Is that Your Hair?
That question doesn’t offend me. Neither does “can I touch your hair?” I get it. Over the years, I’ve seen a few heads of hair I’ve wanted to touch. I didn’t know, until way too late in a brown skinned woman’s life, that Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance” hair wasn’t hers. I would have had hope, at a very young age, that I could buy curls and colors. By the time Niki Minaj came along, I’d caught on to the color part.
So, when I get questions about my hair it’s usually an opportunity for me to help someone else find hope for hers. Is that Your hair? Is usually followed up with ‘so, what do you use on it?’ This post is about some of those products.
Some things to keep in mind as you read through this information:
1. I like heavy conditioners.
2. My hair is super dry and the texture changes throughout
3. I prefer products that are lauryl sulfate, mineral oil and dye free (but sometimes I'm desperate)
4. You will give or throw some fails away. Finding products that work for YOU is a process (just like changing your habits with food). And once you find something that works you’ll want to start shopping around for a back-up because your hair will probably change its mind and fall out of love with whatever it is you fell in love with.
My favorite leave-in conditioner is Kinky Curly’s Knot Today. You can find it at Target for about 12$. I think this is the only product that I’ve been able to work with for years on end with consistently great results. The shampoo in the line was too harsh for my hair.
Currently, I’m using Wen’s cleansing conditioner. I like this line a lot. It really does build up in such a way that I end up needing less as time goes on. There are specific directions on the packaging. Give them a try before improvising.
When I find a conditioner that I like, I often use it as my leave-in. Over time this creates build up (different from the desirable Wen buildup) and it’s important to have a good cleanser that does not strip. I will use apple cider vinegar as a rinse sometimes but that’s for another post. I also like doTERRA’s shampoo for a deeper cleanse without stripping action.
Organix is a line that I go to off and on. I started with the coconut shampoo and conditioner. I like them both. They’ve also introduced the coconut water line and I’ve had good results with that as well. The kukui line is a good choice also. I tried the Moroccan argan creème and it wasn’t great for me partly because the aroma is so perfumey and I’m not a fan. Second to that, it didn’t hydrate my hair the way I like, but it may work well for you.
Recently, I discovered Sukin Organics at Marshall’s. That line is free of all kinds of things we want out of our personal care products. It’s free of synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, mineral oils, dyes and more. It’s also a vegan product. I tried the conditioner and it wasn’t quite rich enough for my hair but, it is a lovely conditioner and may work for those of you who prefer a lighter touch.
There’s also a company you can order from online called Paradise Naturals. I haven’t used this line myself but it comes to me highly recommended and the ingredients are on the clean end of things. Maybe you can check it out and let me know what you think.
I am not immune to hair product desperation and a tight budget. I’ve had good luck with Suave coconut conditioner and Dove and Pantene moisturizing conditioners. These are NOT clean ingredient products, but they are crazy cheap and available just about everywhere.
It’s important to take into consideration, your water hardness/softness. Hard water makes for hard, brittle hair. Soft water makes for challenging shampoo removal. The state of your water may be impacting your hair.
Also, what you eat impacts your hair. It’s not to say that you can’t enjoy your Doritos (and this isn't the best snack choice anyway) and have pretty tresses, but quality EFA’s and macro and micro nutrients will likely make a big difference if you aren’t already eating well.
I’m going to close here. This is a long and ongoing conversation that adjusts each time I discover something that works well, address my water challenges, change my diet, protect my hair from cotton pillowcase and the elements, etc.
I may get organized around this topic and make it an ongoing series…
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road does not mean they are lost."