A common complaint among natural haired women of color — too many products aren’t made to suit our needs. From the ingredients to the marketing, often afrobellas can feel excluded from the new hotness debuting on store shelves, displayed prominently on billboards, or splashed all over magazine spreads.

“That stuff is not for me,” you might hear a disgruntled bella mumble to herself.

Well, sometimes you might be right. And sometimes, you just may be surprised at the results you get from a product that isn’t necessarily targeted to your demographic.

In the name of being a beauty bloggin’ guinea pig, I tried out some hair products that I initially assumed were just not for me. And here are my somewhat surprising results!

First stop, Davines. Fancy website, no? Fancy prices, too. The Momo Shampoo and Conditioner are specially formulated for dry, dehydrated hair. Made with milk thistle oil, panthenol, jojoba oil, and rhizoban gum… yeah, I gotta admit. I have no idea what the last thing is either. But the gorgeous girl at the top of this post is from the Davines site, so it made me wanna try it!
Amazon breaks down all the ingredients right here for those of you who need to know the deetz.


Momo moisturizing shampoo and conditioner seemed like the kind of overpriced product I doubted would rock my socks, but surprise surprise — my hair loved this stuff! The conditioner is amazing, and gave fantastic slip for combing through my tangles and knots. Now I have high hopes for other Davines products, like the curl serum and the olive butter nourishing repairing mask. I’ll keep you posted if and when I review more of Davines products, but be forewarned, the prices might give you a freakin’ heart attack if you’re on any kind of budget. If you’re a bella who’s balling, then definitely check ’em out!

Next up, Bumble & Bumble. This is one of those classic seen-in-the-magazine brands that I can honestly out myself as assuming wouldn’t do anything for my kind of hair. But I’m happy to report, some of these companies are starting to get it and realize curly heads, natural heads need love too! And we are constantly on the lookout for products that work to soften, tame, and treat our hair like it deserves to be treated. B&B has a whole range of products for curly girls, some of which I L-O-V-E loved. Some not so much. Take for example the Curl Conscious shampoo and conditioner, which smelled good but left my particular texture of curl more frizzy and dry than I’d have liked. Blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol. And the SLS.


But I did really really like the results I got from the Alojoba shampoo — I think most afrobellas would, actually. It’s a light, moisturizing, low lather shampoo with aloe vera gel, jojoba seed oil, cucumber and chamomile. Gentle and healthy. Left my hair very soft and bouncy. At $22, it isn’t the cheapest salon-type brand on the market but if you’ve been seeking the ideal shampoo for a while, give it a whirl.

I’ve had hit or miss luck with Lush — after numerous tries, I’ve decided to abandon hope that the Jungle Conditioner will work for me. I really held out hope that a solid condish would work, but it never melts enough, and just leaves my hair frizzy and clumpy and not cute at all. But I do LOVE the smell and the effect of the
Godiva Solid Shampoo

. I love the environmental friendliness of Lush, and the easy-portability of this product. No shampoo’s easier to travel with. And I’d be hard pressed to suggest a shampoo with more scent than this one. Godiva smells so decadently jasmine-y and delicious, your significant other might want to smell your hair for a while. And that’s a good thing! If you’ve been wanting to try a solid shampoo, give this one a try.


My next Lush adventure will be
Curly Wurly Shampoo

. Coconut, cocoa and avocado butters? Sounds like a match made in afrobella heaven! You know I’ll let you know when I know.

Have you tried any new shampoos lately? Any exciting results to share? Digame, chicas!

