The Endorsement: Kinky Curly Hair Products

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kinky-curly

Fact: If my mom had Kinky Curly hair products back in 1975, she would have never permed my hair. Or my sister’s hair.

Fact: If more Black women knew about Kinky Curly hair products, lye-based hair care products would take a beating.

So. My stylist, the lovely Lynn at Shades Hair Studio in Livingston, has a special mix that’s made on site that she uses in my TWA. Occasionally, she tries out other products she hears about and she put me on to Kinky Curly. Told me it would be good for my hair in between appointments and good for Tog’s hair too.

I blogged about how my original experience with Kinky Curly on Tog’s hair was a catastrophe. Then, I tried again and had success with two strand twists that lasted for a full week. Yes!

But I still wanted the option of just letting Tog’s hair go free. Like Will’s son Jaden. Someone commented on my blog:

Hi There,

The Jaden fro may be doable yet. I was reviewing how to’s for Kinky Curly last night ( there are several on YouTube)…apparently (after applying the Knot Today detangler) you have to have the hair very wet (keep it wet with a spray bottle if it begins to dry) while applying the custard gel. Section the hair and stroke the custard on in small amounts. Arrange the curls gently and leave them alone until dry (otherwise the word is you get frizz). The finished product will be sticky or hard if you apply too much…and OH, no hair dryers-they ruin the effect of the gel! (just a diffuser at the most). Try it again and let us know how it worked out.

Lisa – October 15, 2009 at 2:53 am e

I went to sleep Saturday night with a mission. Tog would wear her hair out. And it would still make sense. And she would not cry.

Anyone with a nappy-headed child knows that this is a mission impossible.

First, my thing about Tog’s hair being “out.”

Traditionally, Black girls wear their hair in ponytails, braids, fastened with beads and barrettes until puberty. Our hair is always beaten down into submission, oiled up and plaited.

I don’t know any young girls of color under the age of ten who just wear their hair out.

It’s just not done. It’s considered too grown. There’s a chance that your hair will dry out or attract lint or just be Not Right.

(I believe that is the big beef with Zaharah’s hair. Newsweek’s Alison Samuels insisted that she had an issue with Zahara’s hair not being washed and conditioned. But clearly, one look at Zaharah’s hair and you see that is not the case.)

zahara+jolie+pitt2

Now, most Black women I know would say Zahara’s hair is Not Done.

But it is.

It may not be plaited and beaded and such. But it is done.

The hair above has clearly been washed, conditioned and her natural hair was allowed to air dry.

And this is what I want for Tog.

[cue my mom’s gasps here.]

I’m over it y’all.

I can’t make a straight part to save my life. Combing, brushing, oiling and ponytailing is just not my thing. And it’s not Tog’s either.

When I wash her hair, her natural curl pattern is beautiful. (Like all Black girls). But of course, there’s a time limit. Within seconds, she’s got one thick dreadlock.

The whole purpose of Kinky Curly is to moisturize the curl and allow the natural curl pattern to be set in place.

First, I tried my own hair.

Again, when my hair is wet, I have a decent curl pattern. If I let it dry on it’s own, I end up looking like this:

MayaAngelou

i know why the caged bird sings

UGH!

On Friday, I tested the Kinky Curly product on myself the way I saw the chicks on YouTube. (Type Kinky Curly in the YouTube search engine. You’ll find tons of videos)

Turns out you can’t just throw gobs of that stuff in your hair. You need to section your hair, apply a small amount to very wet hair, smooth it out with your hands and then let it air dry.

Here’s me yesterday:

now

The really beautiful part? I did my hair Saturday. And when I woke up the next day, it still looked like this. I did nothing but throw a headband on and walk out the door.

The Kinky Curly did not make my hair juicy or crunchy. It did not make my soul glow. It just feels like hair. And the curl pattern is set and in place. I like.

Now, to try it on Tog.

Yesterday morning, I washed her hair with Kinky Curly’s Come Clean shampoo. Then used the Knot Today detangler. I toweled dried her hair and then made five ponytails.

wr-4

I rock ruff and tuff with my Afro Puffs...

