You know me by now — I’m always looking out for my bellas on a budget. The days of just splurging on any ol’ beauty product just because it smells good, is lavishly described, or has pretty packaging are O-V-E-R — especially these days, when steady paychecks are at a premium. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, or maybe you’re right there with me. Holla if you hear me, bellas!

In these times, I’m taking my reviews even more seriously. What could be the hair holy grail for me, could leave your tresses a tangled up mess, and vice versa. As a product junkie with drawers of half-used hair, skin, and body goops galore, I can say with confidence, everything isn’t for everybody. I’m trying my best to temper my gushing with practicality, so if I’m rhapsodizing, please know it’s from a genuine place and I did a whole lotta product testing.

I say all that to say this — Curls’ latest styling product, Curl Gel-les’c, is incredible. I love it, and I’m totally going to repurchase it when my review sample runs out.

In Curls’ own description, “It isn’t a gel, and not quite a serum it’s Curl Gel-les’c (pronounced Curl Jealousy).” If I had to choose, I’d describe the product as more of a serum than a gel — there’s none of the stickiness or stiffness I associate with gel products, but there’s all of the definition. This product worked perfectly for my hair texture, delivering exactly the results I hoped it would. It leaves my hair very defined, soft to the touch, and yes – very, very curly. I love it, I love it, I love it. I even made sure to take a picture, from a park in New York on my road trip.

Springtime in the air, and happy, happy hair.

Now again I’d like to reiterate, not everything works for everybody, and the weather in NYC definitely played a role in my hair’s overall behavior. If you’ve got the kind of hair that’s prone to spiralling, then Curls Gel-les’c will probably accentuate your hair’s natural tendency to curl. If your hair isn’t so much curly as it is kinky, I can’t say for sure how your hair will react to the product. But from a look around, it appears quite a few other reviewers feel the same way I did.

Check out the comments left on UrbanCurlz. Mocha Knitster did two YouTube video reviews that gives additional perspective. So did St8isis, crownofHisglory, LexiWithTheCurls, BerneaseBrown, and JuicedAboutHair, so I’d advise you click around and see how bellas with a variety of textures responded to this latest product from Curls.

Water, certified organic aloe leaf juice, organic coconut milk, linden seed and flaxseed oil, and extracts of chamomile and rosemary are some of the ingredients of this lightweight serum-like styling product. I love it best slicked on after a conditioner wash, when I’ve fully combed through my ends and my hair’s completely detangled. Curls Gel-les’c smells incredible, and it’s the kind of product I’d use every day if I could. But I don’t because — 8 oz costs $25. And the way I love this stuff, I could go through that 8 oz pretty fast.

Is it worth it? I say definitely yes, this stuff is awesome! But if price is a factor for you, bear that in mind. At $25 a bottle (Update: $18 at, I wouldn’t call it an every day kind of product. I show restraint and bust out the gel-les’c on special occasions, when I want to go out on the town smelling and looking pretty from head to toe.

(Click here to get yourself a bottle!)

