So, You Want an Alternative to Miss Jessie’s Products


In my post, Naturally Kinky, I raved about Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme as well as some of my favorite all natural hair products by Cornrows & Co. Based on emails and questions, it seems a lot of people either want to know if the quality of Miss Jessie’s products justify dishing out $60 for a jar of hair cream or if there are other alternatives available. 

Most of you know that I have a love hate relationship with my hair. Mainly because it’s difficult to manage my extremely coarse and very thick mane. When a friend turned me onto Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme, I was elated. It proved to be a good product for me. It’s a great moisturizer for dry hair, making it very soft and pliable, but note that it is not a natural product. 

I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, and I have to agree with those who say the product only works well on hair types 3A through 3C, and possibly 4A. It does not work for my 4B hair type nor does it make my hair easy to handle. Most people can achieve the same results by simply using the Buttercreme alone. 

When I was contacted by the owner of Kinky-Curly, Shelley Davis, I was exited at the possibility of having more manageable hair. In fact, the website states to give Kinky-Curly’s products a try before considering a texturizer, silkener, or relaxer. Davis then sent me a full size sample of her Curly Custard and Knot Today conditioner

Initially, I had some problems using the products. I had been using Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme almost everyday so I had a lot of oil build up which did not go away after two washes, and since Kinky-Curly Curling Custard is an aloe based product, it does not work well if there is an oily residue present. I then used Federic Fekkai’s Apple Vinegar rinse to rid my hair of any oils, but to my surprise the Curling Custard sat on my hair and left behind white flakes.

After I emailed Shelley, I discovered that I needed to use a clarifying shampoo, which meant I was unable to use Cornrows & Co.’s Coconut Shampoo (love it) since it contains coconut oil or their Orange conditioner which contains macadamia and jojoba oils. I’m a true product junkie; therefore, I didn’t have to go out to buy shampoo since I have a ton of different shampoos readily available. I was determined to try anything to make the product work. Eventually, I found the winning combination when I used Aveda’s Sap Moss shampoo. Now, let me say that you don’t have to use an expensive clarifying shampoo, Shelley suggested using Prell from the local drugstore. In the future, maybe Shelley will consider adding a shampoo to her line that will best compliment her products. In addition, Shelley is really good at giving advice and helpful tips so don’t hesitate to contact her with questions. Before I forget, using a towel will make your hair frizzy. Use your hands to squeeze out excess water.  

Once I was able to find the right shampoo, I was amazed at the results. I applied the Knot Today herbal conditioner and vanilla scented Curling Custard, that made my hair very easy to comb out. It made my hair sleek as if I had used a gel, and actually laid my thick mane down and reduced shrinkage, making my hair easy to brush into a ponytail, which I’m unable to do with the Baby Buttercreme because my hair literally shrinks out of the palm of my hands while brushing it. I also love the way the Curling Custard slicks down my hairline without having to use a scarf. It’s a good moisturizer that does not leave behind a greasy residue.

I love the two products because they make my hair a whole lot easier to deal with. Even though I didn’t get the curls I wanted, this product is on my favorite things list. If I want curls I can achieve them by wrapping my hair around my finger as I’m applying the custard or using a rat tooth comb. I know you’re probably thinking that any product will work using those methods, but not necessarily; I’ve tried others and the Curling Custard gives the best results. The curls are much more defined.   

It’s definitely a cheaper, all natural alternative to Miss Jessie’s products, and well worth a try. The 16 oz. Curling Custard costs $25 and the 8 oz. bottle of Knot Today sells for $12. The ingredients (horsetail, chamomile, etc) are far superior and better for your hair. Be sure to check out Afrobella’s review since she had the opportunity to try the entire line.  


57 Comments on “So, You Want an Alternative to Miss Jessie’s Products”

  1. Yolanda says:

    I’ve been curious about kinky curly products for a long time, I’m going to have to finally give them a try. Thanks for the great review.

  2. JJ says:

    um… thanks for reminding me why i keep my hair in braids year round! but during those 2 months I let my natural hair breath and see the world, I’m going to this post. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Thanks, JJ. My hair cannot tolerate braids anymore. Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

  4. lteefaw says:

    Once again this is the main reason I read blog like yours. I have been looking for a product similar to Miss Jessies. I love Miss J’s Curling Pudding but that stuff cost $38. And we aren’t going to talk about the price of the Buttercreme. Anyway thanks to you I’ll be ordering a jar of Curling Custard. Take Care!!

  5. Hey Dasha, I love Miss J’s too, but I can’t stand paying for shipping especially since the products cost as much as they do. Shelley’s really good at answering questions too.

