Product Review: As I am Curling Jelly for Low-Porosity Hair

I know, I know. I’m a little late to the game, seeing as how As I Am has been a major player in the natural hair market for a minute now. But in my quest to create a styler that works well for low-porosity hair, I need to be aware of what’s out there, what works, and why. Also…I ran out of gel and decided to purchase something really quick to get me through the week. LOL. So here I am, expanding my horizons with the As I Am Coil Defining Jelly.

The consistency is very similar to the Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC), which was my fave styler before my hair grew out and I discovered the less expensive Soul Ingredients Aloe Vera Gel. The primary ingredients in As I Am are also similar to those in KCCC. Needless to say, I had high hopes for this product in terms of moisture and hold since it was so similar to a past favorite of mine.

Pluses: The As I Am Coil Defining Jelly is super moisturizing. I love the way my hair feel while the product is in my hair. No tangles. No dryness. Great definition. Great hold. Great shine. 

Minuses: Flakes. By day 3, my hair looked like I was having a bad bought of dandruff. I’m not about that life, especially with a product I bought off a store shelf as opposed to one I made in my kitchen. I did some digging, and this styler is pretty popular on sites: 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, Sally Beauty, and Naturally Curly. And so low-porosity hair strikes again. The As I Am Coil Defining Jelly creates a light cast on the hair, as most gels do. However, the cast from this gel flaked off into my hair as it softened, which not all gels do. In fact, this is the first gel I’ve ever used that waited three days to flake. As any low-porosity natural can attest, flakes usually happen early and suddenly. So this was a change, and something my low-po naturals out there should be aware of.

Another minus: Interesting ingredients. Hydroxyethycellulose…sounds plant-based but my knowledge of organic chemistry is…well, I studied it for all of 3 months. Phenoxyethanol…I can’t even pretend to know what that is.

Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about this Coil Defining Jelly. On the one hand, it’s incredibly moisturizing and I love the shine and definition. I never had to worry about my hair drying out, or any resulting snapping or breakage…A natural could get addicted to that.

And it comes in a 16-ounce container, meaning you can get several uses out of it before you have to buy more.

But the flakes…

That’s a deal breaker in this relationship.

Have you ever tried the As I am Curling Jelly? What was your experience? If you’re a low-po natural, is there a styler out there that’s better? Let me know and I’ll give it a try.


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