You may have noticed that beauty subscription boxes have been popping up everywhere over the past few years – but what actually are they?
Essentially, the boxes are monthly packages of beauty products chosen for you and delivered to your door, usually at a price far lower than the retail value of said products.
These were the times when the only products you could find were from Shea Moisture, Creme of Nature and Cantu, and when you sometimes felt unwelcome in the stores that stocked them.
Subscription boxes have therefore become quite a big deal in the natural hair community, but are they still worth investing in in 2022? Let’s dissect this together…
Beauty boxes can help save you money
If the standard is to provide a full wash day of products from shampoos to stylers every month, then yes, you will be saving money by subscribing.
But, if you’re receiving two shampoos, two oils, and a lip balm in your subscription box and then having to spend extra money buying the wash day products it didn’t provide, it might be a waste of your hard-earned cash.
Shop wisely and always check out the kind of products stocked in your box of choice before subscribing, to ensure you’re getting the most out of the commitment (more on that later).
They also allow you to try new products
This is perhaps the biggest perk of subscription boxes, especially for someone with naturally curly hair.
Curly hair products are generally expensive, so only spending £25 on hair products –sometimes from new brands you’ve not yet discovered – is definitely a win, especially when you’re still figuring out your hair’s likes and dislikes.
Subscription services can make things easy for you
With a box, everything is already done for you.
This can be both a pro and a con. For those with busy lives who are still figuring out their hair goals, curly hair subscription boxes might be the best things to ever exist.
However, if you’re someone who knows their hair quite well, the inability to choose products for yourself can be quite frustrating as there could be entire boxes that you know just won’t work for you.
On the whole, I tend not to recommend subscription boxes for people who have a really good understanding of their hair already.
They do come with risks, however
Subscription services can be risky for people with allergies, sensitivities or ethical and practical preferences.
Allergies and sensitivities to ingredients like coconut and avocado are common, but they are still present in a lot of curly hair products. Protecting yourself from these allergies might be a priority for you, but it might not be a priority for the subscription box brand.
This is definitely something to consider before subscribing.
Likewise, if you are someone who follows The Curly Girl Method, or prefers products to be vegan and cruelty free, this is something that cannot always be guaranteed.
The best subscription boxes for curly hair
If subscription services still sound great to you, I have formed a shortlist of the best curly hair boxes to invest in; all of which have different aims and values.
Treasure Tress is a trailblazer in its field. Not only does it offer four to five full-sized products every month, but is also a community encouraging storytelling, sisterhood and empowerment.
Treasure Tress collaborates with brands such as Shea Moisture, Palmers, Wakati and Pattern Beauty, meaning there are always plenty of brilliant products to trial.
Its sharp-witted social media content and workshops are great ways to immerse yourself in the sisterhood and learn new skills like braiding and making your own DIY Deep Conditioner, too.
In addition, the brand is now hosting its annual Birthday pop-up experience, ‘Seven Girls,’ in Birmingham New Street Station between the 28th October and 24th December.
You can subscribe to Treasure Tress and buy your Pop-up Tickets at its website.
If high-performing, plant-powered products tickle your fancy, Odyssey Box might be the option for you.
In your Odyssey Box you can expect the best, non-toxic products from curl conscious brands who have invested long term in the natural hair community. Many of these brands were mentioned in my previous column as Black-owned businesses take centre stage at Odyssey Box.
All products chosen for each box are tested by Odyssey Box itself to better understand your journey with them and offer advice wherever necessary; something particularly important when it comes to addressing ingredient sensitivities and allergies.
With Odyssey Box, you have the freedom to make one-off purchases or subscribe to four, six or eight week subscriptions so that your shampoo isn’t piling up while your conditioner is running out.
Curls Club is not your average natural hair subscription box. Aware of the frustration, expense and trial and error nature of testing curly hair products, Curls Club eliminates the guesswork of wash day routines by collaborating with curl experts and creators (like me), to curate limited-edition wash day boxes filled with products that make sense and treat a specific need.
The box I created with Curls Club is unfortunately sold out, but the Moisture and Definition boxes curated by two fantastic curl experts are still available to purchase at the brand’s website.
Curls Club is also a lover of the planet so no information inserts are included in its packaging. Instructions, advice and videos regarding how to use the products can be found in its blog on the website.