  6. kia says:

    i totally agree! it’s good to know about this! thanks trac!

  7. jelizen says:

    I recently used the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and its good. I’ve been thru almost every product out there over the past 12 years and for the last few months I’d been using a self-made concoction of pure-aloe vera gel and a leave in conditioner. The custard gives me a similar result but nicer shine & curl definition with no crunchiness.
    Another suggestion for cleaning your hair before you switch products is pour some baking soda in your hand before you add shampoo – mix it up in your hands before you apply and your hair will be super clean and ready for conditioning and optimal light weight curls. I do it about once a week to keep my curls happy.

  8. NikkiBlue says:

    Thanks for the review. I just got my hair braided yesterday because I couldnt decide on the right product and style. The only other alternative I found to Miss Jessies was the “Curls” line which I couldn’t find offline.
    Now, I think I’ll take my braids out in a month and try the Kinky-Curly line.


  9. I appreciate the tip, Jelizen. I’ve never heard of using baking soda to boost a shampoo, but I’m willing to give it a try the next time I wash my hair. The aloe and conditioner concoction sounds like its worth a try too. Thanks!

    Nikki, let me know how things turn out. I’d like to know what you think of the product.

  10. P says:

    Hmm…Fashionista, I think you just saved my (hair’s) life. I’m placing my order RIGHT. NOW. Thanks for the fab review!

  11. P says:

    Aww, damn.. I can’t order b/c they don’t deliver to Canada. And it sux because Toronto is the only Canadian city listed in their retail locations– I don’t live anywhere near Toronto….Ah well…:(

  12. Aww, I’m sorry, P. You should email Shelley and explain your situation. Maybe she would be willing to make an exception for you.

  13. Napfabulus says:

    I ordered the Curling Custard and Knot today on May 12th..(Only because Fash reccomended it). I had been using Miss Jessies which is so expensive… well I ordered it on the 12th and have been waiting ever since…. I emailed them on the 20th to check on the status and did get an email from Shelley on the 24th saying it would go out by friday the 25th. So I was hoping to get it by this Friday because I am going out of town.
    Well, I just got an email today saying that it is shipping today – THURSDAY the 31st. I got my Prell Shampoo and am just waiting….
    I hope this stuff is good because my hair looks a mess without using the Miss Jessie’s since I ran out. I hope it is because their business is growing and not because of problems.
    Thanks Fash – I will let you know if it was worth the wait. Keep on bloggin…we are listening….

  14. Napfabulus: OMG! I could not write a post yesterday because I was a little upset over the fact that you haven’t received your products. I hate poor customer service. I was searching high and low for her phone number to ask why, especially since I put my name out there talking about how great the products are. Email me at and tell me what exactly you purchased. I do want to send her an email about this.

  15. Tes says:

    @Napfabulus & host:
    This is NOT an anomoly, as I learned at afrobella’s site today. I had the same problem with my May 15th order…no confirmation…but full payment was excepted. I launched a complaint with PayPal and my product was delivered today.

  16. Napfabulus says:

    Hello Fash. I just got my package yesterday afternoon. I ordered the Knot Today and the Curling Custard. When I tell you my hair was a mess – I mean it was. Dry, dry, dry. I tried to make due by going to the drug store to find something to tie me over and ended up buying 3 products for $35. I tell you if it were not for your write up, I would not have even tried it. I did email them to let them know that the product was recommended and that they provided great service to you, and I wanted the same level. That’s when I got the one email from them saying that they are working day and night to get the orders out. I just tried it this morning and it seems to work pretty good, but I need to work with it to get the right amount in my hair. The lack of communication after the sale was what was most disturbing. I was worried that they took my money and ran. I almost filed a complaint with PayPal myself but they finally sent that email. The funny thing is that after all the waiting…they did not upgrade my shipping or anything. They sent it regular which took the whole 4 days. I just don’t know what to say…. But Fash – I totally don’t blame you – you’re awesome!

  17. Dana Renee says:

    I am so excited about trying the Curling Custard and Knot today. I have a friend that tried it and her hair looks great. I ordered the product on September 24th and have not heard anything as of yet. I am not really happy with not having a phone number to call them. Does anyone have a phone number so I can check on my order.

  18. Hi Dana,

    Unfortunately, I misplaced the information with her number on it. Someone else contacted me about the same problem a few months back. I’m really sorry to hear that you are having problems. Have you emailed her?

