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In this post I will be doing my first Curly Girl Reviews of brands like Innersense, Curly World, Bounce Curl, and several more. If you have been “curlious” about these product lines but haven’t tried them yet, maybe you will find some inspiration in this post about my Search for The Curly Silver Holy Grail.

 

That’s me on October 11, 2016, I was on my way home from getting a haircut when it truly hit me that my stylist had said, “That’s it, the last of the dye Last Day of Gray Hair Transitionjust hit the floor.” I had to take a quick photo in the blazing sun, in my car, at a stop light. Just to remember the moment I realized I was done growing out the dye, 22 months from start to finish and I was finally done. I did not fully understand in that moment what was to come next. Silver hair is entirely different in many ways from dyed hair. And for some silver curly hair can be like having a new head of hair all together. My hair texture had completely changed; I went from curls all over that were all relatively similar in shape and texture to straight hair, waves, curls, and ringlets all on one head. In the three years since the dye hit the floor, I have been on the quest to find my new Curly Silver Holy Grail.

I have faithfully followed Curly Girl Method from almost the moment Lorraine published the book in 2002. With a couple of exceptions, I do use sulfate-free shampoo, as it just didn’t work for me to no-poo. With co-washes, I usually just acquired build-up on my scalp. A few times, I have tried an entire line of “curly” products when a company like Paul Mitchell makes a specific line, or Ouidad, or AG, even though these companies sometimes add silicones, waxes, alcohols, and other non-curly girl method approved ingredients. Regardless, I have always felt like, you never know, maybe one of these major salon brands will crack the code for great curls. I’m not worried about this because I know how to clarify now and remove the ingredients that can cause problems.

Because favorite product formulations change, are discontinued, hormones change, water changes, or the environment changes; you name it, if it changes; our curls are like a barometer to the difference. So I had been on this road before, with no map, but knowing I needed to find a new curly holy grail.

I started searching and searching…buying and returning…and searching…and buying and returning. Rinse and repeat as the shampoo bottle says. Every now and then over the last three years, I have given up the search, made do with what I had, and lived with the results whatever they were. Over the last year I noticed some really amazing product lines had come out, so I decided to try several out and see for myself what all they hype was about. I wish I could say that this summer was where my search for the Curly Silver Holy Grail ended, but it wasn’t. As time went on and more products were returned than I kept, I went back to something I had done back in 2002, I started a checklist table so I could keep track of what I liked or didn’t like.

With the help of some fantastic souls in the curly girl world, I realized there were some ingredients that could be causing me the issues I was having with products so I started tracking those too. I’ll catch you up on all that in the end of this post for now check out my exhausting search.

Please know this is my personal experience with these products and my hair is finicky, multiple wave and curl patterns, low porosity, and fine, I have allergies to many products and perfumes, so what doesn’t work for me may work perfect for many other people. This is just my honest experience and feedback on these products. Many fellow curlies ask me what I use on my hair so this post is for you Curly Silvers. I have listed out my personal pros and cons on each product line I’ve tried.  

First Up Innersense

Organics…check. Natural…check. Made for curls…check. Great scent…check. It seemingly had it all including the love of the curly girl community. They have amazing customer service; for example, they gave me a phone consult and product swap to help me figure out a better line-up. I really truly wanted to love Innersense because many fellow curly girls love it and consider it part of their Curly Holy Grail.

Unfortunately, the more I used it the worse my hair became. I ended up one night with so much frizz and painful fairy knots I showered and deep conditioned at about 9 o’clock at night, which is something I never do because it takes so long for my hair to dry. I tried all the products as recommended and then I tried them all separately the way I felt might work best for me. Sadly, the entire line was returned.

In the photo: my hair is about 80% dry, so curls looked promising, but by the time it was 100% dry the frizz, halo, and fairy knots would start to appear and by the end of the day no curls remained.

Pros

  • Scent
  • Very concentrated, a little goes a long way.
  • Returnable
  • Family Owned Business
  • Organic

Cons

  • Frizzy/Halo
  • Drying
  • Lack of Curls
  • Hold (the gel did not work at all for me)
  • Fairy Knots
  • $$$$ Very Expensive

Contains

  • Aloe
  • Shea
  • Glycerin
  • Polyquats
  • Proteins

Overall Conclusion: For me it had too much protein and glycerin, which led to drier and tangled hair. What I will say is…you might love it. Many silver curly girls do love it, so don’t let my results sway you unless you have my hair type.

You can check out the full line of products here: Innersense Beauty

Next Up Curly World

Why wouldn’t I be running out to get Lorraine’s new products since she has started her new salon and product line? And she just published a third book Silver Hair: Say Goodbye to the Dye and Let Your Natural Light Shine: A Handbook for those of us with silver hair as she has ditched the dye as well. To me it seemed like a win-win. I have never been able to use DevaCurl products, for some reason the line straightened my hair; however, I hoped Lorraine’s new natural line would be a different story.

