Especially when you are new to going natural, it’s easy for you to sucked into product hype. The number one thing that newly naturals fall for is that they should only use organic or “all natural” natural hair products. Regardless if a product is all natural or not, if it works for your hair use it. In fact, some synthetic ingredients do a better job at penetrating our hair than “all natural” products do.
There are no absolute product brands that you must have, but these are the kinds of products that you should definitely have:
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Shampoo – You want to go with a shampoo that does not contain sulfates. Sulfates strip the hair of its natural oils and end up leaving it dry. This is why women of color often associate washes with dryness, it most cases its not the water itself that is drying to the hair, its the products that are being used.
(See Examples of Shampoos to Try)
Conditioning is probably one of the most important aspects of your hair care routine because it replenishes the protein that we lose in our hair on a daily basis. When you make conditioning a part of your regimen you will notice overtime more strengthened hair and it also aids with your hair’s ability to retain moisture.
(See Examples of Conditioners to Try)
Water based moisturizer – A good moisturizer will have water as its first ingredient. Keep in mind that greases with mineral oil or petroleum are not moisturizers they are sealants and not very good ones either. In fact, mineral oil or petroleum may coat the hair preventing moisture from penetrating the hair. You want to choose a moisturizer that contains humectants or ingredients like aloe which is a super curl friendly product.
(See Examples of Moisturizers to Try)
While coconut oil has been said to have moisturizing properties, the purpose of oils and butters overall is to seal moisture into the hair, not to moisturize it. Nevertheless, you will find having a good oil to be a necessary part of your product collection. Jojoba oil has a similar composition to sebum, a natural oil that is found on the scalp making it a great option for sealing moisture in. Coconut oil is good to use before you wash your hair to protect it from dryness.
Curl Friendly Product Ingredients:
To know which products have a good PH balance you can judge it according to the ingredients that are used in the product and then learning what their levels are or you can buy PH testing strips ( A product with a PH level between 3.5 to 7 is preferable).
The battle of the Alcohols
While some alcohols are drying to the hair, some actually work well to strengthen our hair like Cetyl Alcohol. Short Chain alcohols such as SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol are a group that you may want to be cautious of. Just be sure to pay attention to how high they are on your product ingredient label are they closer to the top or the bottom? This will tell you how potent this ingredient is in the product that you are purchasing.
Finding What Works for You
Pay attention to how the product is working out for you. Is it keeping your hair moisturized? Is it flaking it out? Researching what product ingredients to look out for can help you to narrow down a product that will most likely produce the most benefit for you. However, the most important aspect of finding a product that works for you is using your own judgement.
Looking for a starting point? Check out our product recommendations page for products you may want to try.
What’s In the Guide
#1 Why to Go Natural
#2 What You Should Know About Natural Hair
#3 How to go from Relaxed to Natural Hair
#4 Know Your Hair Type
#5 What’s Your Hair Porosity Type
#6 What Products Do I Need?
#7 How to Create a Natural Hair Regimen
#8 Natural Hair FAQ