  19. suns4i4e says:

    Fash, Napfabulous, Tess and Renee,

    I am happy to hear I am not the only one experiencing such poor customer service, and terribly dismayed that ANY of us are experiencing such a level of poor customer service. I placed my order on 9/21/07 and have yet to receive said order, or email confirmation that my order was sent. I did however receive PayPal notification that my credit card was promptly billed. I have sent two emails requesting order status and again, nothing. I will echo the previous comment that the lack of communication is most disturbing. No matter how effective the product, this alone may be enough to prevent future orders.

  20. What’s really upsetting is, she doesn’t have a number listed where she can be contacted. I’ve tried calling information, but the company is not listed. I will try to email her myself, and if that fails I’ll email another person who the owner has purchased ad space to see if I can get a number from there. If you’ve read my post “Talk to the Hand” then you’ll know how much I hate poor customer service. It’s enough to make me walk right out the door. Keep me posted, ladies.

    Also, I’m going to be talking with Pamela, owner of Cornrows & Company hopefully some time next week and I’ll find out what she recommends. I love her all natural products. And, the customer service is superb.

  21. Collette says:

    Wow, I’ve been taking our my braids for a couple of days. I read the blog and was excited about the product until I started reading the problems with orders. That is a little scary. a friend of mine did my hair for me and used products from this site.

    I just ordered the detangler and received a confirmation that it will be shipped on Monday…my b-day. My hair is extremely kinky, and can tangle. It once tangled so badly that I had to cut the tangles out. Not good. I’ll let you guys know how it works out. Check out the site and tell me what you think.

  22. Hey Collette,

    It sounds like we have the same hair type. Please let me know how the products work for you. On my new site, I will be posting some tips for natural hair if I can get an interview with the owner of a salon who also creates some great all natural products specifically for people of color. I’ve used her products in the past and have been pleased with the results. Hopefully, I will be able to catch up with her soon.

  23. Aketha says:

    I just came upon this site after searching for kinky-curly number i also made an order sept 19, 2007 and email 2 time already and have yet to receive a response and my card has already been credited.

    so please if a number becomes available please pass it along

  24. Collette says:


    Remember the detangler I purchased from

    Well, it arrived. Remember what I told you about my hair? It gets so tangled and can even become matted if I don’t plait it before it dries. I put the detangler on it and it detangles! I have searched high and low for a product that works.
    This is the real deal!

    It was a little costly, but then it’s supposed to last six months. If I’m working on style and my hair dries, its usually a big problem to detangle it. Now I just put a little detangler on the section I’m working on, run my fingers through it and it detangles.

    I hope this information will help someone.

  25. How exciting, Collette! I’m so glad you found something that actually detangles your hair. I will definitely be giving this product a try. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Gwen Washington says:

    I placed and order on 10/17/07 and I have never received and email or the products. I went back to the order site and sent an email to the dite for ordering products for your salon. This is very disurbing an I definitely never order this product online again. If anyone has had any success in contacting the company could you please pass it on to me.

  27. Belinda says:

    Hi ladies. Has anyone tried ordering these products through distributers. Maybe you will get better customer services if you order the Kinky Curly from under Curlmart or other webpages. You may want to find out what type of service Kinky Curly gives customers by ordering through them. Although, it’s a shame you can’t get quality service by ordering direct. I hope this helps.

  28. Felicia says:

    My on-line order was fine. I received an e-mail confirmation, ship date and delivery date along with tracking number.

    This product really works. I used a spray bottle with fine mist and then applied the Curling Curstard using my fingers in a circular motion. It is important to keep the hair wet. My fro is short so my hair did not require a lot of the product. The key to the curl formation is using the circular motion. Afterwards, I bloted my hair with a damp towel to remove some of the excess and let it air dry.

    Love it.

  29. Thanks, Felicia, for sharing your story. It’s possible that Shelley has heard the cries of her customers and has made changes accordingly.

  30. shmalora says:

    I have been using KCCC for 2 years and never had a problem with shipping (considering that I only order about 3 times/year b/c it lasts so long). There are, of course, no excuses for poor customer service, but companies sometimes have a hard time adjusting to increased demand or expanding business. Someone made the great suggestion of ordering from other sits, like BTW: Kinky-Curly now makes a clarifying shampoo gentle enough to use everyday!

  31. L-Boogs says:

    SO glad I stumbled upon your site! I googled “MJ’s Curly Buttercreme” and here I am! I’ve been natural for a little over 5 years and my ‘fro is waaaay past wash ‘n go. Just when I thought it was time to loc it, here you are with these fab products!!! I actually won a new, full-sized jar of MJ’s Curly Pudding today on eBay; but rest assured, I’ve already visited and will be ordering from Cornrows & Co. and Kinky-Curly (as well as passing the word along). I (and my hair all by itself) thank you!!!

