Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Let's JAM! (2011 Remix)

Throwback: Remember LET'S JAM! Shining and Conditioning gel? Remember how it would have your edges LAID? Remember how the scent was so distinct other people could always tell when you’d used it? Remember that the ingredients were:

Aqua (Water), Isoceteth-20, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Glycerin, Oleth-2, Propylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Ethylparaben, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 14700 (Red 4), CI 17200 (Red 33)
I can’t even remember the last time I used JAM. In its absence, I have relied on various gels (from Fantasia IC, to Eco Styler, to pure Aloe Vera) to slick my hair back when the style or look I was going for called for it. Nothing I used quite did the job, and most (except for the aloe) left my hair crunchy and didn’t hold for the whole day.
Enter: Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste.

Photo by Nuri
First of all, I just have to say that whoever is in charge of purchasing at Target is some kind of genius. They must be making money hand over fist off of us naturals by having that special curly hair section! But I digress. Anyway, I had been looking for something to help slick my edges down, particularly the hair on the back of my neck (which almost always looks crazy), for awhile. I had noticed the Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste a few times on previous Target trips, but hadn’t really considered purchasing the product. Then, the other day, I went into the store to return some Palmers Coconut Oil Hair Milk, because I detested the way it reacted on my hair (a nasty, pasty, milky film just sat on the surface of my hair until I washed it). I figured I’d get something else instead and wandered over to the “ethnic” hair products section of the store. I grabbed the Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste and figured I’d give it a go, because I’ve wanted to rock a giant, slicked back puff.
Now, I will say this about Curls Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste, the ingredients are a far cry from perfect. This is probably why I hadn’t tried it before. The ingredients are:
Water, Ceteareth-25, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Isostearyl Isostearate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl, Ascorbate, Passion Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Maize Starch, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
Not scary, but a little unsettling.
While the product proudly states that it has “No Sulfates, Silicones, Parabens, Mineral or Petrolatum Oils” (which is great), there are still a few ingredients in the list that give me pause:
That said, the product does exactly what it claims to do. The label says:
Smooth out and slick down unruly edges -  ✔
Tame frizzy out of control curls - ✔
Add amazing sheen - ✔
Photo by Nuri
Check! The consistency is quite similar to Let’s JAM – it’s slightly tacky/sticky both to the touch and when you first put it in your hair. It doesn’t smell like passion fruit to me, but it does have a sweet yummy smell, kind of like warm caramel. It leaves the hair extremely soft, shiny and LAID! I mean laid people. With just a tiny amount, my hair was super slicked back and fly-away free. The product works so well, that even though I fell asleep last night with my hair still in a puff and I had neglected to even put on a scarf/hooded band/bonnet, I woke up and my puff was intact. I actually threw on my coat and walked out the door to take my puppy for a walk without doing a thing to my hair, and without looking even remotely crazy. My hair is still soft and, miraculously, the hair on the back of my neck is still smoothed into my puff. I have only tried it on dry hair so far, but may experiment with it on wet hair later, as well as trying it on my curls to see what it can do with them.
My verdict? This stuff is great, but I wish they would reformulate with out the ingredients mentioned above. I don’t like feeling as though I am risking my health for the sake of a fly ‘do. In spite of this, I will probably purchase it again, at least until something that works as well, but with better ingredients comes along – if you have any suggestions of such products, please leave them in the comments section.



  1. That is definitely interesting because a gel me and my mum use is Edge Tamer by Kera Care and the ingredients are really similar to that when I looked at it in the pot it really did look similar. Compared to the Eco Styler Gel it is definetely alot thicker but I do like it. For best results with Eco Styler I have to wet my hair first but Edge Tamer works pretty well regardless.

  2. I'm buying and trying this tonight! My edges laugh at anything I put on them to make them behave. Let's hope this does the trick

  3. I think I might try this. No pictures?

  4. Your recipe, Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel/Castor oil lays my edges down like no other product has. I mean, I never thought my edges could lay so flat and smooth until I tried it. Thanks to you, this is all I need:-))

  5. Have you tried Hick's Edge Total Transformation?
    I got it at the Natural Hair Expo in ATL last year. It works wonders on my thick, kinky coarse, curly hair. It gave me the "fried, dye and lay to the side" effect:O)
    It is very expensive but I hope they will be @ the b-more natural expo this wknd for cheap.
    Susie Q.

  6. Thanks @Olivia's Mommy. ;)

    @Sunshinestar105 I hadn't heard of the Hicks Edge product, but I just looked up the ingredients. They are:
    Water, Ceteareth-25, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, DMDM Hydantoin (and) Idopropynyl Butylcarbonate, Fragrance.

    Unfortunately, that's not any better than the Curls product. :( I wish that more "natural" prodcuts were truly natural. Thanks so much for the info though!

    Nuri (BeantownBrown)

  7. Can this be used on natural flatironed hair to keep the edges straight-without reversion? TIA


  8. @joi i don't actually know if it will work on flatironed hair. i haven't straightened/flatironed my hair since Nov. 2009. if you try it, please let us know how it works out. :)

  9. Love this stuff! It really does get my transitioing 4a with stubborn 4b back edges to cooperate. Thx for the link to the cosmetics database. I'd never seen that but I will be using it for some ingredient education. :-)


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