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Jasmine Zik: Going Natural? Find Out How to Choose Your Products

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image1Whether you call it a trend, a movement, an identity or anything else, I believe going natural is one of the healthiest decision one can ever make concerning one’s body.

It not only transforms the structure of your hair and looks, it sorta transforms your mind! You become more aware of things/substances you previously ignored, begin to see benefits and disadvantages of some habits and foods you eat. It also makes you more inquisitive, careful and creative.

Stop for a moment and think about it…since you decided to go natural you’re kinda eating healthy foods, you’re reading up more articles to find out ‘how and why’ on issues relating to your hair, you’re trying out new things, aren’t you? Coming up with your own DIY for almost everything-hahahahaha… it clicked yeah?

What have you become? A scientist? A researcher? Socialist? Advocate? Healthier? You’re drinking loads of water, eating fruits and foods you didn’t care much about – at a rate that might even sound alarming considering your kind of person.

You find yourself concocting things in your kitchen like a scientist carrying out experiments in the lab that leaves everyone around you, especially the boys who don’t get it, speechless and wondering why you’re pouring stuff that’s meant to be cooked in a pot on your hair, saying it’ll make it healthy…. Yep! We all get that.

Peradventure you’re new to this- being natural-doing the big chop or transitioning and you’re feeling lost as all the info you get are overwhelming, relax! you’ll get a grasp of it very soon and quickly too.

One of the major problems we encounter is choosing products that would work. Here are a few guidelines that should help…

Know your hair and what it needs
You might need to do a few experiments at the beginning stage and you should be aware that it’s sometimes, more difficult for transitioners as they deal with two different textures. You can start with products from the same line as they were made to work together(for example, you can use shampoo, conditioner, cowash and deep conditioner from Eden Body Works,the Mane Choice or Cantu etc). Later on, you can create your own hair care regimen.
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Budget
Make a list of the basic products. It’ll help you know how much you’ll be spending; after a while you’ll get a hang of how long they last for you, then you’ll be able to tell how often you’ll be spending. Be sure to subscribe to natural hair blogs,newsletters,follow pages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to be alerted when sales are going on. That way you’ll be able to save a few bucks on products.

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Contents
After you have found out what your hair needs (find the basics here), you will need to watch out for harmful ingredients in certain products and also ingredients that your hair doesn’t work well with(watch out for reactions, a product worked for me doesn’t necessarily translate that it would work as well as it did for you).

Communicate
Read reviews on products,blogs and articles. Don’t be shy or afraid to speak to someone with gorgeous hair, who you think might help on how they achieved a style or what products they use. Share your opinions especially a new hair hack you figured out (you don’t have to start a blog,but why not! if you want to).

Make friends, Who knows? They might own products that don’t work for them but works for you. Who says no to freebies? You can even trade/swap products.

Experiment
Don’t be afraid to use DIY products sometimes, it’ll help your product last longer and save you immediate expenses. Sometimes ‘quantity’ is ‘quality’ sometimes it’s not; at other times ‘expensive’ doesn’t exactly mean ‘best’. Be sure during your experimentation periods to try out cheaper products, or ones in smaller or larger quantities, you’ll be surprised!

Photo Credit: Iamknotteebynature.com

Jasmine Zik is a Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Writer and Natural hair enthusiast. She helps individuals embrace their natural hair, finding everyday problems, solutions to issues girls/women face especially with their natural ‘unrelaxed’ hair and providing affordable products for easy management and healthier natural hair through her online platformwww.iamknotteebynature.com

48 Comments

  1. Tilda

    April 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    If I could go back in time I would never ever put a relaxer into my hair. I think relaxers should come with a health warning in bold print.

    • Me

      April 9, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Relaxers are bad if you do not know how sensitive your scalp is and if you relax too often. I’m only natural now because I’m growing my hair out to a certain length (and it’s really horrible and so hard to maintain goshhhh) once that’s done I’m relaxing my hair baybay… PS don’t use them lye relaxers if you have a sensitive scalp. Nappy hair ain’t for everybody, do what makes you feel happy and beautiful because this life is too short to spend its entirety on a “natural hair project”

    • Bebabe

      April 9, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Well, I don’t think relaxer is for everybody, some of us just don’t want to admit the damages it is doing to our hair. Regardless of the relaxer I use (at a proper salon wiith a professional, and how long I waited to relax (8 weeks or 10 weeks sometimes), I always have burns. I made the decision to go natural last year August not because it’s a trend, but to save my scalp.