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Tracie says:
April 7, 2009, 5:17 pm
I buy their kids line of products. Same product, ingredients, quality and results different packaging and less cost. Pretty is as pretty does :)
Aubrey says:
April 7, 2009, 6:13 pm
Ohh sounds great! Does it allow you to separate your curls without turning them into little puffs? And does it last all day? Thanks for the review!
ChocolateOrchid says:
April 7, 2009, 7:22 pm
Great review! Glad to see it. I got a sample of this and have yet to try it. I'll check everyone else's reviews out, also.
nolagirl says:
April 7, 2009, 8:27 pm
great review the price is kinda high for me now, but I can cyber stalk it for a coupon code or discount!.... bella have you thought about selling the stuff that didn't work for you? It'll be less to pack and worth it to someone it works for and well you'll get paid. JAT ...
SA says:
April 7, 2009, 8:40 pm
Gotta say I did not like this the first two times I tried it. All it did was put my hair in a big afro, and not a good one at that. It wasn't defined at all. However, I didn't like Kinky-Curly the first three times I tried it, so maybe I need to use it differently.
Nicky Hazel says:
April 7, 2009, 9:04 pm
Did it tend to flake after using it? I used Kinky-Curly a few times, and it flaked horribly every time! I'm still looking for something that will define my coils (can't really call them curls) and still leave it manageable. Maybe this will work :-/
Stephanie says:
April 8, 2009, 10:39 am
Sounds fantastic! I am covering afro hair and, in particular, Aveda's new treatments and services on Salon Business
Kyrston says:
April 8, 2009, 1:14 pm
i can't wait to get product reviews once you've been in the windy chi. i live in new orleans now but visited dc. my natural hair loves the humidity of new orleans! i have curls galore. my holy grail products in nola where not what it do in dc! it was hella cold and dry and i had to improvise with the products i had on hand. you may wanna try out some of those old half used products again and see how they do in the chi. great review! thanks!
jbglam says:
April 8, 2009, 2:34 pm
I'm always looking for good deals especially on quality products. Love this post..thank you! If you are looking for other hair care products at a good price...check out Herbal Essences new line. They also have an addicting new series (which I'm now obsessed with) on called Tressed To Impress...definitely check it out! You can win free Herbal Essence products and the chance to star in a episode.
BK says:
April 8, 2009, 2:36 pm
Thanks for the product review. I am in a good place right now with Miss Jessies, Cantu & Jane Carter.. not sure I want to interrupt that balance LOL.. would be great if they gave you some samples to give away! :) LOL @ me being a product sample hog :)
SJay says:
April 9, 2009, 1:31 pm
Thanks for the review. I'm certainly willing to try it. My hair leans more toward nappy than curly, so I'm wondering how it might work with twistouts? If I don't like it, I can always use it on my spiraly-curly-head daughter.
UK Girl says:
April 9, 2009, 4:30 pm
Bella could you suggest cheaper alternatives/ cheaper products that are great curl definers when doing the 'expensive' reviews. Although 'curls' isn't available in the UK, I would love to try their stuff, its a bit pricey though
Laquita says:
April 10, 2009, 9:09 am
Curls is doing new packaging on their products and offering a 55% discount code to liquidated the old design - it starts today 4/10 to 4/12 - Promo Code - blowout :o) The Curls email had Afrobella's review and site link :o)
Ayo says:
April 15, 2009, 10:25 am
Ladies, please take a look at the ingredient list for this product: Ingredients: Purified Water, Polyquaternium-11, Sorbitol, Certified Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polyquaternium-37, Vegetable Glycerin, Certified Organic Coconut Milk ( Cocos Nucifera Fruit Juice), Certified Organic Linden Seed Oil ( Tilia Cordata Flower Extract), Certified Organic Flaxseed Oil ( Linum Usitatissimum Seed Oil, Certified Organic Chamoile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract) Certified Organic Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract), Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol. We really have to be careful about the products that we put on our hair and skin. Read the labels, ladies! If some ingredients don't sound familiar, look it up. On the label, the ingredient Phenoxyethanol has been issued a warning by the FDA. "Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea”. We wonder why some products work better on our hair after 3 or more uses, it's because the chemical/drug reaction takes time before your hair gets used to it. It's no longer healthy, it's just chemical-enabled. So the question is But is it worth it? I say NO!
Natakue says:
April 15, 2009, 8:03 pm
i've been hearing positive things about this, so yay to another thumbs up! i'm such a product junkie, but thankfully not as crazy as i used to be. i don't have any vices so i indulge in hair products every once in a while. (at least that's my reasoning, haha!) i'm planning on picking this up when my kinky curly curling custard finally runs out.
bella says:
April 15, 2009, 11:50 pm
Bellas, if ingredients are a concern, definitely do your research beforehand. The Organic Beauty Expert just reviewed the product and says it's "not solely organic, but does have a good percentage (I'd say 80-90%) of certified organic ingredients." Hope that helps if you're trying to make a decision!
Ayo says:
April 16, 2009, 11:05 am
While that it true, Bella, the certified organic ingredients are at the bottom of the ingredient list. Which means that only about 5% of the product is certified organic while the bulk is water & synthetic chemicals. It really is important for us to take better care of ourselves in whole! I apologize if this hurts Curls and all of the other "natural" hair care companies, however there are some out there who are truly organic and natural. Let's just stay informed and I will continue to educate!
Andrea, OBE says:
April 17, 2009, 3:36 pm
This product is probably not going to work for everyone with curly hair. It worked great on my son who has more straight, defined curls. Not so great on my daughter who's hair is thick curly. As for the natural factor... Judge for yourself and check out the ingredient list. And as someone said above, but the kid's line cause it's cheaper! @ Ayo -- again, your research is a bit flawed, so while I appreciate your fervor, educated fervor is more helpful.
Ayo says:
April 19, 2009, 6:58 pm
@Andrea- Is my research flawed about the ingredient Phenoxyethanol being issued a warning or that the bulk of the product is made up of synthetic ingredients? Perhaps, we ALL need to research a bit more. A great place to start is here: FYI- Sorry bellas: when it comes to body care, if you don't see the USDA Certified Organic seal, the word "organic" doesn't mean anything. The important thing are the ingredients.
Mahisha Dellinger says:
April 24, 2009, 12:25 am
Hello Ladies, GREAT comments! I thought I'd chime in on the debate. Ayo, what we are all saying here is it is important to do research and also take it all in context. The warning was on a product that is INGESTED by babies (nipple cream) and pther items that are ingested. When preservatives are used in hair care, the amount is TRULY miniscule....but enough to prevent mold, and complications that can arise from E. Coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, etc. The recent peanut and pistachio recalls will give you a little insight as to the truely FATAL nature of these organisms. One can promote a belief in the "evils" of preservative, but on the flip side, I personally would not want to risk the public's health by the wreckless omission of a preservative for a topical cosmetic product.
Tonya says:
April 28, 2009, 5:13 pm
It is so refreshing to see a response from the creator of the curls line. Thank you Mahisha for caring enough about your product to interact with the public. Coconut Sublime is the best!
Anonymous says:
August 8, 2009, 12:33 pm
Is the kid's version linked to above really the same thing?
Anonymous says:
August 8, 2009, 12:46 pm
I may have put too much in, but so far I don't like the way it feels (somewhat papery). It defines the curls, but it looks a bit like a Jheri Curl. Maybe I'll have a different reaction after it's fully dry. I was almost hoping that a product this expensive wouldn't work.
Anonymous says:
August 9, 2009, 11:44 am
It actually ended up working very well. Very good if you want every little curl defined. Next time, I may try using less and using more leave-in conditioner than I did. But I may try the kid's version: $25 and tax is a lot.
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