Sisters with natural hair are currently being spoiled for choice as a lot of international brands are hitting our shelves faster than one can blink. As great as this phenomenon is, some of these products have ridiculous price tags that a girl on the streets cannot afford. This is where the American Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils brand has an added advantage over the rest.
This mix and ethnic hair brand offers affordable products with no sulphate, parabens, mineral oils or petrolatum, making them ideal for women who like me are seeking to grow healthy hair without harmful chemicals. As luck would have it, I got to put their products to the test and tell you all about them.
AUNT JACKIE’S OH SO CLEAN! MOISTURIZING & SOFTENING SHAMPOO
The Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean Moisturizing & Softening Shampoo has a pleasant peachy colour and scent. Once I applied it to my scalp, it foamed more than I expected and since a lot of sulphate-free shampoos tend to produce less lather due to their lack of soap, the foam had me a bit concerned. Two washes and two rinses later, all the hair products were washed out of my Afro, yet it felt soft to the touch. As gentle as this shampoo was to my hair, it has also proven to be an effective cleanser.
AUNT JACKIE’S IN CONTROL “ANTI-POOF”
This light creamy and jellylike conditioner smells of my favourite childhood grape Kool-Aid ice lollies. Tempting to taste, but I refrained and applied it to my towel dried hair. After 30 minutes of allowing for the Anti-Poof conditioner to be absorbed (I have used it for overnight conditioning as well) I noticed that once it sinks in it has no discernible residue. Even though I could not “see it”, my locks felt slick and some of that suppleness remained even after I rinsed off the conditioner leaving me with a much easier to manage Afro.
AUNT JACKIE’S KNOT ON MY WATCH INSTANT DETANGLING THERAPY
I have used the Knot On My Watch Detangling Therapy lotions on freshly conditioned hair as well as on dry hair that I’ve dampened with water. In both instances, my Afro felt softer, more moisturised thus easier to comb and detangle. And once the lotion dried on my hair, it left no oily or greasy residue. If, like me, you like touchable hair and dislike sticky hands, then this is a must-have detangling lotion for both of us.
AUNT JACKIE’S CURL LA LA DEFINING CURL CUSTARD
This lilac styling product has a consistency similar to that of the Anti-Poof conditioner. It has become my preferred product for twisting Bantu knots. Used sparingly, the Aunt Jackie’s Curl La La Defining Curl Custard gives me twist-out curls that are soft and defined. I’ve noticed that when I use a bit more of this styling product to twist, I end up with stretched hair instead of defined curls, which is perfect when I want to wear my hair longer and straight.
Below are the results achieved from using these products:
Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Deep Moisture Oil Treatment
One of the main things I noticed with the products was that they are all – Paraben free, Petrolatum free, Paraffin free & Mineral Oil free (yay!). It looks like they might have since updated their ingredients and removed the Mineral oil because the Leave-in Conditioner I used in my last review had mineral oil in it or it’s possible the mineral oil might only just be in the leave-in conditioner.
So this is how I have been using the products on a typical wash day…
I usually wash my locs once every two weeks and sometimes depending on how much product build-up I have or if I feel they need a good clean, I will wash them once a week.
I normally wash my locs on Saturday morning before I start with all the house chores. Lately I have been washing my locs in the bathroom sink instead of the shower because I find I have easier access to my scalp that way and I this ensures that I get to all the locs.
I start off with wetting my scalp and locs and then lather them with Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo. I start with the scalp first and make sure I remove any product build-up. I then rinse and lather my locs again and rub them against each other to make sure all the dirt is removed. I then rinse again and ensure all the shampoo has been removed. I have to say the shampoo is quite rich and a little goes a long way. I really did not need a lot. The shampoo also had a lot of slip. I think it would also work as a great detangler for loose naturals.
I then follow with the Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Deep Moisture Oil Treatment on damp (not wet) hair. You can use this a daily moisturiser or as hot oil treatment. I prefer to use it as a hot oil treatment on wash days. I make sure I coat all my locs and scalp with the oil. I then cover my locs with a shower cap (you can even use a plastic grocery bag) and for maximum results I cover with a doek (head wrap) and carry on with my chores in the house. This a great alternative to a hooded hair dryer. Depending how much I need to do in the house, I leave the shower cap on for about an hour but you can leave it on for longer and go about with your day running errands.
I then rinse off the oil and then follow on with the Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Moisturising & Detangling Conditioner. This conditioner is also quite thick but not greasy. It does not coat my locs at all. Instead I felt it absorbed quite easily into my locs. I also did not need a lot of conditioner. I left the conditioner on for about a minute or two and then rinsed it off thoroughly.
After I dried my locs with an old cotton t-shirt, I finished off by spraying the Intense Shine Oil Mist spray to lock in the moisture and to give my locs some sheen.
