When it comes to natural hair care products can sometimes be a big deal. When we see beautiful curls, we immediately want to know what others are using in hopes to recreate a similar look. I’ve learned from experience that this does not always turn out well. Purchasing any natural hair products without first knowing and addressing our hair’s needs rarely works in our favor.
This cycle is how product junkies are born, and product graveyards begin. Now I’m not knocking the love and need to experiment with new products. A product junkie at heart, I own a beauty supply store. I know products matter, but I also understand that having the right products to meet your hair’s specific needs makes all the difference.
If you’re ready to focus on what your hair needs and find the natural hair products that can help meet these needs, you’re in luck! Today we’re taking a closer look at some staples of natural hair care and simple steps to intentional product selection.
What you’ll need to know
Before purchasing natural hair products, take inventory of your hair, its unique characteristics and specific needs, your climate, and your current product situation. Ask yourself, what do you currently have, and why are you looking for something else? If you’re still on a quest for your favorite products, then make sure you pay close attention to specifics about how your hair looks feels and behaves with and without products. Determine what you don’t like or what you love about what you have tried. Be mindful of ingredients as well; this will help you to avoid ingredients that don’t agree with your hair or yield the results you desire.
There are certain staples that we should all have in our product arsenals. Without them, we could not adequately care for our hair. When you’re hitting the aisle to scout for natural hair products, the addition of these staples is a must!
- Shampoo – No curl care routine is complete without it. The foundation for clean, healthy hair, this wash day staple will help create the environment your hair needs to flourish.
- Conditioner – Deep or wash out; conditioners are a great way to nourish the hair and lock in moisture. The state of your hair and it’s protein needs will help determine what type of conditioner is right for you.
- Styler – Your stylers are typically gel, cream, or foam-based products that have some level of hold. The type of styler you use and the level of hold you desire will depend on the style you’re trying to create, your hair, and your climate.
Not a necessity, but sometimes useful to have, leave-in conditioners may work well under your favorite cream or gel styler. Leave-ins are also an excellent option for curlies who want curl definition, volume, and no hold. Alone, these conditioners don’t increase the longevity of your style, but when paired with a compatible gel as a styling system can help to create curls that last.
Things to consider
Getting to know a product and how well it works on your hair requires time patience and the proper understanding of the product, its use, and your hair. When purchasing your natural hair products, consider the following:
- Shampoo – cleanses the hair and scalp by removing product buildup, sebum, and debris. The complaints surrounding shampoos can often be due to one of two things. Your hair is finally clean, and what you are experiencing is the actual surface texture of your hair, or the shampoo could be too strong. Either way, those issues can often negatively affect our opinion of the product. Learn how your hair looks and behaves when it is clean. Find shampoos that fit your needs and help to maintain the health of your hair.
- Conditioners – nourish the hair strands and provide temporary aesthetic improvements to the hair. Conditioners that are too thick, or not adequately rinsed from the hair can leave a coating on the strands that may hinder the effectiveness of your styler. The overuse/misuse of protein can have adverse effects on the hair. Examine the health of your hair and learn its needs before choosing a conditioner that is right for you.
- Stylers – help to enhance your hair’s natural curl pattern but will not create curls. Some stylers work well independently, and others work best as part of a hair care system. These products are usually most effective when used on clean hair. Get to know your styler, the directions for use, and if they are compatible with other products. Rember, that practice and mastering techniques, help improve the outcome of your styler.
Taking the time to learn how your hair should feel and behave without products is vital. The key characteristics of our hair, the health of our hair, and identifying your hair’s needs make the product selection process more manageable. Use that information to determine what products might be right for you and how to use them to improve the health of your hair.