    = )

  32. Hawanatu says:


    The last time I permed my hair was last august….as of right now I have between 3-4 inches of new growth (black). What do you sugguest in my attempt to get rid of my relaxed ends (orange-brownish)? Self-chop or professional?

  33. Ann says:

    Has anyone tried Carol’s Daughter Products ?
    They are all natural as well and more affordable then the Kinky curly line products. I love Miss Jessie’s but just not willing to dish out the all that cash and pay a $15 shipping fee on top of it.
    Just wondering


  34. Angelique says:

    I tired Miss Jessie’s Curling Pudding and it was ok i jus liked the smell and when i realized it wasnt natural i started using the kinky curl products. I love the shampoo it has lasted me over 3 months. I went through the Knot Today and Curling Custard rather quick. I loved how it kept my hair clean mositurized and shiny. The custard was a bit sticky but i dealt with with it. The price of the products were also great. Im looking forward to trying the pomade and spritz because I want to achieve the perfect was and go style. Im glad I came across the site because I was considering trying the meringue.

  35. Felecia714 says:

    Has anyone used “Carols Daughter” products ?
    I hear that they are all natural ingreidents and seemed to be priced reasonably, just curious.


  36. BsB says:

    Thank you sooo much for this post!! I have been tired of paying so much for Miss Jessies products but liked the results. In the morning i just put on some buttercreme and go. I had been using KCCC since about june but didnt know how to refresh my curls on a daily basis. I tried to use buttercreme and got the awful clumps/flakes as mentioned in the post. I will definitely get some of their gentle shampoo and make the transition to KC from MJ after I get the MJ oils out of my hair. I just hope to get used to the spiral spritz for refreshing my curls daily…No BOGO MJ for me this year! =) Thank you!!!

    oh, question…has anyone used Mizani products on your natural hair?

  37. Michelle says:

    Hey lady! I just did the big chop this past Tuesday and love my new natural fro’. I went to a professional natural hair care salon here in NC and they really pushed the Miss Jessie’s line as well as Jane Carter Solutions. Now that I have the products I’m starting to research ingredients and are a little iffy about them. After reading your blog I was curious about Kinky Curly. I have used the transitioners tonic while where my kinky twist to prepare for the BC. Are you still using Kinky Curly products? I have 4b and 4c hair and want to make sure I’m using the best product for my hair. Thanks for any feedback.

  38. Denise says:

    I just used the KCCC and Knot Today and I”m not a big fan. I usually do twist outs with MS Curly Meringue and Baby Buttercreme, and I love the wild look that I have. With KCCC and KT, my curls seem to have a lot of definition, but they are so tight – not elongated like with MJ. Plus, I like that MJ is a cream – I don’t like the KCCC gel.

  39. Twyla says:

    I cut all chemnically treated hair from my head a little over a year ago and have been trying to wear my natural hair out like an afro. Thing is, my hair has several morphologies: straight, curly and wavy, so barring any assistance from chemicals, nothing will change that. My hair takes in heat like a crazy. Currently, I wash, blowdry, press and hot curl my hair once a week, and only re-curl my hair every 2-3days or so. For the most part my hair retains moisture and shine ( thanks etae !!), so the curls I put in on Monday are still around by Wed or Thurs. I recently had it tapered in the back, so I just take a brush to the back hairs and off I go.

    I tried Miss Jesssie’s Curly pudding and it did nothing but leave me with a sticky part curly, part straight, part wavy mess. The heat from the dome drier just straightened my hair even more.

    I’ll stick to Etae products and Carol’s daughter to nourish my hair and just live with the fact that I do not have the texture to achieve the look I want.

  40. Casnai says:

    The Kinky Curly products are also sold on

  41. YETUNDE says:

    Thanx a lot for the tip i really like miss jessie’s product and it’s all my entire family use but personally i have not been able to acheive the kind of result i want. Am glad their is an alternative cause i”ll like my natural hair

  42. sharon says:

    I used miss jessies butter creme, pudding,neringue andd silkener, I only have like 3 inches of hair, it dont work, and it left my hair flaky.Ampro styling works wonders, it will leave your hair hard,but with dazzling curls

  43. Diana says:

    Thank you for the information. How do you determine if you have 3A,3B, 3C, 4A or 4 B hair?

  44. TTice says:

    I have been using Kinky-Curly Curlying Custard and Knot Today for about 6 months. I love it. I have not found a product even close to this. It defines my curls and makes my hair managable. I do not have to do any additional curlying. I wash my hair on Monday, put on my Kinky-Curly products and go. I use water, kinky-curly sprits or aloe vera gel to freshen it up throughout the week.

