Back in 2013, I knew I needed to switch to all natural products so my hair would be chemical free, but I had no idea what my hair liked, what it needed, nor which products were best for my own hair routine. Most of the products I used then and the ones that are being used now, I found out about through pure trial and error. Either the packaging interested me while shopping for new products, or I went off of my previous experiences of using other products from the same hair line companies while having relaxed hair before. During the natural process, if you are just starting, you will soon realize that it is more maintenance to keep up natural hair….well at least it was for me especially while having 4A +4C type hair. My hair type, you have to care for it more, if not it will dry out and break off, so what type of products I use, when I use them, and how I use them really do matter for my healthy hair growth. If you need help determining what your hair type is, check out my article on Learning Your Hair Type.
When I did the Big Chop, I was always told all kinds of stories. First it was for me to find shampoos with no sulfates in them, then it was I had to pre-poo my hair constantly or it wouldn’t grow, and then I was told to use all types of raw foods in my hair for that true natural experience. My advice to anyone starting the natural hair journey, is to do your own research. Nobody’s hair is the same. No one goes through the exact same process with their hair. Also, stop comparing your hair to others you may see on television or even your own friend’s hair. We are not all the same, our hair won’t all look the same, which means we won’t all use the same products and that is ok. I ended up doing some research of my own using google and learned all about certain chemicals and their reactions to your hair over time, then I began my own natural hair product shopping adventure.
Now me personally, I have ALWAYS been a hair product hoarder or junkie, even when I had relaxed hair. I hate the idea of running out of products I may need for my hair, but I also love the idea of trying out new product lines from time to time. I mean you never know, there could be something out that is better for me and what better way to find out than purchasing as many as possible ya know? Now, this is just my routine and sort of bad personal spending habits as a female, so I do not recommend going out and purchasing an entire hair supply store’s products from every single line. Once you find something that works well for you, please stick with it. Sometimes we may do more damage switching over to something new, than sticking with our loyal and dependable routines. The first step in having healthy hair is to have a healthy hair routine that is consistent, so it’s important to find that main product line that works well for you and stick with it. The main store I shop from for hair products for my hair would be Target. I love Target in general for everything including foods and even clothing. I would be considered that typical Target shopper who will spend over an hour in there just roaming around, checking different products out. The Cartwheel app does not make things better for me as far as my spending goes while visiting the store. They give great discounts on top of discounts, in which I recommend this app if you have never heard of it and shop at Target regularly. I have noticed that the natural hair care sections are different in each Target depending on of course whether it is your typical sized Target or if it is a Super Target. Also the location of the store changes the hair care sections from what I have experienced as well, but they mainly all have the same product lines. Even though Target is big for me, I will never give up my local neighborhood hair supply stores as well. Sometimes it may be hard for us women of color to find certain products for our hair in these corporate department stores at times, so I often shop from both.
Here are a couple product lines I typically use the most that have seemed to work the best for my hair type:
I absolutely LOVE this product line! Everything I have used from this particular line from the beginning has worked perfectly and they all smell so good! With my hair being fairly thick, and due to a lot of shrinkage, I need products that are creamy and thick themselves, especially in the winter time. All of Shea Moisture’s conditioners are super thick and creamy, I have no problem with them sitting on top of my hair like thinner products and not hitting my scalp which is great. I have even moved from not only using just their hair products, but also using some of their skin care line products as well. My favorite products from the skin care line would be the African Black Soap Bar for my face, it really cleared up my acne and faded away a lot of the dark scars from previous acne breakouts. The main shampoo and conditioner I like to use from this particular company would be the Baobab & Tea Tree Oil Low Porosity Protein Free set. It has helped a lot with my dry scalp. I often use the leave in detangler for my finger coils [new blog post will be uploaded soon on my results with it]. Of course the 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is one of my staple products that will always be used. It’s great for full body usage, but I tend to just use it for my hair. I could go on and on about this product line all day, but that is just an overview of some of the products I love from them. I will do individual posts on the progress I have made with a couple of them soon.
My first encounter with this line was while I had relaxed hair years ago during middle and high school. They have always had great products and they smell good as well. I still use them from time to time, shampoo and conditioner, but I use their styling products more than anything. I have also used some of their skin care products, including the Shea Butter Softening Body Butter Cream during the winter. One great thing about their natural hair shampoo and conditioner is that it is completely sulfate free, and clearly states it on the bottles.
This product line will always be a go to for anything dealing with my scalp. My scalp does not always agree with really greasy or oily products. If they are really greasy, my hair tends to become clumped. If they are really oily, my scalp will begin to peel for some reason due to the product build up. Organic Root Stimulator has been the only product that seems to balance the two. Some products from the line I typically use the most include the Jojoba Oil, Carrot Oil, Coconut Oil, and the Hair Fertilizer Scalp Treatment. They also have a very good neutralizer shampoo. One very popular line from this company is Olive Oil. This is a line I used the most while having relaxed hair, in fact it was the relaxer I used all throughout high school and the beginning parts of college. Since parting ways with my relaxer, I switched over to use their Monoi Oil product line. Many may not know what Monoi Oil exactly is. It comes from Tahiti, also goes by scented oil. This particular oil is a mixture of coconut oil and Tiare Flowers from Tahiti. I will do a separate post review on this product soon. The only product I don’t really care for from this line while natural would be the Olive Oil Edge Control. It was great while relaxed, but now that I am natural, it leaves a white film residue every time I use it.
4. Creme of Nature
My favorite product from the Creme of Nature line would be their Edge Control with Argan Oil. It’s light weight but thick enough to hold my edges down all day without that waxy or filmy build up happening. I have used the Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner when I did my first big chop, but as my hair became thicker, the conditioner ended up not being thick enough. It just seemed to sit on the top of my hair even when I would comb it through, never really hitting my scalp like I wanted it to. Another great thing about this line, is that their products are clearly labeled sulfate free so they won’t dry your hair out.
This is a line that was introduced to me through my mom during relaxed days as well, but they soon branched off and created a really great natural hair product line recently. These products are a little on the pricey side though, fair warning, but they are worth every penny. This is not a product line that I often use, and I have not tried out their natural line yet as well. So once I pick up some products from them, I will post another review for them individually.
I stumbled across the OGX product line while shopping in Target. The packaging is what initially caught my attention, along with the color combinations to go along with each brand choice. I use this line more in the summer time than winter, since it is a bit thinner. The conditioners are great for wash and goes, along with co-washing. My favorites or products of choice from this line would be Vitamin E conditioner, Biotin and Collagen conditioner, and Tea Tree Mint shampoo and conditioner. The weightless hydrating oil mist from Coconut Milk was great in the summer but became too light during the winter time for me. The coconut milk body lotion has been great though. I continuously use it everyday after showers and baths.
One product line that I tend to stay away from all together would be Pantene. I used to use this line when I was relaxed and it did pretty good, but when I went natural and tried out their natural hair line, it was a disaster. For some reason, anytime I used anything from them the products are left on top of my hair. Its this waxy and white film like substance. I thought I was using too much at one time and just decreased the amount I put into my hair as a solution but it didn’t help at all so I just assume my hair just does not like or agree with this particular product.
Well those are just a couple products that I use, that may be of some help to other naturalistas out there around the world. Please do keep in mind that different products work differently for different people, and these are just a sample of the products I have used so there will be more reviews posted soon on others. Thanks for reading and for more picture updates of my hair, follow me on Instagram [@k_dougde]! Thanks so much everyone, have a great day!