Ride or Die: Hair Care Favorites

I’ve been wearing my hair in its naturally curly state for quite a few years now. The transition from chemically treated (permed) hair to naturally curly was a little rough. The products featured in this post helped to make my transition phase a lot smoother. I love trying out new beauty products- but I’m often skeptical when it comes to trying out new hair care products. When  I find hair care products that work for me, I want to continue to buying and using them. The products that I’ll be mentioning are all under $20. I can be heavy handed with my products; therefore I don’t like to spend too much on one product.

Many of the products listed below I use during a typical Hair-Wash Day. I typically wash my hair once a week. During this time I wash, condition and deep condition based on the needs of my hair and the products that I used during my previous hair washing session. I know many people do the whole co-washing routine by only using a conditioner or a cleansing conditioner. This is a method that I know does not work for me being that I use gel’s and pomades, these products require a deep cleanse for my hair in order to avoid product build up. At the current time I’m trying out different Shampoos and Conditioners; therefore I do not have a favorite at moment. If you have a favorite, feel free to leave me the name in the comments.

Treatment, Deep Conditioner and Leave-In

Olaplex No.3

Price: $28 for 3.3 ounces

I’ve been using the Olaplex no 3 since Sept 2018. After a horrible experience with heat damage, my hair became fragile and was constantly breaking. The Olaplex along with a few good trimming sessions helped my hair so much. I’ve discussed the Olaplex no 3.with so many different people that have different hair textures. I honestly feel like the people who do not like Olaplex are ones that are using incorrectly. 

Directions suggested by the brand: Use once a week or two to three times a week for damaged hair. Apply on damp, towel-dried hair. Apply a generous amount from scalp to ends until hair is thoroughly saturated. Leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes (longer if desired). Rinse from hair. Shampoo and condition as usual.

 First let me tell you, Olaplex No.3 is not a deep conditioner or a mask. This is not a product that will generally make your hair feel softer immediately after using it. Olaplex no 3 is a hair treatment that helps to strength and restore broken hair bonds. Many people think that they should throw this in their hair for 10 minutes and call it a day. NO, it does not work that way. I know the directions says 10 minutes, but for the price of this product 10 minutes is not long enough- especially if you’re looking to achieve real results.

I typically apply the Olaplex to damp hair. I leave it in anywhere from 8 hours to overnight. The formula works better the longer it’s left in the hair. After the hours are up, I wash it out. Then I follow-up with my regular hair wash routine of shampoo, conditioner and a light hydrating mask (Aussie Moist 3 minute deep conditioner). My only qualm with the Olaplex No.3 is the price and size. The bottle only comes in 3oz and retails for $28. If you have thick or really long hair, I presume that this bottle will only give you 3-4 applications. My hair is more on the fine to medium side of density and is not long. I typically use the treatment every other week to damp hair. I find that using it this way helps to avoid using more product than needed. Also I think my hair is in a better stage where I don’t need to use this at every shampoo.

I get around the high price tag by purchasing it whenever I can find it on sale. Sephora typically has a sale or gives a discount a couple of times a year and this is the perfect time to purchase these. Olaplex recently released No.6 which is a bond smoother. I have yet to try this out, but it’s on my radar to test out soon!

 Ingredients: Water, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Quaternium-91, Sodium Benzoate, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-37, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Etidronic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Phytantriol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle

Price: $3 for 8oz.

How to use: Work into wet hair, wait 3 minutes, then rinse out.

The Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner has been a staple in my haircare routine for many many years now. This is my go to deep conditioner that I use when I’m on a time crunch or when I’ve used a protein or stronger deep conditioner the week prior. The Aussie Moist may be one of the most inexpensive hair products that I use. With the price also comes with what may be considered setbacks to some. This conditioner contains fragrance, ‘cones and other ingredients that those that are on the 100% all natural ingredients may not agree with. I’ve tried many other quick deep conditioners and so far nothing else can compare to the price and the quality of the results that I get from using it. This conditioner has been so good to my hair and I always have a bottle in my shower.

 Ingredients: Ingredients: Water/Eau, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Dimethicone, Glutamic Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol, EDTA, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ecklonia Radiata Extract, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

Kinky Curly “Knot Today – Detangle/Leave-In”

Price : $12 for 8oz

How to Use: To use, apply Knot Today throughout the hair and comb troubled areas with a wide-toothed comb. Do not rinse out, but you may apply in the shower and run a little water through to evenly distribute the product.

 I’ve tried other leave-ins but this works so great for my hair! I refuse to wash my hair without having this. This is the first thing I apply to my hair directly after washing it. A little of this product goes a long way. The leave-in/detangle blend makes my hair so soft and so much easier to detangle. Keep in mind I do not detangle with a comb in the shower while washing my hair, I just lightly finger detangle. This formula helps to smooth out knots- hence the name Knot Today.  

