Monday, 9 April 2012

Product Review & Rave: Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly

What? Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls Scrunching Jelly Works on Coily Type 4 Hair?! No way!

Man.. I dunno why I'm even sharing this. As I'm at risk of having entire shelves cleared out completely.  Please ladies, if this works for you as it has for me, do leave some for me. Pretty please.
                                         If those puss in boots eyes don't work. Nothing will!

What brought this to my attention was how revered this jelly was by quite a number of looser curlies. You only had to go on Boots website to see the vast number of reviews to understand that this had cult classic status. Curiosity got the best of me, as I started to notice that I shared a mutual love for certain conditioners with some of these looser curlies on a hair forum I frequent :p. So I felt, why the heck not. This just goes to show that hair type alone is really not a sole indicator of how efficient a product may be on your hair.
When I used to see this jelly on the shelf I would dismiss it for several reasons:
 1.) I didn't think it was thick enough for my hair.
 2.) The puny 200ml pink tube looked like something that would only be enough for half of my head and 3.) Priced at almost £5, for just 200ml, there was no way I was even going to go there.
That was until I meandered into Boots one day, while the 3 for 2 on hair care offer was on. That was it. I had quite a few quid on my advantage card so I was ready for a gamble. That blasted cute bright pink tube had me finally.

Marketing speech
"Long Lasting curl creator for defined sassy smooth curls. Still our favourite look for curls. This long-lasting curl definer will de-frizz, shine and create sexy romantic curls."

Ingredients for Umberto Giannini Flirty Curls  Scrunching Jelly
Aqua, xanthan gum, glycerin, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, acylates/palmeth-25 acylate copolymer, polyquaternium-11, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, sodium benzoate, dipropylene glycol, aminomethyl propanol, sodium methyparaben, parfum, benzophenone-4, coumarin, butylphenyl methypropional, alpha-isomethyl ionone, linalool, CI 17200

The 1st four ingredients work on my hair.  I must add that Phenoxyethanol the antimicrobial preservative is subject to controversial debates regarding it's toxcity.  I thought I should include this note as it's quite high up in the ingredients list.  (Dastychova, 2008). It was recently followed up on as an alternative to parabens when the parabens scare was at it's peak. So if you prefer natural ingredients, this may not be the one for you. As for me, I am used to debates in scientific circles.  Until evidence is conclusive, then I shall continue to use this. As for polyquaternium build up. I don't experience that with this product. It rinses out quite well & washes out easily for me.

Bright pink tube.  I find this quite annoying, I wish it came in a jar or with a pump. Since I tend to apply the product in several sections, I need to return back to the tube each and every time I need some more. This texture is quite slimy so I get it everywhere on the tube each time I reach for it. This bugs me.

Definitely jelly-like, translucent with a pink overtone. Can be quite sticky, not surprising as xanthum gum & glycerin are two major ingredients so that was expected. Goes on slippery on my hair and gives me enough slip to ensure at least one quick rake before it starts to stiffen my hair. It even foams, but watch out for that. I notice I get foamy bits if I use too much and this may leave a slight grey spot. So use sparingly. You can tell the texture is quite resilient and concentrated, because I really wanted to rinse my hands afterwards because they felt coated. (Though that's how I am with most products.)

I have a love and hate relationship. On some days, I can't get enough of the scent. On others, I wish they could have gone a bit easy on the scent. It's sweet, maybe like bubble-gum? ( I'll be quick to state that this association could simply be made because of the pink tube. Argh! The power of branding!), then it's slightly reminiscent of vaguely androgynous  musky cologne. Sorry. I tried.

                  Umberto Giannini Scrunching Jelly  Review On my hair
I have been sleeping on this. BIG TIME. Sleep no more I shall!  Why am I crazy about this jelly? Like I said on nc earlier.  To me, It's a posher better marketed curl activator with HOLD. Yes it clumps my coils like a curl activator during application and eventually holds them in place when dried. I love my curl activators, but those babies have virtually no hold alone, So when faced with some shower steam the next morning, it's POOF like that creepy cat from Alice in Wonderland.  Though curl activators go wonderfully with Ecostyler Gel on Type 4 hair especially, I'll save that for another post.
What is the hold like? It's not helmet head mad stiff. But it's stiff and very firm, and has the potential to be crispy if applied too heavy handedly. It definitely leaves some crunch hence the scrunching in the name! Lol! It elongates my coils a lot before drying. I have never tried anything that made my hair  look like this. Ever. It's like it clumps my coils into much smaller groups, more representative of my actual texture. Get it?
Ok, think of what twist out's do. They clump hair into big groups right? Think Chunky Kitkat for twists/twist outs (I dunno why that's the 1st thing that popped into my head, blame Easter Eggs), while this jelly groups my hair into much smaller groups like Twiglets (again blame Easter. And no I do not advocate having chocolate and twiglets together.)
Since it clumps my coils in such smaller groups I know that I need to let this stuff really dry before trying to SOTC, otherwise it's instant coil-orgy = tangles. It gives great shine. I can easily get 3days with this jelly and by the 2nd day any hint of crunch is gone leaving the glycerin to take over resulting in extra soft still defined hair!  Again when it's time to get it out of my hair, I find that it washes out very easily.
Anyways apart from making you peckish or hungry. I hope you get the picture. . It just goes to show again that there are great products on the high street. Not everything has to be brought over from the States or even ordered online! This jelly is joining my Staples Group to be stocked up on during 3 for 2 offers! More pics here 

Dastychova et. al. (2008) - Contact hypersensitivity to selected excipients of dermatological topical preparations and cosmetics in patients with chronic eczema. Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Panonica, et Adriatica 


  1. so, I love this, but only for day one. It seems to make my hair feel....bad...on the second day. Like the curls have been glued together, and so feel dry and weird. Do you have any suggestions, because I have not found a product to beat it on day one.

    thought, it's possible I'm just using too much :-D

    1. Have you tried a very light spritz of water on day 2 hair?
      I have noticed that it can leave a dull caste if I apply too much on my hair.

  2. I've tried, and though it looks ok, it feels horrible. sad times...