Au-Naturale-Group-Pack-Shot-600x428

I spend a lot of time in Sally’s. In Target. In Ulta. In beauty supply stores in general. If a store has a hair aisle, I’m on it. Perhaps you’ve noticed that stores are cropping up with “Natural Hair” sections on their aisles. It’s been a long time coming… started from “Ethnic Hair” now we here! Haircare for Black women has been a booming industry for decades. In fact, we spend millions of dollars a year just to keep it looking right and tight. Over the past 6 years, we have all witnessed the popularity of natural hair soar — and the subsequent decline in the profitability of perm kits. The dip in sales of relaxers and related straight-hair products coincide with the rise in popularity of natural hair products, bloggers, and vloggers.

 

There’s nothing like a pinch in the pocket that makes an industry listen. Here are a few lines known for their relaxed products that have rolled out natural lines in an effort to win you back:

 

1. Naturally Silk Elements

Silk Elements, widely known for their relaxer and heat straightening line rolled out a natural hair line recently. Their line includes Moist Cream Shampoo, Deep Nourishing Conditioner, Leave-In Conditioner Cream, Curl Defining Pudding, and Curling Cream Gel. With all products ranging from $8.99 – $9.99, this is generally accepted as the standard pricing for natural products. Silk Elements got it right when they eliminated parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum and alcohol. Where they missed the mark is not including the oils and extracts that most naturals need to have soft, moisturized hair. I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying $10 for a “nourishing” conditioner, I am expecting some oils, vitamins, a free cup of Starbucks, or something. I’m in no rush to try this line.

 

2. Dr. Miracle’s Curl Care

No longer do you see the hand in the mirror (fast forward to the 40 second mark), helping ladies turn their played out kinks into buttery smooth straight hair. Dr. Miracle’s recently decided to help ladies embrace their natural textures, through a line including Soft Hold Creme, Weightless Moisture Cream, Boosting and Defining Leave-In Conditioner, Curl Friendly Blow Out Foam, and Strong Hold Gel. This line’s price point falls right in the typical range — $8.99 – $9.89. Unfortunately, many of the Feel It Formula founder’s products contain mineral oil — a red flag for many naturalistas. Whatever natural products Dr. Miracle is dealing out of the bathroom mirror, he can keep. There are plenty of other inexpensive oils that work great on our hair, helping to soften, retain moisture, and nourish — mineral isn’t one of them.

 

3. Dark n’ Lovely Au Naturale

Softsheen Carson is definitely double-dipping in the natural hair care pot. The Dark n’ Lovely brand recently launched their Au Naturale lineCurl Defining Creme Glaze, Coil Moisturizing Souffle, 10-in-1 Styling Gelee, Sheen Sealing Nectar, Hydrating Soak Shampoo, Knot Out Conditioner, and a super cute product label (lol). Their products are all around $9.99 each, again within that general range. The shampoo contains sulfates, and is definitely not worth $10. Some of the other products contain isopropyl (drying) alcohol which is a no-no for those with already dry textures. If I do get around to trying something from this line, it will only be the 10-in-1 Styling Gelee. I’ll pass on everything else. Better yet, I’ll just go for Softsheen Carson’s other natural line (told ya’ll they were double-dipping), Roots of Nature.

4. Motions Naturally You

This line is currently on clearance at Sally’s. You can find most of the products for $5 or less. I smell a repackaging and new product formulation coming soon. The perm-turnt-natural line rolled out a Smoothing Conditioner, Moisturizing Cleanser, Radiating Gloss, Deep Conditioning Masque, Hydrate My Curls Pudding, and Define My Curls Creme. Apparently, Motions didn’t get the memo about the different needs of natural hair — their conditioner is ‘cone-heavy, and styling products are based in mineral oil.I won’t be going after this line anytime soon. I’ll wait for the new stuff to roll out, and see if it is any better.

