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Real Deal Review: Curlessence (KC by Keracare)

Real Deal Review: Curlessence (KC by Keracare)

Keracare Curlessence Collection

The COVID-19 quarantine did a number on my hair. I had been slacking on my hair regimen, to begin with, because…life (read more about my saga here). However, I at least tried to maintain my trims every 8-10 weeks. Then the quarantine shut down everything – and my ends and edges showed it. I started using a follicle enhancer to help grow my edges, but I had to do something to retain and manage my hair until I could go see the cosmetology ministry (read: hairstylist). Enter Curlessence.

A Word On Product Junkies

So, hear me out. Most naturalistas I know were at one point product junkies. How does one become a product junkie? I’ll tell you how. Getting to know your hair is a trial and error process. You try products that get recommended to you. You try the latest thing you see on YouTube. Eventually, you find something that works. That first twist out is a new high! But your next few twist outs are satisfactory, but not quite as great as the first one (probably because you need to clarify, but that’s a story for another post). So, you try all the shiny new products you see on Instagram or at the beauty supply store.

And you end up with a cabinet full of barely used products. This is us. This is me. If I died today, it would be because I drowned in a pile of Bronner Brothers’ backstock. Sometimes, though, there is a forgotten jewel in the pile.

I stumbled upon Keracare Curlessence about a year ago at Sally Beauty. I took a chance on it, but I ended up going back to my staple Shea Moisture Red Palm products. The Red Palm line isn’t quite complete -it doesn’t have a true moisturizer. After, digging through my “archives” during the quarantine, I rediscovered Curlessence and had quite an enlightening experience.

keracare curlessence natural hair product bottles

The Lowdown

Curlessence is a 10-product collection from the KC by Keracare line that is formulated to promote moisture in natural type 3-4 hair.


Curlessence Moisturizing Shampoo

Price: $6.25 – 12 oz.

This shampoo is supposed to gently clean the hair without stripping it. It has a mild pleasant scent and creamy consistency. In terms of the claims, the shampoo deliverS – it leaves my hair feeling certainly clean, but not like wheat straw. Also, where most people look for a conditioner with slip, I look for a shampoo that slips, too. I do find my hair much easier to detangle and comb through.

Verdict: Mighty Fine

Curl Essence Moisturizing Conditioner

Price: $6.25 – 12 oz.

So, the conditioner claims to aid in detangling, prevent breakage and split ends, and prevent dryness and brittleness – all the things a good conditioner should do. The conditioner is nice and creamy, not runny. I expect my conditioners to build upon the work of my shampoo and restore any lost moisture from the cleansing product. To be honest, I do not feel a profound difference in my hair after using the conditioner.

Verdict: Nothing To Write Home About

Curlessence Moisturizing Co-Wash

Price: $5.99 – 12 0z.

The Co-Wash aims to moisturize, detangle, and define without stripping it. In earnest, I can’t remember why I bought this co-wash, because I’m not crazy about co-washes. Over the years, I’ve learned that my hair hates buildup, and co-washing frequently tends to cause that. However, the fact that this product has no silicones was promising. Anywho, I picked this up and used it again during a recent period when it was really inconvenient to do a full wash day. If my highest expectation is that the co-wash does less harm than good, the product meets my expectations. My hair does feel clean and soft afterward.

Verdict: Nothing To Write Home About

Curlessence Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner

Price: $6.95 – 11.25 oz.

You know what? I almost never buy a second jar or bottle of anything. (This is mainly because I’m a product junkie and I switch to something new before I can use what I have – no judgment.) But this Curlessence Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner…is the star of the show. This might be the first true leave-in conditioner where I have ever hit the bottom of the jar.


The first thing I noticed about the Leave-In Conditioner wass the texture. Prior to this, I had only used leave-in conditioning sprays or liquids. It is the perfect happy medium between cream and liquid, having a somewhat jelly-like consistency. After putting it on my hair, I immediately feel the moisturization and detangling is a breeze. The Leave-in claims to seal the cuticles of the hair, adding shine and moisture, and it absolutely delivers.

Verdict: High and Mighty

Curlessence Moisturizing Curl Activator

Price: $5.99 – 12 0z.

Bonus Tip: If a product doesn’t work the first time, try it again or try it a different way before giving up on it.

The first time I used the Curlessence Moisturizing Curl Activator I wasn’t impressed and didn’t appreciate what it was worth. The Curl Activator is mainly for refreshing and moisturizing dry hair or wet styling with soft-hold. For whatever reason, I didn’t find that it made my twist-outs soft or moist.

HOWEVER, the second time around, this product changed my mind and caused me to retry the rest of the collection. The state of my hair and ends during this quarantine left me in desperate need of a true daily moisturizer. The issue that I consistently faced was SILICONES. As I stated earlier, I’ve returned to the conclusion that my hair hates them for regular maintenance. Every moisturizer I came across either had silicones, was priced too high for my budget, or I had tried it before without good results for my hair type. I gave up on my search for a moment, only to have an aha moment and remember this Curl Activator sitting in the back of my cabinet. And low and behold, NO CONES!!!

So, I used the entire wash-day line, and cocktailed it with other styling products from the collection, as suggested. Instead of using on my twist-outs, I used it to heatlessly style my hair for my updos. Once dry, I felt like I had a whole new head of hair, even while being in desperate need of a trim. I also found that it helped refresh styles without causing too much shrinkage.

See Also
Adwoa Blue Tansy Collection


When I did retry the product for a twist-out, I was pleasantly surprised at the results. Here’s a comparison between a Curlessence twist-out and another product line (rhymes with “Bay Oyster”):

Now, note that there was not trim between these above photos. The first photo was taken in June 2020 (about 3 months after my last trim). The second twist-out, using Curlessence, was done in October (6 months post trim). The Curlessence line was able to give me curl definition in spite of the splits.

Verdict: Mighty Fine

Curlessence Moisturizing Oil Cocktail

Price: $5.99 – 4 oz.

The Curlessence Moisturizing Oil Cocktail is the one product I continued to use when I retired the other products in the line. It’s a simple blend of Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil & Soybean Oil. I find it to be light and effective when sealing and soothing the scalp. No complaints here.

Verdict: Mighty Fine.

The Bottom Line

Having tried six of the 10 products in the Curlessence collection, I would call it a winner. The collection has so much going for it. The value for the price is phenomenal; I have found that it outperforms many of the more expensive products I have. I am especially impressed that there is not a “surcharge” for the absence of ingredients that have fallen out of favor in the natural hair community. When used in concert, my wash day routine is very easy and my hair feels revived. I have also noticed significantly fewer fairy knots which is a HUGE win.

Bonus: This collection blowdries like a dream.

All in all if you are looking for an affordable, effective line of products for coily, kinky hair, Keracare’s Curlessence is one to try.

Verdict: Mighty Fine

What is your favorite “oldie but goodie” hair product? Share in the comments below!

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  • This was an exceptionally thorough review. I don’t wear my hair natural, but if I did this review would hit the spot. I wish others would review relaxed hair products like this. Great job!

    • Thank you! And keep your eyes peeled – I have several products in my aforementioned stash that I used both before and after my transition, and some I use today that anyone can use! I shall review them soon 🙂

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