My biggest complaints: the shipping was ridiculous, it was $13.50 and took over two weeks to arrive. The scent in all four products is an intense Damask rose, it is natural and okay but overpowering. While the packaging is low on plastic, it is not recyclable and it is difficult managing the floppy Mylar bags in the shower with wet hands.

When the products finally arrived, I could not wait to try them out. The Sham Free, left me with a buildup on my scalp that made me itchy. The Terms and Conditions was actually pretty nice, I wanted to like it but my hair dried in a puffy weird curl pattern.

In the photo: You can see there is a fair amount of ‘webbing’ going on all over, which turns into frizz and the curl eventually fell out even with the Leave In Lover Gel.

Pros

  • One scent all products
  • No fairy knots
  • Protein Free (this is good for me)
  • Returnable
  • Curly Silver Woman Owned Business

 

Cons

  • Frizzy/Halo
  • Itchy
  • Drying
  • Lack of Curls
  • Scent too strong
  • No Hold (the gel did not work at all for me)
  • $$$$ Very Expensive

Contains

  • Aloe
  • Olive oil
  • Shea
  • Glycerin
  • Polyquats
  • Itchy m’s (if you have issues with those.)

Overall Conclusion: Shipping was expensive and very slow, way too much glycerin, scent of rose was overpowering, customer service was slow to process return. Sadly, the entire experience was disappointing. I love Lorraine. I love what she single-handedly did for the curly community in the last two decades, but for me the products miss more than they hit.

You can check out the full line here: Curly World

Bounce Curl

Another line I truly wanted to love, and I did. The scent of the shampoo and conditioner left a lot to be desired, I don’t know what it was but it smelled off, like almost rancid. Also too many scent profiles, everything smells different. The Curl Light Crème Gel reminded me of the scented Strawberry Shortcake dolls from the 80’s somewhere between plastic and faux strawberry. Funny and odd, but bearable.

Beyond the scent, I loved the Cream Conditioner and the Clump & Define. My curls actually loved the conditioner and the balm just seemed right, she has something magical going there. Sadly, I ended up having a skin allergy to these products, as I later found on their website that they have a disclaimer about, so I am guessing I wasn’t the only one.

In the photo: I loved the variety of textures in this photo, you can see I have a little bit of everything, every strand was happy nourished here. I could really see the potential had I been able to continue using the products.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Curls were happy
  • I did like the Clump and Define Scent
  • No Fairy Knots
  • Protein Free
  • Woman Owned Business

Contains

  • Aloe
  • Olive oil
  • Shea
  • Glycerin
  • Polyquats

Cons

  • Frizzy/Halo (the leave in conditioner made for lots of frizz so I only used it once)
  • Greasy/Heavy (oddly the clarifying shampoo felt heavy)
  • Too many scent profiles, and odd smells
  • No Hold (the gel did not work at all for me)
  • Skin Allergy (I broke out in small pimple like bumps on my hairline, neck, and back)
  • Non-Returnable (I bought kits, and did not realize they were not returnable)

Overall Conclusion: Sans the allergy and scents, I would have loved to keep and continuing using the products that were working. They definitely belong in a Holy Grail line up. Curly girls around the world rave about the Curl Light Crème Gel.

You can check out the full line here: Bounce Curl

LUS Brands

The minute I saw this line come out, I was intrigued, the overall results on all curl types seems amazing. The three-product system is the thing curly girl’s dream of filling their Holy Grail up with. I wanted to love these products so much, this summer I tried them for the second time. The first round I could not get them to work no matter how many videos on their site I watched and no matter which way or how much I tried. And the second trial was the same results. I do believe they have too many poly-quats in them. I absolutely love the scent; it is soft and light and makes a perfect perfume just for everyday wear. My hair felt incredibly soft, but just would not stay curly.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Scent
  • No Fairy Knots
  • Really Soft Hair
  • Protein Free
  • Woman Owned Business
  • $$ Very reasonably priced especially since it should only be the three products you use.

Cons

  • Frizzy/Halo
  • Lack of Curls
  • No Hold
  • Non-Returnable (I bought travel kits to offset this and sent one to a friend to try.)

Contains

  • Shea
  • Glycerin
  • Polyquats

Overall Conclusion: if you can handle glycerin, lots of shea butter, and poly-quats, try this product. You will likely love it. I imagine it probably is working well on people who have a great curl pattern that needs little encouragement and doesn’t need a lot of hold.

You can check out the entire line here: LUS Brand

JessiCurl

At this point in my journey, I started going back to products that I had tried on the very first trip to my Curly Girl Method Holy Grail. Back then, I had dyed hair so it makes sense things that did not work for me then might work for me now. Somewhere in the beginning of my journey, as it turns out, the founder Jess McGuinty was in her kitchen making her first batch of products to put in her Holy Grail line up. I found her website back then just after she launched the first products of her line. There was some glitch on the website and I called to let them know; they sent me free samples of everything they had at the time. For some reason, which I cannot remember now, I could not use the line. As I said though, might have been the difference between dyed hair and silver hair. This time, I ordered the Light & Luminous Collection, unscented. Try as I might I could not get any of it to work for me the way the rest of the curly girl world does.

