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2023 : The Year of Embracing Your Natural Hair

Embrace The Curl

If you have straight hair, you might occasionally want a full body with bouncing curls, especially for special occasions. If you have curly hair, there will be days that you’re begging the ceiling for straight hair, lest you break another brush trying to comb out your locks. Everybody wants what they can’t have.


So, what’s it really like to rock natural hair?

While it is beautiful, it’s tough. There’s an assumption that those of us with curls just roll out of bed in the morning, waving our luscious locks around like we just stepped out of a commercial for Pantene, and go. Aside from the good hair days, the daily curly goddess scenario couldn’t be any farther from the truth. The truth is, curly hair is gorgeous, and also a lot of work.

What’s the weather like?

You’ve got to remind your curls who’s boss, especially when you’re taking weather into account. What might seem like a light afternoon drizzle to you is a hair-catastrophe for me. Those of us with curls are in a never-ending war with humidity, frizz, tangles, and breakage. So what do you do when you’re in a SmackDown with every comb, brush, and bobby pin in your bathroom?

You embrace it! That’s right – I said embrace the good, the bad, and the frizz. 2018 is the year of yes, and the year of embracing your natural hair with some fantastic products:


Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream

Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, 16 Ounce

Daily styling: Apply to towel dried hair. Work a generous amount of product into hair beginning at the roots to the tips.

Let’s start with Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream. As many of us with curly hair can be, I was a tad skeptical about this product. There are so many serums, shampoos, and conditioners that claim that they can tame your mane, only to fall short. I came across this product in my local CVS and did a quick Google search to see if it would do something for me, which says something about my cheapness because the price tag was only $5.99. I am happy to say that it is well deserving of its near perfect reviews on Amazon. Whether you rinse it out or choose to leave it in all day, this product hydrates your curls, leaving them lighter and shinier. I even noticed a difference after I washed it out. Two washes later and my curls were still soft! For someone who has hair that is dangerously tangle-prone, a leave-in conditioner is a necessity. Cantu Shea Butter seems to do the trick because it offers hair-friendly vitamin A and E, which moisturizes those unruly strays.

  • Works on various hair types.
  • A small amount repairs a lot!
  • Isn’t heavy on the hair.

  • Works better alone – not with other products.
  • Does contain some chemicals that you may not prefer, including Trimethylsilylamodimethacone, Panthenol, and Phenoxyethanol.



Kristin Ess Hydrating Curl Defining Crème

Kristin Ess Hydrating Curl Defining Creme - 6.7oz

My dream cream for waves and curls. This cream isn't about hold, it's about subtle added weight and shine.

Are you looking for a curl enhancer that won’t break the bank? Me too. We’ve talked about taming the mane, now let’s talk about unleashing some of that natural beauty on the world. Curls look the best when they are imperfect and appear to be running wild on top of your head. How does one achieve that look without trouble? Kristin Ess Hydrating Curl Defining Crème is only $14 and makes the frizziest of frizzies pop with life, thanks to its Zip-Up Technology™. The ‘zip-up’ effect of this product ties up loose split ends and smooths out the appearance of breakage.

  • Has a great hold without being crunchy.
  • Long-lasting – you only need about a nickel size of product
  • Easy-to-follow directions on the package

  • May not have the same results for wavy hair – works best with very curly hair.
  • Very strong scent
  • Can leave a residue feel on your fingers



Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Curl Control Gel

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Curl Control Gel

My dream cream for waves and curls. This cream isn't about hold, it's about subtle added weight and shine.

Dark & Lovely has to be one of my favorite brands. They’ve been my go-to for more than just serums, but boxed hair color as well. It’s no surprise that Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Curl Control Gel works wonders for naturally curly or wavy hair. This formula stretches out the coils in your hair while softening the cuticles, leaving your hair looking livelier than ever.

  • Defines curls with ease
  • Very price-friendly product

  • Strong smell
  • Can lack the gel consistency – more creamy



AG Hair Re:Coil Curl Activator

Curl Re:Coil Curl Activator

Rich in AG's exclusive Curl Creating Complex (C3), Recoil separates and holds without stiffness or stickiness, even in high humidity.

When it’s time to activate the curls, use AG Hair Re:Coil Curl Activator. If you live in the humid cities like Houston, TX or Baton Rouge, LA, this product is for you. Not only does this serum not add weight, but it activates your natural curls without them appearing crunchy. This amazing product is also one of the more natural choices, as it is absent of salt, DEA, and gluten! It is also not an animal tested product, so if you care about your curls and your fellow furry friends – this is the one!

  • Enhances waves and curls – works on multiple hair types
  • No flaking
  • A little goes a long way

  • Product can be sticky.
  • Can have the ‘wet’ look
  • May not hold for more than one day

Elise Gray has written articles on a wide variety of topics such as fashion, health and wellness, and beauty. Her publications has been seen in U&C Magazine and LA Pulse Mag, just to name a few. In her free time, Elise enjoys trying the latest and greatest hair care products for her natural, curly hair and hiking with her dog, Carrot.