Review: Nene’s Secret
Product: Nene’s Secret Collection
Today’s Naturalista wants it all. Her goal is long, healthy hair that she can wear big and fluffy, or sleek and straight. Newly launched hair care line Nene’s Secret claims to deliver this much-desired versatility, promising “beautiful, healthy growing hair that women can be genuinely happy with.” This brand comes from the creators of African Pride, Dr. Miracles and others, and is a collaboration between husband and wife team Brian and Nene Marks. According to former video model and Liberian native Nene, the seven products in her collection are based on family recipes. They feature exotic ingredients like baobab, Kalahari melon and Macadamia nut, and come in girly pink boxes featuring Nene sporting a variety of glamorous straight and curly styles (some of which look suspiciously like wigs). I was sent six of the products to review, so I put them to the test in my hair for seven days.
I used each product according to directions, and noted my hair’s response to them individually, as well as the line as a whole.
Nene’s Secret has a distinctive sweet, fruity smell that will people will either love or hate. I didn’t care for it. It reminded me over overripe melons. There were parts of the collection that worked wonders in my dense, springy hair, and others that left it dry and tangled. I found the product names and acronyms a little confusing.
Ingredient snobs will be disturbed by the inclusion of natural “no nos” like mineral oil, propylene glycol and silicones. I didn’t notice a negative impact in my hair, though it wasn’t noticeably smoother, shinier or more manageable. (I’d like to think of them having a “net zero” effect.) At $12.99 for the most expensive product, the line is priced lower than many natural brands. Nene’s Secret markets itself as the best of both natural and relaxed hair, though none of the products outline specific benefits for straightening or straightened hair.
I’d place Nene’s Secret in the same category as curl brands like Taliah Waajid, Beautiful Textures and Roots of Nature.
The most impressive part of Nene’s Secret is the woman behind the brand, who after a successful career as a model and actress, decided to create products like the ones she used growing up in Liberia.
Nene’s Secret Recipe (Baobab Extract, Kalahari Melon seed extract, Cocoa extract, Shea Butter extract, Macadamia Nut extract)
P.P.P. Perfectly Pretty Pudding ($8.99),—Great value for the price. Offered softness, hold and definition. A definite repeat.
M.M. My Mom’s Masque ($9.99)—Moisturizing and effective. Great slip, it made combing through my hair a breeze.
B.B.B. Best Beauty Butter ($12.99)— the product is mostly shea butter. It offered a good seal and moisture for skin and body as well. It was hard to remove from the container.
C.C. Cute and Curly Crème ($8.99)—It hydrated my hair, but had to applied daily and sealed with B.B.B. The consistency is more lotion than cream.
S.S.T. Strengthening Serum Treatment ($9.99) —This felt good on my scalp and added shine to my hair, but didn’t reduce frizz or provide moisture.
L.I.C. Leave In Conditioner and Detangle ($8.99)—This didn’t agree with my hair, and didn’t help much with the detangling process. It was too thick to coat my hair for easy combing, and too thin to be an effective leave in conditioner. My hair felt dry and straw like after I used it.
I’d rate my hair’s overall experience with Nene’s Secret as positive. I would definitely purchase the P.P.P. Perfectly Pretty Pudding. At $8.99, it’s a bargain compared to other styling products and it offered curl definition and medium hold. The M.M. My Mother’s Masque deep conditioning treatment was also a winner for my curls. The other products, while generally effective, weren’t amazing enough to replace any of my current favorites. I recommend going to the Nene’s Secret website to order samples to determine how it works for your unique head of hair.
Suggested Retail Price: from $8.99-$12.99
Availability: Select beauty supply stores nationwide.