Whenever I meet new naturals they ask the question I often asked my natural friends when I first did the big chop; “What products do you use?” Very quickly into the whole being natural process you realize that the products you used to use may not work with your hair in it’s natural state as well as they did when your hair was straight.
Another common question is “What can I use to make my hair soft?” Again this goes back to your choice of products, some don’t really help while others work very well.
I’m still in the process of learning what works and experimenting but I’ll share what I’ve learnt so far and what I use. If you have any tips or comments for me feel free to share! We can all learn from each other’s experiences. 🙂 So I’ll go through my products group by group and explain how I use them.
Shampoo and Conditioner
When I first went natural I used ORS Olive oil shampoo with any conditioner I could get my hands on. Then at the suggestion of a friend I began to use Organics shea butter enriched shampoo and conditioner. I stuck with that for a while because it was affordable and produced fairly good results. Currently I’m finishing off my Organics conditioner and moving on to Tresemme Naturals shampoo and conditioner. I’m very happy with Tresemme and though it is quite costly it works very well. However if the price is too much for you feel free to mix it up with any other cheap but good conditioner of your choice. Dark and lovely Cholesterol is a good alternative, as is ORS hair mayonnaise and Organics shea butter conditioner. I have found that more often than not the expensive shampoos and conditioners we’ve often passed in the aisles are the best ones, such as : Pantene, Head and shoulders, Tresemme, Schwarzkopf, L’Oreal etc. I am yet to hear a black female,whether natural or relaxed, complain about any of these products. However they are quite expensive so you may not be able to use them regularly.
I am not a fan of the Dark n Lovey moisturizer or the ORS Olive oil moisturizing hair lotion however I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. Instead I found an empty Soft wave moisturizer spray bottle and used it to concoct a mix of the two moisturizers, water and Indian coconut oil. Whenever my hair seems a little dry or when I’m twisting it I spray some of it on. The ORS Olive oil cream and JO’M cinnamon and jojoba moisturizer are new additions to my little arsenal. I mix them together and use them to moisturize my hair after washing and conditioning. I also use the JO’M on my edges to prevent thinning. I am happy with the JO’M product thus far and will continue to use it. However as soon as the Olive oil cream is finished I plan to ditch it and get ORS Carrot oil cream instead.
Styling products and sprays
I went into a styling frenzy when I first went natural because I was excited however it has waned over time. I got the Fantasia IC Olive hair polisher with the aim of defining my curls and achieving a hair texture similar to this. However I’m very lazy and every time I start, I do a small section then give up- that’s why the jar is still full. The little Tresemme bottle is a heat protectant spray which I will be using on my hair next week before straightening it with a flat iron and trimming it. I opted for the tiny travel size bottle because I won’t use it often. The L’Oreal Elvive mousse is also for defining curls and since the application of it is much faster than the Fantasia IC Olive hair polisher I have successfully used it once before. The only problem with it is you need A LOT of mousse to get the desired effect. The Olive oil sheen spray I think I have only used once, I should probably give it away. The JO’M orange oil softening spray is for daily use similar to the home made moisturizer spray I mentioned above.
I love my Coconut oil!!! I use coconut oil for sealing my hair. Sealing is basically trapping moisture within your hair by using an oil or butter.It is not a technique limited to those with natural hair, even those with relaxed hair do it. To seal you need to start with wet/damp hair, therefore I usually do this after shampooing and conditioning. While it’s damp you apply a moisturizer of your choice; I use my ORS Olive oil cream and JO’M cinnamon and jojoba moisturizer mix. Then you apply a “top coat” of a sealing oil or butter. Oils you can use include : Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado oil etc, the list is a long one. Basically if it is a natural oil, you can use it. Your other option is a butter eg Shea butter or Mango butter. The aim of this is too keep the moisture in your hair which helps keep it soft and prevents it from drying out. I had shea butter in the early days of my fro however it is finished now so I moved on to coconut oil. The MPL coconut oil in the picture above has sulphur in it and I dislike the tingly feeling it gives me on my scalp so I don’t use it anymore, I’ll probably end up throwing it away. The Indian coconut oil on the far right in the picture is satisfactory; I use it as an ingredient in my home made spray. The coconut oil in the middle is pure coconut oil, so it is also edible and can be used in cooking. That is the one I use for sealing. However I would really like to find a butter because the results from using a butter were much better than using an oil. Until then, the coconut oil will do.
And that’s it! I hope I have been of some help!
I now LOVE buying hair products and can literally spend hours in a hair care aisle studying ingredients and such. I get attracted to anything claiming to be natural and if it’s new I’ll want to give it a go. But I’m trying to curb my enthusiasm and finish what I have first! Clicks Pharmacy especially will be the death of me.