Photo: Maiysha Kai

As we’ve progressed through the many looks of Black-Owned Beauty Month, hair felt like the final frontier. But while I’ve been testing out some of our leading cosmetic and skin care brands daily, I’ve also been quietly trying out a range of hair care products, with some very specific goals in mind. Since every day can’t be wash day, I’m well aware I’ve only scratched the surface this past month (and will continue testing new brands in our new weekly beauty feature), but my first goal? To do something about my super-thirsty locks.

Though my hair has always had a propensity for dryness, I’ve noticed that since I’ve begun transitioning textures, my ends have been especially parched—almost as if my now-natural roots are soaking up all the moisture. (Is that a thing? Because it could also be that the vibrant health of my roots is now drawing attention to the needs of my still-processed ends.) But since I’m choosing to hold onto my length as I transition, this was an issue that required immediate attention.

After several weeks of co-washes and conditioners, I finally stumbled upon a few new but instant faves. First up: Aunt Jackie’s Fix My Hair Intensive Repair Conditioning Masque. Granted, she had Auntie Mai at the word “Aunt,” but the promise to fix my hair drove me to pluck this product off the shelf of my local Target—well, that and the incredible price point ($11.79 for 15 ounces at Amazon). Happily, Aunt Jackie delivers on that promise; five minutes in the shower with this creamy, flaxseed-based blend left my thick mane silky and easy to slip through. I was so impressed, I’m planning to revisit for a 10-minute heated deep conditioning treatment.

But first, I had to devote 10 minutes of deep conditioning time to Kaleidoscope Hair Products’ “The Answer” 5-in-1 Reconstructor ($16.99 for 8 ounces). This protein-rich formula promises to stop shedding, add moisture and deposit vitamins to repair damaged hair—so I was eager to see what it might do for mine. Granted, it was only one use, but I was immediately blown away by the shine; my previously dull tresses instantly looked revived and healthy. Woot, woot!

As advised, post-wash, I doubled down on the Kaleidoscope Hair Products love, treating my roots with the brand’s bestselling Miracle Drops ($29.99 for 2 ounces) a tea tree-based blend which promises to promote hair growth by strengthening weak hair and revitalizing follicles. I won’t see potential results for 4-6 weeks, but despite being oil-based, I was pleased that the product absorbed easily and didn’t leave my roots feeling at all greasy.

Advertisement

To seal in the moisture and renewed vibrancy before styling, I slathered on a dollop of The Mane Choice’s Tropical Moringa Sweet Oil & Honey Endless Moisture Sealing Cream ($14.99 for 8 ounces). This new product from the line’s extensive collection claims to “deeply penetrate the hair shaft to infuse it with vital moisture and nutrients,” and to be “power packed to improve shine, strength, and manageability.” I’m excited to see results long-term, but off the bat, my hair is shinier and bouncier than it’s been in many months.

Since a curl set has quickly become my go-to style for camouflaging my contrasting textures, I decided to try something new this week, just to improve my hold and curl definition. Mielle Organics’ Honey and Ginger Styling Gel ($11.99 for 13 ounces) boasts more than 70 percent certified organic ingredients, which is appealing as I aim for better hair health. More lotion-like than a traditional gel, after applying to my damp hair and setting it, I got improved hold and shine with none of the stiffness of typical gels or setting lotions. Overall, a win—if only I can commit to this whole setting thing.

Photo: Maiysha Kai

Advertisement

Another well-deserved shout-out this week goes to Tropic Isle Living, who gifted me with a well-stocked gift box of their hair and skin offerings—including a lovely wax print headwrap. This brand claims to have sparked the Jamaican Black Castor Oil craze, and sent me some to try for myself ($7.99 for 4 ounces), along with their Strong Roots Red Pimento Edge Primer ($7.99 for 2.25 ounces) and Hair Growth Oil ($10.99 for 4 ounces).

Having also branched out into skincare, Tropic Isle Living also included their ginger-scented Soothing Skin Therapy Bush Bath & Shower Gel ($12.99 for 8 ounces). But as much as I love pretty much anything ginger, my favorite was surprisingly their Jamaican Hibiscus Island Scrub ($20.99 for 8 ounces). Unlike conventional scrubs, this formula is almost powdery upon application, but under water it dissolves, leaving a super-emollient finish and lovely scent. It was an unexpected pleasure that entirely erased the need for lotion, post-shower.

Of course, now I’ve got to run, as it’s Oscars Sunday and we’ve got a red carpet to cover. Happily, my hair is ready. See you Monday, for our final week of Black-Owned Beauty Month!