Last June, I ended up on a Zoom call with Ebuni Adijuah — a London-based trichologist who I found on Instagram. I’d never considered seeing a trichologist before. But I live in Edinburgh, and, although there are Afro salons here, the ones I’ve been to focus on styling, not hair-care advice. So when the chance came for a one-to-one with Adijuah (without the 600-mile round trip), I took it. I don’t have any serious hair issues. I just wanted personalised tips that I’d rarely get access to. To be honest, I was also hunting for a miracle conditioner. I had never found one that left my fine, stubbornly dry hair feeling as soft and hydrated as I wanted — and I’ve tried plenty. First, I tried Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp Conditioner. Although it’s very moisturising, it’s a U.S.-based brand, so I couldn’t always get a steady supply. Next, I tried Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner: U.K. blogger Emma’s Curls said it made her hair easier to finger detangle, but that wasn’t the case for me. And when I called Adijuah, I’d recently switched to Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Conditioner, mainly because I could buy it from my local Superdrug. It was within my £10 budget, smelt inoffensive and left my hair feeling soft for a couple days. But I was hoping that Adijuah would have a better suggestion.
My session with her was great. She was chatty, nonjudgmental, and reassured me that I didn’t need to change my hair-care habits. So when she suggested Trepadora’s Quinoa Repair Deep Conditioner (a conditioner that was twice what I’d usually pay) I was ready to listen. Trepadora is a British company specialising in vegan, cruelty-free products for curly hair. Despite my in-depth conditioner research, I hadn’t heard of the brand before, and at £23 with £5 for shipping, the product was expensive. However, when I looked it up, I saw that it had a ton of glowing reviews on the Trepadora website. It’s also a Black-owned business — so I added it to my basket. If you have dry, fine, tightly coiled curls that need more moisture, I’d recommend you do the same.
For the first wash, I smoothed four pumps of the conditioner over my shoulder-length hair (paying special attention to the ends), I combed it through using my Tangle Teezer for thick and curly hair, left it for five minutes, then rinsed it out with tepid water. Instantly, my thirsty, often knotty hair was much easier to detangle and, when I rinsed it out, it was more moisturised than usual. It was also easier to put into two-strand twists than it had been in months. Unlike the other conditioners I’d tried, it left my hair less frizzy, more moisturised, and more manageable for almost a week.
The conditioner smells very faintly of Starburst (although not in an off-putting, sickly sweet way), and has the consistency of light facial moisturiser. Although it’s a deep conditioner, I’ve been using Quinoa Repair as my weekly, rinse out conditioner for about six months, and, despite the price, I will not be parted from it. Not only does it afford me an extra three days before I need to wash my hair, by the time the next wash day rolls around, my hair isn’t the texture of Shredded Wheat. And the best thing? I’ve had the same results every time I’ve used it. I’m already planning on purchasing the larger size when this bottle runs out.
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