Review: Beautiful Curls by Alaffia Shea Butter Curl Defining Gel

If you could have a crush on a beauty company, I think my biggest crush is Alaffia, who makes Beautiful Curls, Everyday Shea & Everyday Coconut, and Alaffia branded products. These amazing products are all natural, cruelty free, sustainable, Fair Trade, and help support schools and maternal health programs in Togo, West Africa.  Their curly hair products have become a staple in my professional hairstyling practice.  The Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Defining Gel is unlike any gel you  have ever used.

Consistency?– Thin; more viscous and liquid than traditional gels.  Not goopy.  Rinses clean on hands and hair.

Use?– The uses of this product run the gamut from smoothing flyaways to helping form and hold curl to finishing the ends and texture on a finished hairstyle.  I use it for everything!

What are the main/active ingredients in this product? – Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) Extract (aqueous), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Extract (aqueous), Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis), Agave (Agave azul) Extract, Certified Fair Trade Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Panthenol, Coconut Oil (and) Apricot Fruit Extract (and) Ylang Ylang Flower Extract], Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.

How much does this product retail for?– $14, available online at and at local health food stores.

curl defining gel

What can you expect from this product? – Soft, buildable definition that doesn’t make hair stiff or dry is a huge draw of this gel.  Don’t be fooled by the emphasis on waves and curls–I have used this product with success on a variety of hair types.  On super fine straight hair, this gel helps me get waves that last with curls that are bouncy, soft, and believable; I also use it equally as often to prepare for a blow dry when the client wants a very smooth but not lank or lifeless finish on otherwise frizzy hair, and I mix it with argan or grapeseed oil for added moisture and shine.  Beautiful Curls also does not leave a nasty white residue when you use it on wet hair or when layered on dry hair, and when used as a curl setting lotion it provided hold that was easy to comb/brush through to relax the set. I love this for preparing the hair for those Old Hollywood type looks, it’s a great alternative to sticky, stinky, stiff fingerwave lotion.

from the Beautiful Curls website:

  • Shea butter contains multiple antioxidants and natural sun screening agents, protecting the hair from weather damage.
  • Vitamins A, E and F, cinnamic esters, minerals and phytosterols help repair damaged, processed or heat treated hair and promote hair growth.
  • The unique fatty acid profile of shea butter soothes, hydrates, balances and revitalizes the hair and scalp.
  • Shea butter seals in moisture and closes hair cuticles, giving the hair a radiant shine and a luxurious healthy appearance.

Bunk or Buy?- BUY!  This non drying, alcohol free gel is a must have in your natural, cruelty free hair styling arsenal.

Overall: A