Review: J Carter, A Natural Hair Care Line for Men
Written by Courtney Foster & Christan Duncan
When we think of natural hair, the image of a woman with a huge fro and curls to die for often comes to mind. As such, much of the products available for natural hair are marketed towards women with feminine packaging, fruity smells, and female models. While natural hair products are unisex and don't need to be gendered, I started to wonder how my natural hair brothers felt about the current offerings. This question started to grow in my mind even more when I had my first event. The samples I had to offer my male attendees didn't necessarily meet all their needs, particularly for facial hair and waves. The ones who did have curls said that they have products that worked for them, but smelling like a smoothie was something they weren't used to quite yet.
I asked myself, where are the natural hair products tailored for men? As if by fate, I scrolled through my Instagram feed and stumbled upon J Carter Men, which had launched a few months prior. J Carter Men is a subsidiary of Jane Carter Solutions, a company I knew well, so I wondered how this male-branded line compared to what my guy friends were currently using. After receiving samples from J Carter Men, I was impressed by the variety of products in their line and couldn't wait to get a man's perspective. Below, Courtney and Christan offer their reviews.
Courtney - Curl Up, Glow Up
For the majority of my life, I've been known for having crazy waves, straight spinning. But after a while I got tired of that and wanted to grow out my hair. Years later, I finally did it but I came across some new problems. What the hell do I put in my hair?! At this point I knew I wanted curls but I knew nothing about how to achieve them. I asked some of my natural-haired female friends at the time but they weren't much help. One such friend told me to try Eco-styler gel. This was good the first day I used it but I had to wash out my hair everyday after use because it made my hair so hard. After a while I found my way to using Cantu, As I Am, and Shea Moisture products with a lot of water. These products worked well for me, but I was open to a change and tired of smelling like coconuts and berries.
I tried J Carter Men for about a week and I'm impressed. J Carter proves to be just as good or even a better option than my usual products. I was given the Curl Up Liquid Gel, Curl Krush Cream Gel, Texture X-tra Cream Gel and Drench Curl Activator to try. The Curl Up product activates my curls while the Curl Krush provides a strong hold so that the curls last all day long. Using these two products, I can already see that I have more curl definition.
My favorite product, however, is Drench Curl Activator. Normally, my morning routine is to soak my head with water in the shower, let it dry a little bit, throw in some leave in conditioner, and then go about my day. While this does work, on a cold NY day it leaves me at risk of getting sick. With J Carter's Drench, all I have to do is spritz my hair to get the same activating effect of soaking my hair. I follow-up Drench with both the Curl Up and Curl Krush to reactivate and hold my curls. This way, I don't have to worry about walking into below freezing weather with wet hair. Huge plus! If my curls just need a refresh, I simply use the Curl Krush or Texture X-tra depending on how old my curls are at that point.
Finally, J Carter Men products smell great! I was never a fan of the coconut smell that you get from every other product on the market but I got used to it. J Carter uses different oils in their products so they tend to be both lighter in your hair and have a nice "manly" smell. Since I've been using them I have been asked many times what cologne and people are surprised when I tell them that it's just my hair products. After trying all these products out, I definitely recommend adding J Carter Men into your product rotation.
Courtney is from Jamaica (Queens & the island) and works in marketing for a tech company. His goal is to travel the world and jump off a couple of cliffs (granted he learns how to swim). In his spare time, he enjoys playing ball and watching movies.
Christan - What's the Wave
I cut my hair a few months ago and have been using pretty standard products like Wave Builder to re-train my waves. Upon receiving the J Carter Men Wave Krave Pomade, the first thing I noticed was the consistency and smell. The consistency was lighter than I thought it would be since most wave products are thicker. Meanwhile, the smell was unique but pleasant. Using the Wave Krave, I found that it provided a nice shine without leaving my hair super greasy while also laying my hair down well and defining my wave pattern. However, I did notice that it worked a lot better when I applied to my damp hair versus dry hair. On dry hair, applying too much led to build-up. The product is a welcome addition to my grooming products and I would even consider making it my "go-to" daily product.
I also used the J Carter Men Heal and Hydrate Scalp Oil on my beard. Initially, the smell was quite strong for me to get used to (I mean, my mustache is directly under my nose lol). I was not a fan of using this product alone due to how oily my beard appeared after using it. However, when I combined this product with a creme based beard product, voila...beard care perfection! I don't have any other criticisms of this product but, personally, I'm not a fan of strictly beard oils in general. I much prefer there to be an additional conditioning/softening component to my preferred beard care products. Overall, I rate both products a 4 out of 5 and would continue to use both products.
Chris Duncan resides in Atlanta, GA and as the father of a beautiful 5 y.o. girl he's well versed in her haircare products but lacks on a solid "go-to" product for himself. He aspires to have a perfect 360 wave and a full, well moisturized, "face mane" aka beard. He is a marketing professional so it goes without saying that presentation and grooming are very important because no one wants to hear a pitch from a guy with whack hair ;-)