At Last... My Conditioner Has Come Along

I think I can say with confidence that I have found a staple conditioner. Before I tell you what it is, I'd like to share with you all what I've tried thus far. Please keep in mind that I made my conditioner do double duty because I co-washed (washed my hair with conditioner only because I was avoiding shampoos with sodium lauryl sulfate) and deep conditioned with it.

The first one I used was Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration because it smelled like a tropical island and was supposed to be... hydrating. I was able to detangle my hair without much difficulty when I used this. My kinks and coils were pretty, shiny, and defined when I got out of the shower. This lasted until my hair dried and shrinkage took place. Talk about a brittle, tangled mess? Eventually, I tried keeping my hair damp and adding a small amount of conditioner to maintain that freshly washed look. I was going through $3 bottles of conditioner like crazy and sometimes had slightly frozen hair if it was too cold outside. Not a good look at all... But at least my hair smelled heavenly. *shrug*

The next culprit was Suave.

I first tried their Naturals line in Cucumber Melon, but the smell made me nauseous. This was odd because I enjoy the same scent from Bath&BodyWorks. No matter. I moved on to the Coconut scent. This did absolutely nothing for my hair but mildly clean it and leave it smelling OK (not as good as the Hello Hydration). The final installment of Suave led me to their Professionals line. First was the Humectant (Nexxus knock-off) and then the Strengthening (Redken knock-off). Again, I found that these smelled fine (
have you figured out that I'm big on smells yet?), provided no help when detangling, and left a filmy buildup over time. My curls were popping until I added oil (to combat the dryness) or my hair dried.

What in the heck was going on? After a bit of research I discovered that although I had dodged the sulfate bullet (they still had small amounts in them), I wasn't addressing the issue of "cones". Basically, this was the culprit for the ridiculous buildup I had in my hair. It was also the reason why oils weren't able to fully penetrate my hair shaft. So, I ditched sulfates and cones and moved on to more natural conditioners.

Enter Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange Conditioner.

Smells great! Does nothing. I had to use way too much of it on my thick hair, it had no detangling properties, and didn't really moisturize. I blame myself for the lack of moisturization as the bottle clearly states that it is for NORMAL hair. I should have purchased the Red Tea & Ylang Ylang for DRY hair. Thank goodness for Whole Foods and their 100% guarantee policy. "So long as the bottle is not empty" you can get your money back.

Finally, I found what is now a staple until further notice.

Honey Hemp Conditioner by Oyin Handmade is the TRUTH! It smells awesome, helps me detangle, leaves my hair moisturized, and keeps my curls popping long after my hair has dried. At $9 a bottle plus shipping and handling (and a 2 week turnaround time), this stuff is very much on the pricey side. I still think it's worth every penny and second of your time. As I say with any product, try a sample before you invest in it. If you like it, then I suggest you stock up. In addition to the Oyin website, you can order this great conditioner from CurlMart. I also found a spot in Brooklyn that sells small bottles, but I think their supply is limited (or at least that's the story I'm going to tell you all so I can hit them up once more before I return to Indiana). I've tried this on my braids and they are still loving it.

Using a modified version
(because I didn't have any white willow bark) of Mixtress Anita Grant's recipe, I've also had good results using an herbal hair rinse with marshmallow root. When I'm low on Oyin (heaven forbid this day ever comes), I'll use this.

So there you have it. My long-winded (as usual) tale of how I found my current conditioning love. Have a fave condish? Please share in the comments.


  1. I loove this post:)
    you're right! it's all about listening to your hair

  2. Happy (early) New Year, Amina.

    Ha! You must be reading my mind tonight. That's the gist of the next post (listening to your hair).


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