Issa Rae Single-Handedly Saved Me From Nightmarish Tangles
When HBO confirmed that Insecure would be ending after its fifth season, it was like the network yanked away part of my heart (and TV viewing schedule). Over the past few years Issa Rae's creation has brought me countless laughs and an ongoing obsession with Yvonne Orji's outfits, so while I can respect Rae moving on to other projects, the news left me deeply sad. The silver lining: One of said other projects is working with hair care line Sienna Naturals, and to mix metaphors, the line is worth its weight in gold.
According to the brand, founder Hannah Diop dreamed up the company after struggling to find clean formulas that worked for her textured hair. Upon learning about the higher rates of dermatitis and scalp irritation in Black and Brown communities in 2012, Diop decided to take matters into her own hands and seek out the best ingredients to remedy the issue, which then saw her tinkering with the formulas in her New York City kitchen.
Flash forward nine years, and the line's retailing nationwide with Rae as a partner; zoom in, and its genius formulations have earned a permanent place in my shower. I have 3b curls that I dread washing, since the detangling process usually means painfully yanking a comb through knotted snarls and losing clumps of hair, no matter how much conditioner I use or how long I let it marinate. Cry me a river? More like cry me a shower.
Yet after a few months with Sienna Naturals' products on hand, my hair has never been more cooperative. Cleansing with the brand's non-stripping H.A.P.I. Shampoo and following with a generous few tablespoons of the Plant Power Protein and Moisture Repair Hair Mask lets me detangle with an almost suspicious amount of ease, while the Dew Magic Leave-In Conditioner gives me consistently bouncy, shiny ringlets.
I'm not the only one seeing huge results from the line, either. Nordstrom shoppers note that the Untangled Multivitamin Conditioner fully lives up to its name, leaving "very thick, dry coils" moisturized and easily finger-combed. The botanical-loaded formula strikes the elusive balance between providing copious slip without weighing hair down, all without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone, and talc.
The line is fully realized, with a hair and scalp oil, curl primer and conditioner spray, and anti-breakage hair serum. The former uses blue tansy oil, coconut oil, baobab oil, and brazil nut oil for spectacular results: "My flakes are gone, and it feels like it's helping my hair grow," one shopper writes of the Daily Elixir Nutritive Hair and Scalp Oil. Another calls it the best hair oil they've ever used, and a third dubs the whole line a miracle for their hair type. Even people with bleached blonde 4c coils say the Elixir is "magical," as it's not heavy, yet hydrates their scalp and keeps any itchiness at bay.
The brand's Lock and Seal Anti-Breakage Serum lends hair protection from wear and tear, its formula engineered with a boost of lipids and fatty acids for shine and protection. Shea nut oil, grape seed oil, she butter, castor oil, ylang-ylang oil, Damask rose oil, chamomile oil, Eastern red cedar oil, jasmine flower extract, orange flower oil, and geranium oil combine in a formula that has to be sniffed to be believed - it smells like the best garden you can imagine at the height of spring and leaves hair smooth, shiny, and soft.
No wonder Rae's hair always looks so good. And since the line tops out at $22 for a product, you won't even have to consider selling hair on the black market to afford the goods. Just me? Fair enough.