FOUR EDITORS TRY

Is This New Clean Hair Brand the Answer to Taming Frizz?

Four W editors gave Ceremonia, a company rooted in Latinx hair sensibilities and traditions, a try.


Photo by Roger Viollet via Getty Images

The clean hair brand Ceremonia is firmly rooted in its Latinx heritage—the founder, Babba C. Rivera (who has worked for big-name corporations including Uber and Away) is of Swedish-Latinx ethnicity, and all the products contain ingredients sourced from Latin America. Plus, the offerings are formulated with traditional hair treatments in mind—the scalp oil Aceite de Moska, for instance, was inspired by an oil used for haircare in the Dominican Republic. The aim? To address frizziness, give life to curls, and accentuate the hair’s natural shape, with an emphasis on scalp health. But the line, which debuted with the Aceite de Moska in October 2020, isn’t just for curly hair; the latest release, the Pequi Curl Activator, also doubles as a smoothing primer. Four W editors gave the full collection (which consists of the Aceite de Moska, Pequi Curl Activator, Tratamiento de Damiana aromatherapy roller, and a scalp massager,) a shot, and logged their honest answers.

Brooke Marine, Associate Digital Editor

What is your natural hair type?

My hair is very curly; I’d say about a 3C curl pattern.

What hair issues afflict you? How do you combat them?

I deal with the usual curly hair frustrations—frizz, tangles, etc. My hair is also really thick so I am always looking to give my curls as much definition as possible so that everything looks and feels healthy. I make sure I properly condition my hair—without over conditioning, which is something I am generally trying to manage. I want the curls to be defined and bouncy but I don’t want too much product buildup! I also like to do the occasional hair mask and add jojoba oil to my scalp.

I am a Pattern Beauty convert—the shampoo, conditioner and gel have all been game-changers for me (and so has the shower brush, to be honest). It’s one of the few brands of curly hair shampoo and conditioning products that have worked for me lately.

Describe your experience using each of the Ceremonia products.

The scalp massager is incredibly invigorating and I’ll definitely be using it to scrub my scalp every time I’m in the shower—for all eternity. With the scalp oil, I would use that about twice a week. At first, I tried putting it on 15 minutes before I showered and washed my hair, but I found that oiling up my scalp at night, then washing it all out the following morning worked better. My hair felt healthy and smelled good after using the scalp oil, though not entirely sure whether it reduced frizz. The curl activator, however, was really useful for definition and keeping things bouncy. I used that on my hair after shampooing and conditioning and then let everything air dry.

Would you use Ceremonia again in the future?

Yes, I’d use this again. It smells really nice and gave my curls a good amount of definition and shine. I’d be interested to try out a shampoo or conditioner, too, if the brand starts making them.

Andrea Whittle, Features Editor

What is your natural hair type?

Wavy-curly and fine, dry at the ends, and occasionally oily at the roots.

What hair issues afflict you? How do you combat them?

I experience the occasional bout of frizz or limpness, static in the winter, sun- and salt-related dryness in the summer. So I tend to avoid heat styling, and use the occasional clarifying shampoo—like Moroccanoil or Klorane shampoo, or L’Huile de Leonor Greyl as a pre-shampoo treatment (mostly in the summer)—paired with a rich conditioner, and Kerastase Oleo-Relax serum on the lengths. I also just started taking the Moon Juice hair vitamins—unclear whether they’re doing anything yet, but hoping to regain some of the thickness I feel like I’ve lost over the past year.

Describe your experience using each of the Ceremonia products.

I love pretty much everything about them, from the cheerful packaging to the light, non-greasy consistency. I’ve been applying a few droppers full of the Aceite de Moska every few days, (usually before I work out so that it has a bit more time to absorb before I shampoo) and my hair has been noticeably glossier and bouncier lately—even on the dryest, most static-y days, it looks fresh instead of fluffy. I was a little bit wary of the curl activator, because most styling products tend to leave me feeling sticky and weighed down, but it’s super lightweight and moisturizing, almost like a diet leave-in conditioner. I can’t say my waves looked any more defined than that usually do, but they felt taken care of. The one thing that didn’t quite do it for me is the Tratamiento de Damiana—the tropical scent works nicely in a hair treatment, but it’s a little too cloying for me to use as an aromatherapy roller on my skin.