 I typically purchase and go through about 2 bottles per year. The fact that I only need to use a small amount of product with each application one bottle lasts a pretty long time. I haven’t had any other product that works like this and believe me I tried out many. The Knot Today Leave-In is very much a forever purchase for me. As long as they keep making it with the same formula, I’ll keep purchasing it!

 Ingredients: Organic mango extract, organic slipper elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, *behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.


Curls Blueberry Bliss CURL Control Paste

Price: $9-$12 4oz

 I’ve been using the curls paste for the past 3 or 4 years. I use it for really sleek hair styles. The texture of this paste is not like a gel. I would not use this throughout my hair. I can see this formula being problematic for many if they don’t understand how to use it correctly. Using too much product at a time can weight down your hair and leave it feeling very greasy.

 The blueberry scent is on the strong side, but not overwhelming. I go back and forth between the blueberry and the passionfruit scent. The paste is great for holding the hair down with a soft hold. I’ve noticed that if I apply the paste to dry hair the hold it provides a firm hold in comparison to using it on damp hair for a lighter hold. I prefer to use this paste on damp to dry. I typically use this on the edges of my hairline to help slick down my hair when wearing a bun. The 4 oz bottle only lasts for a couple of months. I find myself constantly repurchasing due to the size and the amount that I use at a time. Being that the paste works well and is readily available at most stores, I don’t have a problem repurchasing it.

 Ingredients: Water, Ceteareth-25, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Vegetable Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Silk Amino Acids, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Jojoba Esters, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Blue 1, Red 33

Oyin Handmade Sugar Pomade- HUMECTANT HAIR POMADES

Price: $13.99 for 4 oz or $20.99 for 8oz.

Directions: Rub between your fingers or palms to soften/liquefy. Use to moisturize scalp, to twist locs, to seal the ends of twists or braids, to polish a pulled-back style or an updo, to add weight to the canopy of your hair, to weigh down fly-away or control frizz, or to create waves on super short cuts.

Oyin Handmade was created in 2001 by Jamyla Bennu. The company is based is out of the Baltimore, Maryland area. The brand reached my radar after I was newly natural back in 2011. During this time I was trying out many new hair products. This product was featured in a YouTube video by someone who had a hair texture and curls similar to mine. When checking out the site online I was so happy to see that sold (and still does) travel size items. These products allowed me to test out multiple products at very affordable rate. Since then I have not been without this pomade.

The Oyin Sugar Pomade comes in two scents- Burnt Sugar and Sugar Berries. I like them both equally the same. The fact that this is a humectant, it really helps to lock in moisture- especially when used on my damp hair. I typically apply the pomade to my hair when it’s still very wet after washing it. As with any pomade, the product has to be warmed up to solidify. Once it’s in a liquid oil state, I apply it from the root to the tips of my hair. The pomade provides a great shine, moisturizers my hair for multiple days at a time and it smells great!

 I typically purchase the 4 oz size about 2-3 times a year. I initially purchased the Pomade from their site, but now you can find their products anywhere from stores like Target to even your local beauty supply store. I get so happy when I browse through stores and I see that they carry products from Oyin Handmade. To help keep these products on the self, I actually purchase my pomade along with other items in-store. Time to time I order from Oyin online since they often feature great sales on their site. If you have naturally curly hair and have trouble with keeping it moisturized, I would highly recommend checking them out. Those who have very fine hair with a looser curl pattern may not like the pomade as it can easily weigh your hair down if too much product is used.

 Ingredients: Ingredients: castor oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, organic virgin coconut oil, mango seed butter, olive oil, unrefined hempseed oil, candelilla wax, cocoa butter, broccoli seed oil, fragrance... and It’s also petroleum free

 *Some of their other products that I would recommend are The Hair Dew and The Juices and Berry Hair Mist

Ecostyle Gel- The Eco Style Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Styling Gel

Price: varies with size (typically under $10)

 The Eco Style Black Castor and Flaxseed Oil Styling Gel combines a mixture of Vitamin E, Fiber, and Omega-3 for the benefits of promoting hair growth.

 Please don’t argue with me on this one (lol). You either love it or you hate it. I know many people hate the eco styler gel. I’ve tried pretty much all of the versions with the exception of about 3-4 formulas. The olive oil and argan formulas were my favorites when I first tested the brand. These particular formulas are better for a stronger hold. Please keep in mind these two formula along with some of their other formulas will cause flaking if too much product is used.

 I’ve been using the Jamaican black castor oil version for a few years now. This is hands down my holy grail. This formula does not flake and the hold provides my a nice level of hold without any flaking!

 Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Linum usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PVP, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodum EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), d-Limonene. (Alcohol and silicon free)

 you may have noticed that I currently do not have a holy grail product in the areas of Shampoo, Conditioner and Deep Conditioners.

These are the products that I’m constantly trying out and rotating every couple of months.

Please leave me your suggestion of your current favorites. I’m opened to products that are labeled for dry hair, curly hair and damaged hair. Have you tried any of the products mentioned?

What are some of your holy grail hair products?