With as many products that I review for work, I still long to try new products and tried-and-true favorites. Hair care sparked my interest in 2009 and the products that were beloved then are rarely spoken of now. Smaller brands were all the rage and Yes to Carrots, Giovanni, Trader Joe’s, Desert Essence, Aubrey Organics, and Nature’s Gate were considered the big brands. This was the time when "big beauty" was still deciding whether the textured-hair market was lucrative enough to either launch new products or reformulate their old collections. With a new collection being launched every other month you become skeptical of whether there is genuinely a hole in the market with a need being unmet or if people are creating one. It is understandable that a lot of smaller brands choose to not expand their SKUs if they consider their collections to be complete, as many veterans know that less is more, so it is easy to forget about the smaller brands if they are not releasing products regularly, but that does not mean that I have forgotten about them. Here are products that you may not be as popular but I certainly have not forgotten about.

Donna Marie

Like most newly naturals, I was obsessed with curl definition. I was on a quest to find the magic product that transformed my 4a coils into uniform clumps absent of frizz (I was unknowingly dealing with texture acceptance issues, but I have matured since then). At the time I had noticed a lot of YouTube reviews of the Donna Marie styling products. Since then I think some have been reformulated and the collection has expanded. Although I have more than enough products in my bathroom cabinet, I would still like to try these products to scratch that itch. What can I say? I’m a product junkie, which is a neutral word for greedy.

Qhemet Biologics

My next obsession was softness, which is not always a reflection of moisture but I was still learning. I wanted my hair to feel fluffy and pillow soft and this brand kept populating my natural hair feed. The two products that were on everyone’s radar were the Amla and Olive Heavy Cream and the Burdock Root Butter Cream. The ingredients were oil, butter, and extract galore but on a student budget, I could not convince myself to spend $16 on one product. These were the products that kept CharyJay’s hair luscious and defined and I still long for that experience.

Read more: You are Feeling Texture, Not Dryness

Anita Grant

Conditioner cubes? At the time I was not hip to Lush cosmetics, so solid conditioners were new to me. Chai from Backtocurly.com and Laila form Fusion of Cultures both loved the results so I wanted to try them! What was my dilemma? International shipping. I wanted to support this smaller brand, but I decided to wait until a local retailer carried the products and when one did, it was always sold out.

Koils by Nature

Koils by Nature was another brand that people were raving about in forums and on YouTube and I wanted to try the leave-in conditioners and whipped butters just like everyone else, but at $18 and $25 once again, it was not in my budget.

Felicia Leatherwood Detangling Brush

Recently I have been on a hunt for a seamless comb, which is incredibly more challenging than I expected. After roaming the aisles of multiple stores, I have had no luck. The modified Denman and Tangle Teezer require smaller sections than I am willing to create and I do not have the patience for finger combing. While watching a tutorial on My Natural Sistas I noticed India using the Felicia Leatherwood Detangling Brush and I have been intrigued ever sense. I like the idea of the bristles being anti-resistance, relieving tension during the combing process, which is exactly what my hair needs. Hopefully sooner than later I can get my hands on this product!

Which products have you been dying to try?