 

 

5. Sof n’ Free Gro Healthy Nothing But

The Nothing But line features a Clarifying Shampoo, Healing Mask, Cleansing Conditioner, Mold & Hold Wax, Pure Pudding, and Curl Wake-Up Spray. Just like everyone else, their products are $7.99 – $10.99. With the exception of two products (Cleansing Conditioner and Curl Sealer both contain mineral oil), Sof n’ Free got it right for naturals. The oils may not be as high up on the list as I prefer, and I’m a little concerned about the artificial fragrance, but there are some products in this line that I would give a try. The other bonus here is that Nothing But products don’t contain any artificial coloring, which I totally respect. I personally find it awkward (and a bit alarming) when hair products are artificially colored. What are you hiding? I will definitely be picking up the Nothing But Intense Healing Mask on my next trip to Sally’s.

6. Design Essentials Natural

There’s been a lot of buzz about the salon-level line, Design Essentials. Of all the new lines that have rolled out recently, theirs is easily the most expensive. Their line touts a Moisturizing Conditioner, Curl Defining Creme Gel, Curl Stretching Cream, Curl Enhancing Mousse, Twist and Set Lotion, Daily Moisturizing Lotion, and a Curl Cleanser. Their products start at $12.99 and go all the way up to $29.99. Their line is definitely natural-friendly; not a mineral oil, petrolatum, or drying alcohol found in sight. The Curl Stretching Cream is the $30 product in this bundle. If you’re truly fascinated with sweet almond butter (the base in this product), try Hairveda Almond Glaze for under $10.

Well, it looks like many  relaxer-based companies heard the demands for natural hair products loud and clear — from gentle cleansers to hold and styling products. Apparently, some of them haven’t fully gotten the message that there are certain things naturalistas don’t want to see in their products. But at least they are headed in the right direction (so they can take all of our money, haha). What other straight-hair lines have you seen go natural recently?

For more from Christina check out her blog, The Mane Objective. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

Leave a Reply

122 Comments on "6 Relaxer Lines that Have Gone Natural: How Their Products Stack Up"

Notify of
avatar
Noire Reine

Another new line is http://www.Sheabotanica.com They have a Facebook page and can be purchased on etsy too.

mangomadness

I would not use a product from a company that makes relaxers — clearly they don’t value kinks and coils.

I’ll stick to Black owned natural hair care lines. Shea Moisture is my fav and I’d like to try Oyin Handmade.

P.S. Side eye to Cantu Shea Butter hair care products — I saw how they copied Shea Moisture ingredients and names in their “Cantu for Natural’ Hair” line.

Monique
I can’t remember who asked about black owned natural hair lines but here are a few Mainelement:Love, her products are awesome (I love, love, love her Shea Smoothie for my cornrows) and she is also a personal friend. Curls of the World is another awesome company, they have a shop less than 5 minutes from my house and their daily moisturizer is the best. The other one that I know of is The Good Hair Shop. They have wonderful quality products as well. (all of these businesses have websites and facebook pages) I personally would not use any of the… Read more »
Leslie Mac

I have tried the Motions line – it is horrible. Would NOT recommend.

But I love the 10-in-1 Styling Gelee by Dark n’ Lovely Au Naturale, it is really great. A little goes a long way & it is the right balance between moisture & hold, especially for twist & coil outs.

One other new line is Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural, while not a “relaxer” company, it was definitely not catering to naturals until recently – not a big fan of this line either, heave residue left on my hair with all the products.

Candice

I’m really not trying to support these johnny-come-latelys. I’d much prefer to see Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter put these companies out of business.

Cece Danielle

Yeah I agree with most of the reviews. I’ll stick to my Shea moisture, because of the reasons above and I keep thinking that someone might put a relaxer in one of the products I buy and label it as something else lol, it’s far fetched I know. Also, I can’t stand how some of these brands still sell relaxer/have sold it in the past?! I understand it’s all about the money, but they’re not getting mine.

