Product Review: Nene's Secret C.C. Curly & Cute Curl Creme

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Between Friday of last week and this past Monday, I've been on a serious product junkie binge....and it needs to stop. For now, the one way I'm curbing it is by forcing myself to actually finish product reviews for everything I've purchased -- and I can't buy a single thing else until I purge more goodies from my stash, and I've absolutely reviewed everything I've purchased or been provided.

Pray for me.

Anywho, on Friday of last week, I had a typical product junkie emergency -- I had a $5-off coupon for Sally's set to expire that day, but I couldn't find a single thing to use it on that I needed. In typical PJ fashion, I couldn't let my coupon expire. Come on, $5! That's at least half-off anything I'd buy! Just as I had resigned to purchasing more butterfly clips and an applicator bottle, I spotted a row of pastel pink boxes -- Nene's Secret. This was definitely new for Sally's, and I found it odd that the products weren't placed in the natural hair section. I first became aware of the brand via Melshary (I think), and I was totally curious about the line. So I took my coupon and put it toward the $8.99 bottle of curl creme, rationalizing that if I hated it, I would have only come out of pocket $4. Do I want my money back? Keep reading to find out!

Ingredient List: Water (Aqua), My Secret Recipe {(Adansonia Digitata) Baobob Extract, (Citrullus Lanatus) Kalahari Melon Seed Extract, (Theobroma Cacao) Cocoa Extract, (Butyrospermum Parkii) Shea Butter Extract, (Macadamia Ternifolia) Macadamia Nut Extract}, Glycerin, (Helianthus Annuus) Sunflower Seed Oil, Polyquaternium-11, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclotestrasiloxane, Dimethiconol, (Simmondsia Chinensis) Jojoba Seed Oil, Quaternium-18, Isopropyl Alcohol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum), FD&C Red#33

Ingredient Analysis:
  • "My Secret Recipe": This blend of extracts is designed to nourish damaged hair, hydrate, rejuvenate, restore, and improve elasticity. Baobab and Kalahari are great for rejuvenation and restoration, cocoa is full of antioxidants, and shea butter and macadamia both help nourish and help prevent brittleness.
  • Glycerin: Generally vegetable based humectant that attracts moisture from the air to the hair, helping to keep it hydrated longer.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil: Pressed oil of the sunflower seed, rich in omegas 6 and 9 which help stimulate growth, improve elasticity, and ciments the cuticle layers to help improve moisture retention and correct porosity issues.
  • Polyquaternium-11: Quaternary amonnium polymer with film forming, antistatic, and fixative properties used to provide hold as well as promote ease of combing, elasticity, and shine.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate: Mild detangling ingredient made from the rapeseed (canola). Known for great detangling without leaving product buildup on hair.
Availability: Nene's Secret products can be found at select Sally's and other beauty supply store chains nationwide. They can also be ordered online at

Affordability: At around $9 for 8 ounces, this curl creme falls within the standard/affordable range for natural hair care products.

Product Claim/Description: My secret recipe creates bouncy, soft, sweet lovely curls. Super shine, super condition, and super moisture. Keep your curls longer and healthier. Perfect for transitioning cuties to soften and hydrate new growth. Ideal styler for brutal winter months and scorching summer days.

Performance/Delivery: Sigh. For me, this product was a classic case of great ingredients, poor performance. I really wanted to like this product. I really did. I turned a blind eye to the Luster's Pink Lotion-esque color scheme, the confusing acronyms, and the obvious fake curly wig on the box, and the name dropping in "My True Story" (why is Jay-Z's name on the side of a hair product box?) -- all because I really believed in the ingredients. I really did. I first used the curl creme to moisturize/refresh my wash and go from this past weekend, applying a little bit to each section. The next morning I woke up with buildup-y flakes all over. I just chalked it up to not meshing with the other products in my hair at the time. The next time, I decided to go clean slate and try the creme on my damp, freshly washed hair per the instructions. That's when things really went downhill. Although incredibly thick, rich, and creamy feeling, my hair did not soak it all in like it typically does moisturizers and defining cremes. It just sat. And tangled my hair. And sat. And made my hair mushy. After applying the curl creme to my entire head (I should have left well enough alone, and stopped after the first section gave me pause), I realized the creme just wasn't going to mesh with my hair. I tried to brush it into a ponytail, and all that did was make things worse. Even though I had just washed my hair, I had to hop back in the shower and wash it all over again -- with shampoo (tgin of course) to make sure I got it all out. Even under the water, it made my hair feel tangled and rough.

Displaying 20140305_000500.jpgAs far as fragrance goes, it is similar to that of Rapunzel's Hair Lotion. It has a floral-esque grapefruit scent that I'm not wild about. I shared the same sentiment about the Rapunzel Hair Lotion, but the major difference is that the Hair Lotion worked amazingly. I'll tolerate a not-so-decent smell if the product delivers. But when it falls flat, an unappealing fragrance is like the nail in the coffin. The consistency is super creamy and rich, which at times made it difficult to squeeze out of the bottle. It is similar in thickness to tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer -- only slightly thinner in composition.

Drawbacks: The curl creme has zero slip whatosever. When it comes to moisturizing and styling products, I expect some slip to help keep my hair detangled and cut down on frizz.

Bonuses: The ingredients in this product are good. Really good. Which makes me that much more sadder that it didn't work out for me.

Bottom Line: For me, the curl creme is a won't-buy again product. As it stands, I've got a little more than half a bottle left which means I've used just enough to not be able to return it. I'll likely pass it along to someone who may have a better experience with it.

Best Practices: Honestly, I've got nothin'. I wasn't able to successfully use it as a refreshing product, or post-wash. If you crack the code on this one, be sure to let me know!

Overall Product Rating: 2 stars. Although it was a complete no-go for me, I can't deny that the product is reasonably priced, the ingredients are great, and the consistency is pretty awesome. Hopefully, after enough feedback from transitioners and naturalistas, Nene's Secret will make some formula adjustments and improve the product.

Have you tried any Nene's Secret products? Do share your experience!


  1. Sorry the product didn't work for you. I too have fallen victim to trying to buy something with my $5 and 15% off at Sally's at the end of the month. Better luck next time.

  2. This product actually took away from my hairs natural texture. It even smells like a relaxer. I am highly disappointed, but I should have know having bought it at a Dollar Tree. :/

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