After all of that my locs felt squeeky clean and smelled sooo good! One of the main things I LOVE about this range is the wonderful lingering scent and I am sucker for hair products that smell like sweets or fruits
Do you think there are products designed specifically for white people’s hair and ones designed for black people’s hair? Or can all hair products work for all hair types?…
Well I have always been under the impression that hair is hair; whether it’s a black, white or Asian person’s hair, it is just hair at the end of the day and that any shampoo and conditioner that is good for one, should be good for the other…right?.
It was until, at a recent hair product launch I attended, that I had an interesting conversation with someone about how perhaps some products work better for white hair and others are best for black hair…especially when you start looking closely at the structure of each hair.
Straight hair usually gets oily quite quickly because the natural oil from the scalp is able to travel easily down the hair shaft thus coating the entire length of the hair strand. While kinky, coily hair tends to get dry due to the oils not reaching the entire length of the hair easily because of all the kinks (turns) in each strand of hair. This will then mean that black natural hair benefits a lot from hair products whose main aim is to infuse moisture back into the hair. Hence you will find the LCO/LOC methods work so well for black natural hair…and how co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner only) is done by most naturals. Our hair really craves the moisture!
So with that in mind it would make sense that those with straight hair (mostly women of Caucasian/European descent) will prefer products that strip excess oils from the hair or products that won’t weigh it down…and those with curly and coily hair would obviously want to use hair products that bring back the oils and moisture into the hair.
Personally, I don’t think hair products should be classified by products that work for white people’s hair or products that work for black people’s hair but rather according to the type of hair one has. So whether that be straight, curly, coily, dull, greasy, damaged or dry hair.
It would also be great then if hair care brands could get to a point whereby the advertising does not show a specific race but rather focuses on a certain hair texture or even products that help to treat different hair “problems” (e.g dry or damaged hair). I would also like to see retails stores move away from separating or shelving hair products according to products meant for black people and hair products meant for white people.
What do you guys think? Is there such a thing as hair products specifically made for a certain type of race or do you think that is now changing?
My twin sister, Pumla, and I were born in Baragwanath Hospital, however I’m a Joburger — born and bred. I’m currently still in Jozi and plan to be for a few more years.
What are you currently up to?
On the 9 to 5, I’m a school’s relationship consultant for a youth marketing company, and beyond that period (and a few minutes in between), I’m a writer.
Why did you decide to go natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.
Three words: Big hair rocks! My hair suffered greatly (i.e. breakage, bald spots, extremely dry and flat hair) from my childhood and teenage years of chemical use and heat treatment, so ultimately, I felt obliged to do myself a favour and let my hair ‘be’ whatever it was without chemical interference. Additionally, I always loved the texture of my hair during growth period and wondered what it would be like to always have it that way. I’m happy I know now.
What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced with having natural hair?
When my hair was shorter, I think constantly being asked by various people when I’d do something with my hair (if it was left out) irritated me, and honestly sometimes left me feeling insecure about my natural look (I mean, it can be hard when you’re being compared to everyone else’s socially acceptable hairdos). Other than that, it would have to be dryness, tangles and a great deal of hair management if it’s not in protective styling. However, the benefits outweigh the not-so-positives: Big, full, healthy and vibrant hair that gets heads turning, and inspires other women to grow out their hair too and ditch harmful chemicals.
What is your hair care regimen?
It’s quite detailed, but to summarise it well;
Wash and deep condition weekly
Spritz daily (with water only) about 3-6 times throughout the day
Protective styling at least for two months at a time
Avoid heat at all costs, unless absolutely necessary
What results do you expect from a hair product when you purchase it?
Depending on how much I purchased it for and its ingredients, I’d say usually it’s optimum nourishment and moisturization. It’s always a plus if it helps to detangle.
Is it a struggle finding products that work for your natural hair or are you happy with the ones you’re currently using?
There are very few products I love (especially from the Clicks house brand range as well as TRESemme), but I’m always on the lookout for something refreshingly great.
Are you planning on growing locs in the future?
I’ve thought about it a number of times, and I can’t say for certain if I would just yet. Let’s just see what the hair gods have in store for me.
Do you have a favourite hair salon?
I braid, style, maintain and manage all aspects of my hair myself, so I’d say I’m my favourite go-to stylist at the moment (apart from my sister who occasionally hooks me up with cornrows, hairdryer blowouts and flat ironing hairdos for free).
What type of hairstyles do you like to rock?
Definitely my ‘fro, and my usual box braids.
Any hair care tips you’d like to share with the FroChic readers?
Something I thought of shortly after my big chop: Don’t do hairstyles at the cost of your hairline, and too much unnecessary value is placed in hair; don’t lose your sanity over it.
What’s your (fashion) style generally?
Gee, style? I don’t think I have an exact style. ‘Afrocentric’, maybe? A few people have likened me to Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill which I’m incredibly humbled by, however my direct influences are a lot closer to home: My late mom, my aunt, Madonna, neighbours and even passersby. Culture and tradition from all countries also inspires me greatly — I feel no modern trends or styles could take away from the invaluable experience of dressing in clothing items that have decades upon decades and maybe even centuries of rich heritage.