After a serious streak with a line of natural hair products that worked perfectly for my hair, I'm on a quest to find more options that work well on tight, coily 4-type hair. Seriously, I know there has to be more than just one brand that creates beautiful results on my locks...and I'm going to find them all so I can share them with you!
Sally Beauty Supply has a growing selection of natural hair brands that impresses me more and more by the month. I will admit that I've noticed As I Am on the shelves, but simply never grabbed it. I'm very picky when it comes to trying new brands. You can spend hundreds of dollars on products that do not work and basically become a product junkie, but that's not the case with As I Am.
The first thing I do when I'm checking out a new product is read the ingredients. There are so many brands that claim their products were made specially for natural hair, but nothing about the ingredients are natural! It can be pretty disappointing. On each As I Am bottle, I noticed the ingredients highlighted and they made perfect sense for the specific steps in the process. That's how I knew they were going to work well for my hair.
Step 1 | Cleansing Pudding+
While I was sent the shampoo, I decided to skip trying it and use the Cleansing Pudding+ Sulfate-Free Moisturizing Cleanser instead. Ninety-percent of the time, I don't like shampoos. I feel like most of them just dry out my hair and leave it feeling parched for days no matter how hard I try to revive it. Cleansing rinses have been my best friend lately, so that's what I chose to start with this particular product from the line. And guess what? Zero dryness!
Key ingredients: Tangerine, Aloe Vera, Castor Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Saw Palmetto and Phytosterols
Step 2 | Coconut CoWash
I used just a tiny scoop of the Coconut Co-Wash as a "conditioner" to help me detangle in the shower and then rinsed with cold water. Typically when I go to Sally Beauty, I grab the Eden Body Works Coconut Cleansing CoWash, but lately I've fallen out of love with it and haven't used it as often. I'd absolutely recommend this one instead. Not only are they approximately the same price, but As I Am contains way more ingredients that your hair will eat right up. The one ingredient that really stood out to me was the castor oil -- it has worked wonders for my hair as far as growth and shininess.
Key Ingredients: Tangerine, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Saw Palmetto and Phytosterols
Step 3 | Leave-In Conditioner
Once I got out of the shower, my hair was mostly detangled and my natural coils were very prominent. The LOC method works really well for my hair when I'm achieving twist-outs and braid-outs. If you're unfamiliar, it's when you use a leave-in conditioner and follow with a styler. I distributed the Leave-In Conditioner through medium-sized sections of my hair with a Denman Be-Bop brush. Actually, this particular leave-in conditioner was much different than others I've used -- it was like a jelly rather than a lotion. The consistency seemed super hydrating and moisturizing, so perfect for summer. I used it while my hair was still super wet, so I only needed a dime size per section.
Key Ingredients: Extracts of Coconut, Amla, Sugar Beet Root, Green Tea, Lemon, Apple, Sugar Cane, Phytosterols and Saw Palmetto
Step 4 | Twist Defining Cream
Right after distributing the leave-in conditioner, I followed with the Twist Defining Cream (my styler) with the Denman brush. It had a pink-ish color and reminded me a bit of strawberry yogurt! *covers eyes*
It gave me just the right amount of slip and I could already see the definition while working the cream through my hair as I prepared to two-strand twist. The Twist Defining Cream has a thicker consistency that works well for coils and tight textures. Butters and creams are our besties! I could already tell that my twists would be shiny, smooth, and defined yet soft.
Key Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Amla, Sugar Beet Root and Phytosterols
Step 5 | Coco Shea Spray Moisturizer
Refresher sprays are perfect for summer and natural hair is naturally dry, so these will reactivate the product you've already used. I typically use them to give my hair a mid-week boost when my coils are lacking life. Trust me -- it happens to the best of us.
Interestingly, this refresher was very milky rather than watery like most I've used. Because of its consistency, I would personally recommend using this during the twisting process when the hair gets a little dry and/or for daily moisturizing. I do prefer a better fragrance when I use refresher sprays, but the ingredients in this one are really great for the hair. I think the African Shea Butter definitely contributes to the milkiness and color of the spray as well as the intense moisture it provides.
Key Ingredients: Coconut Oil, African Shea Butter and Vegetable Glycerin