Thousands of curly community members voted in this year's annual Best of the Best survey, and we recently announced the winning products. From your favorite cleansers, conditioners, moisturizers and stylers, you weighed in on the Holy Grail products that have been working for your curls, coils and waves this year. At NaturallyCurly we consider the Best of the Best results to be a shopping guide, so many of us have been trying out the winning products for ourselves to see what all the hype is. Today we're sharing our reviews with you.
I'm always ready to try Camille Rose products, they're a well-known allstar in the natural hair community, and their Curl Love Moisture Milk is one of my top "Make April's hair super soft" go-tos. Since the Milk worked so well, I figured...why not try the other "dairy" products?
I'm not usually a fan of almond anything, it tends to go on too lightly for both my hair and my skin. But as soon as I saw honey in the ingredient list, I got excited again. The product does contain an alcohol and a methosulfate as a thickening agent (different from sulfates that suds and strip)—however, because I know what to expect from Camille Rose Naturals, I went into this trusting that it would help. Coilies that already know their hair doesn't play nicely with 'science lab' ingredients will want to look elsewhere though.
The consistency is pretty soft, like a whipped lotion. Because the first ingredient is deionized water I went a little heavier with it than I normally would anything called a 'butter' since my hair is high-porosity. My coils soaked it right up! And once again, they've managed to make something that smells like a creamy dessert going on, but because the smell isn't too heavy or lingering, I'm glad that I can layer on my more woodsy perfumes and not have it clash.
My hair's definitely softer after use—a bit heavier than my normal routine leaves it, but with a product made for light hold and elongation, that's to be expected! I made the right call in just using this with my water bottle instead of going full LOC method—adding in another oil when the Almond Jai is largely oils and milks in itself would have left my scalp (and face, let's be real) super clogged. I don't feel like the butter on its own would hold me down through being outside in the humidity for a good length, but it did get me between the walk to the car and to the office without losing the the loose definition I prefer. I think I'd have gotten a more dramatic lengthening effect with some flat twists instead of just my normal two-strand twists though, and I'm excited to experiment further!
For $15-17, the Almond Jai butter isn't the cheapest thing you'll ever pick up, but considering it does the work of a lotion as well as a light definer, it's worth it for an 8oz jar!
I've never heard of this product, but do like to wear my hair straight, especially in the Fall. I've been on the hunt for a product that will protect my hair from heat damage so I was eager to try this out. I found it's a favorite for many people regardless their hair types, so now it makes sense why it's considered a holy grail for our community.
My first impression of this product I immediately noticed the sleek packaging, the lock and unlock button, and the easy to use nozzle that sprays out a mist. I'm all about the details and those small details made it extremely easy to use. I'm also huge on scents and I really liked the floral perfume smell!
Lately, I've been rockin' my fro and I used this before I blow dried my hair. It left my hair soft and shiny. In the past, I've used oil based heat protectants and they weighed my hair down and left my hair too oily. So I was glad to see that wasn't the case with this product.
I would definitely recommend this product and I do like how it is a product that can be used for all hair types. What's great is that you can get this at a drugstore or Amazon for under $6, which is a major steal.
First impressions: Upon receiving it, I shook the bottle and felt as if I were about to put 100% opaque white spray-deodorant onto my scalp. Skepticism turned into remorse. Why did I choose to try this? My 4C curls are braided into a protective style so I wanted to see if I could get away with not having to wash my scalp and braids by using Batiste. Oryza Sativa Starch, also known as Rice Starch, is the only ingredient that stood out to me. It is absorbent, which makes it perfect for those that have oily scalp and hair. The spray liquid is featherlight which instantly surprised me, especially since I was expecting a weighty spray that would cake onto my scalp. Typically, I pre-poo, or massage a blended-herb scalp oil, into my scalp before cleansing my curls. In this instance, I wanted to get straight to freshening up my scalp and box braids, so it was the very first step I took in my routine. Having a fear of the results, I used this product one time and only for the sake of this review. Although it needs a little help from hair oils and serums, Batiste is so simple to use and is a reasonable alternative to a full scalp and braids washing session. It works for my intended purpose: efficient scalp and braids refreshment and cleaning.Although prices vary by retailer, I've seen it online and priced under $9.
I've seen nothing but great reviews about this line, which is why I was excited to try it on my two-year old son's hair.
The pump makes this cream really easy to use and my son is super independent so he likes when I pump the cream in his hand so he can apply it to his own hair. I loved that it has Sacha inchi, a plant native to South America. It's full of nutrients including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as protein, vitamin E, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and various other antioxidants. These ingredients make it great at locking in moisture, helping stimulate growth, and eliminating dandruff.
The instructions say you can apply to wet or dry hair so I've used it both ways. When I applied it to damp hair I used my fingers to comb it through his hair, which is my preferred daily routine. It made his hair more moisturized throughout the day, and it smelled great and felt extremely soft. I did notice that this makes the softness last longer than the current product I'm using in his hair.
This worked so well on my son's dry hair that I'm actually thinking about trying it on my coliy hair.
It's not sold at drugstores but you can easily order it online, and the standard prices is $11.99 plus shipping. I will definitely be purchasing this again when I run out.
I typically refresh with a spray bottle of water and a dime-sized amount of my styler, and I was worried that spraying a product all over my hair the way I do with water would leave my hair looking oily. I've had success using other DevaCurl products though, and I know the community has been loving this product for a long time, so I was optimistic.
I've recently gotten very into diffusing essential oils and am crazy about lavender oil, so I absolutely love that lavender oil is in the top 5 ingredients. Water is the number one ingredient, which is ideal for a refresher. The ingredients also include chamomile and rosemary extract, so it has a lovely botanical scent that feels very spa-like. It is DevaCurl, so it's free of silicones.
On dry, day 2 and day 3 hair I sprayed this liberally throughout my hair and then scrunched, following the instructions on the bottle. When I really wanted my curls to pop I would follow up with my diffuser for just a couple of minutes (which is what I did before the photo above). I also used this directly on my scalp on days when I take hot yoga classes and didn't wash my hair. It helps keep my scalp fresh and to reactivate my curls after working out.
My hair definitely doesn't feel oily or weighed down after using this, even with castor oil being the third ingredient on the list. My curls are actually very light and bouncy, and if I diffuse then I get plenty of volume. I will say that it doesn't provide much hold, if any at all. If you're someone who worries about frizz and needs to apply strong hold stylers on day 2 and day 3, then you may want to follow up with scrunching a gel in after you refresh with this. I actually like my hair to look as big as possible, so I don't mind the fluffiness.
This product costs $17.95 for 12 fluid ounces, which I'd say is above average as far as curl refreshers go. You could potentially DIY yourself a similar mix of oils and water, but it wouldn't keep as well or as long so you'd have to do that more often and you'd probably need to experiment to find your perfect blend. If you're not the DIY type and you're looking for an effective post-workout or 2nd day refresher, I would definitely recommend this one.
Have you tried these community Holy Grails? Let us know in the comments what you think of them.
To see the full list of Best of the Best winners, click here.