For years, YouTube audiences have tuned in to Whitney White’s a.k.a Naptural85 channel for her DIY natural hair product videos, as well as content on her hair journey. Since she began making videos over 10 years ago, White’s ethos has always been about achieving healthy natural hair with natural and homemade products. She’s shared with audiences that many mainstream products never worked for her notoriously long and healthy hair, and that DIY was the best path to growth. With over one million subscribers, White has obviously done more than a few things very right.
When news broke that White was launching her own natural hair product line in 2018, naturally, we were excited. However, her products were only available on Melanin Hair Care’s website for online orders—until 2020, that is. In November, White’s collaboration with Ulta Beauty resulted in Melanin Hair Care products hitting the shelves for the first time, and they almost instantly sold out.
I was lucky enough to get the last Melanin Hair Care product available at my local Ulta Beauty location just days after they arrived in stores. The product that I brought home was the Melanin Hair Care Twist-Elongating Style Cream ($17), which was inspired by White’s own DIY formula with natural ingredients that provide shelf life. I had the chance to put the styling cream to the test during a recent wash day. Keep scrolling to read my honest review.
About My Hair
I’ve been natural for about seven years after having my hair relaxed in the past. I have thick 4A hair, so my hair enjoys products that it can sop up like a biscuit. I use a range of products that range from low-cost brands like Cantu, Shea Moisture, and As I Am to higher-end brands like DevaCurl and Mizani. I tend to struggle to achieve definition with my twist-outs, as my styling products don’t work well with my hair's density, and when I do achieve definition, I often have to sacrifice moisture.
I’m always on the search for the perfect balance of definition and moisture with my styling creams. It helps if I can pair them with a gel that doesn't leave behind the dreaded flakiness. I also look for a product that can be used to style my hair when it’s both wet and dry. I want it on the days when I need a fast wash and go and for the days when I want to do a detailed blowout style with flexi rods.
One useful thing about the twist-elongating style cream from Melanin Hair Care is that it’s for regular use, meaning I can use it for my initial style and then again during the week if I need to refresh my curls. The brand explains that the cream is lightweight and easily buildable, so there’s total control over how much or how little product customers will need.
This cream feels thick and rich, and it really does feel like a generous amount of product per container. The smell isn’t terrible, but it’s not great either. When compared to most natural hair products that have shea butter, it might be considered more unpleasant; however, its raw fragrance is indicative of the natural ingredients within.
With that said, the texture is smooth and creamy. My kinky hair was very quick to absorb the product and enjoy the moisture. The cream isn’t heavy or greasy, but also doesn’t make the hair feel like it’s too dry.
How To Use
For my styling, I chose a two-strand twist out after washing and conditioning my hair with the Mizani Moisture Replenish shampoo and conditioner and then using the Mizani 25 Miracle leave-in conditioner.
I went on to blow dry my hair with the Kenra Smoothing Blowout Lotion and the Garnier Flat Iron Perfector. I paired the elongating cream with a little of the True Firm-Hold Defining Gel and some tea tree oil to seal the moisture and then let it dry under my silk bonnet overnight. The next morning, I sat under my RED by Kiss Tourmaline 1875 Salon Hood Dryer for about 40 minutes.
The first thing that I’ll say about my results is that this cream did not pair well with the gel I used. I’ve tried the cream for my twist outs since then without the gel, and it worked much better.
With my gel, I definitely had some flakiness due to high product saturation. I’ve used the gel with other styling creams successfully, but it did not pair well with this one. My results without the gel were pretty good—I wasn't blown away, but I was satisfied. My definition was average for my texture. My curls were very soft and, more important, there was no shrinkage (hallelujah!)
However, the end result didn't provide enough definition for me. I think this product could be the holy grail for all type 3 curls, but for type 4’s like me, we'll probably need to pair it with another product for tighter curls. When unraveling my twists, I coated my fingers with coconut oil and immediately noticed how soft my curls were. My hair was super hydrated and happy, but my curls weren’t quite poppin' like I wanted. With that said, this is one item from a line, so maybe next time I’ll have to try the cream with the rest of the collection.
This is definitely a higher-end natural hair product compared to the more affordable creams on the market. However, $16 for 16.0 ounces is an awesome deal for the amount of quality product it provides.
Now that it’s sold in stores, there’s no demand for customers to pay for overpriced shipping either. It ranks better than similar high-end brands that can cost much more for a lot less product. Instead of spending $20 to $60, this product provides a double bargain on quality and quantity.
This cream will give you soft pillowy curls that are healthy and happy, but the definition may not be satisfactory depending on your curl type and the products you need or want to pair it with. It’s definitely money-saving to have so many butters and oils packed into one styling cream and quite uncommon. Ultimately, it’s a great product, but you may need to be paired with other products depending on your curl type's specific needs.