In Search Of the Perfect Curl: JessiCurl Product Review Part 1

Sometimes having curly hair can feel like having a pet (that you never asked your parents for). It needs constant love and attention, petting, fluffing and calming, and you can’t just leave it out in the rain and expect it to behave.

Then one day you discover that, in fact, it’s not as needy as you thought. It actually wants to be independent, and if you just let it do it’s thing and don’t coddle it like a crazy person, it might actually be able to survive in the wild.

K, this is a weird metaphor. But it sort of sums up what happened to me and my curls and I went clean. The constant monitoring, treatments, and loads of leave-ins proved to be a bit moot once I just learned to let it be, not wash it much (or ever), and use a good, thick, natural conditioner. Suddenly: Nice curls, responsive to heat if I wanted to style it, and I could even sleep on them and not look like a total animal in the morning.

For a while there, I flat-out lost my taste for hair products, because it was such a revelation not to need them. But these days, I’m working my way back to the middle because—as I almost forgot—the right products can do a lot for a curl. It can make it springy and tight, or loose and lovely. And this line does it all.

Who is Jessicurl? Some quick reading on their website says it’s a brand started by a woman (Jess) who grew up fighting her curls until one day she discovered a natural and DIY approach to haircare and learned to love them. Sound familiar? Cut to: Ten years later she has her very own line with very nice people working with her. These folks were kind enough to send me their entire Rich and Radiant Collection, which I’ve now thoroughly tested.

Note: There are a few ingredients in the line that aren’t perfect. The last two ingredients in the conditioners and leave-ins get a question mark on SkinDeep (4-6), though I’ve never heard of them (have you?) and the cleansing cream contains a PEG. While that gets a low hazard score, if memory serves PEGs run the risk of being contaminated with 1,4-dioxane—which is really bad stuff. I have not emailed the folks at Jessicurl about any of this yet (feel free to post in the comments, guys), but given how clean the rest of the line I’m feeling a bit forgiving about it. Especially on the products that I’m obsessed with. :)

OK, let’s go through it!

Hair Cleansing Cream ($16.95 / 8oz): Touted as an alternative to shampoo this product foams just a little, featuring gentler surfactants. As promised in the description, your curly hair will actually look great on the same day as washing (on the rare occasions I wash, I’ve found this to be true with most good natch, and non-stripping, shampoos). Remember when your curls were absolutely destroyed by hair-washing and you had to wait several days for them to get back into their groove? Man, those days sucked.

Next up!

Too Shea! Conditioner ($16.95 / 8oz): This is a really nice hydrating conditioner that leans more towards the sticky than the greasy side in consistency. I’ve been using this most days as my conditioning cleanser and it’s absolutely great. The whole lines smells good too, in a natural good way, and the presence of peppermint in this conditioner makes it perfect for waking up in the morning shower. This conditioner gets my solid stamp of approval, and I think it would work especially great for women who don’t want their curls weighed down. I, on the other hand, also happen to enjoy a really heavy conditioner too… Which is why I use it in tandem with…

Deep Conditioning Treatment ($16.95 / 8oz): This conditioner is the bomb. It’s so thick that it’s almost tough to squeeze it out of the bottle. Heavy and rich, it literally seems to detangle curls on contact. Funnily, it has almost the exact same ingredients as the previous conditioner, but the proportions must be totally different. According to the description, I’m not the only curly girl obsessed. While it was once marketed as a weekly treatment, so many women started using it daily. That’s what I’ve been doing, and the results are GREAT.

OK, that’s a wrap for now. Tomorrow I will cover the three amazing styling products that came in the set. But tell us, curlies and wavies: What is your washing and conditioning curl ritual? Have you heard of JessiCurl?

Comments
15 Responses to “In Search Of the Perfect Curl: JessiCurl Product Review Part 1”
  1. Tricia says:

    Oy. I too have ringlets….or at least I used to. After years of doing as you describe, “codding” them (I like to think I was actually torturing them – the curls, that is)…applying any and every product (clean and not-so-clean) to get them to behave, I cut the cord and essentially shaved my head to approximately 1/2″ long. That was over two years ago. And I’m not a kid (50 this year). Although this may not be the sexiest choice I’ve ever made, talk about easy! Washing my hair with a bar of clean soap? How easy is that? I got used to the low-maintenance do. But lately, I’ve been missing my curls but have been thinking about all the issues I used to experience; wondering what products I would have to try (over and over until I find the right one). Thanks for this review; knowing that there are clean products out there for curly girls gives me hope. :-). At least about the hair. Ha.

