enough, some of the products from the first draft of this article didn't make it. Enjoy!
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. More in my review coming soon! P.S. -- if you decide to purchase, go for the salon size bottle. #thankmelater #giveawaycomingsoon
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! I never start my wash day without it. 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!
Aussie Moist was a longtime staple for me as a transitioner, but I got enticed by other conditioners and gradually went astray. But in 2014, me and the big purple bottle are kicking it tough. Aussie Moist has been responsible for amazing detangling, cheap cowashing, and the easiest wash day ever. And for under $6, you really can't go wrong. [July Update: I have realized that I have a on again and off again relationship with Aussie Moist. All goes well for a few months, then it seems like one day my hair just hates it. Right now, we're in the "hate" phase. Aussie Moist currently on IR... let's see what this Matrix Total Results Curl Conditioner is about though...]
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
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!
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!
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
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. I've got 4 unopened bottles in my stash, and one half used bottle -- and I'm contemplating grabbing at least 2 more. Yes, it's that good. 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 Ulta has it for free (in the promotion I mentioned above) until they run out. Good thing I need more of a few products on my list from there, so I can stock up on free bottles of this until the wheels fall off! Read my full review here.
Camille Rose Natuarls Fresh Curl
Yes, Camille Rose Naturals took TWO spots in this category. Curl Love Moisture Milk makes one helluva moisturizer, and Fresh Curl is all that -- and more! It's a great, lightweight and ultra moisturizing leave-in, detangler, and refresher. A few pumps and your hair is infused with shine, moisture, sleekness, and softness. It's perfect for transitioners and naturals alike. Review coming soon!
TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier
Expensive. Janky ingredients. Not even checking for natural haired ladies. Stingy with the amount of product. All of these things accurately describe TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier to a tee. Yet, the product is a must-have. Why on earth would something that's $18 for 5.07 be deserving of a 4.5 star rating and a spot on the must-haves list? Two words: IT WORKS. As much as I want to be a cheapskate, the proof is in the pump. Still not convinced? Check the review.
As I Am Curling Jelly
Rising quickly in the ranks is this super gooey gel. I've only used it twice, but the results are promising. If time number 3 is the charm, I will definitely let this gel usurp Curls Rock Amplifier. Better ingredients, WAY better value, just waiting to declare WAY better results. Stay tuned for a video review! The new formula Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker might be making a debut in this category as well!
tgin Twist & Define Cream
When I was first introduced to Twist & Define, I wasn't quite sure how to handle it. Should I use it for a braidout? Or as a moisturizer? One morning when I was short on time, I grabbed the jar after washing and ran it through my hair. What I discovered? A kick-ass curl definer for my wash and go's. Curls Rock Amplifier is my #1 but make no mistakes, Twist & Define is #2. No, not even. It's #1.5.
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!
Finally, the list is done! What products will you be trying this year? Check back often for updates :)