Updated: Jul 22
Afrobotanics is one of the very first African natural hair product ranges that I was exposed to when I went natural a few years ago and it was readily available on my student budget. Their goal to help women express beauty through natural hair and embrace their true selves is embodied in their mantra, “My own kind of beautiful” . It felt like a call to the queen within and definitely spoke to the needs of someone embarking on a new natural journey. Empowering African females seems at the core of their brand and the educational African queen names and stories on some of their products make for fun quick reads while highlighting and celebrating some historic African figures that are otherwise not given the platform they deserve.
These days a lot of product manufacturers formulate ranges that incorporate a key ingredient or two with the different products in the range designed to work together and complement each other. This principle sounds great as this should take out the uncertainty of trying to mix and match Shampoo's, conditioners, creams and oils in order to get the best results for your hair. So we decided to put a whole range of Afrobotanics products to the test in a wash day routine, to see how much of a difference it makes to use a single range, instead of mixing it up. As always we are hear to give you an objective review and recommendations to help you in your hair care routine. Check out the review video below and see VeeDaisy go through her wash day with nothing but Afrobotanics products.
Before the wash
The Mukaya African oil blend can be used as a prepoo to help with moisturizing, detangling and overall manageability of your hair during the wash day process. It contains a blend of avocado, baobab, coconut and marula oil which all have nourishing effects and left the hair feeling moisturized. The oil however comes in a spray bottle which becomes harder to grip once your hands become oily from smoothing the product into a section of your hair and also makes it harder to keep track of just how much oil you are adding since it comes out in a spray mist.
Verdict: Mukaya African Oil blend
The Black pearl Aloe Shea, sulphate free shampoo has a very thick consistency so a little bit of product goes a long way when using it. It would be advisable to use it in the shower because of how thick it is and how easily it lathers. The product feels and looks gooey almost like a gel. The shampoo did not leave the hair feeling stripped but neither did it feel very moisturized. It did clarify the hair well and due to its easy lather so only one wash was necessary. The product also has good slippage which makes it easier to detangle the hair.
The Verdict: Black Pearl Aloe Shea Shampoo
The Black pearl Aloe Shea enhanced moisture hydrating conditioner is extremely thick, so much that it almost feels like a deep conditioner. It requires hair to be saturated with water, not just damp for it to work well. The thick consistency of the product makes it difficult to get out of the bottle but it is worth the rich buttery feel and the easy detangling that it gives. Like most rinse out conditioners, it can be used as a cowash. The product left the hair feeling extremely nourished, dense and fluffy.
Verdict: Black Pearl Aloe Shea conditioner
For deep conditioning, the Nzinga African triple butter strengthening and repair treatment works quite well for natural hair. It contains baobab, marula and moringa oil as key ingredients. The product has a creamy consistency, feels luxurious while being easy to work in and has easy absorption into the hair strands. It has good slippage and only a small amount of product is required to cover an entire section of hair. For kinkier hair textures, using the product on wet hair helps it work in better rather than on towel dried or simply damp hair.
After The Wash
If you like using the LOC or LCO method to keep your hair moisturized for longer then this part of the review is for you. We tested both methods with the Nehanda moisturizing leave in conditioner as the liquid moisture part, the Mukaya oil blend which we used earlier as a pre-poo, as the oil part and the Makeda curl definer cream as the cream part.
As we have seen with the other Afrobotanics conditioners, the Nehanda moisturizing leave in conditioner also has a thick consistency but is easily absorbed into the hair strand without leaving any residue. Its thick consistency did make it harder to maneuver out of the container. The conditioner is very moisturizing and left hair feeling softer.
Verdict: Nehanda Triple Butter leave in Conditioner
L.O.C or L.C.O
Using the LOC method, the Makeda curl definer was not as easily absorbed as it has a creamy consistency and a water based formulation. This meant that the oil sealed my hair strand cuticles and caused the curl definer cream to sit on the hair strand rather than penetrate it. Based on this experience It may work better using the LCO method as the oil will be added after the cream sealing in the moisture from the water based products. The curl definer did give great definition but it however was not long lasting. The cream can be used as a moisturizer as it does soften and add moisture to hair.
Verdict: Makeda twist, curl & define cream
The whole wash day really was an enjoyable experience as the products felt like they were formulated for thicker hair textures such as type 4 hair and definitely worth the buy. They improved the natural shine of the hair even before applying the leave in products and had no overpowering scents. Aside from the issues posed by the packaging and difficulty getting the product out of the containers, it was an overall very good experience. Have you tried out any Afrobotanics products? We would love to hear about your experience if you do use them and what your favorite product is from their ranges in the comments below.
1) Black pearl Aloe Shea Sulphate free shampoo,
2) Black pearl by Pearl Aloe Shea enhanced moisture hydrating conditioner,
3) Nzinga repairing and strengthening treatment,
4) Nehanda afrobotanics moisturizing leave in,
5) Makeda twist curl and defining cream
6) Mukaya African oil blend