Would you use Ceremonia again in the future?

Absolutely. The Aceite de Moska in particular is going to replace my Leonor Greyl oil for good as a pre-treatment—it’s lighter in texture, more portable, less expensive, and yields better results. Once summer rolls around, I’ll keep a bottle in my beach bag to protect my hair from salt water.

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

What is your natural hair type?

The type that drives me crazy…it’s very inconsistently wavy and frizzy. I’ve been straightening it every day for ages.

What hair issues afflict you? How do you combat them?

I can’t bear to think about how much of my life I’ve wasted agonizing over, and straightening, my hair. I shaved my head last year and completely loved it, and am now in this awful holding zone of growing it out. It basically looks like a helmet. I gave in and shaved it again a few months later and have been dying to again, but also don’t want to go through the growing-out process again.

I got a keratin treatment a couple of years ago, which I completely adored, though of course it only lasted for so long. I’ve always kept it simple with a hair straightener, but since having short hair I’ve instead turned to a tight beanie to flatten it. I don’t have much of a preference at all with shampoo and conditioner, brand-wise—I just look for the most moisturizing but still affordable option of the latter. I occasionally use Tresemmé keratin smooth serum, and that’s about it.

Describe your experience using each of the Ceremonia products.

First things first, I loved the packaging, the sort of herby smell, and the lack of stickiness on my hands after use. I ultimately loved the scalp oil, which makes my hair super soft, but it was strange to sleep in—I woke up this morning thinking I desperately needed to shower before remembering it was the product, not grease. And the first time I used the curl activator, it actually did make my hair greasy because I put way too much in (I’m still unclear on how much to use). As for the scalp massager, it wasn’t really doing it for me—I would prefer it if the teeth weren’t rubber—and the same goes for the Tratamiento de Damiana.

Since my hair is in a very awkward stage right now, I asked my roommate to also give them all a go. She’s very, very much a fan of all of the products, including the Tratamiento. While the products are more expensive than she’d like, she’s still planning to give the gift of “consistent good hair days” to herself and her sister.

Would you use Ceremonia again in the future?

Overall, my hair definitely looks healthier. I plan to continue to use the scalp oil and try out the curl activator again when I have longer hair—it made my usually scraggly rat tail into a defined curl. As for the scalp massager, I’m tempted to recycle it.

Maridelis Morales Rosado, Assistant Visuals Editor

What is your natural hair type?

🌊

What hair issues afflict you? How do you combat them?

I’ve been on quite the hair journey these last couple of months, because my hair tends to have a lot of volume/frizz, and my waves don’t retain their form and will flatten into an amorphous blob throughout the week. For a while, I’ve also experienced more hair loss than usual. (I’ve heard that boiling cinnamon sticks in a pot of water, soaking your hair in the water for 6 hours, washing it off, and repeating this process a few weeks later, reduces hair loss significantly. I only tried it once, but it did wonders for me.)

Since I grew up in Puerto Rico’s tropical climate, I thought I had to accept my frizzy hair fate. To fight the hair demons, I’ve tried tons of different shampoos, conditioners, leave-in-conditioners, oils, and sprays—to no avail. Currently, I use Olaplex’s shampoo and conditioner, plus the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector pre-wash treatment, plus the Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother leave-in treatment. Thankfully, this combination is doing God’s work, so I’m on the lookout for products to give my hair that final chef’s kiss.

Describe your experience using each of the Ceremonia products.

My roots tend to feel heavy just one day post-wash, so the hair oil combined with the scalp massager were the winners for me. After a couple of uses, my roots felt lighter, shinier, and bouncier. I’ve seen an improvement in my wave definition after a few uses of the Pequi Curl activator, but was expecting a bit more out of it. I really enjoyed the serum texture the product has, the organic smell, and how light it feels in my hair. I’m still not sure what results I’m supposed to see with the Damiana aromatherapy roller; I felt like the scent faded away quickly.

Would you use Ceremonia again in the future?

For sure, the Aceite de Moska and Pequi Curl Activator are going to be a medicine cabinet staple of mine for a long time.

Related: Can Sisley’s Hair Rituel Balm Replace an In-Salon Deep Treatment?