Hair Product Experiment #1

We already know that bleach has turned my rather-fine hair pretty dry and gnarly, right? Right. I’ve got some conditioners I love, some leave-in conditioners I’m quite fond of, and I even use Olaplex on occasion, when I can be bovvered (though it doesn’t seem as effective for me as it is for Finch). Still — dry and gnarly. SO, I decided to try an experiment : What if I used a super heavy super rich leave-in product as regular conditioner?

WHAT THAT IS

If you’re not familiar with it, Madam C.J. Walker is a brand formulated for coarse hair (specifically African-American, but I’ve read copious raves on the products from a variety of people with thick hair, dry/damaged hair, unruly hair of all sorts), and was originally created in the late 1800s by the eponymous founder, who went on to become one of the country’s first female self-made millionaires. Impressive, right? Also, the design nerd in me REALLY likes the packaging.

WHAT THAT IS, I MEAN THE SPECIFIC PRODUCT

Silkening Blow Out Creme ($26/6oz at Sephora) is made for blowouts, obviously. “Normal” use is to apply to damp or dried hair before using a blow dryer and round brush and/or a straightening iron. Before we get to the actual usage, let’s look at what’s in there:

Ingredients : Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin (Vegetable), Diheptyl Succinate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Caprylate, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Panthenol, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Glyceryl Undecylenate, PVP, Polyquaternium-7, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Coco-Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Algin, Chitosan, Gellan Gum, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend). 

Kinda odd that their marketing copy highlights Brassica Seed Oil as “a natural alternative to silicone” yet the third ingredient after water and an emulsifier is … silicone. (Specifically cyclopentasiloxane, a.k.a cyclomethicone, a.k.a. my face’s nemesis.) BUT, whatever, let’s try it anyway!

The product itself is a thick white cream with a slightly sticky texture when rubbed between fingers. The scent is … well, it’s hard to describe. It’s faintly sweet and powdery, but also with a dry/grassy/wheaty element? Not my fave, but it’s also not super strong. For our Probably Ill-Advised Experiment, I shampooed my hair as usual, and applied this stuff as I would conditioner, in roughly the same amount, and left it in for the usual amount of time, then rinsed.

OOO WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

While rinsing it out, it felt pretty good! But once I got most of the product out of my hair, it felt a little more clingy and heavy than usual. I let it air-dry for a while (on top of my head in a loose scrunchie-smoosh), and then hit it with the blow dryer. And then came the regret. This actually made my hair feel dryer, but also kinda sticky, and noticeably heavier than usual. It was harder to brush through, and when I took it out of my usual sock bun thing the next day, it almost immediately started going limp and straight. SADNESS.

EXPERIMENT, ROUND 2

Okay so this is not good used as regular conditioner — at least not for me. But I should probably also try it for its intended purpose, yes? So I gave it another go the next time I washed my hair, and … had pretty much the same results. My hair was easier to comb through etc, presumably because I’d used my regular conditioner as, you know, conditioner. But adding this as a leave-in had the same effect : heavy, slightly-sticky hair that didn’t want to hold a curl. In that regard, it performs “same only more so” as Aveda’s Brilliant Universal Styling Cream ($21/5oz) — that stuff doesn’t have as much of a make-it-feel-dry effect on my ends, but it DOES have the same “make my hair feel thick and heavy and really really want to be straight” effect. So if that’s your jam, the Silkening Blow Out Creme might be an option for you! But otherwise, if you have fairly fine hair and want volume and/or curl? This is probably not ideal. (But I do still want to try the PreWash Protein Treatment and maybe the masque!)

Tried this or something similar? Enjoy putting things in your hair that really aren’t meant to be used like that, omg what are you doing? Discuss!