In the photo: You can see there were many issues going on, no real definition of curl, puffy, and fuzzy. By the end of the day I felt like Roseanne Roseannadanna, not my best look.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Unscented
  • Curls were trying to happen
  • While you cannot return products, you can order samples or travel sizes.
  • Woman Owned Business
  • $$ Very reasonably priced.

Cons

  • Frizzy/Halo
  • No Hold
  • Itchy Scalp
  • Flax may have been the pitfall for me.

Contains

  • Aloe
  • Shea
  • Glycerin
  • Polyquats
  • Proteins (flax and oat)

Overall Conclusion: Once again a product line that I wanted to love because it seems so beloved in the curly girl community, but just didn’t do anything reliably for my curls. I feel like these work well on higher porosity hair, color treated hair, and more in the 3 range of of curls.

You can check out the entire line here: JessiCurl

Rizos Curls

I had heard a lot about these products via Instagram and YouTube. Even though they were designed for Latina hair, I thought they were still worth a try. They are heavy in shea butter so the line all together tends to weigh my hair down and my curls disappear. The biggest downside for me is the scent. It is a thick floral scent and while I haven’t been allergic to it, I have to choose the days I can tolerate the heavy floral scent.  I am still playing with the line and have yet to find the happy curl day. I do really like the Curl Defining Cream and have almost used it up. It does have a learning curve, but seems like great potential.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Curls were trying to happen
  • Protein Free
  • While you cannot return products, you can order samples or travel sizes.
  • Woman Owned Business
  • $$ Very reasonably priced.

Cons

  • Heavy
  • No Hold
  • Intense Floral Scent in all products

Contains

  • Aloe
  • Shea
  • Coconut Oil
  • Glycerin
  • Beeswax
  • Polyquats
  • Olive Oil

Overall Conclusion: If Rizos makes an unscented line I will be trying these products again. I do think they work well on higher porosity, and coarser hair overall. If you want to try one product try the Curl Defining Cream. I really like the Shampoo and Conditioner, but again, the scent is just too much for me.

You can check out the entire line here: Rizos Curls

There are affiliate links* in this post.  Read my Terms and Conditions Page to learn more.

Other Products I Bought:

OYIN

  • I was scared to use this because of the really heavy green color (I believe from olive oil), and I have already discovered olive oil can really stain my hair, even with QuickSilverHair Clay it can be stubborn to remove.

Curlsmith

  • I only tried the refresh spray, I sneezed so many times, and so violently, I scared the dog. The entire line smells the same and contains black pepper, which could have been the reason for the sneezing.

Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Curls Collection

  • I had nothing but frizz. Used it one time and took it back. It was so bad it was laughable. I wish a company like Paul Mitchell would figure out curls.

Together Beauty

  • The scent is absolutely horrible, I couldn’t even use it. Brocato was the creator’s previous line and I should have guessed how bad it would be given Brocato products also smelled horrible.

TreLuxe

  • I had great hopes for this line based on several reviews, but the fragrance caused an immediate allergy so I had to return the products. If you want to try a product from TreLuxe the Curl Enhancer Styling Gel is supposed to be excellent.

Meme about pick your bottles

The original said “battles.”

Curly Girl Product Junkie Policy:

I’m actually NOT a product junkie, I like to find products I love and stick to them. I will try new things and try new lines, but I have a policy on returns I usually buy only if returns are allowed, or if a line has sample or trial sizes. Target, Walgreens, Ulta, Sephora, Amazon, and several other large retailers allow returns, verify at purchase because it can be really helpful to buy an entire line and try it out. My only exception to this is a small business, I know how much it affects the bottom line when everyone wants a 100% return policy, as much as I love to use that policy, it doesn’t always work for smaller businesses. I usually pass those products onto a fellow curly girl if I don’t care for them.

Recent Product Finds to Add to The Curly Silver Holy Grail:

During this long road on the Quest for my Curly Silver Holy Grail I did find a couple of products I loved, namely: Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel and Paul Mitchell Super Clean Sculpting Gel (while it has a silicone in it, it is a water soluble dimethicone, and almost the last ingredient).

Invitation:

I hope this post has been of some help to you on your quest for your Curly Silver Holy Grail. I have connected with some silver sisters in the online communities that have EXACTLY THE SAME ISSUE as I do with their Silver Curls being different. And I did some digging, silver hair is different! For some there is no medulla (core) to the silver strand, which I don’t know 100% yet HOW that affects your curl and products working or not, but I know it must have a major effect. I have discovered a similar trend with ingredients not working on silver curls, so far glycerin tops the chart, and then heavy proteins are difficult for fine silver curls. I have created a topic for those of us in this situation in The Silver Circle. My desire is to have an ongoing conversation and see if we can all find our Curly Silver Holy Grail, so if you aren’t a member come join us, if you are a member watch for this subject in my posts.

 

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.

image of Joli A. Campbell ~ QuickSilverHair ~ Gray Hair BloggerAs always it is about so much more than the hair.

Joli Campbell ~ QuickSilverHair ~ Gray Hair Blogger

 

 

 

 

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