CurlKit Review

My November 2012 CurlKit

Last month, I was lucky enough to be gifted a November CurlKit for review with Black Girl with Long Hair. Before I go into specifics, here are a few of my perceived pros and cons for natural hair subscription services:

1. Full sized products. Many times, the combined retail cost of the full-sized products exceeds the cost of the monthly subscription.
2. Accessibility and exposure to products that aren't as widely distributed as others.
3. Coupons for future purchases.
4. Sometimes, you get that product you've heard others rave about but just didn't feel like going out and looking for/purchasing.

1. What do you do with the products you hate/won't use because of a particular ingredient? Shady re-gifting, maybe. Hey girl, I got you some SuperFly XYZ Cream! Oh wow! Why didn't you want it? Well, uh.... Yeah.
2. Inherent product junkie-ism. As a recovering (and boy... is that recovery slow) product junkie, getting a bunch of different stuff would send me into a frenzy. As it stands, I'm already plotting and scheming on how to get 2 or 3 of these CurlKit products into my already-full repertoire.
3. Sometimes, the products don't have ingredient lists. I find that sus, even for the purest of products.

As you can see, the jury is out. You decide whether a CurlKit is for you!

Now on to the actual review.

Aesthetically, the CurlKit is cute. I won't go into specifics here -- I've seen some bloggers go into details about packaging -- about the aura, vibe, countours, design palate, and beyond. Quite frankly, I don't care that much. The box is charcoal, with a hot pink logo. Cute. One of my favorite color combinations, honestly. Only thing I'd change is make the CurlKit logo a bit larger. It's on the tiny side.

CurlKit is $20 a month, and judging by the contents well worth it. There were two full-sized products (U R Curly Quinoa Conditioner and As I Am Smoothing Gel), coupons, several sample sizes, information about a few products, and the Curl Life Publication. As far as the publications and fliers are concerned, it was nice to get some supplemental information on U R Curly and Alikay Naturals. It also just so happens that those were two of my favorite products, and I intend on rotating them into my staples! CurlLife magazine was also a nice add-in, although I can recall reading some of the articles on Black Girl with Long Hair and other websites. Since the publication is monthly and the interwebs are teeming with natural hair information, it's easy for print articles to become dated. I'd love to see more blogger features, and spotlights on up-and-coming product lines. But enough about that stuff. Here's a rundown of what products were in the box:
  • Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner (sample size)
  • Amazing Botanicals Pumpkin Pomade (sample size)
  • As I Am Smoothing Gel (full size)
  • U R Curly Quinoa Conditioner (full size)
  • Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries
  • Annie Wide-Tooth Comb
  • Ampro Olive Oil Styling Gel (sample size)
  •  Lustrasilk Moisture Max Oil Moisturizing Lotion (sample size)
  • 4 Afro Stretch Cream (sample size)
Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner
Talk about love at first jar open. Is that even a thing? Anyway, I fell in love with the smell. As I read more about the all-naturall ingredients in the pamphlet and online, I got excited about trying the product in my hair. The visible bits of sage were off-putting at first, because I flashed back to cheap henna treatments (I'm looking at you, Light Mountain) and feared they'd become stuck in my hair. However, after a deep conditioning treatment, my hair felt majestically silky smooth, smelled great, and the sage was long gone. I would have loved to get this in the CurlKit at full size -- the 2oz jar was barely enough for my hair. Overall, the product is phenomenal and Alikay Naturals has a new customer in me!
Amazing Botanicals Pumpkin Pomade
Another up-and-coming natural product line that I have become a fan of. I used the pomade to slick down my edges for buns, seal my ends, and while I rocked flat-roned hair. It wasn't a super slicking pomade, but it had a nice scent and made my hair soft and moisturized. It's not at all thick, and melts quite easily. It's great for sealing in moisture and very light holding.

As I Am Smoothing Gel
Can we say love? I've been eyeballing this line at Sally's for a while, and I was excited to get this product in my CurlKit. As far as hold and definition, this stuff rivals my flaxseed gel. As a matter of fact, I haven't made any more flaxseed gel since. This stuff is my daily slicking agent, providing amazing hold without crunch or dryness. What more could you ask for in a gel?
U R Curly Quinoa Conditioner
Love. Love. Love. Love. Lovelovelovelovelovelove. I don't know what more I can say about this stuff. I was a little on the fence at first, because I've never seen or heard of a product with quinoa protein or Abyssinian oil. On top of that, it contains Vicks Vapo Rub menthol. But it came together nicely when it was time to co-wash and condition. My hair was soft, slick, detangled, and everything the bottle said it would be. Turns out, the menthol made for an amazing cooling sensation on my scalp that lasted for about twenty or so minutes after I had rinsed all the conditioner out. Even more amazing, my hair felt easier to handle and less tangle-prone. Definitely on the hunt for this product in LA (so far, according to their website it's at Wal-Mart in Long Beach).

Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries
I wanted to love Juices & Berries. I really did. I've heard so much great stuff about Oyin Handmade that I figured this product would be a slam-dunk. Unfortunately, it wasn't. The smell was pheeee-nomenal. If there was a such thing as hair perfume, this would be a slam dunk. However, Juices & Berries lost me with the sticky/tacky feeling it left on my hair. I tried light spritzes, diluted spritzes, and nothing worked. My hair smelled great, but the sticky buildup feeling had me putting this spray bottle back in the CurlKit.

Annie Wide Tooth Comb
I really liked the idea of including non-product goodies in the CurlKit. However, what I didn't need was a wide-tooth comb. I have a great one already, but I rarely use it anyway -- I mostly finger detangle. But to be fair, I tried it anyway. The Annie comb seemed to pull a lot of my hair out, and after hearing some alarming breakage-esque sound, I stopped. I think the hair tool idea is great -- I look forward to seeing what CurlKit will roll out in the future. A satin pillowcase, maybe? Or satin scrunchie? A cute patterned scarf or hair accessory?

Ampro Olive Oil Styling Gel
The Ampro/Prostyl was very 'meh'. It reminded me a lot of Eco Styler -- no alcohol, but still hardened my hair. Besides, I am always wary of products with artificial colors. Just because it contains olive oil (10th on the list of ingredients, by the way), it doesn't need to be green...but that's just me.

Lustrasilk Moisture Max Oil Moisturizing Lotion
I honestly did not use this product, because it contains mineral oil and petroleum in the top ingredients. Personally, that is a no-no for my hair, and for many naturals. For those unopposed to the ingredients, I would love to know how this worked out.

4 Afro Stretch Cream
Here's another one I didn't use. I'm not a fan of hair typing to begin with, but typing transitioning hair is even more problematic. It is hard to determine how natural hair will behave when half of it is damaged. On top of that, products for "type 4" hair tend to be heavier, and with this being a stretching cream, there was the potential for thin, stringy disaster on my heat damaged hair. So, I opted out. Has anyone tried this product before?

Overall, I really enjoyed my CurlKit experience. Besides my favorites (UR Curly, Alikay, Amazing Botanicals, and As I Am), I really loved exploring products and brands I wasn't familiar with. Even more than that, I loved expanding my product rotation to include some of these awesome finds.

Are you a CurlKit subscriber? How do you like your Kit each month?