As a vegan with a sensitive scalp and high-porosity hair, it is always a challenge to find 100% plant-based products that effectively moisturize my curls and keep them intact. I was interested in trying the Canada-based Carina Organics hair care line, because besides being vegan it is:

  • Synthetic-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • 100% Biodegradable
  • Paraben-free
  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dye-free

It also contains a high percentage of certified organic ingredients. If you are interested in learning more about the company and its products, click here. You can also purchase products from the Carina Organics site for the lowest prices online, and they do offer flat rate shipping.

I tried three products in the line with the light floral Sweet Pea scent: the Deep Treatment Conditioner, the Leave-in, and the Alcohol-free Gel. Because my hair releases moisture easily, particularly in the drier winter and late summer months in California, I skipped the shampoo, which contains glycerin, and the daily conditioner. The ingredients in the conditioners I tried include: coconut oil, pine extract, chamomile flower extract, nettle leaf extract, dandelion leaf extract, clover flower extract, apple cider vinegar, olive fruit oil, and pumpkin seed oil. While I was familiar with most of these ingredients and how they worked in my hair, I was curious about pine extract, or pycnogenol. A quick Google search revealed that it can be used to stimulate the scalp to help it produce heartier hair follicles, which leads to longer, stronger hair shafts.

Deep Treatment Conditioner

carina start

This conditioner has a light fragrance, has good slip, and does a good job of moisturizing the hair without weighing it down. It washes out cleanly without leaving any residue. My hair was left feeling soft and moisturized with the exception of my ends which are particularly dry right now. Even with massaging the product in, I still had some lingering dryness and frizz. To be fair, I am also well overdue for a trim, so I plan to do another deep conditioning treatment with this product after a trip to the salon.

Leave-in Conditioner

While I tend to prefer cream-based leave-ins over the sprays, I was pleasantly surprised at how moisturized this leave-in left my curls, at least initially. It did not weigh them down. I was particularly fond of the ease of application of this product. I could easily spray this on freshly conditioned curl clumps and work it into the ends.

I will say that I needed to refresh my curls with a few sprays and a little water at the end of the day, however, I am dealing with very dry desert air right now. I suspect at a higher dew-point, even high- porosity hair would stay moisturized all day long.

Alcohol-free Gel

Admittedly, I abandoned gels recently in favor of mousse and volumizing foam. However, I wanted to try a styler from this line, and the only other option was hairspray that contained ethyl alcohol, which I knew would be drying to my hair. The gel ingredients were those that were also in the conditioners with the addition of Acacia Senegal gum extract, which is used as a stabilizer and thickener in many beauty products. On the website, the hold level is described as medium to firm. The texture of the gel is thick, and I imagine this would be a fantastic option for thicker hair with a tight curl pattern. The gel gave my fine textured hair good hold and created a nice gel cast, however, scrunching out the crunch was difficult. If you have a looser curl pattern like mine, I highly recommend diluting this gel, or cocktailing with a light leave-in or serum, and then diffusing to create a cast that is a bit less crunchy. Overall, for good hold with light conditioning properties, this gel is a winner.

What is your favorite Carina Organics product? Let us know in the comments. For more on alcohols, click here.