Shahidah
I think the line I’m most pissed off with is Dr. Miracles. I too remember those commercials with the wild head and mirror then the glorious straight hair reversal. When I saw their products in the store for natural hair I did buy them but when I got home I read the ‘story’ behind his natural brand about his sister trying for years to find a product to enhance her natural curl and he promised her that one day he would find something for her. That pissed me off and have not bought another product since…so how come this natural… Read more »
LBell
THANK YOU. Glad someone else remembered those ads. For them alone I won’t buy anything labeled Dr. Miracle. As for the rest of the products, the only one I’ve tried is the SofNFree Nothing But Pure Pudding. I was very pleasantly surprised by it. It sort of reminds me of Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding but unlike MJCP it doesn’t have mineral oil in it. It does have cones though which I found funny 🙂 but my hair likes cones so I was fine with it. I’m not mad at these companies (except Dr. Miracle, lol) for jumping on the natural… Read more »
anewmeep

Oh yes I remember those commercials too, it’s crazy. Hopefully in the future we’ll be seeing black women in hair commercials flipping their afros with a smile on their face instead of screaming in the mirror when they have an afro and run to get it straightened. smh, The nerve.

Shahidah

I’m sure you will be in that pack!

Cleo

Lmao he probably doesn’t even have a sister! And his commercials were straight trash ugh.

Shahidah

Cleo he probably doesn’t. not to mention that if he did he was making her feel like crap for years with those commercials and his ‘beauty’ belief in straight hair…

LaNeshe

Re-branding themselves as natural, and actually using natural ingredients are quite apparently two different things.

StillSuga

I’ve had the opportunity to try a couple of the products from the different lines through my CurlBox subscription, and I can tell you, even though the Motions line isn’t 100% “natural friendly” their Moisturizing Cleanser is one of the few shampoo/shampoo-like products that don’t leave my hair feeling stripped. And the Design Essentials Twist and Set lotion is THE TRUTH.

Lily

There’s no doubt anymore…there’s definately a natural hair revolution going on. Lol. Like other naturalistas, I’m still searching for the right hair products. So luckily quite a few of these brands are available in Jamaica for me to tryout when I go product shopping again.
[imgcomment image[/img]

Renz

Wish I had a Malta right now! 🙂

Loving What Grows Put Of My Scalp
Loving What Grows Put Of My Scalp

I thank Meosha for this article. I for one won’t be trying any of these basically because I have my favorite products. This is most helpful to new naturals who hopefully aren’t trying too many new things at their own risk. It is odd too that they didn’t do proper research just threw an Afro on the packaging. I will continue to support the black owned lines that thought our hair in its natural state was worth the effort. I would embrace some more articles highlighting all the black owned hair lines, knowledge is certainly power.

crist_lite

“I will continue to support the black owned lines that thought our hair in its natural state was worth the effort.”

i love this so much 🙂

Jaida

My hairstylist used Design Essentials products on my hair while I was relaxed so that’s about the only line I would be interested in trying, but the price point is a bit much. I don’t care too much about the rest of the companies listed above. I’ll stick to Shea Moisture and the Mom & Pops companies for products with ingredients I know will work for my hair.

Deb

hey i’m happy they didn’t add oils and extracts because alot of these natural lines have the SAME oils and sometimes extracts and if your hair doesn’t like these same oils (shea, coconut, avocado) then you are screwed.

If they don’t have oils, at least I can add them at will.

kiesh

I’m completely turned off by the names of these product lines. And these companies haven’t shifted at all…they still make all the relaxed hair products, they’re just trying to hitch a ride on the natural hair care train now. They’re obviously pandering to earn a dollar. The “anti-shrinkage” language is a gimmick. If you have very kinky hair moisture is going to cause it to curl up aka shrink – no product can combat that and if it does it’s b/c it’s not moisturizing! I think we should all continue to support black owned hair care lines.

