When I started trying to take care of my hair, I would ask my friends with long hair how they managed to grow their hair out. They’d tell me the hair products and I’d go out and buy them. Try it out for a few months the head back to buy some other product because it wasn’t working. After doing this repeatedly without positive results, I decided to take a different approach; understanding MY hair! Our lack of knowledge about our hair for the most part is what causes most of our frustrations. I found some tips which work for me and I’d like to share them with you. These tips are not cast in stone but they are what worked for me. By the end of this piece, I hope you’d be able to share some product tips as well.
Rule #1 Understand and accept your hair. Your hair can only do what it is capable of doing. When I started working on my hair, almost everyone recommended Dark and Lovely products to me raving about how miraculous they were. Somehow, no matter how much I used it (with my healthy hair regimen) it just didn’t seem to work out. Now that’s not to say D & L products aren’t good, different products work differently for different people and different hair types.
Rule #2 Separate the good from the bad. There are a million and one hair products out there to help us grow, maintain, soften or whatever goal you’re trying to achieve. Do you have an issue? There’s a product for that! However, what we fail to realize is every product works differently for each person. If you have too many hair products, you’re probably doing too much. After you’ve understood the type of hair you have, you would have a better idea of the products that you need. Most of the issues we have with hair i.e. breaking, shedding, dryness, limpness can all be solved with the right products. The first step is identifying what the issues are.
While trying to determine the right products that can take you closer to achieving healthy hair, the most important things to consider are your shampoo and conditioner. The oils come in right after but will prove useless if your shampoo and conditioner are wrong for you.
Our hair requires lots of moisture which is how regular shampooing helps. Black hair desperately needs moisture and hydration more than any type of hair. Weekly cleansing and conditioning is crucial.
A person can shampoo weekly and still notice that their scalp is dry; dry hair & scalp comes from using hair products that are not suited for your hair type. Shampoos also tend to strip the hair of its natural oils which is where a moisturizing conditioner comes in to avoid having that dry hair feel.
- Moisturizing Shampoo: These shampoos cleanse the hair gently without stripping it completely of its natural oils which is essential for our hair. You want a shampoo that can cleanse but still soften and moisturize the hair. E.g Neutrogena Triple Moisture cream lather shampoo, KeraCare moisturizing shampoo. TIP: Avoid the presence of sulfates which are the harshest detergents used to clean the hair.
- Clarifying shampoos: When you feel like your regular shampoo is no longer effective, it is time to switch to a clarifying shampoo. They are formulated to remove heavy product residue (e.g., lots of grease) E.g Carols Daughter Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo, Keratin Complex Care Shampoo
How to know when to switch? Your shampoo doesn’t lather as much and your hair feels flat with little or no movement. Then you notice your hair keeps breaking irrespective of the fact that you’ve been diligent in your balancing protein and moisture regimen. It is important to note that clarifying shampoos are a necessity for hair that is exposed to heavy oils and serums and should be used every one to two weeks.
Black hair should be conditioned after every wash in order to feed your hair with the moisture that was taken out from the washing. However, there are different types of conditioning process
Moisturizing Conditioner: Can be used alongside a moisturizing shampoo. Its job is simply to increase the moisture content of the hair. It also helps in softening the hair which makes out hair much easier to handle. For me, I find that regardless of how due for a relaxer I am, using a combination of a deep conditioner and moisturizing conditioner makes my hair easier to manage. E.g Mizani Moisturefuse Moisturizing conditioner
- Deep conditioner: Protein and moisture are the key words to look out for when choosing a deep conditioner. Proteins make sure that the hair holds onto the moisture until the next treatment which is they the deep conditioning should be done often. To ensure the best penetration of the conditioner, it is advisable to use heat (I told you heat wasn’t all bad) E.g Crème of Nature Nourishing Conditioner, KeraCare humecto Crème conditioner
- Leave-In Conditioner: Even though most people tend to ignore leave in conditioners, they are a very good source of moisture and protein. That way you have enough moisture to last you till your next wash. When choosing a leave in, make sure to get the one that focuses mainly on the issues of your hair. L’oreal EverPure Sulfate-free Moisture leave-in conditioner.
Individual results will vary with products so before you buy another hair product, remember this;
- Identify the problem
- Do your research on the hair products or ask a hair consultant
- Establish a healthy hair care regimen
- Be consistent
- Be patient.
For further questions, comments or concerns email me: [email protected]