I took the first ponytail out and wet a small section of the hair thoroughly. Like, dripping wet. To release the natural curl pattern. I worked in a quarter-size amount of product through the hair, from root to tip. I did nothing but smooth it with my hand. I didn’t use a comb or a brush. Just my hand.

wr-2

The custard released Tog’s natural curl pattern. I patted it. And moved on to the next section of hair. Took me about 10 seconds to do each section.

Within five minutes, I knew my relationship with my daughter’s hair had changed forever.

wr-5

This is Tog, halfway through. She said not a word throughout the process. NADA. I just parted, applied product and smoothed with my hands until her natural corkscrews popped out.

Thirty minutes later, I was done.

wr-1

I put a barrette at each temple and sent her out the door to spend the day with TG and her mom.

My only quibble: it took her hair a long time to dry. The website and YouTube videos caution that it’s best to let hair air dry. No heat. (I cheated and used a blow dryer on my hair for a few minutes. Turned out fine.)

I let Tog’s hair air dry. But it took a loooong time.

But I think it’s worth it.

I know eyebrows will be raised. That chile’s got her hair out. And it’s not even a holiday.

But I’m through with rooting through that huge grease-lined box, holding a ball-y thing in one hand while searching frantically for a matching one. I’m done with rubber bands and barrettes. I’m done with trying to fashion a neat part. Done with sighing heavily every morning when I take a look at Tog’s hair, fresh from the crib and needing to be done. Again.

From now on, in this house, ponytails, braids and barrettes are for special occasions.

I’m on Team Zahara.

Amen.

EXCEPT. What happens when she sleeps on this mess of spiral corkscrews?

UPDATE: It’s Monday, bright and early. Tog pops out of the crib and her hair looks the same as it did yesterday. The side she slept on was a bit flat. I put a dot of mousse in my hand and fluffed her out, threw on a headband and we were out the door.

Again, and forever more, I’m on Team Zahara. Amen.

photo1photo 2photo 5photo 4

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30 Responses to “The Endorsement: Kinky Curly Hair Products”

  1. makkada Says:

    oh wow. daughter’s hair looks great. so does yours. i love it. where can i get some of that hair grease?!?!

  2. Tierra226 Says:

    I love it! I was fighting my 4 yr old daughter last night for over an hour braiding her hair. I don’t believe in relaxers either so this might be the way to go.

  3. Tara Pringle Jefferson Says:

    Ooooh! I love this! I need to get some for my little girl and for me too! I’m tired of doing the straw sets (which take forever) when my natural hair curl pattern isn’t too far off from yours…I just needed a product that would help define the curls….

    Your daughter is adorable and I applaud you for saying no to the bows and hair ball thingies. Her hair is beautiful!

  4. [fung'ke][blak][chik] Says:

    curling custard is a staple in my house…it’s the only product that ‘keeps’ without me having to wet/condition my hair on a daily basis.

  5. When You Need an Expert: Laser Hair Removal | Laser Hair Removal Says:

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  6. Lisa1913 Says:

    oh! i made this huge gasp when i saw how different your daughter hair looked. the coils are so gorgeous on her and you as well. we always try to beat our kids hair into submission by using all of these bows and that god-awful grease which only weighs the hair down and makes it smell horrible. i guess because its the practice for little black girls to have a million beads and bows, we go along with it. but little white girls dont walk around with all of these barrettes and as an adult, neither do i. i gave up grease when i joined a haircare board and i must say it was the best decision i ever made.

    if i had known about this product when i was younger, i would not have gotten my first relaxer at 16 because of defeat. my hair was thick, long and healthy before my relaxed days but i didn’t know what the heck to do with it. i long for my pre-relaxed days because the transition process is torture! now i’m always toeing the line between whether or not i should be relaxed since my hair has grown tremendously and looks great or if i should stop feeding into perceptions about straight vs. natural hair and give up the creamy crack.

    you know what i say? long live the afro. pass me some of the curling custard.

  7. AmyNicole Says:

    wooow. You’re daughter’s hair looks fantabulous. I’m very tempted to try on my own head. for real!

  8. checkmymelonie Says:

    Her hair looks absolutely gorgeous. I may grab some for myself because I LOVE how my hair looks when it’s wet and curly!

