Drug store curly hair products that work? Yes they do exist… now.

For years I’ve been scouring the aisles of drugstores in a vain attempt to find a curly hair product that actually works in my hair. Over the years many stores such as Boots and Superdrug have been slated for not having an inclusive range of haircare, skin and beauty products for women of all shades and hair types (i.e. a lack of products for black and mixed race women). Superdrug, especially has made steps towards improving this with brands such as Twisted Sista, Maui moisture, Palmers and Cantu making their way onto its shelves (albeit at a much higher price than sold at black hair shops). A cry for more diversity in the products sold by beauty brands has lead to the creation of ‘curly hair specific’ products by a number of well known brands such as Tresseme, John Freida, Lee Stafford, and now Pantene. As the ever curious curly hair guru I like to see myself as, I have made it my mission to try pretty much every hair product on the market, and until now, have been sorely disappointing by the curly hair products released by these mainstream brands. Are they suitable for curls? Maybe if you have the soft, silky, victorian ringlets of a creepy china doll, but certainly not for the wild curls that spring off of my head. Until now!

Pantene Pro V Gold Series! Drugstores answer to Afro/Caribbean Hair.

I was dubious when I saw the averts for it lining the walls of Islington Underground Station, pictures featuring all black women with curly hair, with testimonials claiming it to be the best thing they had used in their hair, but being ever the optimist, I decided to try it out. I was not disappointed!

Panten Pro V Gold Series products I tried

The low down on the products

As I’ve started to transition to a no shampoo method for my hair (as many shampoos contain sulfates which damage the hair’s natural oils which are essential for keeping moisture in curly hair), I opted not to go for their shampoo and conditioner. I washed my hair as per usual and sectioned out my hair to begin moisturising after towel drying (scrunching the water out, not rubbing!). I then used the Pantene Gold Series Detangling Milk which did exactly what the bottle said. It left my curls easy to separate, and soft to the touch. Next I used the Hydrating Buttery Creme, which acts as a leave-in conditioner to tame frizz and leave hair soft. Finally, I used the Curl Defining Pudding. Now here is where I was especially sceptical, usually when using curl products I find that curl puddings tend to be either too heavy or jelly-ish in texture and don’t do much for my curl definition. The texture of the pudding was silky but quite thick but I went ahead and added this product as my final step in my hair routine. I tend to use between 3-5 products in my hair to get the results I want, but I decided to only use the Pantene products to get a good idea of their effectiveness. Immediately I could see there was a definite reduction in the frizz of my hair, and my curls appeared to be well defined and lightweight, without that sticky feeling some moisturisers leave after use. I let my hair air dry and was amazed at how moisturised, defined and lightweight my curls felt. As I’ve described in other articles, some products can leave your curls defined, but kind of crunchy in texture, while others leave your curls feeling limp and heavy. These products did none of that. 10 hours later I am sitting here writing this article, with my curls still defined, my hair feeling very healthy and moisturised, with only a bit of frizz starting to show (not helped by the wind outside). I am honestly really surprised with this brand and how well the products work on my hair. Finally a product which I don’t have to travel far out of my way to get, that I can find in almost every store, from boots and superdrug, to even large supermarkets. I definitely recommend these products to any curly girls who struggle with dry, frizzy curls as this works wonders!

A picture speaks a thousand words

Rating of the products

Moisturing: 10/10  Frizz Resistance:8/10  Curl definition: 9/10  

Overall: 9/10. I will definitely be restocking on this product when my current bottles run out. I would perhaps recommend one extra product on the hair just for extra definition if you want, but this is one of the few products I’m very happy with using all the products from alone. So curly girls, get down to your nearest drug store, your hair deserves this!

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