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Over the course of my natural hair journey, it feels like I've tried every product made for natural hair. With the curly and natural hair marketplace influx, trying every product would be impossible, even for current and former product enthusiasts. With curly haircare professionals' help, I have become a less-is-best natural—meaning I don't commit hours to wash my hair on Sundays or use more than four products. Getting to this point wasn't easy, but what helped—in addition to getting proper education from my stylist—was giving up the urge that often comes when a new product is released to try it, especially if the launch is from an influencer or celebrity I love.
It seems that every day, there's a new release from a well-known blogger or celebrated superstar, and truthfully, I've grown fatigued from the overflow of them. But, of course, even I can bend and make exceptions. One of my closest friends is always spending on new products from her growing list of go-to hair vloggers. One of the lines she has never stopped raving about is Melanin Haircare. "Have you tried Naptural85's line yet?" she asks me each time we talk about what we're using on our hair. My answer is always no, until now. Keep reading to find out how natural hair vlogger Whitney White's haircare line worked for my 4-type natural coils.
What Is Melanin Haircare?
Melanin Haircare is a brand of hair products founded by Whitney White (known to many as Naptural85) and her sister, Taffeta White, in 2015. The brand didn't release its first product, however, until 2018. The four-piece line of a shampoo, leave-in conditioner, elongating cream, and oil is formulated with natural and safe synthetic ingredients evaluated by the Environmental Working Group to ensure their formulas are non-toxic. In addition to the brand's commitment to formulating safer products, Melanin Haircare has a list of elements that will never be in their products, including silicones, parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, and formaldehyde.
What to Expect When Using Melanin Haircare
When I opened my box of products, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of each bottle. It's clear Melanin Haircare understands how much product naturals need to have an effective wash day without busting their budgets. The sturdy product packaging gave me an instant mood boost with its colorful yet minimalistic design. Before I tried the products for the first time, I took a close look at the ingredients. Because my 4-type hair is coily and prone to dryness, I enjoy using products with glycerin, aloe vera, shea butter, and essential oils. While each product is formulated with a different mix of ingredients, each that I tried had at least one of my top four ingredients in the mix. I opted to try only the shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and elongating cream because I don't use oil on my curls these days.
At first glance, I loved the nozzle bottle of the African Black Soap Reviving Shampoo. One of my biggest struggles with my dense, coily hair is getting the shampoo on my scalp. I waste time and product trying to manually place shampoo on my scalp if the bottle has no nozzle. If you've ever used a nozzled applicator, you know that storing or traveling with that bottle usually means a mess. The creators of the beloved line thought ahead and created a cap that securely fits over and seals the bottle tightly. Once I applied the shampoo to my scalp, I felt a gentle tingle—which was wonderful—and the notes of peppermint and tea tree essential oils filled the room. Because this shampoo is sulfate-free, I didn't expect many suds, which was the case. As I worked the shampoo from my scalp to my ends, I was able to detangle and cleanse simultaneously, which is what I look for in a shampoo. After rinsing the African black soap-infused cleanser off my curls, my hair was clean, tangle-free, and soft.
After cleansing, it was time to condition. What I found most intriguing about the Multi-Use Softening Leave-In Conditioner, other than the wonderful ingredients, was its multitasking abilities. On the website, the descriptions say the conditioner can be used as a pre-poo, detangler, leave-in, styler, deep conditioner, and weekly hydrating pick me up. Pretty impressive, right? I opted to try the cream as a deep conditioner and leave-in. I sat under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes, and when it was time to rinse, I resoaked my hair with water without rinsing the conditioner away before I layered my curls with the styler. My hair was so soft. There were no knots, just hydrated curls.
The Styling Cream
Now it was time to style my curls. Many of the naturals that enjoy the Twist-Elongating Style Cream use it for twists and braid outs. But, those are two styles I never have much luck with, so I went with my go-to: the wash-and-go. I placed my hair into six sections and started applying the elongator. The cream is rich and heavier than the gels I typically use for my hair, so a little goes a long way. If you tend to be a heavy-handed product layer, I advise starting with a little and adding more as you go. Like all of the other products, the cream had an amazing slip and made it easy to keep my hair tangle-free during the process. Because I have low porosity hair, I only apply products when my hair is soaking wet, and these products are made for that technique.
After my hair was dry, I loved how soft, light, and defined my hair. To see any definition, layering gel is usually a must, but it wasn't an issue with these steps.
With the cocktail of natural, hydrating ingredients, and the size of the products, the price point amazing. This is why we must have a say in what products make it on our favorite beauty retailers' shelves. Whitney and Taffeta White formulated safe products for natural hair accessible to a wide range of budgets, which makes this brand rise above the rest. The shampoo, leave-in, and styling cream come in a 16.1oz bottle, and the oil comes in an 8oz nozzled bottle.
The Final Takeaway
I may have been experiencing product launch fatigue before trying Melanin Haircare's line, but I am so happy I got to experience these products firsthand. All three products I tried will now be a part of my weekly routine. Anything that can keep my thirsty curls hydrated for days and is made with non-toxic ingredients is at the top of my beauty list.