The Back Story
I finally figured out what was making my naturally curly hair so dry. Thanks YouTube! Ever since I went natural and did the big chop, it has been game-on to find the right hair products to achieve defined, moisturized naturally curly hair. Like most naturally curly girls, I am somewhat of a product junkie with a plethora of hair products under both my bathroom sinks.
A couple of years ago, I discovered the shingling method, and I used it religiously to define my curls during my wash ‘n go’s. Since shingling involves using styling gel, my curls would be absolutely popping. I loved it! The only problem was was that my hair would also be a little crunchy for a day or two and dry. Now, I didn’t mind the 1-2 day crunch, but the dryness became an issue. Every time that I got my hair professionally done, I’d have to listen to the stylist tell me how my “moisture level was low”. I came to hate this phrase because it made me feel like a natural hair failure. Don’t laugh! It’s like being criticized on your job. It stings!
The Hard Truth
At first, and for the longest time, I’d just blame it on my water, because I live in a part of town with community well water. I’m talking about hard water that smells like eggs if you don’t have a water filter. For years, I had a cheap water filtration system from the local hardware store. It wasn’t until this year that we bit the bullet and got a top-of-the-line water filtration and softening system installed. I was sooo pumped, because I just knew that I was going to start seeing a big difference in my hair. As it turned out, the dryness persisted. I was a little blowed, but also motivated to figure out what the hell was causing my hair to still be dry.
My Aha Moment
One day I was on YouTube searching for only God remembers what, and I watched a whole string of videos about girls and Will on a Whim who “cancelled” Eco Styler Gel. I was shook, because Eco Styler Gel was a mainstay in my wash ‘n go. I didn’t even know what to replace it with, but then I watched a few more videos and saw that some YouTubers were replacing Eco with aloe vera gel. Instantly I remembered watching Will on a Whim do a video where he made his own aloe vera gel. It turned into a flaky-haired disaster, so I had zero confidence in aloe vera gel, but I knew that I had to try something, and why not something natural like aloe vera?
My Holy Hair Grail
I made a trip to my least favorite store in the whole wide world, Wal-Mart, and picked up a small bottle of aloe vera gel. I’ve been using it now for about 2-3 weeks, and I’m seeing a drastic improvement in my hair’s moisture level. Although I do have a new-found appreciation for aloe vera, it is taking some getting used to.
The One Thing I Miss the Most About Eco Styler
Let me start by saying that I miss the definition that I got from Eco. Please bow your head for a moment of silence.
Okay, thank you. Living in a very humid climate it’s hard not to always be frizzy, but Eco combatted my frizz like a pro. It did such a great job creating that cast around my curls from root to tip.
Eco Vs Aloe
Aloe falls short with curl definition. I’ve noticed that my curls are very defined at the tip of my hair, but the aloe just doesn’t know what to do with the rest. It feels a little mushy. With that being said, I do have to give aloe its props. After all, it does give me moisturized naturally curly hair! My hair feels way softer than it did when I used Eco, and I’ve noticed that I don’t get those little knots that I have to cut out; caused by buildup. Another thing that I value about aloe is that it’s a plant-based humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air into my hair. This is often a double-edged sword living in the south, but I’ll take one for the team to be over the dry hair.
I’m still trying to figure out why it took so long for me to figure out that it was the Eco Styler that was sabotaging my hair’s moisture level. I must have been in denial. I definitely didn’t want to, but I had to cancel Eco Styler gel too. Well, I actually just restricted its use to the edges of my hair and my life!
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