Hair products: honest reviews


Photo Credit: Erinn Gardner With hundreds of hair products available in beauty supply stores for type 4 hair, individuals struggle with seeking the proper hair care to manage their hair. Hair textures ranging from S-shaped curls to tight coils require the same level of care to receive the desired appearance and overall health.

Erinn Gardner, Reporter

Black women and men with type 4 hair continuously struggle with finding the proper hair products to manage their coarse, curly hair. Several define type 4 hair as afro-textured coily hair. However, type 4 hair contains multiple hair textures including 4A, 4B and 4C. Individuals with 4A hair possess looser curls, which significantly differs from the extremely tight coils that people with 4C hair hold. While these hair textures vary, they all require the same level of care. 

Cantu, a popular line of products for curly hair, remains present in nearby drug stores, local grocery stores and every beauty supply store. It additionally includes 10 collections with over 40 different hair products ranging from shampoo to moisturizers for an affordable price. Although the public can find Cantu almost everywhere and it includes a large selection of products, several people previously tested/used Cantu products and find it extremely damaging. People mainly use this product to revitalize and moisturize dry curls, but the ingredients in fact prove to do the opposite. Silicone, a key ingredient, blocks the moisture and essentially creates a barrier where new moisture from water and other products will not effectively moisturize the hair. It also contains sulfates, which strip natural oils and proteins from hair causing dry scalp and brittle hair. It likely works better with looser hair textures that do not require as much moisture, but type 4 does not tend to hold moisture on its own. Although the curls appear defined, Cantu does not aid the dryness of it. 

“I used to use Cantu in middle school when I was actually first learning to do my natural hair. When I first use it wet, it makes my hair really soft but then when it dries, my hair gets extremely dry and leaves flakes in my hair. I personally wouldn’t recommend using it on type 4 hair, but that’s just me. I do like how many options I have to choose from though because they have a really big selection in all of the stores,” junior Chloe Reaves said. 

Well-known liked products include Mielle Organics and Miss Jessie’s hair care line. Like Cantu, these lines both entail numerous types of products and collections. Mielle provides a hair texture quiz on their website so that individuals can accordingly shop for hair products. This hair quiz not only finds the most compatible products for one’s hair type, but it will save the aggravation of experimenting and spending unnecessary money on ineffective products. Most known for the pomegranate and honey leave-in conditioner, Mielle provides a soft, build-up-free result while sulfate and paraben-free. The products do not define the curls to their fullest potential, but several claim it performs well when used for moisturizing, detangling and de-frizzing the hair. 

Miss Jessie’s on the other hand, defines and embraces the curls. While they sell other leave-in conditioners and moisturizers, “Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls” serve as the top sold product. A handful use the product as a styler for a “wash n go”, while several apply it to detangle their hair. Unfortunately, the pillow-soft curls product tends to leave residue and dandruff-like flakes throughout the hair. Depending on how much product is used on the hair, strands become “crunchy” because of its gel-like consistency. Like numerous other products, beauty supply stores sell it for high prices, which multiple view as a downside. 

“I have 4A hair and I can find products to detangle my hair, but finding one to define my curls is super hard. Mielle leave-in conditioner is one of my go-to products for wash and gos and whenever my hair is dry. However, it is extremely light and I feel like I have to use way too much of it to cover my entire head. I absolutely love the Mielle pomade treatment though. It is a little bit expensive but it covers every strand because it’s like oil that’s not too liquidy. I used to live by Miss Jessie’s pillow soft curls, I need to buy more. I feel like I have to use it with something because it just doesn’t do the job by itself. If I don’t use a moisturizer or leave-in before it, my hair will get a bit crunchy when it’s drying,” junior Laila Odom said.

With a plethora of hair products to choose from, individuals with type 4 hair find it difficult to find hair products compatible with their hair texture. Knowing what products match a specific hair type equals one step closer to possessing healthy and manageable hair.