BEVERLY HILLS—What do you tell your plump-lipped, chubby-cheeked daughter with curls down to her bum? Her peers are stick-thin and tight-lipped, boasting perfectly straight shoulder-length hair. They are the standard of beauty, she’s not.
You do the only thing you can for your distraught princess. You appease her, finding the best hair product to relax her nagging curls. You buy her a flat iron so she can be relieved of the curls for a few fleeting hours. You tell her to lose weight so the chubby-cheeks melt into the chiseled features of her dreams.
That’s what my mother did. Though she didn’t permit her little girl to go on a diet, she found the the best hair product for me on the market: Nexus Versastyler.
It had a liquid feel, a powerful defrizzing effect that didn’t weigh down my hair. The product, in fact, wasn’t even specifically billed for curly hair. Nevertheless, it was my cosmetic magic from age six onward.
After shampooing, I added the nexus versastyler and brushed my hair through to the ends. After my hair dried, I’d simply scrunch it up a few times and boom! The little girl had picture-perfect hair.
The frizz was gone. The hair was smooth and the curls were separated by the formula. It was amazing. This became a regular product in our home. If we traveled somewhere without bringing it, beware that I would hide inside until someone brought it to me. My parents would have to drive from salon to salon until the magic recipe was found.
In all my years, this is the only product I couldn’t survive without. My mum soon learned to stash backup bottles for me. I couldn’t wash my hair without it. It was necessary. More necessary than water or chocolate.
I began to feel my curly hair could be pretty. I rarely went a week without being complimented on my hair. I would openly share my secrets: olive oil, coconut oil and then Versastyler. It was magical.
People loved my suggestions, hoping their hair would look as grand as mine did. I was finally at peace with my natural, God-given hair! The compliments boosted my self-confidence.
When I was 12, I panicked when local salons dropped the product. Luckily, we were able to find it in CVS or Riteaid for significantly cheaper than the salons had charged. Pharmacies charged a mere $13 per ten ounce bottle. Each bottle lasted a few months, a cheap solution to my frizzy dilemma.
However, in May 2012, panic struck once more when I could no longer find Nexus Versastyler in local pharmacies.
The drought began while on holiday in Lake Arrowhead. I thought it was due to scarce cosmetic supplies in the mountain community. I didn’t think much of it until I came down the mountain to discover the product had been discontinued everywhere.
I went in search of a supply that was no where to be found. I drove to multiple stores before being told the horrible words: it had been discontinued!
Mortified, I made a connection with Nexus headquarters to confirm my worst fear. It had indeed been universally discontinued. Since then, I have searched desperately for a replacement.
Nexus offered us a coupon for their replacement product, Omnistyler, a formula that does curly hair no justice. It’s terrible, crunchy, and weighs the hair down.
Since being discontinued, I have purchased bottles from EBay for hefty prices of up to $75 per bottle. The bottles I’ve found don’t feel like the real product. They smell funny and it’s always a gamble that my hair will turn out well.
I’m now where I began as a five-year-old, desperately buying every curly hair product I can find. Nothing seems to work. I never know how my hair will end up. Will it be frizzy, straight, curly, or a flat-out afro? It’s always a guessing game!
If you have ever used Versastyler and want to see it remade, please join our facebook group. We will contact you when we find a way to get them to reconsider the loss of this great product.
UPDATE (6/11/2021): We are in the process of remaking a small batch of Versastyler. If you want to get on the list, please email email@example.com.