This beauty editor gives an unfiltered review of Beyoncé’s Cécred haircare line

There are few things in this world that could coax me out of bed at 7 am, but an invitation to test Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s latest hair care line certainly fits the bill. So, I left my cosy New Jersey home shortly after sunrise and embarked on a two-hour journey to Brooklyn, arriving promptly at 9 am. Despite the bustling morning rush hour, my singular focus was on experiencing Knowles-Carter’s highly anticipated hair care range, Cécred (pronounced like “sacred”), and meeting Neal Farinah, the mastermind behind her iconic Renaissance hairstyles and recent platinum colour. Armed with an open mind and a smile, I was ready to dive in.

Image: Cécred products via Cécred

The brand

Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely aware that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is the epitome of a multi-talented entrepreneur. From her ventures in fashion (who could forget House of Deréon and IVY PARK?) to fragrances (Heat, Rise, Pulse, and now Cé Noir), she’s done it all. Yet, her latest endeavour feels particularly special. It’s rooted in her love for hair, especially the rich culture surrounding Black hair—a passion she shares with her mother.

As Knowles-Carter herself recounts at the Brooklyn salon, her daughter grew up amidst the hustle and bustle of her grandmother’s Houston salon, Headlines. There, she witnessed firsthand the meticulous crafting of formulas using natural butters and oils to nurture and maintain healthy hair. Drawing from her mother’s four decades of expertise as a hairstylist, salon owner, and entrepreneur, Knowles-Carter brings a wealth of knowledge to Cécred as its vice chairwoman.

“My entire life and career, I’ve experimented with various hair styles: natural, flat-ironed, braids, coloured, weaves, wigs,” shares Cécred’s founder and chairwoman, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. “I believe everyone should have the freedom to express their hair in ways that empower them, which is why I started by developing the essentials for hair and scalp health. My vision is to champion inclusivity and excellence in the hair care industry, while celebrating hair rituals from diverse cultures and debunking common hair myths and misconceptions.”

The collection comprises eight meticulously crafted products designed to cleanse, condition, and repair. Among them, a clarifying shampoo featuring willow bark and tea tree oil to rid hair of buildup and residue; a hyaluronic acid-infused shampoo for superior hydration; a conditioner enriched with African oils and shea butter for deep moisturisation; a reconstructing treatment mask boasting the brand’s patent-pending Bioactive Keratin Ferment to combat damage; a sealing lotion that provides smooth styling with a light hold; and a hair oil formulated with plant-based extracts.

While the entire lineup offers a roadmap to healthier hair, the standout product is undoubtedly the fermented rice and rose protein ritual. Starting as a powder, this transformative treatment becomes a fortifying hair rinse when mixed with water. Inspired by age-old practices in Asian cultures, people have cherished rinsing their hair with rice water for centuries due to its strengthening and beautifying properties.

To delve deeper into the benefits of rice water for hair, I consulted the cosmetic chemist Ginger King. She gave the rice treatment her seal of approval for all hair types, emphasising its effectiveness when applied directly to the scalp. “Rice protein is rich in amino acids, providing vital nutrients for the hair,” King explains. “The fermentation process helps break down the molecules, enhancing absorption. However, while there’s limited scientific data supporting rice protein’s effects on hair, applying it to the scalp can offer some nourishment, although not as potent as ingredients aimed at reinforcing hair structure and preventing breakage.”

With anticipation building, I was eager to put the collection to the test.

Image: Cécred staff gives Deena a scalp analysis via Cécred

My first impression

As I settled into Farinah’s chair, anticipating the hyaluronic acid-infused shampoo followed by the conditioner, I harboured modest expectations. Having sampled countless products, shampoo rarely elicits significant changes for me. Most leave my 4C curls parched and brittle, disrupting my scalp’s delicate balance. Yet, to my pleasant surprise, Cécred’s hydrating shampoo proved different. As I discreetly touched the nape of my neck with my fingers, I realised it did not feel like sandpaper. Progress.

“What you’re experiencing is the culmination of years of meticulous development,” Farinah remarked, catching me admiring my hair. “I’d pester Beyoncé on set, asking when she’d launch a hair care line, and finally, she said, ‘Let’s do it!’ We got it right.”

Inquisitive, I turned to Ms. Knowles for her thoughts on the shampoo and any insights gained. With the assistant rinsing the conditioner from my hair, Knowles observed, “You have beautiful skin.” Despite our earlier conversation on hair health and weave maintenance, my attention wavered. My mind raced. Beyoncé’s mother had just complimented my skin. I was momentarily stunned.

Regaining composure, I patiently awaited the rice protein treatment administered by Farinah’s assistant. Mixing warm water with the rice and rose protein powder, she created a soothing solution, which she gently poured over my scalp and hair. No stinging, no stickiness, no pungent odours—just pure relaxation, akin to the sensation of raw egg trickling down my scalp.

After a brief water rinse and a 40-minute session under the hair dryer, Farinah commenced the styling process. Starting with a few drops of the luxuriously scented hair oil, he expertly trimmed my ends into a chic bob, perfectly on trend.

Just as I thought my session was concluding, Ms. Knowles reappeared, this time in her element as a hairstylist. Running her hands through my freshly washed locks, snipping and shaping with precision, she exuded pride. It was reminiscent of the approving look a mother gives her child. Although our interaction had centred on hair health and light-hearted banter about my skin, I couldn’t shake the feeling of validation. Was this how Beyoncé feels? I closed my eyes, transported to a time when I was young Beyoncé in Houston, getting my hair braided at Headlines.

Image: Ms Knowles styling Deena Campbell via Cécred

All was right with the world.

As she turned my chair, revealing the masterpiece created by her and Farinah, it was exactly what I desired. More importantly, my scalp and hair felt revitalised. Whether it was the efficacy of the products or the affirmations from Ms. Knowles herself, I couldn’t discern. Nevertheless, I can attest that my hair (and ego) will never be the same.

They say you never forget your firsts: your first job, your first crush, your first kiss. Having my hair styled by Ms. Knowles is a first I’d gladly relive, even if it means braving a 7 am departure on a chilly winter morning.

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire USA
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer


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