Picture this: You wake up late and have 20 minutes to get ready in order to arrive on time for a casting. You look in the mirror and realize that your hair is sticking up in every direction and, needless to say, you wish it wasn’t. You panic. You stick your head under the sink faucet and dowse your head with water. Next, you frantically grab a product on your bathroom shelf that you’ve never used before (!) and work it through your entire head of hair with your fingers. You run out of the house, hop on the train and arrive at the casting, where you catch a glimpse of your reflection and realize that your hair looks INCREDIBLE. Defined, full, shiny — the whole shebang.
This story probably sounds like an urban legend, but it’s 100% true, and it happened to me. I’d been in the process of curating a new regimen to revitalize my hair when it happened. I felt like a bloodhound, skillfully sniffing out product recommendations from coworkers, friends, and of course, the internet. But it just so happened that one of the best products I came across essentially fell into my lap by accident: Hairstory’s Hair Balm.
Before I continue, I think it’s pertinent to mention that my mother took care of my hair right up until the day I left for college. Under her supervision, my hair was moisturized, bouncy and had lots of body. Now it’s typically dry, stiff and much shorter than before — not by choice, but because it barely grows anymore — and I have no one to blame but myself. A number of factors have been involved in this hair transition (read: decline), like changes in diet, the expense of maintaining an arsenal of products and the fact that caring for my hair takes TIME — which between classes, internships and my proclivity for exploring the city, I don’t have much of.
Before I picked up a spare sample of Hair Balm at the Man Repeller office on a whim and ended up using it by chance, I never really considered a wash-and-go (a.k.a. wearing my hair in its natural curl pattern, rather than using tools or braids to alter it) as an option. Whether I used mousse or leave-in conditioner, air-dry styling has always resulted in my curls looking shriveled or frizzy and feeling brittle or tacky, which is why the aftermath of using Hair Balm was such a delightful surprise. The product’s distinctively light yet creamy formula provides moisture like a leave-in without being thick or goopy. It also creates definition like a mousse, but doesn’t result in any crunchiness or dryness.
Hair Balm makes me feel like each curl on my head is achieving its full potential. The only downside is that, given my hair texture, I can easily use a fourth of the bottle per wash-and-go, which is not ideal considering a 4oz bottle goes for $36 a pop. Nevertheless, I’ve decided it’s an investment I’m willing to make to secure the particular variety of joy that consistently good hair days can bring.
Have any other curly-q’s tried this product? Are there others you swear by? I’ll be waiting in the comments with a detangling comb.
Photos by Imani Randolph.