My 'fro and I are — to put it politely — having creative differences. I was really feeling how my copper dye job brought every curl to life, but with great color comes great responsibility — which I wasn't as prepared for. My stylist warned me that I'd need to co-wash at least every other day to keep my 4C 'fro moisturized. If you like to sleep like me, then you know how quickly that presented a problem.
I looked and looked for stylers that worked for my texture and timeframe, but continually came up empty. Gels made my coils springy if I used a diffuser, but flaked up when I air dried. Creams took a lot of muscle to work through my strands, and my hair just didn't dry as fast when I used them.
Turns out, the key to easy, defined curls was neither a gel nor a cream — it was an oil, marula and olive to be exact. They're two of the hero ingredients in Mizani's new True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Gel, made specifically for the naturals who love to wash, go, and get on with their lives. I admit that I was a little bit skeptical about its other main ingredient, coconut oil, which even SZA warns against using in your hair. But I knew Marula oil has lots of fatty acids and soaks in super fast, while olive oil is a godsend for detangling. Altogether, these three oils have given me some of the best curls of my life.
(Left: A dry, three-day-old wash-and-go without the product. Right: The results of a wash-and-go with Mizani's Coil Oil Gel.)
After rinsing out my conditioner, I spray in a little leave-in conditioner, because my hair gets dry really fast. Then, while my hair is still soaking wet, I'll section it off into four parts and work a generous dollop of the oil gel from roots to tips. Usually, I'm already detangling while co-washing, but if I do miss a few spots, then it's all good: The gel has fantastic slip that helps me get them out.
Once my sections are covered in the product, I give my hair a good shake so that my curls fall in place (see Yara Shahidi do it here). Because it's still cold in New York City, I'll diffuse with medium heat before I leave the house. But I tried washing and going on a recent trip to Austin (where the high was 80 degrees) and my coils air dried perfectly, with no flakes in sight. Maybe it's spring fever, but it's safe to say that I'm falling back in love with my 'fro once again.