Untangling the politics of black hair is tough – and trying to explain it to those who have never experienced the intrigue, the questioning, the barrage of unwanted comments, the weird looks and the uninvited hands being plunged into their own hair…is even tougher.

As my acceptance of my own curls has grown over the years, naturally so has my understanding of how to take care of them as well as my knowledge of black hair. I owe a significant amount of credit to one of my best friends who I met at University; a British-Nigerian girl who got me started on the path to really understanding my hair, aged 20. (Thanks Abi!). Because it’s only now I realise four years later as I’m on a quest to find out my own roots, (literally), that I realise all that time spent disparaging my hair was probably down to the fact that I was trying desperately to fit in with what surrounded me and denying my own self in the process.

Because I now know more about how my hair responds to different products (and I’m super lazy), I like to buy curl defining creams that also double-up  as moisturizers or leave-in conditioners. Using this type of product on my hair reduces the many, many hours I spend taming my curls. And the less narcissistic I am, the better it is for my health, or something.

My hair is a complete contradiction. It’s both dry, thick and fine all at once and it’s a mixture of types 3a, 3b and 3c (if you know about hair typing). Despite the confusion, I like to keep things simple when it comes to my normal hair routine; I apply a liquid then an oil  and finally some sort of cream, as part of the LOC haircare method. I’ve learned everything pertaining to my haircare routine from other women, online. So if you have similar hair to me, try some of these moisturizing curl defining creams.

Macadamia Natural Oil Leave-In Conditioner*

If you’re going on holiday and you need low maintenance, high moisture, and defined curl, then definitely pack this Macadamia product. It ticks about three different boxes; a curl enhancer, de-tangler and moisturizer all in one and best of all, it leaves your hair feeling super-silky and soft for the whole day. The only problem is,  it’s like, not cheap.  This curl defining cream costs around £20 for a  in the UK , but only around $10.99 in the US and you get 295ml.

This little pot of wonder needs no introduction; I’m willing to bet it’s the most popular of all curl defining creams on the market. And I just held off using it for sooo long because practically every natural hair blogger was raving about it online and I like to be unique and therefore cool (joking). But now after testing out the Shea Moisture smoothie in the States, I’m a complete convert with absolutely no regrets. As well as conjuring up four different versions of heaven in my mind whenever I smell it, the smoothie is super-thick and a little goes a long way which justifies that £14.99 price tag (it’s only $6.99 Stateside, annoyingly/conveniently).  This product also perfectly defines even the frizziest of strands and could definitely be used as a leave-in conditioner too. Win-win. For 340g, it’s £12.99 in the UK or the same Stateside ($12.99) so it’s amazing value compared to most other stuff on the market. Probably

KMS Curl Up Creme*

This salon-approved stuff is pretty much the curly girl’s dream product for curl definition. The product gives amazing hold without crisp-age and shrinkage. It’s also super-thick meaning it lasts for ages but if you apply too much, I find that it can weigh your curls down a little and personally I love the frizz. Although not the most nourishing cream out of all the ones listed, it still leaves thick and fine hair feeling pretty soft.  £15 ($20) for 150ml.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Touch-Up Creme

Fly-aways and frizz will be banished entirely once you expose them to a bit of John Frieda. But beware; this stuff is strong. Super-fine hair will end up a little crispy if you apply too much, but for definition, you just can’t beat it. And there’s practically no shrinkage which is great. Only invest in this cream if you don’t mind the super-sweet scent all day long, though. John Frieda changed the recipe recently and one blob of this means your hair is going to be smelling fresher than a pillow with a mint on it. Also, it’s not the most nourishing product, leaving a slightly sticky feel upon touching.  £5.99/$5.99 for 100ml.

*NB: The ones with the lil’ asterix, I was gifted for review for a previous article, but I’m only writing about them because they are now my new favourites, I pinky promise.

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