7. Kurlee Belle
Backstory: Kurlee Belle founder Terrinique Pennerman has always had a love for beautiful hair. Growing up on a small island in The Bahamas, she spent countless hours on Saturdays in the local beauty salon with her mom. As she sat in the salon, she would witness dozens of women getting their hair chemically and heat straightened in the name of beauty. What she, nor anyone else understood at the time was the amount of damage these processes cause. When Terrinique finally decided to embrace her natural hair, she discovered that there were no products on the market that were made from natural ingredients, or that even worked. She began seeking out natural ingredients that were familiar to her on the island in early childhood — like honey, aloe, avocado, and eggs. Her primary focus was making deep conditioning treatments and moisturizing creams to keep hair nourished. When Terrinique launched Kurlee Belle in 2009, she did so with research, recipes, and products inspired by The Bahamas.
Benefits: The Kurlee Belle product line is driven by high quality ingredients and integrity. They do not include parabens, sulfates, paraffin, phthalates, mineral oil, PABA, DEA, synthetic color, propylene glycol, or petroleum. Kurlee Belle products are also vegan and gluten-free.
Best Sellers: The Thirsty Kurls Leave-In Conditioner ($14) is the #1 Kurlee Belle seller. Many naturals and popular bloggers call it their holy grail leave-in, and one of the best products of 2013. I totally cosign on the leave-in. It is absolutely divine in terms of providing moisture and softness to the hair. But for me, the holy grail must have of the Kurlee Belle line is the Banana Nut & Avocado Deep Treatment ($16). To date, it is the best pre-poo product I have ever used. It has amazing slip, leaves hair soft, shiny, and makes detangling a breeze. It was so amazing, I almost didn’t want to rinse it out of my hair. And I definitely almost shed a tear when I used the last of the jar.
Where to Buy: Kurlee Belle products are available exclusively online at www.kurleebelle.com.
Backstory: The Camille Rose Naturals line of hair and body products was inspired by two major driving forces — her grandmother, Camille and alarming stories from her husband. Her grandmother was the original ‘Mixtress’ of the family, creating natural, home-made treatments to care for and improve the health of loved ones. Janell’s husband, an oncologist would come home with stories about different cancers — which led her to believe there must be a correlation between what we put in/on our bodies and how we feel. Inspired by the natural hair revolution and the extreme humidity in Louisiana, Janell founded Camille Rose Naturals in 2010 with the aim of developing handmade hair and body products for modern natural hair sophisticates who care about their total health, beauty, and wellness.
Benefits: All Camille Rose Naturals products are handmade, which is pretty amazing considered the widespread availability (you’ll know what I’m talking about soon). All Camille Rose Products are free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, propylene glycol, petroleum, and other synthetic ingredients. Because Janell herself is a dedicated vegan, her products are vegan as well.
Best Sellers: Popular Camille Rose Naturals products include The Algae Renew Deep Conditioner ($20), Curl Maker ($22), Fresh Curl ($14) and Almond Jai Twisting Butter ($17). Admittedly, I am a total fan of the Algae Renew Deep Conditioner and Fresh Curl. The Algae Renew makes an amazing pre-poo or deep conditioning treatment. It left my hair super soft, and my curls were springy and defined. It also made my hair feel like it was infused with moisture that was built to last for a few days. Paired with the Fresh Curl, my hair was in moisture heaven. Although the consistency of Fresh Curl seems light and unassuming, it packs a moisturizing punch making it a great leave-in or moisturizer. It’s actually in my hair right now and I can’t stop touching it! It also has pretty good slip, and can be used for mid-week detangling sessions.
Where to Buy: Camille Rose Naturals is probably one of the more accessible small business brands. You can purchase online at Amazon.com, www.camillerosenaturals.com or in select Target and Whole Foods stores. Click here to see if the line is available in a major retailer near you!