While I was in Kenya a few weeks ago, I had a major hair emergency. I had just taken out my crochet braids that were giving me a headache, and I had only 1 product – an essential oil spray – to take care of my hair. As if God heard my silent
screams prayers, I got a message from Michelle, founder and CEO of Marini Naturals, asking if I wanted to try her new line of natural haircare products, the first complete haircare line for natural hair in Kenya. Of course I jumped on the opportunity, and after using the complete line of products on my hair twice, I’ve got to say I’m impressed! Keep reading for my full review of Marini Naturals, plus two different looks that I achieved with the line!
About Marini Naturals
Marini Naturals is Kenya’s FIRST Natural Haircare Line and the proud maker of Kenya’s first sulfate-free shampoo. Not only is the line formulated specifically for Afro-textured hair (rather than curly hair like most natural hair products), but it is made with 100% organic ingredients. Let’s dive into the products:
Kind Cleanse Sulfate Free Shampoo
Ingredients: H2O, Betaine, EDTA, Conditioners, Glycerine, Panthenol, Tea-Tree Oil, Sweet Orange Extract, Novethix
This is a super lightweight shampoo that is more like a cleanser, rather than a clarifying shampoo. In lieu of sulfates, the shampoo has sugar beets which do the heavy duty cleansing. Surprisingly, the shampoo on both occasions left my hair and scalp totally clean, and even began the detangling process by softening rather than drying out my hair!
Goodbye Tangles Leave-In Conditioner
Ingredients: H2O, Glycerine, EDTA, Conditioners, Flax Seed Gel, Panthenol, Zoharcel, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Novethix
The first time I used the leave-in was to finger detangle my hair after the crochet debacle. The conditioner made it super easy to pull apart my fairly knotted strands, likely due to one of it’s key ingredients, flaxseed gel. The second time I used the conditioner, it was on already detangled hair, but it provided the foundation for days worth of moisture even with the use of a gel.
Curl-Me-Pretty Curling Butter
Ingredients: H2O, Glycerine, EDTA, Conditioners, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Panthenol, Fixative, Carbomers, Avocado Oil, Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Vanilla Extract, Strawberry Oil
The Marini Naturals curling butter and leave in conditioner go hand in hand, and this lightweight custard-like cream spreads well throughout your hair so you don’t have to use globs of product. The lightweight nature allows for quicker drying time, which everybody loves!
Curl Magic! Curling Gel
Ingredients: H2O, Glycerine, EDTA, Fixative Plus, Conditioners, Flax Seed Gel, Panthenol, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E, Peppermint Leaves, Strawberry Oil
Now if you know me and my hair well, you know that I’ve used a gel all over my hair only a handful of times because gels tend to be drying, crunchy, and extremely flaky. I decided to test the gel out on its own to see if the natural ingredients – namely flaxseed and aloe vera gel – would behave like a normal gel, and they thankfully didn’t! Layered on top of the leave in, the gel provides a gentle hold that lasts for several days, with no flaking, crunch, or dryness. I must say I even prefer this to the butter!
Oh I almost forgot to talk about the smell!! Let’s just say, as I was two strand twisting my hair with the gel, my mom walked over from the kitchen to the living room to ask what I was using on my hair. So yes, Marini Naturals’ styling products smell amazing even from feet/meters away!
Styling with Marini Naturals
I styled my hair in two ways with Marini Naturals – a flat twist out and a two strand twist out. For the flat twist out, I shampooed, used the leave in, the butter on my hair, and the gel on my ends. While the result was well defined and soft, I feel like both moisture and definition faded from my hair pretty quickly in about two days.
The second time around, I added a deep conditioner and an oil to my routine, making it shampoo, (DC), leave in, (oil), and gel – and was completely satisfied with the moisture, hold, and longevity of my style even in the winter weather.
As you can see, all the Marini Naturals products contain glycerin high up in the ingredient list, which is a hit or miss for many naturals in terms of moisture retention. While in Kenya, my hair was well moisturized for two days, and then began to lose moisture, even when I added additional leave-in conditioner to my dry hair. As soon as I got to the states where the temperature was significantly colder, my hair became DRY. When I shampooed again, this time I added an oil to form a protective barrier between my hair strands and the air, and doing so created a set that was way more moisturized, despite the disrespectful winter air.
Long story short, the four products in the Marini Naturals line are super lightweight but their natural ingredients pack a big punch, especially with definition! However, for them to fully work on my hair, I needed to add an oil to my routine. Luckily for the rest of you guys, Marini Naturals is adding both a spritz and an oil to their lineup in the coming months, so make sure you stay tuned to their website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to get the scoop on when the new products launch!