When I first went natural back in 2009, I was a product junkie. I would buy and try a new product — sometimes several new products — just about every week. After years of managing relaxed hair, it took a while before I figured out what worked for my hair. There was also the fact that products specifically designed for naturally curly hair were not nearly as readily available then as they are now. I had to order a lot of products online and hope for the best when I received them. Thankfully, times have changed. Now, I can walk into my local Walmart and find some of my favorite natural hair brands, including Shea Moisture and now, Carol’s Daughter.
Carol’s Daughter is like the OG brand in the natural hair world. It was one of the first brands I tried when I went natural because even then, it had been around for more than 15 years. Lisa Price started making the products in her Brooklyn kitchen in 1993. But admittedly, I had not used their products in years because I’d found what works for my hair. So when Walmart offered to send me a couple of the current products to try, I couldn’t wait to give it another shot.
Wait, did I said a “couple” of products? Turns out it was more like eight different ones.
I initially planned to try them on my own hair, but wash day came up for Juliza and I decided to try them in her hair. Her texture is much tighter than mine and Ja’Naya’s, and more prone to dryness, so the products that work well for us don’t really help her hair retain moisture as well. I was hopeful that the Carol’s Daughter line would help me change that.
First, let me say something: These products? Smell ah-mazing. Like no. Seriously. They smell heavenly. For most Black women I know, this is exceptionally important. We have to like the way our hair smells, and fragrances like lavender and vanilla will always be winners. The Carol’s Daughter black vanilla products smell good enough to eat. And the Hair Milk line has a lighter, almost almondy (did I make up that word) fragrance. Both are exactly the ways I’d like my hair to smell after a wash.
I started her hair with the black vanilla sulfate-free shampoo and hydrating conditioner. I don’t use shampoo often, but because of Juliza’s last hairstyle, ponytails, I knew I needed to thoroughly wash out the product residue from the light gel I had used. It didn’t take much of the shampoo to work up a great lather. In fact, I may have used a bit too much.
When I washed it out, her hair felt squeaky clean. Next, I moved on to the conditioner. My method with conditioner is too use a lot of it to get her hair nice and slick for easy detangling. I went a little heavier than necessary, but it made for a quick, painless detangling session.
“Quick and painless” matters when dealing with a 2-year-old who completely freaks out every time water touches her face. And the black vanilla conditioner softened her hair so that the comb and Denman brush could glide right through it. I part the hair into about 10 sections, detangle, and twist.
Then I rinsed her hair and got her out of the tub. I wrapped it with a towel, but didn’t rub it dry. I didn’t want the towel to soak up all the moisture. Just enough so it wouldn’t drip. Then I coated her hair with the black vanilla leave-in conditioner spray about an hour before bedtime.
The next morning, her hair was already starting to look a bit dull and dry, but that was typical right after a wash.
I started the styling session with the Hair Milk line. I untwisted one section at a time, and sprayed it with Hair Milk refresher spray and coated it from root to tip with the combing cream. Next, I used the styling pudding from root to tip to style her hair in much smaller twists that would last longer. Her hair felt super soft and it sucked up the moisture like a sponge.
I usually style Juliza’s hair with only one product, but I think layering the three lightweight products is a better idea to help infuse moisture and seal it for retention. It also helped stretch her hair a bit. Her coils are super, super tight, which means her hair is deceptively long.
Anyway, the result of the three products was shiny, bouncy, well-moisturized twists.
Each morning, I sprayed her hair with the Hair Milk refresher spray to add some new moisture. On day 3, I untwisted to find a gorgeous, bouncy twist out. You betta werk, JuJu!
This is her best twistout after having twists in her hair for several days. Typically, I have to them out on day 1 to get shiny, bouncy curls. But this time, spraying her hair with the refresher spray every day really, really helped.
I have to say I’m impressed with Carol’s Daughter all over again, and I’m so, SO happy I’ll be able to find the line at Walmart at affordable prices, right alongside Shea Moisture, Miss Jessie’s, Jane Carter and other products for natural African American hair. Thank you for fulfilling that need, Walmart.
Now, to try these products on my own hair…