  45. Godzs_Angel says:

    Hi, thanks for the helpful insight on the Kinky Curly…I am also a hair product junkie, I have tried everything. I really love the all natural Kinky Curly line, it really does make for manageable hair when used together (conditioner and custard). My hair is so weird, it really does have a mind of its own and does what it wants to do. I noticed that no type of chemical is good for my hair, I recently colored my hair and a month later my hair felt dehydrated. I will never color my hair again I don’t care how cute it looks. I love how Kinky Curly hydrates my hair and stretches out my curl pattern! Know I am in search of a product that can add natural shine to my hair to take away from the dull look, does anyone have any ideas?

  46. Genee says:

    Hey everyone I know I’m late but I LOVE Kinky Curly and I believe its worth it!!! I purchase mine fom the Whole Foods store they usually have everything.check your local store to see if they have it. I’m in missouri and they are 3 with in

  47. ummz says:

    I have 4z hair it feels like but anyways carols daughter was horrible and sat on my hair and did not do a single thing…but on the bright side it did smell good. I’m interested in trying KCCP but I hope it doesnt just sit on my hair and is absorbed and actually moisturizes.

  48. UC says:

    carol’s daughter just sat on my head and i was majorily disappointed….but on the bright side it smelled good. i most definitely would not reccomend for anyone with 4z hair……yes i know not part of the classification but my hair is extremely kinky

  49. AP says:


    1)The “MISS JESSIE’S” products USE MINERAL OIL
    & PETROLATUM (both of which damage both
    hair & skin) AS two of the KEY INGREDIENTS

    2) Titi & Miko – THE OWNER’S of the “Miss Jessie’s”
    product line (AND most of THE CLIENTS they choose
    to photograph) — achieve their hair-styles because
    they USE what they call ”Silkener”’ (which is simply
    a mild relaxer / texturizer & made of CHEMICALS).

    3) The same results can be achieved for a fraction of
    the cost by going to a store and purchasing / applying
    the same dangerous (ex. relaxer / texturizer) as well
    as damaging (ex. mineral oil / petrolatum) products.

    4) People should save their money (and hair) by avoiding
    the cheaply-made / expensively-sold products (such as
    the ”Miss Jessie’s” line) that contain worthless and
    harmful ingredients such as mineral oil / petrolatum
    and / or are “chemically-dependent” to achieve results.

  50. AP says:



    1)The “MISS JESSIE’S” products USE MINERAL OIL
    & PETROLATUM (both of which damage both
    hair & skin) AS two of the KEY INGREDIENTS

    2) Titi & Miko – THE OWNER’S of the “Miss Jessie’s”
    product line (AND most of THE CLIENTS they choose
    to photograph) — achieve their hair-styles because
    they USE what they call a ”Silkener”’ (which is simply
    a mild relaxer / texturizer & made of CHEMICALS).

    3) The same results can be achieved for a fraction of
    the cost by going to a store and purchasing / applying
    the same dangerous (ex. relaxer / texturizer) as well
    as damaging (ex. mineral oil / petrolatum) products.

    4) People should save their money (and hair) by avoiding
    the cheaply-made / expensively-sold products (such as
    the ”Miss Jessie’s” line) that contain worthless and
    harmful ingredients such as mineral oil / petrolatum
    and / or are “chemically-dependent” to achieve results.

  51. Jennifer S. says:

    The Kinky Curly Custard leaves a filmy residue on my hair. Has anyone experienced this problem and how did you overcome it?

  52. Flora Wilson says:

    How young must a child be to use the product? Is 10 months old too young?

  53. Maya says:

    I use Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls with Kinky Curly Knot Today, and the mix is amazing! Big, soft, fluffy curls with a nice hold. My hair blows in the wind and moves every time I turn my head!

  54. Tameka says:

    I have thin fine hair but I’m trying to find a hair that will make my hair look thick with twist outs cause mrs Jessie’s is to expensive

  55. I find myself frustrated because my hair is 3b with maybe a little 3c mixed in. The Buttercreme works perfect for me, I just can’t afford it. So I search everywhere for that cheaper alternative but the only ones who offer me one are type $s, who don’t like the Buttercreme. Bah!

  56. And I don’t know why AP is saying petrolum and mineral oil damages the hair and skin. It might make hair maagement more difficult to some but that doesn’t cause damage. My grandmother used mineral oil on her face, I’ve used mineral oil and petrolium on my face. I’m 31, I look 14. I don’t see the issue.

  57. Kasey&Peggy says:

    Nice review!
    I love the buttercreme but hate the price!
    Perhaps I will try what you tried after I finish my buttercreme of course!

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