Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weird Product Wednesday: Afro Detangler

What smells pretty, is a popular leave-in among curly heads, and is only sold by the half-gallon? Why, it's Afro Detangler!

This product is yet another one that sort of slipped by me until throngs of people were using it. I finally looked up, said "Huh? Wha'd I miss?" and asked kathymack for a sample. Because ain't no way I was going to shell out $49 for a product I'd never tried. And that's some kinda confidence, don't you think, for a company to sell a product only in an impossibly large container? Based on the raves at, though, maybe that confidence is justified.

Plus, who the hell needs a product that takes up as much space as a half-gallon of milk?

Now, even though I am a bit of a lemming when it comes to product experimentation, I did want to see what was in this stuff before I committed even to a sample. Here are the ingredients:

Active Ingredients: water, avocado/mango/shea butter, vitamin E, avocado oil, lecithin, green tea extract, orange extract, CitroZine™ (Organic) as a preservative, natural fragrance.

"Well, that's a pretty nice list," I thought, eyebrows raised in interest as I PayPaled kathymack for a sample. I love avocado oil and shea butter as nighttime treatments (I sleep in one of them or coconut oil every night). Vitamin E is a known moisturizer and anti-oxidant for hair. And I didn't see anything on that list that I didn't understand, so I went ahead and ordered.

It smells very pretty indeed. Not overpowering or weird, just pretty. And if I didn't have fine hair, I think I would be in love with this product.

But alas, I do have fine hair, and all those oils make my clumps skinny. I like my clumps fat.

Thick, coarse hair is bound to love Afro-Detangler, and probably medium hair will, too. And although it did not weigh my hair down as I suspected it might, it did react on my hair like straight oil does, and that is to give me many smaller curls instead of fewer big curls.

Does anyone else experience this with products containing oils? I don't know the science behind the phenomenon but I do know that although my hair feels conditioned and soft with a small amount of the right kind of oils, it also separates into a bijillion curls. I guess that would be okay if that's the look I was going for, but most days, that isn't what I want.

Also, Afro-Detangler absorbed into my hair very quickly, as if it contained aloe vera. I wonder what ingredient made it do that?

So, I don't dislike this product at all. In fact, if it came in a container that didn't require two hands to wield, I'd probably buy some to use on occasion because it does condition beautifully and I can see why people would love it as a leave-in. For me, though, it just doesn't deliver the kind of curls I like.

So what do you think? Do you love it? What does it do for you?


hmixon1 said...

YAY- Another person who gets skinny clumps with oils!!! This had been driving me crazy coz I haven't found anyone else who's hair does that.
I tried afrodetangler last week and I got a stringy rameny mess- yuck!!! I knew it must be the oils. I'm glad I only had a sample from km and not the whole jug!!!!
I want nice big clumps and volume- so I have been carefully searching for products that will do that for me. In fact I just tried (today- still wet) AOMMJ after reading on your blog that it gave you big clumps.

You are not alone!
But I am coarse and porous so it's not a "fine hair" issue. Not sure what it is!

Sage Vivant said...

Ooooh, then maybe it *is* a porosity issue rather than a texture one. Thanks for weighing in, hmixon! It's good to know I'm not alone, for sure. Now I'm eager to hear whether others with porous hair also experience the skinny clumps with this product,

Kcurly said...

Hmmm, I've always seen people talk about this, but I could've sworn it had cones in it. Are the "active" ingredients all of the ingredients? My hair is iffy about oils, but I may have to look into this one again.

Sage Vivant said...

Kcurly, you raise a good point about the "active" ingredients. This seems strange to me, since we all know that ingredients constituting 1% or more of any formulation have to be disclosed on a label. Does "active" translate to 1% for these folks (and by the way, who *are* these folks?)? If there are cones in it, and the percentage is less than 1%, I'm not too concerned, but there does seem to be something not entirely forthright about the label. But the product seems to work well for many people, so I guess we're in the minority!

kathymack said...

I don't like stringy curls, but I love tight skinny curls! I guess it depends on the other products you use with the Afro Detangler--I don't have issues with volume. All I know is that it's not always easy to get and it's difficult to keep "in stock!"

Wanda said...

Interesting my hair is fine and I'm really liking this stuff - of course, I only tried it for the first time today. I found it lighter than CJ leave-in and about the same lightness of GLI.

I'm medium porosity.

I don't think there's anything that can get in the way of my hair clumping. They started out a bit smaller than normal but it's been a couple hours since I washed and they're almost back to their normal magnitude.

Ms. Silky Coils said...

I've read a lot about this product. How can I obtain a small sample as well before I pay part of my car note for a salon jug of this stuff? Lol

Sage Vivant said...

Ms. Silky Coils, you can get a sample of this from Sample Goddess kathymack! Visit to learn how!

Flower tulip said...

Dear Afro detangler creator please don't ever disappear again!!!! Don't listen to these idiots who don't know anything about the very hair that grows on their head. Your product is amazingly and tamed my wild unruly hair. When you disappeared I almost died!!!!! Please don't ever do that again!!!!