Are all of the expensive natural hair products really worth it? Or is there a hair product we’ve known from our childhood all along that works just as well? Today I throw it back to Queen Helene’s Cholesterol Creme to see if this classic hair product is up to par with the high-end natural hair care products we’ve grown accustomed to buying for $10-$22.
I wanted to bring it back to the basics and simplify my product shopping habits in the process. So I thought about hair cholesterol and remembered using it when my hair was relaxed and even before my first perm when my hair was still natural. How would it work on my 4c hair? Should we all just put these products behind us and continue on with our organic hair care product shopping? Let’s find out.
What Does Cholesterol do for Your Hair?
When I think of cholesterol, I think of the nutritional form of fat or when people talk about having high or low cholesterol. Translating this to hair, a cholesterol treatment is one that is filled with fats and lipids that coat your hair strands to help strengthen and condition it. Similar to a protein treatment, mayonnaise and eggs are some of the most common DIY forms of cholesterol treatments. If you’ve had any recent breakage, damage, or chemical processing to your hair then this product might be for you.
How often should you use it?
I would view a cholesterol creme the same as a protein treatment. Because it has fats and lipids that your hair needs to effectively process, I think a monthly treatment would suffice. Since I have color-treated hair, a cholesterol treatment would help replenish my hair’s moisture and build up it’s elasticity.
Queen Helene Cholesterol Creme
A huge bang for your buck, a large 32 ounce tub can be found on Amazon for only $5.22. Here’s how it’s described in the product overview:
- Blends Cholesterol with vital elements like Aloe and Keratin Amino Acid Protein
- Deep conditions and rejuvenates over-stressed hair and protects from future damage
- Washes out easily to enjoy soft, healthy and manageable hair
The ingredients aren’t shown on the actual Amazon product page, so I had to get the product to see that the fourth and fifth ingredients were parrafinum(mineral oil) and sodium lauryl sulfate. Yes…you read that right PARAFINUM AND SULFATE! The most forbidden ingredients all naturals steer away from and here I was with a 32-ounce jar of this. Already I could see why we left these types of products in the past. For those new to natural hair, parrafinum is one of the “P’s” to look out for when buying natural hair products. They are often found in cheaper hair products or products marketed to straighter hair types. This is the same with sulfates, commonly found in soaps, and really aid in getting that squeaky clean feeling. The problem with getting things too squeaky clean for natural hair is stripping the hair of its natural oils and causing hair to adversely become dry. So these types of ingredients are often avoided. Everyone’s hair is different so this isn’t a blanket rule for everyone with natural hair.
Wash Day with Hair Cholesterol
The first time I used this product, I knew I needed to add some oils and such things to offset any dryness my hair could experience from this treatment. In a separate bowl, I poured in a generous amount of the cholesterol cream with a hefty amount of olive oil and coconut oil. By the looks of my mixture, the top ingredient that would be listed would be the olive oil. The second time using the product, I wanted to see what it was like on it’s on. I applied it directly to my hair as is but still applied about a tablespoon of coconut oil onto my hair thereafter.
I used the cream directly after shampooing but before deep conditioning. I thought the cream glided on smoothly and it was great knowing I could use an absurd amount of product without being concerned because 32 ounces is a huge amount and will probably last a while. Because I diluted it with a lot of oil, my hair soaked in the product super well and in a way I think I can count this as a hot oil treatment.
I always apply my products in 4 sections so I don’t get overwhelmed with the thickness of my hair and I can thoroughly apply the cream to each strand of hair. Once fully applied, I covered with a plastic bag and put on my deep conditioning hat. The deep conditioning hat is a microwavable cap I’ve had for a few years now and has made deep conditioning so much more impactful. You could also make your own DIY version by warming up a damp towel and placing it on top fo your plastic bag that’s already on your hair. It may not stay warm for a long time but you can at least experience the benefits of adding heat to your conditioning treatments.
With both methods of application, mixing oils in a separate bowl with the product and applying the product onto my hair and oils after, I found that my hair felt soft and had a great shine to it. It got through my hair easily and I didn’t have any issues with dryness afterward. I finished both time with a deep conditioner and ended with a leave-in conditioner.
I think it’s a decent product for it’s value and size and can be spruced up by adding your own oils. But if you want a product where you don’t need to do anything to it, I don’t think this is the product simply because of how high up on the list the paraffinum and sulfate is on the ingredient list. For a DIY base, I think it works out since it’s super thick.
Queen Helene prides itself in offering high-quality hair products since 1930, however, I think they have some work to do in this day in age where consumers are looking for natural ingredients and have the information at their fingertips to be diligent in what actually goes in the products they use. I think the brand could definitely leverage their history as a brand that elicits some nostalgia but that can only go far. I’d be interested to see if they decide to do a new product line geared to naturals of today who are very diligent and specific about the ingredients that go into their hair products.