Like many new naturals I got sucked into the notion that certain products were needed to achieve hair goals. I had to use specific shampoos, multiple conditioners, moisturizers and styling products depending on the season and how much definition I needed, oils the covered the alphabet and a few supplements because my hair needed a boost in growing. I had the idea, but I was a little off.
Now every product does have a specific purpose, however that does not mean it is absolutely necessary in order to get the results you are looking for. Let's examine each category:
Shampoos: The purpose of a shampoo is to cleanse the hair and scalp removing any product build-up that has developed from the previous wash. As long as your shampoo is doing this it is doing its job. Some people like to avoid sulfates in their shampoos as they are credited with "over-cleaning" and causing dry hair which can lead to breakage. Even in this case, there are many brands catering to natural hair that offer sulfate-free options at affordable costs.
At home alternative: apple cider vinegar and water
Conditioners: The purpose of conditioner is to return your hair to its normal pH level after washing. This helps fight frizz, tangles, split ends and breakage while also adding some shine and moisture. If you'd like there are pH strips available to test the pH levels of products you use. (I personally don't have the time and just go by the feeling of my hair to choose a good conditioner.) Some people avoid silicones as they can cause a build-up on hair and scalp and prevent proper moisturizing. Again there are several options available at varying cost.
At home alternative: There are several that I will discuss in a later post.
Hair supplements: Supplements are meant to replace any nutrients that are necessary in growing hair. These are vitamins and minerals that we all get from foods we eat, however if you have a deficiency the supplements will help. With that being said, if you do not have a deficiency the body does not store a large amount of vitamins and minerals and any excess vitamins will be excreted in your urine.
At home alternative: balanced diet and WATER!!!
Styling products and moisturizers: The purpose of styling products varied, but mostly to lock in moisture or aid in creating different hairstyles. Many times these types of products have multiple uses. A good moisturizer will leave the hair soft and manageable. A good combo product will provide the benefits of a moisturizer as well as some hold to keep styles in place. This will vary on personal preference and can become a trial and error phase until you find what works for you. I would recommend trying sample sizes or travel sizes as they are less expensive and if you do not like the product there is not a bunch left over.
At home alternatives: natural oils, avocado, honey and flax-seed gel.After going through months of trying every product I saw in the drug store, hair store or online I realized after I had a few things I absolutely love, I didn't need a bunch of products to maintain my hair and achieve growth goals.
Are you a PJ (product junkie)?
How do you go about trying new products?
Have you made any of you own products?
What are your staple products?
Find Zaakirah’s blog, Kinky Mane, here.