NYC Curls was kind enough to send me their Cleanser, Conditioner and Gel to review. I had heard fellow blogger and YouTube curlfriends mention these products in their videos and/or Instagram photos and I was really excited to try them out. One thing that I would immediately like to point out is that all three of these products are CGM friendly! [CGM stands for Curly Girl Method in case you are new to the Curly World] They do not contain silicones, nor sulfates, nor parabeans. All three of the products are water based, meaning water is their first ingredient so right off the bat I know that these won’t be heavy on my hair which is why I thought reviewing them in the warmer months would be ideal. Now, let me go ahead and break each of these down one at a time! If you’re not a big reader, just go ahead and skip down to the bottom where you’ll find a video review… but I promise I’ve written a few more review secrets in this post!
The Curl Cleanser was my absolute favorite of the trio. It is a zero lathering conditioning cleanser that is light enough to use daily. The label on the back reads that it is “safe for color treated hair”, so this might be an added bonus if you like to play with color! It has a light and lingering ginger mint scent that is quite calming, refreshing actually. I loved that as soon as I start massaging this cleanser onto my scalp, I get a tingling sensation. My scalp feels invigorated and clean. When I apply this cleanser to wash my hair, I massage it into my scalp and then after massaging, I let the water rinse out the curl cleanser. As the cleanser is being rinsed out of my curls, it cleans the rest of my hair in a gentle yet effective way- It doesn’t strip my hair at all! While the Curl Cleanser might be great for all curl types, I feel as though it is ideal for looser curl patterns, wavy hair, or even straight hair. This cleanser, as I mentioned above, is light enough that it can be used daily… However, I wouldn’t imagine washing my own curls every day, as the curls on my head would normally dry out and if I would be using the rest of the products in this line I know my curls would not get the moisture that it needs (but more on that later). The Curl Cleanser retails for 18.99 for a 12oz. bottle, just a dollar shy from it’s competing cleanser, the DevaCurl No-Poo (also 12oz). Also, just in case you were curious, this product made the NaturallyCurly.com Editor’s Choice list for best conditioning cleanser for type 2 hair! I would absolutely purchase this product again and recommend this product to anyone who is new to the Curly Girl Method. It really is a great cleanser!
I have mixed feelings over the Curl Conditioner, so let me begin with the positive. I like single products that can serve a multitude of purposes. I feel that this conditioner is light enough to use as a co-washer, conditioner, detangler, and/or leave in conditioner. While it might perform better in some areas than others, it can still be used as an all in one curl product which at the end of the day can save you a bit of money! Compare this to the other All-In-One that I rave about constantly, Tresemme Naturals Aloe and Avocado Conditioner. I use that for everything and it only costs me less than 6 dollars for a 25 oz bottle. Here’s my negative though, the NYC Curls Curl Conditioner comes in a 20oz bottle and retails for 18.99. I wouldn’t mind the price if it scored an A+ in all areas of performance. This product is very light and would make for a great co-washer for curl types that are looser or even finer than others. In fact, it is so light that you could use it daily if you wanted to. The label reads that it “deeply conditions”, however I didn’t feel that my type 3 curls got enough conditioning. My curls just didn’t feel hydrated or moisturized enough unless I applied an overly generous amount into my hair. As a detangler, I thought this product was fantastic. There was so much slip! I would even recommend using this product BEFORE washing your hair to help with detangling. As a leave-in conditioner: again, I didn’t feel the conditioner itself was moisturizing enough so applying it to my hair before styling didn’t give my curls the moisture it needed to maintain after drying. On top of all of this, the scent was different. Fragrance was very high up in the ingredients list which explains the very strong notes of bamboo and ginger. While I didn’t hate it, I felt it was much too strong for my liking and lingered throughout the entire day.
Unfortunately, the Curl Gel was a total miss for my type 3 curls. First of all, it has pretty much the same scent as the Curl Conditioner but this gel was MUCH stronger in scent. Fragrance was the 4th ingredient on the list and the smell actually gave me a headache the first few times I tried this gel. The label reads that the “hold is flexible, not crunchy, so it allows your curls to move naturally”. I did not find that my curls felt flexible after scrunching or releasing the gel cast. My curls felt stiff. I could go hours gently scrunching and there would still be parts of my hair that still felt stiff. When it comes to definition, I didn’t notice much of a difference. Certain sections of my hair are more defined than others but this gel did not necessarily enhance the sections that were less defined. This could possibly be the reason why it was difficult to maintain the style longer than two days. In fact, on day 2, my curls seemed less defined and actually a bit dry as well. I could not for the life of me get to day 3. By then, I’d just throw it in a bun and call it a day. Because I felt the need to continue to scrunch my hair throughout the day to get soft, flexible curls, I noticed that my hands felt slightly sticky. I would also notice that the length of my hair would flake at times- not ALL of the time! I normally jot this kind of information down in my Curl Journal and I’m kicking myself for not keeping track! I’m not sure if it was because I used only gel or if it was when I was light handed with the leave-in conditioner and heavy handed with the gel but I’m more than positive that the flaking came when I focused on the gel as the styler. I knew it wasn’t dandruff since the flakes were not coming from my scalp. I feel so bad that I didn’t have a single positive thing to mention about the Curl Gel but it just did not work for me. So I feel that a 12oz bottle for $18.99 just isn’t worth it.
RELATED ARTICLE: Another Product Review For Your Curls!
If someone with my curl type has actually tried these products, particularly the Curl Gel, and had positive experiences with them, please let me know what you think! If you have any suggestions on how to use these products (ahem… the gel!) to get a better result, let me know! I still have some left over and would love to experiment other styling techniques! Like I said, what doesn’t work for me might be the best product for you! Always do your research and if you are just beginning to test out products on your own curls, jot down your progress and results in a Curl Journal to keep track of what works and what doesn’t! Since the weather is getting warmer, are there any Curl Gels that you recommend?