PatInLondonUK
I’m sorry, but all this says to me is that the hair industry thinks black women are naive and gullible! As natural beauties, there is no denying that we spend a whole lot on products and concoctions to help us maintain our gorgeous hair and skin, but from this, sometimes stems ignorance. As @Cleo above stated, it does go to show how powerful black women are. Spot on! The power we hold can change a whole industry; yet this power is oh so often treated as stupidity as I’ll be the first to admit I was once an unnecessary product… Read more »
J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive

So true! These companies slap the term “natural” on a product, put it in brown packaging with some afro art on the front and expect us to run to the stores, wallets wide open ready to receive the perfect twist out results! I’ll have to pass on companies that for years have enforced (or brainwashed) a specific guideline for beauty for years. Now they jump on the bandwagon, and we should follow? Its just another way for them to muscle out the smaller haircare lines owned by Black women.

anewmeep
i’m sorry but i’m not supporting any of these, especially the ones owned by l’oreal. Now us black women have power to move an industry and in no way am i going to give my money to other races who have dominated black hair for years. It’s our turn to get rich off of our own hair. No more 92% korean owned and white- less than 2% percent black owned (pre 2005). I’ll stick with shea moisture and the many other black owned hair care companies. (I’m so proud that us naturals are beginning to take over the wig and… Read more »
Mimi

Such wise words from a 19 year old! I love your perspective, you couldn’t be more on point. You make every other opinion irrelevant with sheer facts.

Rumby

amen to infinity !<3

Shahidah
anewmeep I agree. Damn I agree. I can’t even add anything becaue its how I feel and your post was emotional and true to the core. They want our money but don’t want us, be wise, we have great potential. This line here speaks VOLUMES of where we are today. I think the veil really lifted in 2008. I know that was the year I made my decision to not want to be anyone but me…took me awhile to commit to being natural but the racism and hate being directed at my people around that time made me want to… Read more »
eve-audrey

2008?

Cleo

The presidential election of Barack Obama, this country showed its true colors ya know since everyone thought we were living in a “post racial” America…hmm.

Shahidah

RMFE sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo missing the point.

RMFE

Oh GMAFB with that, the first bi-racial/non white president has been elected TWICE with whites supporting him in the majority so lay off the old evil and racist America angle.

Racism of course still exists but to act as if the big bad “man” is the majority is ridiculous considering the way the election went with one of the worst economic downturns in history.

Carla

This line:

“They want our money but don’t want us, be wise, we have great potential.”

Yes mam!

karajw

Well said @anewmeep we definately have power to achieve anything we put our minds to and it is time that we use our spending power to support black owned businesses

mlank64
You are absolutely right. I’ve discovered camille’s naturale product line and fell in love. I love it because its a small business owner who is female and black and produces an outstanding product. And no I don’t work for her I’m just reinterating that we need to start taking care of our own and benefiting from our ingenuity and creativity. These mega companies would continue to sell damaging, caustic chemicals to us if it wasn’t for the natural hair community. They changed their tune because it was effecting their bottom line. Some food for thought….we need to understand our value,… Read more »
crist_lite

@anewmeep …so good i read it twice!

eve-audrey

i actually read it three times lol i love to see so well-written posts

Shahidah

Me Too LOL

Essence

PREACH!! @anewmeep! Truer words have never been spoken. We really need to support the black-owned lines. They will be the ones to invest the money back into the community.

@anonsince87 Karen’s Body Beautiful is black-owned. I’ve met Karen in person and she is amazingly sweet with gorgeous hair! They recently started selling her line in Target so I’m super-excited that her products is more easily accessible to a wider audience.

anonsince87

Co-sign 110%

Can anyone provide some names of black owned hair lines?

Metoyou

If you are in the UK, curl harmony is a great line. I have used her products and I thouroughly recommend. Check her website :http://www.curlharmony.co.uk/

Saye

Ilovemyfro she has a small business but her products are great and natural. Her website is http://www.ilovemyfro.com.

