Ever since I decided to go natural months ago I have been on the hunt looking for products that best suit my hair. After researching what I should use, I started taking note of what I shouldn't use. But, some things have been so confusing!
I was told to stay away from products that include Sulfates (mainly in hair cleansers), Mineral Oil, Petroleum and some others. Coming from a girl who used hair grease everyday growing up, I was shocked to see that my habits may have stunted my hair growth!
I also read on multiple sites that I should not use products that do not list water as the first or second ingredient. Water wasn't listed as an ingredient on any of the bottles, so I was wary about trying the nuNAAT Curl to Coil hair products, but since I would be using it with water, that's not a big deal. One thing that intrigued me, was that the front of each container says it's Free of sodium chloride, mineral oils, parabens and sulfates. But...
The first ingredient for the "Lather Up & Hydrate" Shampoo was Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate. Many naturally curly hair care sites consider this ingredient to be harsher than sulfates while some disagree. One thing I need to remind myself and other natural hair care newbies, is when researching what works for us, consider the blend of ingredients and not just one ingredient. A product that works great on one person may not work well on me, so this is the purpose of me trying different products from different companies until I find the right fit.
After the box arrived at my house, I felt like a kid at Christmas time! The products were packaged so nicely and covered it a ton of packing peanuts. When I opened the jars to see what it smelled like I couldn't wait to use it. Really nice coconut, almondy, vanilla type of scent. I didn't have time to do the full system tonight so I just used the shampoo, conditioner and then curl activator. Here are my thoughts:
Shampoo & Conditioner: After using the shampoo, my hair felt really dry. My hair still felt a bit dry after using the conditioner.
Natural Curl Activator: After washing my hair I used the curl activator. This product is to be used on wet hair, so I applied it right after I came out of the shower and blotted a little excess water out of my head. After using it I put my hair in bantu knots and allowed my hair to dry naturally. Then I went to bed! In the morning I took the bantu knots out and noticed my hair felt hard. So what I will have to do is use it when I'm going out and not overnight for pull out styles.
9/7 - Second time trying: I used the natural curl activator again in the morning and loved what it did for my hair. I usually get a bit of a frizz on the top part of my hair and I didn't have that this time because the activator hardens the hair. I then used the pomade on my edges and on my middle part. It kept my hair in place nicely but I didn't have a shine, so I cannot wait to try the all the products together to see if my hair would be moisturized and have a healthy sheen. In a few days I will try it again using the full system.
Using the FULL system (Date 9/12): NOTE: Here's my hair before using the nuNAAT products. I realized it's way too hard to take close up shots of my hair while washing it because I wash my hair in the shower. There's no way I'm about to ruin my camera. So I will tell you how it felt in my hair and also use it in my son's hair since we have the same hair type. I will use his photos for the visuals.
Shampoo: Once again, this was a very drying feeling. The closest way I can think to describe it is like using a degreaser, but for hair. I felt as if dirt, every hair product I've ever used and my natural oils were all stripped from my hair. I didn't like the feeling at all.
Blast of Shine Hair Mask: Now, I really liked this. After the drying feeling of the shampoo, this really helps to make my hair feel a bit of moisture and smoothness. I was easily able to run my fingers through my hair with this which is great because I do not use a comb while shampooing. This has to stay in hair for 5 - 15 minutes, so after about 7 minutes I was ready to wash it out. I then followed with the conditioner.
Conditioner: I wish I could say it was just as satisfying as the hair mask, but after conditioning I felt as if the conditioner took away moisture just as the shampoo did.
Pick Me Up Sheen: After I finished washing my hair I quickly added the sheen. I was happy with this at first. It's light, not sticky and it does add sheen. My hair felt softer and was very easy to manage with this alone. The reason why I say (well, write) that I was happy with this "at first" is because after I added the Natural Curl Activator, which is a recommended next step, the sheen was less noticeable. Next time I do this process again I will try it without the curl activator. Or maybe I'll blend the sheen and activator in my hands then put it in my hair. <<< I'll try this tomorrow
Natural Curl Activator: This was pretty good. It definitely defines curls, but it also hardens the hair. For people like me who sleeps with bantu knots, I advise against using this when you're going to bed. Because when you wake up, after your hair is dry and the knots have hardened, it will be a bit flaky when you take pull the bantu knots out. This is perfect when used for an immediate style and go.
When going to bed, before putting your hair in whatever protective style you choose, wet your hair (easiest with a spray bottle) and apply more of the 'pick me up sheen'. This worked great at keeping my hair from flaking in the morning.
Pomade: I didn't have a need for this but it was perfect for my son. See photos and what I used for him.
For my son: I used everything except for the Natural Curl Activator because I keep his hair in cornrows. The pomade was great at keeping his edges in place, that is something we usually have an issue with because no matter how newly braided his hair is, the edges make his braids look at least a day old. While braiding his hair it was manageable and he wasn't as uncomfortable as he usually is. He's tender headed and I always give him my cell phone to play with while doing his hair and he'll still become restless or complain and move his head in a direction that makes it difficult for me. Yesterday he was quiet. The whole process with him was easier than usual, he didn't even mind the moments where I stopped to take photos for my review!
My Final Thought: I liked parts of this system. I did not like how dry my hair felt with the shampoo or conditioner, but I did like the sheen and activator. The mask was my absolute favorite! I also liked the way my hair looked when using more than the recommended amount of sheen and mixing it with the curl activator. My hair is really dry and instead of using this on wet hair, I used it on damp hair before bed. The outcome is what I wanted. Only thing I would want is for water to be an included first ingredient in these products since my issue is dryness.
When it came to my son's hair experience with the nuNAAT products, the only complaint I have is the shedding he had during the shampoo phase. Initially I was going to freak out, but his hair is usually in braids and I don't comb it out often, so the balls of hair that fell appeared to be the knots at the ends coming off. "normal shedding". Just like my experience with the hair mask, I was able to run my fingers through his hair during that process and still able to do that after conditioning. I was a little confused by that because my hair felt dry after the wash, but his did not. But then again, his hair is healthier than mine. So, I will continue to use the remaining products on him.
Disclaimer: I received the mentioned nuNAAT Real Me Curl to Coil Hair Care Products free for the purpose of a review. The above review is my own honest opinion of this product.