It was the year of our Lord, 1990. A baby-faced Babyface was making all the tenderonis drop trou with his hit single, “Whip Appeal.” These days, I don’t think that sex is described as eloquently ( ahem), but I personally still get a kick out of using “whip appeal” as a descriptor for something — anything — that I’m really into. This is probably why texts to my friends sometimes go unanswered, but whatever.
Lately I’ve been trying to reserve the phrase for things that really deserve it, like this deep conditioner from hairstylist Vernon Françios, the man who styles Lupita Nyong’o, Cynthia Eviro, Solange, and more. The treatment joins his eponymous range of delicious smelling, moisturizing hair products that actually make me look forward to wash day.
When that glorious day arrived (and I think that’s the only time I’ve described it that way), I tried a pre-poo before applying the deep conditioner. Just like the Revamp range, Whipped smells insanely good — think fruity, with a hint of musk.
Most conditioners instruct you to use a gumball or quarter-sized amount of product. Yeah, right. I’ve got a head full of thick 4c coils, and a piece of gum or a measly coin does absolutely nothing for me. Whipped tells you to cover your hands with the rich formula, and that’s exactly what I did. Unsurprisingly, the conditioner took, so I smoothed it all over my hair, and let it sit for 45 minutes while I streamed the previous week’s Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Typically, when I’m rinsing my hair out, I lose a whole lot of strands. I can’t say that fallout didn’t happen at all this time, but it was certainly less noticeable than my previous washes. Can I credit pre-pooing? Or did Whipped really have that much appeal? I don’t know. But I’m not going to question God’s work.
My hair felt like butter after I washed Whipped out, and it made detangling a whole lot easier afterward. In retrospect, I should’ve detangled beforehand… and coconut oil would’ve helped the process along. But I’ve got plenty of wash days ahead of me, and I’m still learning.
Even still, the conditioner’s effects made me confident enough to try stretching without using my blowdryer. While my hair was still damp, I worked liberal amounts of Madame CJ Walker’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream through sectioned-off pieces for cornrows. While I wasn’t crazy about the curl pattern (or lack thereof) that the cornrows created days after I took them out, my hair was still soft and manageable enough for a new twist-out a few days later. I’ve been feeling my hair so much that I’m — gasp — sneaking selfies in the office. My little ‘fro is out here flourishing, and it feels good. Better than love, even.
There are a few more conditioners that are vying for my attention, but as far as I’m concerned, Whipped can keep whippin’ on me.
Vernon Françios Whipped Deep Conditioner, $39, available at Vernon Françios.
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