    • Me

      April 10, 2016 at 12:03 am

      8-10 weeks is not a long time, infact anyone relaxing every 8-10 weeks or less is damaging their hair……..I get you, relaxers aren’t for everyone just like how milk isn’t for everybody :-/…..You probably have very very sensitive scalp therefore it’d be even harder to find a good relaxer for you and in addition to that, the 8-10 weeks thing was what was damaging your hair. I’d also add that you change the shampoos you use if you indeed want to save your scalp, yes there are shampoos and conditioners for people with sensitive scalp. Stick to having natural hair if it makes you happy but if it frustrates you in the future like it’s frustrating me right now, seek for knowledge about what works best for your hair and scalp type.

      #CarpeDiem

    • tilda

      April 10, 2016 at 12:52 am

      @ ME I respect your opinion. If you got what u call NAPPY Hair and it’s your project to alter it’s composition to whatever situation makes you happy then thats your choice i really have no interest in recruiting you or anyone into some crazy natural hair cult loool?.My comment was in reference to MYSELF and my experience of what relaxers did to MY HAIR. I feel the TERM NAPPY HAIR doesn’t apply to my situation as its a derogatory term . I feel its unfortunate that NAPPY describes your hair situation ? Pele o!
      Having my hair natural is not a FAD, scientific project, angry black woman thang or some kind of moronic fashion statement . It just me knowing what’s best for ME. So yes, do you babe because I’m most certainly doing what’s best for me?

    • Bluebell

      April 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

      @ ME maybe you should take your own advise and seek out knowledge on what could keep your natural hair healthy and easy to groom. That’s what this article is all about. In the 80s relaxers were on everyone’s menu these Days must people of Africans origins do not use relaxer, as there are safer ways to add versatility to your styles . At uni we use weaves, or hot irons to straighten. Besides giving you fine fine hair do you know the long term effect using relaxers has on your health. Relaxers very much like bleaching creams get into your internal organs through your pores. You are aware that relaxers open up your pores right. It’s so easy to cull Africans all they need to do is tell us is we ugly and here is a poison in a tube of cream, hair product even food with the promise it would fix crusty, nappy negroic features and turn us fine like European. Please open a book and do your research My dark sister, Knowledge equates power.

    • Missy

      April 10, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      looool you must have a 4c hair type…its sooooo hard…I went natural cos i did not like the feeling of relaxer anymore…my scalp is tired…the last i remember relaxing my hair was almost two years ago…i practically begged the lady doing my hair to wash the relaxer out after 5mins and that was it…i understand going natural is hard but try deep conditioning with dark and lovely cholestrol with almond oil…products with coconut oil helps alot…also you can use straightening if it helps…im sure you have tried everything—but good luck…

    • Dupe

      April 13, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      @ Bebabe have. You tried texlaxing at. Savvy. Chic. Hair Beauty Hub?

    • kilipot

      April 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Oh really. I’m transitioning and I’m in that phase where I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. Last I relaxed was 7 months ago.

    • The Truth

      April 10, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      i think ppl especially woman should let those chemicals be ban for ever. then our sisters mothers and daughters start loving theirself better .

    • sibo

      April 11, 2016 at 7:29 am

      I’m with you on this one Tilda and Blue Relaxers are like fast food, convenient but at what cost to ones health. This article and others like this are good as they educate people on how to look good . I wish I had access to this sort of information ealier on before I got touched by relaxers.

    • jhennique

      April 11, 2016 at 8:21 am

      hey guys! check out @hairbyjhennique on IG for amazing natural hair tips.

  2. marlvina

    April 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    OHHH this article is for me. The moment I read the headline, my heart skipped for joy. I only made the decision to go natural 2wks ago. My hair looks like a bird’s nest at the moment but I know with time it would be just fine. I’m still trying to settle on the right hair products. They are just so many. Urghh!

