Being Afrobella means being on a constant mission to find the new, next, best hair products on the market so I can tell all of my bellas near and far what works and what doesn’t. I’ve tried some exciting stuff lately, so let me tell you alllll about what you should buy and what you should leave on the shelf — because if you’re like me, you’re always on the hunt for the new, next, and best.
First stop, GBS in Fort Lauderdale. Yup, I got Larramy to help me answer that Ask Afrobella question, but I also got a curl cut! This little, very shaky video clip is of Larramy styling the hell out of my hair — apologies for the video quality. Notes on this video before you watch:
1. That isn’t a booger, it’s hair product on the mirror. But you can’t tell, because the video is blurry. That worked out in my favor.
2. GBS is a store at the front and salon in back — there are SO many great products in that store. It’s like Sally’s and Sephora had a baby.
3. Like I said in the video, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it because the quality is not the best… still trying to figure out this filming myself business. But more YouTube fun is in store for sure!
4. It ends with a shaky shot of my shoes, because when Larramy cuts and styles hair, it involves bending over, flipping to the side, and all sorts of mayhem and foolishness for him to get the look he envisions.
5. Larramy loves Madonna. Every time I’ve seen him, he’s got her on.
Without further ado, here’s 51 blurry seconds of me getting my hair did.
Even though the clip is super pixelated, you can still see that my hair has waaay more movement and joie de vivre than it typically does. Why is that? I’ll tell you — Larramy did an absolutely incredible deep conditioning pre-shampoo treatment on me, then stuck me under the dryer for a while to let it truly penetrate.
He used two products I hadn’t tried before — DevaCurl’s new deep conditioner, Heaven In Hair — smells so delicious, and is super hydrating. And he combined that with Phytonectar Ultra Nourishing Pre-Shampoo Oil treatment. I had heard about this stuff over at 55 Secret Street, and Nichelle wasn’t lying — it is AMAZING. Big, big Phyto review coming soon — this bella is very impressed, but there’s more to break down than I have time for at the moment. Brief summary, Phyto rules.
After the pre-shampoo deep conditioner, he washed it and used the following styling products — Set It Free moisture lock frizz spray, Set Me Up pomade, and he finished with a dab of Moroccan Oil, which I spotted on the shelf and absolutely insisted on. I had heard that Jill Scott uses it for moisture, so you know I had to try it, and then I had to buy it! It smells like an incense-lovers dream — subtle but warm and smoky and sultry. And although it kind of feels like IC or any other silicone-laced hair shine product, it didn’t leave my hair greasy.
I left Larramy’s chair with the happiest of curls, and the style and softness lasted for a week, I swear. Here’s the fresh curl cut in my good ol’ backyard (the before photo is terrible, trust me). Oh! And I am rocking an oil black Star 50 Alaskan Trapper purse and proudly wearing a Madame CJ Walker teeshirt by Kindred Gear, purveyor of Afrocentric garb.
Click here to peep his Black History women’s shirts, which include wearable homages to Queen Nanny, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Shirley Chisholm (but the Madame CJ Walker one is my favorite)!
During my session with Larramy, he explained that the truly excellent hair care products simply aren’t in the drugstore. “Honey, you might as well wash your hair with Dawn,” he said about some of the products I admitted to using. Love ya, Larramy — but you’re Mr. DevaCurl. I gotta throw in my two cents here. Yes there are SO many great natural hair products on the market now — more and more by the day, and so many are sold online… but there are so many bellas who can’t afford a $30 bottle of hair serum, and don’t shop online. There are so many beautiful women who do their hair and makeup on a daily basis with products found at the drugstore on the corner. And more and more, big mainstream brands are recognizing that by producing stuff that gasp — actually works on a range of hair textures. So let me end this product review by telling you about Motions’ new line of products. Yup, Motions in the classic gold and purple container. You know you’ve used this stuff before!
I used to adore Motions leave in conditioner, but when I transitioned from relaxed to natural, I left that product behind. Now Motions is back with Marula Natural Therapy, three products made to moisturize and condition relaxed and natural-textured hair. Relaxed bellas might adore the Hair Strengthening Moisturizer, but to this afrobella, twern’t nothing but some Pink Oil in a different bottle (minus the pink coloring). It just sat on my hair and left me with whitish streaks, didn’t truly penetrate and nourish my curls at all. The Hair and Scalp oil spray was a’ight dog, as Randy Jackson would say. I like the scent, but the product didn’t really bowl me over like the Natural Therapy Hair Treatment Balm did. This balm is the bomb! I seriously didn’t expect to like this as much as I did.
The product is a clear, yellow-tinged jelly… somewhat reminiscent of Kinky Curly Curling Custard, or aloe gel. After slicking it on apres-shower, I noticed how sproingy my curls became. Most importantly, my hair not only FELT moist, it LOOKED moist. Not in a Soul Glo way, mind you. The hair treatment balm managed to give my hair internal moisture, and yes — it did leave my hair a bit greasy to the touch. But that’s a small price to pay for a drugstore product that made my hair look and feel as great as it did. Shiny, coily, pretty hair, and it costs less than $10? Get outta here! If you’ve got perpetually thirsty, thick naturally curly hair, and shallow pockets — I definitely think this is worth a try.
I’ve gotten overwhelmed with products to review and stuff to write, bellas. I’ll be back with a special Throwback Thursday this evening, and there’s more in store next week — for now I’m just super psyched to sleep in tomorrow!