  2. Heather S says:

    I discovered Jessicurl last year and never looked back! My curls love it!!! So glad to see it on No More Dirty Looks. These products combined with a good cut and regular trims really keep my curls beautiful and bouncy.

  3. Amber says:

    Oh hooray! I’ve used the Jessicurl line and really like what I’ve used. My hair was the first thing that started me on the road to clean about 10 years ago. I didn’t even KNOW I had curly hair (and I’m 44, so it’s not like I didn’t have time to figure it out.) Thought it was just wavy and frizzy. I’d use drugstore shampoos, and silicone frizz products and would comb out my wet hair and then blow dry it…every day. I was at my wit’s end when I came across Jessicurl. (My hair was probably at its wit’s end too. It had been screaming at me and I hadn’t been listening!)

    I’ve used and had great success with the Too Shea conditioner, Rockin Ringlets and Confident Coils Styling Solution. Sadly, I’m very fickle and like to try the next new thing, so I’m not using her products at the moment. But when I was using Jessicurl, my hair was shinier than with any other products. The frizz was MUCH improved, though that always depends on the weather for me. I’m in the NW and sometimes the rain helps my frizz and other times it compounds it and no product is going to change that.

    Like you, Alexandra, I’ve found that less fiddling is more. I wash once a week (maybe twice if I’m getting oily), condition, add a little product for control, and pop my hair into microfiber towel (cheap ones in the workout section at ROSS Dress For Less) until I’m ready to leave for work. I take the towel off and do NOT touch it till it’s completely dry. Which means once a week I show up to work with wet hair. When dry, I scrunch out any product crunchies and am good to go. At night, I sleep with it in a loose ponytail on the top of my head, and in the morning I can just run wet hands over any frizzies and then I’m presentable. That’s it. No brushes, no combs, no hairdryers. On the occasional bad hair day (usually right before I’m due to wash) I’ll just wear it up in a messy bun.

  4. Nat says:

    I have heard about jessicurl products before but never actually used them. I think it is great that you posted about a curly hair line Alex because it is so hard to find affordable hair products with good ingredients. I think it is my biggest challenge because all of my make up and skincare are pretty much clean and i agree with Tricia that this makes curly girls feel more hopeful because I didn’t know where to start.

  5. Sydney says:

    Literally every single post you ladies make is so freakin’ timely I can hardly stand it. I just washed my curls and am currently steam/deep conditioning them as I am typing this comment…like for real…..are you guys beauty psychics?

    But now to my routine of the day (honestly it changes every day it’s so terrible, I can practically hear my curls cry)

    I filled up my sink with really warm water and poured in sea salt and baking soda then I dunked my head in and swishy swashy….I went back to add more baking soda directly onto my scalp for a deep cleanse and to help with dandruff and such. Currently I am trying to detox my hair back with baking soda rinses after I had a shampoo/conditioner relapse ): Then I ran my hair pick through and squeezed out excess water…I applied my DC which I actually just received in the mail approximately 1 hour ago :) It’s Camille Rose Naturals Algae Deep Conditioner and so far I am loovvinggg it…It is so creamy and thick and has just enough slip for me to gently detangle my curls with my fingers…also it smells yummy, like warm vanilla :) I applied that from root to tip then dampened a towel and threw it in the microwave for about 5 minutes, wrapped my head in it for some steam action, and now I’m gonna wait about an hour to let it sink in.

    As of late my hair is really really really damaged. It’s been through a lot and it shows. My curls are long (about the middle of my back) which might be every curly girl’s dream but mine are weighed down, limp, and stringy…not fun. They are so far from the God-intended curl pattern that I should have but I’m not willing to do another big chop yet. I just don’t know.

    What to do, what to do….

  6. Rebecca Bailey says:

    Well, I know two brilliant women who put those last two ingredients on their blacklist, so I avoid them (uh, the ingredients, not the women). ; )

    I like the metaphor. I often call my hair an entity, it has it’s own thing going on. It’s like a cat’s tail, connected and part of the whole, but then again not. Best not to fight it. I’m a wavy/curly depending on which chunk of my hair you look at. “Washing” with conditioner daily is totally the way to go for me, with an occasional shampoo with Green Body Green Planet or Griffin Remedy. If I shampoo, it’s very brief and just a little shampoo massaged into my scalp. No trouble with bad hair days after if I keep up the less is more attitude. I use the GBGP conditioner as a leave in, or an oil if I need it. Occasional coconut oil masks are great. And, a great cut is absolutely essential. I adore my stylist.