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Amina says:
July 9, 2009, 9:51 pm
oh yes, I've used Bumble in the past especially the creme de coco line. Which shampoos I have recently tried? nunulove handmades honey and flowers..love it sheabuttercottage rhassoul poo bar and afroveda carrot and castor poo bar :)
lcurve_1 says:
July 10, 2009, 1:07 am
recently on a trip to whole foods i discovered giovanni's 50/50 shampoo. its clarifiying and moisturizing not to mention that it smells great. it doesnt contain any harmful ingredients and is all organic and it was on sale for $5.49! a good one to try.
Tdotcurlie says:
July 10, 2009, 9:52 am
I live in Toronto and recently discovered the store Honey Fig (dedicated to curly hair divas). They recommended the Blended Beauty line of products and my hair LOVES it!!!! The Soy Cream Shampoo and the curl quenching conditioner - FAB!!!
gianni says:
July 10, 2009, 10:24 am
I don't have a natural perm, but a perm nonetheless. Would these products work for me? Thankies. Van Cleef
Zoe says:
July 10, 2009, 11:54 am
Another great post. I bought Davines Love shampoo and conditioner for curly hair - it's amazing stuff that my hair loves. I can deffo recommend it. Also, I find a little has gone a long way. I've also tried the curly wurly shampoo from Lush. I find the bits of dried coconut get all stuck in my curls. Too much of a hassle to fish them out during the repeated rinsing - so not my fave, personally. I do like the Jasmine & Henna product from Lush that you recommended here a few months ago, though - thanks for the recommendation!
Newly Nappy says:
July 10, 2009, 12:38 pm
EEP! Back away from the Curly Wurly. Can i just say bits of actual coconut flakes applied to wet BIG A CURLY ISH is sooooo not the best idea ever invented!! No greater condishg factors were offered, it actually seemed to make my hair more tangled. Really it was just an awful experience. Absolutely no slip, plus maggot looking lumpy coconut crap left behind in my head all to the tune of sum $20 per 8oz....yeah NO!
Newly Nappy says:
July 10, 2009, 12:43 pm
Lol, didnt even add my 'poo find. Bertha (this is what i hv named the 300 lb woman who resides atop my head) no likey sulfates. So I use the new formula of Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo. Heaven! Very creamy, can actually be used for detangling, sulfate free and easy to find at my local beauty supply. Think is myb $3 for 12/16 oz. Bertha really comes out soft and luvly afterwards. I don't use any sulfates and not too many cone heavy products. So I condish wash every 2 to 3 days mininum but shampoo every other week or longer and once a month clarify with an acv rinse. Great results!
BK says:
July 10, 2009, 2:07 pm
I've been using Miss Jessie's Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo for the past 2 mos now.. best shampoo I found outside of Phytospecific for my hair texture..
Penni Brown says:
July 10, 2009, 3:05 pm
I like the Davine's products. I found them at Loehmanns. I liked the MOMO serum - i think that's the name of it(its the lavendar colored serum). It left my curls really well defined and soft. It was pricey, even at Loehmanns, so I haven't tried it again, but I would if I won the lotto. :-)
Ami says:
July 10, 2009, 4:27 pm
Hello. I do not know where else to ask this, so if I am in the wrong, I apologise. Ms.Bella, You are a Trini. I am a Bajan. Anyways, I currently live on a plateau fairly far inland of a big country. The sun is harsh and the air is dry. I am currently transitioning and my hair looks to be about some sort of 3b in the back and 3c in the front. When I put in my homemade glycerin/water/ grapeseed oil spray that seems to suffice in terms of moisture and frizz is not an issue here. My concern is about when I go home. As you may well know, when you leave the airport to go home, the humidity literally weighs on you and we all know what humidity does to natural hair. The only time I have seen hair care tips/ style ideas it's for more continental regions. All I have come across wrt that kind of tropical climate is 2 strand twists or box plaits to survive a vacation. Is this all I am really limited to when I go home?
kechylyn says:
July 10, 2009, 6:45 pm
i use alberto vo5 and i tell you its very moisturizing for me and the fragrances are the boom. so sweet and natural
Toneah says:
July 11, 2009, 9:48 am
I love B&B Rinse/Leave In cond. As a leave in it is one of the best. Not so much for a cowash.
Beth says:
July 11, 2009, 2:49 pm
@Newly Nappy I love that you've named your hair! :) My hair also hates sulfates, so I stopped using shampoos containing them a while ago. It has made an enormous difference. My hair is currently locked, but it using shampoos without sulfates was great for twists and such, too (I have 4b hair). My scalp is also much healthier. I've been using Chagrin Valley Soaps shampoo bars followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse and a conditioner ("Yes to Carrots" mud mask for deep conditioning, a lighter natural one, like Trader Joes or Burt's Bees for regular conditioning). These shampoos aren't directly targeted kinky-curly folks, but a lot of us seem to like them. http://tinyurl.com/mur6vt
