If you're a girl that has gone natural, is natural, or is in the in-between stage, you've likely got tons of products under your sink, in baskets, in drawers, and wherever else you can hold them scattered throughout your bathroom. Or maybe that's just me, and I just told y'all my deepest darkest secret. Either way, we've all tried a product(s) that haven't vibed with our hair texture.
I've been natural for about six years, so I know what works and doesn't work for my hair, but lately I've been struggling to find the right gel that gets my curls to pop without it possibly affecting my health (hey, Eco Styler), or that leaves my curls with flakes of gel shaking down like snow — oh, and let's not forget, one that doesn't have a pricey price tag.
After Google searches, watching YouTube reviews, and checking out consumer reviews on Target.com, I sprung for a $14 eight-ounce jar of Kinky Curly Curl Custard Gel. I recognize the $14 price tag is a little much for gel, but if it works, it's always worth it.
I wanted to see how it would work with my 4c coils with a wash and go. With nearly a five-star review on Target.com, I had high hopes, but many reviewers noted that the gel didn't work well for 4c hair because it didn't help stretch the hair. Since I am a 4c girl that doesn't mind shrinkage and a kinky 'fro, I still went for it.
To prep my hair, I washed it and deep conditioned it, but instead of towel drying my hair, I left it soaking wet. The directions on the side of the jar recommends that curly girls with "thick coarse curls" apply to hair when dripping wet. Before I hopped out of the shower, I sectioned my hair into six sections, sprayed my hair with Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In (a must have for me), and got out the shower with my hair dripping wet.
I started with the back of my head, first gliding a touch of jojoba oil onto my coils before adding the gel section by section. One thing I noticed right away, since I can be heavy-handed when applying a product, was that I needed very little to get my coils defined.
After I was done with my entire head, I covered my face with a towel and shook my head from side to side with my head upside down to get my curls to separate without touching them. The more you touch your hair, the more frizz you'll get as your hair dries. Since my hair is thick, I blow dried my hair on the lowest heat setting and let my hair do its thing. I'd come up now and then for cool air and to shake my curls with my head turned upside down.
The End Results Looked Like This:
Before I headed out for my audition, I touched up my lipstick and separated my coils, and to my surprise, there was no flaking, and my hair felt moisturized. Success!
I Tried It One More Time and Got This:
This time my hair shrinkage was tighter, but I also was in a rush and didn't take the time to add the product in small sections as I'd done before, but I still loved how it turned out.
I recognize that this isn't a product that everyone will love, especially if you're a curly girl that loves a stretched style. Will I try other gels in the future? Yes. But, for now, I am pleased with my results — shrinkage and all.
Featured image by Bianca Lambert/Instagram
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Originally published on February 23, 2019