  9. Carolyn Says:

    Kinky Curly Curling Custard revolutionized my hair regimen with my now 12 year old. She wants to wear her hair “out” but “out” usually meant “straightened” – until Kinky Curly. Now, she does it herself and I don’t have to bother with it most of the time. Occasionally I do resort to braids/plaits just to ensure the ends stay protected. I love your daughter’s hair and applaud your decision!

  10. BibatheDiva Says:

    It’s really pretty. This may be an option for me when I decide to cut my locks. Or for my daughter who has a serious addiction to hair gel. Thanks Alia!

  11. Miss Dimples Says:

    I was a fan of Kinky Curly products when I had a TWA because it ‘set’ my hair. The only downfall was that my hair was hard….and now I know why. I was using too much.

    Thanks for showing and EXPLAINING in detail how to use it properly.

    My one suggestion: I am a fan of hair being out, however, you have to protect it when she sleeps, a la a bonnet, scarf, whateverismanageableforatoddler, otherwise you’ll have split ends galore.

  12. Aliya S. King Says:

    @missdimples: good point. Nothing will stay on her hair while she sleeps. maybe I will invest in satin pillowcases?

  13. kaia zawadi Says:

    i love her hair it looks beautiful! @ least u didnt give in like some folk and perm her hair while she was a kid! yikes

  14. Miss Dimples Says:

    Satin pillowcases are what I use…I still can’t keep anything on my head while I sleep! :-)

  15. EMJ Says:

    ASK! I’m dealing with the EXACT same issue with my 10 month old!!!! She has a beautiful full, curly mess of hair. I started out just using pure shea butter as a moisturizer. The REAL kind I had to rub around in my hands to loosen up the consistency enough to put in her hair. But it attracted too much lint (and dirt, and whatever else I’d find in her head. Then I tried pure olive oil, but that got costly. Then I tried Carol’s Daughter. And while the Princess Tiana Hair Detangler works for combing her hair out, I haven’t yet seen the wonderous results everyone raves about with the Hair milk (it works ok on my half permed/half virgin hair though!). I’ve tried little ponytails and when I did let it out, it never quite achieved that cute curly look, it looked dry and looked like I didn’t comb it (and I did! I’ve been late to work combing her hair, and wearing my own under a cute, stylish hat!). I’m SO getting some of that Kinky curly stuff TONIGHT! I don’t want to pull on her hair and have her end up with bald spots on the edges, I also won’t be perming/relaxing or otherwise chemically altering her hair, but I do need to get a handle on it (I don’t know how many “hat” days my boss will let me sneak by with). I’ll let you know how it goes.

  16. Jenna Marie Christian Says:

    Thanks So Much For this article. I have been natural for about 4 years, but i usually blow dry it and flar iron straight most times. I really want to begin wearing it out and it’s natual state and haven’t found the right styles and products to work for me just yet. I have been hearing a lot of great things about the kinky curly product line and I am very anxious to give them a try. Thanks so much for your post and tips.

    http://www.twitter.com/1JennaMarie

  17. Lashonda Silver Says:

    I had to tell my husband about this product after your reattempt. I love the step by step. I too wish I knew about this. I am in the process of growing my hiar out. Maybe instead of locs I will do this. I have to get this for my little diva’s hair. My husband (even after 4 years) always stops me because you would think I was killing the child when I do her hair.

  18. jchat Says:

    Hey ladies…Aliyah good job on describing the kinks to curls process…although I have no little one whose hair I am responsible…I do have a whole gang of hair of my own to handle.

    I have found the miss jessie’s product to work better for me, but it is the same process in application and follow-up and they have a bunch of how to videos on their website for beginners

    try the link:

    http://www.missjessies.com/

    i have been going to Miko at miss jessie’s for almost six years now and have been nothing but satisfied..but broke, they are expensive when you go to the salon, but the products are fabulous, you can learn on your own AND starting Nov 26 (I believe) it’s the miss jessies BOGO sale on ALL products…so spread the word

    i use this time of year to stock up and really only have to buy product once a year now…

  19. Living Fly on a Dime Says:

    Her hair looks goregous. I tried KK last year and hated the results, I think I used too much, but now I’m willing to try a second application (especially since I have an entire bottle sitting in my closet).
    I cosign with MissDimples, satin pillowcases are a must for ALL naturals

  20. Joyce E. Davis Says:

    hey Aliya, thanks for this post. I’ll probably try out the Kinky Curly products on my daughter’s hair. I have had success with basic detangler and oil lotion when braiding or two stranding and her hair. Using these products, her hair stays for a week pretty nicely (using a stocking cap nightly). Then I take it out and have another week of hair-out-wavy locks using a stocking cap every night- and she does not have so called “good hair.”

