If they can make it in the rainforest, they can make it anywhere.
Just hours before my flight to Ecuador's Amazon, I did my customary pre-travel weather check. Bolts of lightning and rainy skies flashed across my iPhone screen. A forecast of four straight days of thunderstorms would likely have most travelers reaching for their rain boots, but me? I instead burrowed through my suitcase to re-stock my toiletry bag. The slightest sign of rain or waft of humidity can send my head full of curls into a fuzzy tizzy. I panicked.
But being a beauty editor has its perks; I've amassed a vast stash of creams, serums, and oils. So, I decided the rainforest's hot and humid climate would be the perfect destination for an experiment. I tossed as many products as I could into my suitcase and put them to the test. Here, I share the elixirs that lived up to their frizz-defying claims.
The Super Cream
I've been calling this one the Holy Grail of curl creams since its inception, but DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler ($20) exceeded all expectations during this Amazonian adventure. My weather app's stormy prediction proved to be accurate. On our very first day in the jungle, my fellow travelers and I were caught in a major rainstorm while on a three-hour canoe ride down the Cuyabeno River. But with the help of this lightweight cream (infused with coconut oil, jojoba protein, and cornstarch), my curls managed to stay intact. Though it couldn't quite stop the downpour from drenching my strands, within an hour after the skies cleared up, my hair air-dried in the breeze and returned to a soft, tangle-free coif.
The Strong Hold Serum
In my experience, most products that make curl-defining claims just don't live up to their labels. However, Kérastase Paris Curl Fever ($21) is a product of its word. Not only did the serum-like gel create coils that I never know my hair was capable of, its holding properties kept them in place from our morning breakfast to our evening visit with a local shaman.
The Hydrating Oil
I knew that I'd be able to rely on Rahua Elixir ($175) to keep my curls healthy. The brand is Ecuadorian-owned and its key ingredient, Rahua oil, is cultivated by women of the Quechua-Shuar tribes within the very Amazonian rainforest that we visited. Rahua Elixir also includes other ingredients native to Ecuador like Ungurahua and Palo Santo oils for their nourishing and aromatic properties. Washing my hair after every dip in the river could have taken a toll on my curls if I hadn't smoothed my strands with daily drops of this stuff.
The Humidity-Resistant Spritz
I turned to R+Co Foil Frizz + Static ($27) as a finishing spray for a little added frizz protection in the unpredictable weather. Though I generally steer clear of hairsprays out of fear of their drying effects, this can contains a blend of argan and jojoba oils, which kept my curls crunch-free. And its antistatic agent locked my styles in place.