RukiyatG

Hydratherma Naturals and Koils by Nature are both black and women owned!

Monique

Mainelement:Love, Curls of the World and The Good Hair Shop. They all have websites and facbook pages and they are all companies that I have had personal contact with the owner.

T.

For Canadian naturalistas, I recommend Earthtones Naturals.

G

Shea Moisture!

anna h

Also entwine couture is 100% Black owned and I believe Oyin Handmade(Which I LOVE) is Black owned as well

Cleo
Goes to show how powerful black women are lol we could say hey forget out natural hair lets go bald and rock our scalps you would all new razors and scalp shinning oils lmaoo!! But anyway I’ve tried a few of the products design essentials has alway been a fave of mine even when I was relaxed and the motions define my curls creme is really nice I use it as a substitute for eco gel. Yeah the ingredients aren’t great but then I’m not on the bandwagon bashing mineral oil and cones smh. If it works well and gives… Read more »
Cleo

Also their no such thing as anti shrinkage so umm I would pass on dark and lovely :gives the sideeye:

J

I agree Dark n LOVELY have not changed spots or stripes..lol so i would not buy from them.

I prefer to buy something like TRESEMME naturals or VO5 that isn;t marketed at me but works as opposed to a brand that is wanting the natural dollar for the sake of it.

TWA4now
I heard Aunt Jackie’s is pretty good…main natural soaps for ingredients. I may try that. This is a good article! Yes, good people we need to read and find out what they want us to buy. If it’s not going to help my hair(hint-the first five ingredients), why bother why buy it for $9.99+ my hair is dry enough and now they add x,y and z to make my hair drier?! NOOOOOOO… If you want to buy it and think it will work for YOUR hair great. They–the natural hair industry need to cater truly toward us and not just… Read more »
D.P. (response to G)
I can’t deny my full interest in this article. I love that someone went out of the way to look at ingredients and find products besides the typical’s in most women’s regimens (shea moisture products, miss jessies, carols daughter etc). I read through the whole thing and I fully appreciated this article. However, I have to agree with G, to knock something without trying it isn’t helpful for anyone. This article as a whole however is really great. It’s just that one little thing that kind of irked me while I was reading it. I have products with mineral oil… Read more »
RukiyatG
Thanks for the rundown! I also recently noticed the shift into natural-land for the mainstream hair care companies. The sad thing is that they are basically marketing products with ingredients that don’t benefit the health of our hair, just like the lines geared towards relaxed hair. Although it’s nice that they are becoming more aware of the natural hair audience, profits will always outweigh substance. I’ve received a few samples of some of these products and won’t even try them because of the shameful list of ingredients. At least these products may encourage someone to go natural! Not everyone wants… Read more »
TWA4now

@ G true!

G

All I can say is wow, you trash the products and havent even tried them. Yeah I get it they have the so called “bad ingredients” but just because a product as mineral oil or silicones doesnt mean it wont work. Cantu Leave In as mineral oil listed in the middle of the ingredients and it delivers a flawless, defined twist/braid out!

I say try the products “at your own risk”!

T

Yeah, it’s not a case of bashing the products themselves or the ingredients (for me anyway). It’s a case of corporate conglomerates wanting to once again pick up on the latest “trend” and try and make a profit. I don’t think they really care about anything else. I know it will make some people’s lives easier but I’m happy with what I’m using (a lot of it is natural things) as well as products that have been recommended. I’m not going to drop what I’m doing for the likes of Dark and Lovely!

Alycia

I don’t think they’re necessarily bashing these items. A lot of naturals are looking for certain ingredients in the products they use on their hair and this article is just catering to it and explaining which ones are generally natural-friendly and which ones aren’t. I know people that use some of these products on their hair and I personally wouldn’t. I refuse to pay a bunch of money for a product whose first 5 or so ingredients aren’t beneficial to my hair.

However, I LOVE Cantu Leave In too lol ^_^

wpDiscuz