I’m currently in the process of (attempting to) grow my hair out longer than it’s been in years. For me, this journey is a lot like a relationship — there are good and bad days, lots of mistakes that require forgiveness, new habits that have to be incorporated, and, most of all, the need for constant self-reminders to remain committed, no matter what.

One day (that happened to be a bad day), I was super-tempted to pull out the clippers and call it quits. As I rummaged through both of my bathroom cabinets to see if I could find any motivation to stay the course, a smile came to my face. All the way in the back of one of the cabinets was two cans of Smooth 'N Shine Curling Mousse that I had totally forgotten about! In fact, I haven’t seen them in stores for so long that I though the company stopped making the product altogether (they haven’t; you can get some on Amazon).

Smooth 'n Shine Curl Activating Mousse

Why did seeing those cans make me so happy? Because, although I am a bit of a product junkie, I have yet to find something that makes my braid outs turn out quite like this mousse does! Not only does it get my hair super-soft and provide lots of definition, but because it is also a curling mousse, it curls my ends, too. That means that when I take the braids out, my hair from root to ends looks curly. I don’t have to worry about my ends looking straight, making my hairstyle looking awkward.

How do I use it? After I wash my hair, I t-shirt dry it, add a little castor oil to it, and then apply the mousse all throughout. Then, I section off my hair (based on how big or small I want my braids to be), and apply a little more of the mousse to each piece before I braid it. I wrap my hair at night with a silk or satin scarf, and allow my hair to air dry.

When I wake up, I carefully take each braid down, add a little avocado oil to my hair, fluff out the braids, and I’m good to go! My braid out has sheen, is curly and—if I continue to tie it down each night—will last for four to five days before it’s time to braid it up all over again (for the record, sometimes I don’t wash it all over again; I just add some more mousse and oil and braid it up).

I’m telling you, I really dig this mousse. If there is a drawback, sometimes it does leave residue in the form of white flakes. But if you use some oil, that should dissolve it in no time.

Whew. Just writing all of this out is inspiring me to take out an hour and do a braid out this week!

If you’re a little frustrated with your natural hair right now, at least try my recommendation. It just might be what gets you and your tresses back on the same page again too!

Do you have a go-to product that always comes to the rescue when you’re feeling down? Are you interested in trying this product? Share your thoughts with us below!