  7. Josephine says:

    Also worth noting with this product line–they offer no-added-fragrance versions of several products!

  8. fern says:

    I LOVE Jessicurl. I’ve tried all sorts of other things that are completely clean, but I always went back to Jessicurl. I have 2C hair and the products enhance my curl in the best way. I put some argan oil on the bottom half of my hair in the morning before I get it wet, then I use the Hair Cleansing Cream (every third day), Too Shea, Rockin’ Ringlets, and Confident Coils. I follow the recommendations on her website and my curls look better than they’ve ever looked (like, presentable all day, every day). I use an old t-shirt for “plunking” though, because I think it produces even less frizz than the microfiber towel. I also like the deep conditioner and heat thingy – they make my hair soooo soft (I use both about once per month, more often in the winter). For dandruff, I’ve been rinsing with ACV before I use the Too Shea and it’s definitely helping (it’s only been a week, though, so I don’t know if it’s a long term thing). Jessicurl plus the argan on the ends have let me love my curly hair. I am so excited to hear that you like them, too!!

  9. Meridith says:

    um…yeah. I don’t use anything for my wavies. I will usually straighten my hair, but they (the wavies) do tend to look disastrous when I just leave them.
    so thanks for this.
    p.s. I love love love shirley temple, but only the ones where she is younger than 8.

  10. Anne says:

    I love love love this picture.

  11. Charlotte says:

    im black with type 3c hair and i use a homemade coconut oil/coconut milk shampoo bar (very similar to darcys botanicals shampoo bar) and a bit of crown prides protein cocktail scrunched through my hair afterwards, then i tip my head upside down and squeeze with my “curls like us” curl cloth, then leave to air dry.

    my hair needs more protein than moisture so the shampoo bar is moisturising enough without needing to add anything else and the protein spray makes my curls even more springy. my hair is really soft, very shiny and in really good condition. i find the less i do and the less products loaded onto my hair, the more amazing it looks ^_^

  12. Joye says:

    So happy you posted for the curly girls! I have fine, jawline length curls. I stopped combing my hair over a year ago, and saw a big improvement in my curls when I did that. Then I started doing the baking soda cleansing / apple cider vinegar rinse, but have not been completely happy. I still have lots of frizz and my fine curls go limp by the time I walk out of the door. I also get a lot of scalp buildup- probably from product. I have been searching for a clean hair gel, so I’m excited to try the Jessicurl line. It’s still a big pricy for my budget, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I also want to try California Baby.

  13. Michele says:

    Thanks for this. I’m still searching for products that enhance my fine wavy hair. Maybe this will be it,; and just in time for summer to! I ordered the travel size kit for fine wavy hair. I found a promo code for free shipping that’s good until May 31; FSJN48619

    I really like Green Body Green Planet Energy shampoo and conditioner that Rebecca reviewed, but I haven’t found the right styling products, and believe me I’ve tried., tried, and tried. I’m looking forward to trying these.

  14. Moni says:

    @Sydney

    OMG I recently got that conditioner too! I love their aloe whipped shea butter and thought, eh why not? But I purchased off of Amazon, and wasn’t able to get the full ingredients list at time of purchase. I got it, love the scent and slapped it in my hair. But- while I was waiting for it to do its thang I read the ingredients and kind of had a meltdown that went like this “OMG I have phenoxynthenol in my hair!!” And I got into a huge debate with myself over it because here I have an entire container of this stuff and I’ve already applied it to my hair and I’m on a budget and am I really just going to go rinse this out and toss the tub? I haven’t used it since but I did leave it on my hair and let it do the trick. The jury is still out for me. I mean I alternate a few other deep conditioners so if I used it most sparingly – say once a month maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal.

    So anyway, thanks ladies for this post because sometimes I get so crazy and have to remind myself that while this is very serious, if I let an ingredient slide here and there I can’t treat it like life or death in that moment.

  15. Sarah says:

    You know Merida the Brave princess? They modeled her after me (kidding, sort of). I have mid back long red ringlets that are the hardest thing in the shower to comb out. I started using juice beauty pomegranate conditioner and its seriously the best thing that’s ever happened to my hair! I’ll have to check out this deep conditioner though because it sounds incredible! No shampooing for me ever and I’m still looking for a clean leave in conditioner because my hair is so dry without it :/

    x dotti dee

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