Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Weird Product Wednesday
I'm going to start a new feature on this blog called "Weird Product Wednesdays." I made this decision earlier today when I got the idea to blog about all the strange products that exist for curly hair. And when I realized that I could also take advantage of some excellent alliteration by doing such reviews on a Wednesday, that clinched it.
So today, ladies and gentlemen, we will be talking about Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, which is its own alliterative marvel. With the aroma of coconut and the consistency of snot, this stuff seems to flummox even the most experienced of curl mavens.
First, the enormous jar. You don't know whether to think, "Wow, what a deal! I'm set for life!" or "I guess I'm supposed to use a lot of this every time I apply it." Imagine your surprise when you learn that neither is true.
(Well, I fib here. For 3a hair like mine, not much is needed. But from what I understand, type 4 hair requires gobs of it.)
The jar costs about $25 and you will probably have to get it online either at Kinky-Curly's site or CurlMart. (Some hair boutique and beauty supply stores carry it, but odds are, you don't live near one of them.) This seems a little pricey, but when I look at the range of products already in my bathroom, I see that this product is pretty standard, price-wise.
Next, we have the aesthetic appeal of the product itself. Yuck. It is just simply gross. If you've got little boys under the age of 12 in your house, keep it away from them or it will end up as fodder for a good old fashioned slime party.
But the aroma goes a long way toward offsetting the visual impact. It smells like a cool coconut drink or a yummy coconut dessert. So, you really don't mind dipping your fingers into its gloppiness.
Once you dip into the jar, you realize you have no clue how much to use because the consistency of Curling Custard is unlike anything you've ever used before. Mysteryflavored at naturallycurly.com did a nice little video showing how much she uses and how she applies it, but prior to that, most of us were really struggling with exactly what to do with this concoction. Big thanks to mysteryflavored (who is adorable and has good hair even without product).
Another bizarre feature (some might even call it a problem) of this product is that it can be awkward to distribute. And so, you might need to call upon your Denman brush to accomplish the task. I tried this once and it worked okay -- some people swear by the brush method so I would be remiss if I did not mention it here.
To add insult to injury -- or oddity to strangeness, in this case -- your hair will kind of suck this stuff up, which is why the company strongly recommends that you use a healthy dose of its leave-in, Knot Today. The idea here is that if you can get your hair reasonably saturated with emollients and moisture before the Curling Custard goes on, you hair won't absorb as much of it. And believe me, you want to avoid too much absorption. Why? Because your hair will take forever to dry otherwise. (But you definitely can use any leave-in of your choice. Using Knot Today is not a requirement. In fact, today I used EO Rose and Chamomille Conditioner and it worked like a dream.)
Kinky-Curly Curling Custard (KCCC) goes on gooey and wants to keep your hair very hydrated for many hours afterwards. Mostly, that's what curly hair craves, but your challenge in this case is to control how much hydration actually happens. Left unchecked, KCCC will stay "wet" for hours.
* Apply to hair that's less wet than you'd normally want to apply products to. This tactic will help minimize the amount of water that gets locked into your hair via KCCC's moisturizing qualities.
* Use a little more leave-in or conditioner than you normally would. You want a slicker surface on which to apply KCCC.
* Use the towel of your choice to absorb water from your hair after you apply KCCC (and gel, if you've opted to use it)
* If you're prone to frizz, you might want to apply gel after KCCC and before you dry your hair.
My verdict: Once you figure out how to use this product, it is likely to give you gorgeous hair. Patience is key -- you will undoubtedly experience some really god-awful hair days as you experiment. Or maybe you'll get lucky and get it right the first time. My advice is to keep trying, though. I took me probably 7 or 8 tries to get today's fantabulous results!
(A related fun curly tale: After months of sporadically trying to get KCCC to work for me, today I finally had success! My hair looked wonderful today -- and I couldn't get a decent photo of it! And at lunchtime, a woman who works on another floor got into the elevator with me, complimented my hair, and we proceeded to talk about curly hair for the next five minutes. Hers is curly, too, and although pretty, would very obviously be curlier and healthier with the right products and care. So, I have KCCC for not only giving me a good hair day but also for being a catalyst in hooking me up with a fellow curly, who I think will become a friend! Yay, curls!)
Added on April 20, 2009:
I have discovered that absorbing some water *before* applying KCCC yields even better results than applying it to wet hair. Add your leave-in as described above, and then mop up excess moisture (but not too much -- you do want your hair wet, just not really wet). You can plop or squeeze or whatever you like to do.
I have also found that mixing KCCC with a little gel is terrific! For strong hold, I use a bit of BRHG. For lesser but still good hold, I use Max Green Alchemy Styling gel.