My Natural Hair Journey, Chapter 26: The 1st (Deliberate) Wash n’ Go and a Product Review

I told the kids after dropping them off for youth service, “I’m going to wash my hair, so I’m not sure what version of me will pick you up.”   We all had a laugh off that one; naturals (and their loved ones) know that, regardless of your plans, your hairstyle is always a mystery as well as an adventure.    Had I shown up with what I had ready to go when it became time to pick them up, I would have met them like this.


Since this isn’t our home church, I decided not to do that to them.   Or to me.

I knew that I wanted to henna my hair in the morning, so  I decided upon minimal product on my hair during the night.   I used Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner as a leave-in conditioner, and then placed a minimal amount of Oyin Handmade Shine and Define on top.  As I promised to review Shine and Define, now would be a good time to talk about it.

I was introduced fairly early in my own hair journey to the Oyin Handmade line.   At that time, everyone was singing the praises of Carol’s Daughter, including me, until I took notice that it was not as effective on our younger daughter’s hair as on our older daughter’s hair.   Eventually, I learned more about cones and grew weary of CD’s changing formula and moved both kids away from that product line, but I digress.   Someone suggested Oyin Handmade because their products are, indeed, hand made and yet fairly consistent in quality.   My first purchase was their OH Honey Hemp Conditioner; I cannot say enough positive comments about the product.   It has a fantastic, citrus-y smell, it has a rich, thick, creamy texture, serves as a multi-purpose product (co-wash, leave-in, or deep conditioner), and is one of the best detangling conditioners on the market, for my money, at least.   I decided to try the Shine and Define initially because of that same citrus-y smell, unlike a number of their products that have more of a sweetened cocoa butter-like scent.     But there were other product claims that I wanted to lay hold of as well:

1) sleek hairline

2) light hold

3) curl definition

So, here goes.

In the morning, after unraveling about 6-8 bantu knots, here’s where I began.


Yeah, I will need bangs if I stay with this look.   But the point of this morning was more observation of what my hair would do with the Shine and Define than an attempt at a true style.   With the henna and a subsequent deep conditioner rinsed, and a few hours with a silly-looking t-shirt on my head, here I was again.



As one who hates crunchy hair, I will say that the hold capability of this product is real.  You can see the definition, and I can add that my hair smelled terrific.   Shine?  Well, yeah, but up until now, I will say that my homemade flax seed gel gives me similar results.   And that is the real test, as far as I am concerned: does this product, listed at $13.99 for 4 oz., outperform 1/4 cup of boiled flax seeds with my oils added?

Personally, I would have to say no.   BUT, I also realize that not everyone has time or inclination to make their own curl-defining flax seed gel.   So if you are in that group of people who prefer your products ready-made and you don’t mind paying for it, this product lives up to most of its claims.   I say “most of” because the one claim that I have not seen after repeated uses is the sleek hairline.   With the help of castor oil and henna, my disappearing hairline thickened significantly and the hairs, which all came back grey, have a mind all their own.  I wanted to reel them in a bit, but apparently they disagree.

As the day passed and my hair dried and shrank, it occurred to me why ladies often carry spray bottles around in their purses.  I took no pictures here.   It also occurs to me that I am quickly becoming the type of woman that I once would watch and have a good laugh.  You know the woman that is in her forties or fifties with children that are all grown up and gone, and now she’s totally revamped her look?   Well, our kids are not grown and gone, but I am SO there.   As I increasingly embrace the natural me in year 3 (more on that later), I am working to grow more comfortable with bigger, curlier hair.  Any of my Pinterest followers know that I have been posting lots of big-haired styles to my Style board as I try to anticipate what my hair might look like in this stage; now they know why.   In the meantime, this is about as unplanned as my hair gets–at least for now.

So, in summary, here’s my take on Oyin Handmade’s Shine and Define:


offers light hold

awesome citrus-y scent

defines curls


expensive product for a relatively small amount of product (~$15 for 4 oz.)

did not fulfill the promise of a sleek hairline (though this might have just been my hair)


This would not be a staple in our hair care regimen, but it could be the answer for someone who does not like a stiffer hold with crunchy hair, someone who does not care to make her own products, and/or someone who does not mind spending a bit more for this type of styling aid.



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