Buyer Beware: Soft Curls Ahead, No Lye!

I have never written a product review before primarily for two reasons.  I guessed I have never been genuinely “WOWED!” by a product or so extremely pissed off that it was worth mentioning.  Well times have changed, and I’m here to tell you that in everyone’s life a little rain must fall.  Yes. It’s raining.

Statistics show that a satisfied customer tells one, maybe two people, but an unhappy customer tells basically everybody. It goes without sayin’, I am pretty unhappy and THIS is everybody.

The new Black Barbie rocking her natural hair since 2006.Last week I decided to purchase a new hair care product. Before I go into detail, I must admit that I am a recovering hair product junkie; all most all curly-head naturalistas are.  My quest is to find a natural hair care product that will hydrate and moisturize my 4a/4b hair during the fall and winter months.  My hair tends to become dry and brittle this time of year.

Initially I was looking for a product that contained agave oil or agave nectar; so being a good naturalista, I headed directly to my local health food store.

I arrived as the store was closing and immediately asked the sales rep if they sold any natural hair care products that contained agave. She wasn’t sure, but quickly informed me that I had about 5 minutes. So moving as fast as I could, I performed my own search (which was unsuccessful).  At that very moment, I should have turned around,
walked out,
got in my car and drove away.
In that order.
As a recovering hair product junkie, I knew when I started my hunt; that was not going to happen.  I went there for hair care products and I was not leaving without them.

Desert Essence Coconut Soft Curls Hair Cream Unfortunately for me,  I was so hotsie totsie.  I settled and purchased  Coconut Soft Curls Hair Cream by Desert Essence a silicone-free natural leave-in conditioner, infused with desert botanicals and coconut oil.  It moisturizes, strengthens and repairs curly hair from damage.  I read through the first several ingredients and was quite impressed as everything appeared to be natural and safe.  It’s even labeled 100% vegan.  Score!  Right??

Not so much.

Desert Essence Coconut Soft Curls IngredientsAfter co-washing my hair, I applied the Coconut Soft Curls Hair Cream and instantly noticed a tingly sensation so I quickly read through the ingredients again, this time noticing that it also contained Sodium Hydroxide (LYE).  It is listed as the last ingredient.
Sodium Hydroxide is a corrosive acid used in most chemical hair relaxers to straighten coarse hair. It is also used in most depilatories, such as Nair, to remove hair by breaking down the hair structure deep within the root. Most hair products containing Sodium Hydroxide instruct you to rinse and wash thoroughly before proceeding.  Desert Essence Coconut Soft Curls Hair Cream does not.  You are lead to believe that the product is 100% safe and natural. I would never purchase a hair care product for personal use that contained Sodium Hydroxide, no true naturalista would.  Naturalista or not, you just don’t mess with a woman’s hair!  The following day, I returned the product and received a full refund.  I will not buy again, nor would I ever recommend this product or company to a friend.  At the present time, I do not know if any damage has been done to my crowning glory. It is too soon to tell.  However, I do know now that natural and 100% vegan does not mean chemical free.
I’m Just Sayin’…(DAMN!)Similar Post:

Black Women, Natural Hair:  Trend or Movement

4 comments for “Buyer Beware: Soft Curls Ahead, No Lye!

  1. October 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    This is good to know. I’m a new follower of yours on twitter. I myself have curly hair & I don’t like to put a lot of stuff in it either. I hope you have a great Monday! Thanks for following me on Twitter.


    • October 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm


      You have no idea how shocked I was to find out after applying this product to my hair that it contained sodium hydroxide (lye). So I am happy to be able to pass this information along to others. Moving forward, I plan to read the ENTIRE label before purchasing anything new. This has definitely cured my hair product addicition (for awhile at least).

      Thank you for commenting and for following me on Twitter.

  2. November 17, 2012 at 12:22 am

    OMGOSH! How AWFUL! Thanks for the warning! Plan on sharing it with friends!!

    • November 17, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Please do. I have to tell you, I was fit to be freaking tie DOWN to the mf tracks when I realized that I had put a chemical on my hair that I had been purposely avoiding for years. Each one teach one. Play it forward!

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