Lteefaw says:
July 12, 2009, 12:18 pm
Like the other readers stated stay away from the Curly Wurly stuff. You will have coconut shaving in your hair for days!!!
lina says:
July 12, 2009, 9:02 pm
I recently snagged the Korres Juniper and Olive shampoo from marshall's from five bucks and it is great! it smells really fresh and clean. I have biracial hair, maybe a 3b? Also, Vatika Henna shampoo is also a great moisturizing shampoo that I get from my local Indian store...and I love how it smells too!
Healthy Fit and Beautiful says:
July 13, 2009, 6:16 am
great post...i love those products with natural beauty. This shampoo also great..;) thanks. we will come back often.
shadow0801aka says:
July 13, 2009, 12:47 pm
I use a shampoo bar from the health food store then I use a moisture shampoo Vive Pro. I condition my hair with cantu leave in conditon because my hair only takes to cream based products. I use QP mango to twist my hair and a combo of oilve oil joba oil and lavender as an oli spray.
africaliving says:
July 13, 2009, 2:06 pm
i like the question about what to do with natural hair when going home...my style works great in laid back, dry california. but why does my hair inevitably end up in a wet ponytail when i tire of the frowns in conservative, humid west africa. love that the obama girls went natural in accra, but think they could get away with it as kids.
sweetooth says:
July 13, 2009, 2:57 pm
I've been using a product called WEN. sulfate-free. Tea tree(scal issues), lavendar and fig are the three choices. My hair is shiny, moisturized and the color stays in longer(non-stripping). Ordered from QVC.
Samantha says:
July 13, 2009, 4:55 pm
When I co-wash, I just use V05 conditioners because I usually do so everyday, it seems to make no sense to me to spend a lot of money on conditioners. It helps that I pre-poo with olive oil. :>
AzizaW says:
July 13, 2009, 8:44 pm
I agree with Newly Nappy about the Curly Wurly! It is a NIGHTMARE for curly hair lol. Why the flakes? I'll never understand. I worked for Lush over the holidays and I tried almost all the hair stuff. If you're looking for a good liquid 'poo try Cynthia Sylvia Stout. It smelled like Guiness but it worked wonders for my hair. One huge money saving tip for you Lushies out there; Order most of your products from the UK site. I usually buy soap and meltable items in store and then buy skincare and haircare online. Even with shipping you'll end up saving a load of money. Here's this thread at the US Lush forum to help you out. You many need to register to view it. Hope this helps :) http://forum.lush.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=100&t=114329&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
hot beauty health says:
July 14, 2009, 1:16 pm
I use bumble & bumble products all the time on my hair. It's fantastic! They carry the product too at Loehmann's always at a discounted price.
merc says:
July 16, 2009, 5:27 pm
please review products available internationally e.g. in the uk too. ta.
Keekee says:
July 17, 2009, 2:23 pm
Hi All, I just happened upon this site and I like what I see so far. I would to share my fave hair care product: Carol's daughter. I love it so much and they have products for natural, curly hair. I love it.
mark k says:
August 2, 2009, 8:40 pm
I use only one conditioner - the Peppermint Herbal Conditioner from Made from Earth. I dont need to use anything else - I apply the conditioner and let it sit on my hair while I shower. After that I comb out my hair and rinse, voila I'm done and my hair is soft and moisterized. You can find the company at http://www.madefromearth.com/ I am concerned about parabens and chemicals so I use the Made from Earth Peppermint conditioner as a substitute for many things in the shower. I use this instead of shaving creams always, my legs, and arm pits are grateful. I am big on exfoliating and in winter after I shower, I add baking soda to the Made from Earth conditioner and apply it all over my body in a circular motion (paying attention to elbows, knees, hands, and feet) then do my final rinse. I do this once a week and I follow with shea butter or Extra Virgin Olive oil and this keeps my extra dry winter skin super soft, without chemicals and parabens. And it smells great, so no need for body sprays afterwards. Hope this helps.
Mely says:
August 28, 2009, 5:31 pm
I heard that Davine's products work well on kinky hair. I saw their Nourishing Vegetarian Miracle conditioner in a magazine a few years ago as a recommendation for a deep conditioner for kinky textured hair. Has anyone tried that product? I may just give Davine's a try.


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