The subject of product use for natural hair can be long and extensive. Mostly because the subject is still developing and since we are all different, what works for you may not work for another. What I hope to do is make some of the options more clear-cut. Please, if there are any questions-leave a comment and I will make sure to answer.
During my research on what I should use for my hair…confusion set in. There were so many ways to be natural and so many natural products to choose from.
There are those who feel that only natural (organic) products should be used. There are also those who are fine with the non-natural based products and their hair flourishes just right. I’m not too sure on where I fall in-just because I’m still trying to figure it out.
I would love to follow an Ayurvedic Hair Care regimen (native to India) which uses natural herbs, powders, oils to increase hair health, thickness and length.
I currently use henna but I am still in search for cost-effective ways to alter my regimen completely. The reason that I would prefer this regimen is because it is as natural as it gets (from my research), I would be in control of MY hair’s wants and desires-I would be able to control the ingredients in my products AND I’ve learned from experience that the home-made recipes are more cost-effective because the ingredients used tend to last longer.
I will definitely do a post on this type of regimen. I am also hoping to incorporate some more Ayurvedic techniques for my hair. I will demonstrate my henna application in about 2 weeks.
In general, I am a fan of home-made products. I can be sure that each product is actually effective for my hair. I can modify any recipe to my liking as I am doing it. The only down side that I can find is that it takes some labour, not much-but some. Once you know what ingredients you want to include-the rest is pretty quick.
As I mentioned in an earlier post my concerns with my hair are simple.
To be cleansed, moisturized and protected.
The Moisture part is the most important since it provides elasticity to our hair. Our hair is curly, coily, kinky but also dry naturally. The only way to manipulate the curl, coil or kink without breaking it would be to make it more elastic…hence moisture.
The #1 form of moisture is water. That’s it….most natural source of moisture is water. Therefore I learned early on that I would have to accept water at all times. It is required.
The next best, most natural source of moisture would be from natural oils/essential oils.
Therefore most hair grease/pomade was out of the question for me. Petroleum, mineral oils, silicones coat the hair and do not allow water (moisture) in. Essential oils and natural based oils (or fats) are absorbed by the skin and hair-therefore they do not coat the hair-they allow more moisture in.
I did more research, made a few concoctions at home and I am now pretty sure of what my hair likes.
Home-made Products include:
Apple Cider Vinegar + water in a spray bottle. Spray your hair, making sure not to get any in your eyes. Saturate the hair, pay attention to the scalp, rub and rinse. Apple Cider Vinegar will strip your hair of build-up and not essentials oils in your scalp or hair.
Baking Soda + water, apply creamy paste to scalp and scrub. You do not need a bowl full, maybe a palm full for your entire scalp. The granules of the baking soda will scrub your scalp of any build-up and will rinse away clean from your stands. This method does not strip your scalp and hair of essential oils.
These options can replace shampoo completely. A lot of naturals follow a no-poo method meaning no shampoo. I use conditioner alone to wash my hair about 90% of the time. Using either ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) of baking soda to cleanse your scalp and hair will give your hair that clean feeling without being stripped.
Home-made conditioner- mashed avocado, natural plain full-fat yogurt, coconut milk, olive oil, coconut oil, honey.
These ingredients are great for hair. They add moisture, smell good and are natural.
Honestly, although I like trying new home-made conditioners, I usually use a store bought conditioner and add whatever I feel may help at the time.
My go-to conditioners are:
V05 Naturals line (coconut and strawberry are my favorite scents). This conditioner is cheap ($1.99) and does well. This conditioner is limited for my hair since it is not that creamy. With this conditioner I would definitely add some other ingredients.
Herbal Essences Hello Hydration-This one stands alone. I have nothing bad or negative to say. This conditioner is a great price for a family size at Walmart. An amazing smell and amazing results. I would use this conditioner just to wash and/or deep condition. For deep conditioning I may add oils….but most times not.
I also love J/A/S/O/N conditioners (Biotin is my favourite so far). Natural product, good price at Loblaws organic section. Thick and creamy-perfect for my hair.
I am stuck on Giovanni Leave-In Direct. It is a cream (for my hair the creamier the better). A very small amount goes a very long way. A dime-size amount will moisturize a quarter section of my hair. It lasts for months. Best price I’ve found is at Loblaws in the organic section. I believe my current bottle has been with me for 6 months or so-and I use it weekly.
In a spray bottle I add Filtered water (approx ½ -3/4 cup), rosemary essential oil (maybe 5 drops), almond oil (maybe 5 tablespoons), glycerin (maybe 1-2 tablespoons) and l’huile de palma christie (this is a Haitian oil comparable to Jamaican Black Castor oil).
This spritz leaves my hair soft, light and fluffy. It is moisturized for at least 2 days before re-spritzing.
To Protect my hair-
I consider keeping moisture “in” my hair as a way of protecting it. I use sealants to “seal” in moisture.
I cleanse then moisturize but I need to do something to try to keep the moisture in for as long as naturally possible…therefore heavier oils will seal in the water and moisturizer I added to my hair.
My #1-liquid gold-miracle is Raw African Shea Butter. The moment I heard about this and the reviews I had to try it out and its stuck with me since returning back to my natural hair. It really made me think-funny how what is best for us is located in African-where we are from.
I will definitely dedicate a post to Shea Butter and all its splendour-but for now just know its natural and DA BOMB.
Whipped African Shea Butter is my #1 sealant. This magic holds the moisture in for days-and for me provides more moisture. It is great for setting my hair in twists or braids. It make my skin so soft, its not greasy, it absorbs in my skin….the list goes on.
(Another method or protecting our hair is to leave it alone (extensions/weaves) and make sure it is not in contact with any surfaces that will cause friction. Protection from the environment (sun/cold wind) as well is helpful.)
I hope this helps…please feel free to comment, add, share and ask any questions you may have!