I’m back again with another BOTB review, this time with Tropic Isle Living's Jamaican Black Castor Oil Detangler/Leave-in Conditioner!
I’m a hottie with lots of knotties, so I wanted to see if my ancestral island’s ingredients would help ease my everyday arm strain.
Let’s talk ingredients!
Straight up, I think it’s weird that the JBCO is highlighted so hard in this formula! It’s in the top three ingredients, yes, but I’m actually pretty doubtful that it’s doing that much of the heavy lifting.
This is ultimately a bottle of multi-oil infused aloe vera juice, and honestly, I think that’s WAY more cool!
Brands...you don’t NEED to shackle yourself to one ingredient as a superstar, especially when it doesn’t make up the bulk of the product. Not only is it kind of disingenuous, it also leaves ZERO wiggle-room when the next trend comes along/gets recycled.
Embrace the variety is what I’m saying.
Classic spray bottle works well with such a liquidy formula, so they did well there. It’d SEEM like this would be a no-brainer, but darned if totally watery products don’t use squeeze bottles ANYWAY.
And then there’s the scent!
Curlfriends, I’m in lurrrrrrrrrve. I love herby, woodsy scents, and unf, this smells like the type of spicy forest I like to pretend I run around in. I don’t agree with your gender dictating what you smell like, but it’s important to many, so I’ll put this in firmly in the refreshingly masculine category.
Okay, how’s it work?
That depends on how you use it!
Because my coarse coils have sky-high porosity, I tend to need many different products to do different things, rather than being okay with just a couple of “multi-tool” type sprays and what have you.
As such, I used this product three different ways.
On first use, it was my post-box braids detangler.
Then it was my post-wash detangling leave-in, as instructions suggest.
And lastly, it was my clean hair, before bed leave-in/ detangler as I put my hair up for the night.
It might seem like those uses are indistinct, but bear with me a sec.
As a pre-wash detangler, I actually do not CARE whether the formula is conditioning or not—why would I? I’m about to wash and condition!
Post wash, I need to detangle, but it very much IS important that my moisture sticks around.
And on already clean hair, having combed my dry hair recently, detangling isn’t AS big an issue, as my hair isn’t as knotted, so conditioning is my biggest concern.
So how’d it hold up?
Short answer is GREAT, badly, and mehhhhh, in respective order.
After I took down my braids, I really wasn’t expecting this watery looking base to comb the beginner-locs out as smoothly as the creamier Knot on My Watch that I love so well. But I was wrong!
I don’t know if it was the aloe juice or what, but between several squirts of this and my detangling comb, I was done in record time, with very, VERY soft strands. It was wonderful!
But then came washday proper.
Curlfriends, on damp hair, I didn’t even have to wait and see whether this wouldn’t be enough secondary conditioning. I could tell, pretty much immediately, that I needed another round of butters to keep up my curls’ optimal moisture levels.
The formula got lost in the small amount of water already on my hair, and detangling was much MUCH harder than it was on eight weeks of new growth and shed-knots. That’s Shakespearean comedy levels of irony right there.
It’s also noooooooot great on my new growth and edges.
When I used this on my clean, dry hair, things went more easily than my damp hair did, but I was left majorly underwhelmed by the amount of moisture I felt in the morning—especially on my crunchy new growth and my edges.
Like most Type 4s, my edges are delicate, sensitive, and more susceptible to dryness and breakage than the rest of my hair. Unfortunately, Tropic Isles didn’t help me out too much here—even with application so liberal it’d make a hippie blush, the part of my hair most in need of TLC was left high and dry within a few hours.
I feel more softness than I would with just my spraybottle, but not nearly what I’ve felt with other products.
So what’s the verdict?
This infused aloe juice left me a little underwhelmed on two out of three fronts, but here’s the deal—it worked SO WELL on just one of them, that I don’t care.
This is now my go-to for taking down my protective styles. It’s not sticky, it’s not heavy, and it’s for SURE an April-approved scent.
And what’s more, for those of you with less porous, less dense hair than I have, this stuff could potentially tick all three boxes!
I’d recommend this for pretty much everyone—the only thing that would change is what I would recommend it for.
What are your thoughts, curly citizens?
Is this the wave for you, or would you island-hop past this leave-in instead?
Let me know in the comments section!