    If her hair is braided up for a few days, I can pick it out and giver her a crazy blown-out looking afro, which we both love. But I do have to do a couple of quick braids or twists at night to have the same look the next day.

    I might be the only person to say this, but I like bows and ribbons, barrettes, pony tails, afro puffs and braids. You can only do these little girl looks for so long, and I think all of those options add diversity to her look, along with having it out sometimes. So I’m gonna keep using the little girl looks until she win’s the mommy-I’m-not-a-baby fight that I know is coming.

  21. Tarana Burke Says:

    This is soooo funny that you posted today. I LITERALLY just finished telling my girlfriend about this but actually ENDORSING Miss Jessie’s

    @Jchat I agree, no disrespect to kinky cury, but Miss Jessie’s smells better, feels better and applies better IMHO…and if you ever get tired of do-it-your-self…you can go right to the shop!

    They are a little steeper than Kinky Curly, but I believe worth it.

    However, Kinky Curly would get my full endorsement following miss jessies, not eh em…”mixed chics” (don’t even get me started) *rolls eyes*

  22. Tarana Burke Says:

    …Oh, Aliya, forgot to mention how INSANELY adorable your baby girl is, my goodness.

  23. Aliya S. King Says:

    Looks like i’m gonna have to check out Miss Jessie’s too!

  24. Luvvie Says:

    YESSS!!! Tog’s hair is divine! She looks adorable. The reason I give Angie and em the side-eye is that they don’t even put a headband or barrette in Baby z’s hair. They could at least do that. Sheesh!

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  26. Erika Says:

    First, I have to say I LOVE your blog! Second, your daughter is adorable! Third (and I promise not to list everything!), I couldn’t agree with you more about wishing I had this stuff when I was a kid. I absolutely love KK! I’ve been using it for about 3 months and couldn’t be happier. I fell in love with the first application and haven’t looked back. I’m a loyal customer!

    Keep doing what you’re doing – I’m now a fan of yours too!

  27. disappointed mama Says:

    tried it
    hated it
    i followed your directions
    and my daughters hair wet looked great
    when it dried it shrunk and looked extremely dry and the curl patterns went away she was left with a dry afro

    i dont believe that this works on super kinky hair
    40 dollars down the drain

  28. EMJ Says:

    @disappointed mama. I have to say, I was disappointed too when I first tried Kinky Curly. My daughter’s hair did exactly what you described. I have found some success with it by twisting it up at night, taking down in the morning, wetting it down, applying the Kinky Curly and then blow drying it (a little) on a cool setting. BUT (and that’s a big but) who has time to do that to her hair every morning?! My daughter is 10 months has as much hair as some 2 year olds, so I’m already there. I hear Miss Jessie’s is the business, so we’ll give it a try. Kinky Curly also has a kid/toddler specific line called Tiny Twirls, that I wanted to check out too. It may be better than the “adult” formulated gel. Just FYI.

  29. Lisa Says:

    I am an expert on this stuff trust. Don’t smooth it through..use your fingers as a comb and comb it through. It will be even better.

  30. Lisa Says:

    Dissapointed mama…the hair is still going to shrink. I don’t know why it looks dry. You might try a leave in as a base, (I do) and be careful that it’s natural so there are no reactions.

    But if your daughter’s hair is not little ringlets, that does not make it worse than the blogger’s daughter.

    I am scared that the Natural World still has it’s own hierarchy of “good hair”…

    And if you think KKCC is not for real kinks… RUN DON”T WALK AWAY FROM MISS JESSIE”S….so many chemicals and go…long drying time, way less shiny, and less curl definition. I think Miss J’s is better for looser curls…

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