Luxebeaute's Blog

May 10, 2008

Cute Curls: The Best Hair Products for Curly Girls

Filed under: Tips, Tricks and Advice — luxebeaute @ 9:19 pm
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I happen to be both blessed and cursed with long, coarse, naturally black tight curls… I am not one of those people who take things for granted either; I am fully aware that there are people out there who perm and dye to get what I was born with, and I do truly appreciate and thank both of my Parents for their genetic disposition in which was bequeathed onto me. My Father (who is of Puerto Rican decent ie or in our genetic case African, Spanish and French) gave me my color,curl and uniqueness while my Mother with her silky golden waves (Slovic, German Irish) evened out the hair playing field and  is likely the only reason why I am not sporting a huger than life, kinkier than kink afro right now as I type. Not that there is anything wrong with that but it just does not necessarily suit my style, being that I have a Rapunzel complex and am on the never ending quest for high shine, definition and growing the longest locks I can.

When it comes to hair health and maintenance, I have tried every single product out there for curly hair- I am not exaggerating. From the inexpensive to ridiculously priced and all in between; I have even gone so far as to  research and purchased both unknown and popular products made in countries where women have similar hair issues as I (Spain, Dominican Republic,etc) as well as made my own products.

The Truth about Curl Maintainance: I am not going to go into a huge 101 explanation about curly hair types here as I think most women with curls have already done plenty of  research on what type they may be. But I will say, even the most diligent curl efficianato is not always aware of the many affordable unsung hair saviors that exist. Much like cosmetics, we tend to be under the impression if its pricey it must work. Though this can at times be true in the cosmetic world (when it comes to such saviors as foundations, lotions and the like), it is absolutely not the case with hair care for curls. I know a lot of you out there have been tempted to buy and try a few of those highly advertised pricey products; being that this is the case I will tell you what to try and what to just not bother with to tame your locks.

Best Daily use shampoos and conditioners: In all honesty (and to help be sure my dear readers do not wast $) there are only a handful of products out there in the over $20 range which are worth their high price tag.  Three brands immediately come to mind: Alterna, Pyto, and Diva Curl. The White Truffle ($30 shampoo/$75 Conditioner)  Caviar ($20 shampoo/$50 conditioner) and 10 lines ($40 shampoo/$50 conditioner) are all made by Alterna.  While these are not specifically made for curly hair, they all do an excellent job at deep conditioning leaving even the coarsest hair incredibly soft. The truffle line is made with truffle oil (a major source of vitamin B) and the caviar line is infused with caviar extract and omega 3; Their 10 line on the other hand contains both white truffle oil and caviar extract, as well as cacao extract, Champagne Grape Seed Oil, Bulgarian Evening Primrose, Arabian Frankincense, Moroccan Quillaia Bark, and Amica Flower. The Phyto line is a beloved staple in France, actually an over the counter drugstore brand. Although all of their haircare products are of superb quality, for curlyheads I recommend the shampoos- specifically Phytorum Fortifying and Phytospecific Intense Nutrition shampoo (both $25 each). Phytorum contains rum, egg yolk and lechitin While Phytospecific Intense contains kukui and macadamia oils. These ingredients are stand out for extreme shine and conditioning, and will soften even the coarsest hair. When it comes to great shampoos, DivaCurl also makes excellent shampoos which cater specifically to curly hair; their shampoos are available in a low lathering or non lathering formulations. These formulas not only further condition your hair unlike any shampoo which claims to does, but they do not dry or damage delicate curls and seem to intensify the results of conditioners. While each and every one of these high end hair products are indeed great, there are comparable if not better products out there at a fraction of the cost.

Truth be told, neither of the above lines can hold a candle to the amazing results of the Elucence or salerm brands. Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo ($8) is an extremely gentle low lather cleanser containing peach extract, Irish moss, ginseng and wheat protein and the conditioner ($10) is made of olive oil and coconut. As for the Salerm protein palsam conditioner and shampoo are excellent. I prefer the Elucence and Salerm products to any others out there on the market, hands down.  My runner ups here are Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner by Jessicurl and Baba de Carol Deep Conditioner and hair rinse (all abt $12). Other products that get a thumbs up are Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner ($12.00), One N Age Renewal Conditioner ($5.00) and Silk Elements Luxury Moisturizing Conditioner ($3).

Best Deep Weekly Treatments: #1 winner in the deep conditioner category is Selerm Mascarilla Capilar ($8.00) which contains wheat germ oil; this is my very favorite deep conditioner. Coming in 2nd equally are Jessicurl weekly deep treatment ($12.00) and Borghese Fango Hair & Scalp Mask ($37.00). I recomend purchasing both the Selerm and Jessicurl as they are innexpensive and alternating between the two. Oil treatments are also must in my book for thick curls although I tend to do them 1-2 per month only or as time permits. I prefer flexibility in an oil treatment and baring this in mind my favorite is all incompassing oil is Monoi Tiare Tahiti from Hawaii. These are made from pure coconut oil and can be used on the skin, as a deep oil treatment for hair to be rinsed out, or even as a leave in for vibrant shine and curl definition. Monoi oils are available in Gardenia, Jasmine, Plumeria, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla and Coconut scents. Venetian Blends Essential Oil Treatment is also excellent and will soften even the coarsest of hair and curls; unlike a lot of other oils, it smells great. Queen Helene Jojoba hot oil treatment is also a wonderful revitalizer and strengthener- both the VB and Jojoba oils  cost less than $2 each.

Best Leave in Treatments (Conditioners, Serums, Stylers):  My number 1 choice for leave in conditioner is Lacio Lacio High Shine ($9); it will give unbelievably defined curls and shine when used immediately out of the shower. There is no heavy weight to LL and therefore works well on both fine and coarse hair. If your hair takes well to oils (as mine does) , I highly recommend giving Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade a try ($8.00). Not only does this stuff work miracles at softening, defining and defrizing, it smells unbelievable. This is more suited for thick, damaged or frizz prone or course hair and a little goes a long way- I suggest taking the preferred amount (depending on length) and rubbing into your hands to liquefy before application. If serums are your finishing product of choice, invest in Alfaparf Diamante Cristalli Liquidi Illuminating Serum ($15-$30) or Salerm Silk Touch ($13); both will smooth and soften hair, seal cuticles and produce high shine. For curl definition that is out of this world and suitable for all hair types, do try Rocking Ringlets and Awe Inspiraling Spray both by Jessicurl as well as one of my newer HG hair discoveries, Naturelle Park Ave Medium Twist Curl Creme. Both the Park Ave and Rockin Ringlets may leave you with a tad of “crunch”- no biggie, simply run hands over dry hair and the problem is quickly rectified and your left with soft bouncy curls.

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