    • Shandi

      April 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      For now, try to do big braids, make sure there’s a “brush” in the front side of your hair so you don’t lose your hairline. Don’t make Ghanaian braids, if you must, make sure you start with your hair before adding the attachment, you must start with your hair for a long bit before adding the attachment, ignore the hairdresser if he/she says it won’t come out “sharp” if you start with your hair. Start with your hair! Eat foods high in fibre, drink lots of water and incorporate onions to your diet and you’re good to go.

    • abi

      April 9, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Mix a little coconut or caster oil in water in a spray bottle and spritz your hair and your roots especially every other day. Say bye bye to coarse birds nest hair. I’ve been natural since 2000. A decision I made on my 18th birthday and I haven’t missed permed hair once.

    • Susan

      April 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Abi that’s good, but when you mix cooconut or castor oil and water, you have to add glycerin and vitamin e oil so it doesn’t go rancid fast.

    • Missy

      April 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      ahhh I will try the castor oil i have heard so much of…i feel u sister…i love my fro although its a bit hard to manage it…

    • Leah

      April 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      I think the key is knowing your hair texture and type. When you have that figured out, it now comes down to conditioner, and leave-in. Most oils work well with most hair styles except if coconut oil makes you break out and if you have really tick hair, you might want to avoid castor oil because it is heavy. If you have 3 to 4b type, you will find it easy with styling products because you already have good curl pattern. For those hair types, add vegetable glycerin (or products with it) if you have really tick hair to help manage it. If your hair is thin and you need volume, use castor oil (Jamaican black) and products that are heavier and thicker. I have a thick nappy and out of control 4c (I call it 4z) and I do use Eden Body Works some times, but Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner is the AMAZING! It separates my hair and makes it so much easier to detangle. My hair type it is much better to twist out, braid out, roll or any other style when the hair is dry and not sucking wet. Also Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is really good and cheap. Hope this helps.

    • Jenny

      April 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Love your comment. However, you don’t necessarily have to use Jamacian Black Castor Oil, normal Castor Oil works just fine and is cheaper.

  3. me

    April 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    This is good if you have your mums and grandmas around to give you advice, they will be direct without the hassle. Civilization was really a kick in the face!!! It’s like hair gaining freedom from slavery.

  4. Selfless

    April 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    @ Leah, where does one get the products from please? Thank you.

    • Leah

      April 10, 2016 at 12:58 am

      I live in the US. Where do you live and what products are you looking for?

    • Jenny

      April 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Selfless if you live in Lagos, you can go to Ebeano Supermarket at Chevron Drive, Ebeano Supermarket at Oniru Lekki, The Prince Supermarket in Gbagada or go on jumia.com.ng/konga.com where you have a diverse range of beauty products.

  5. Tonkabelle

    April 10, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Lovely article, however I feel that anyone who wants to take better care of their hair in general would find themselves reading product labels, being their own mixtress and making heathier eating options.

    wurassecrethair.blogspot.com

  6. The real dee

    April 10, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I am transitioning and my hair doesn’t look fantastic right now but I know It’ll get there. I just love the natural hair undergrowth I see, it’s so soft and beautiful. I can’t wait to chop the permed portion but my problem is I’m too scared of the big chop. Right now, my hair looks like an uneven road, some parts are very short, some parts are long, some parts are natural with no permed hair at all and some parts have more permed hair.

    I have very soft and scanty hair and a very tender scalp. So, everytime I applied relaxer( even the mildest one meant for kids), my scalp will go on fire, in fact I couldn’t leave relaxer in my hair for up to 10 mins. My scalp always got burnt. But something else moved me to stop applying relaxers, something much deeper. If I write it, it’ll start a controversy, so I shall keep it to myself.

    Please natural hair project administrators, suggest good products I can get in the USA. I tried Shea Moisture leave in conditioner and that product is like water mixed with baby poop. So watery, my hair gets damp and dead.

    Please products o!

    • Jenny

      April 10, 2016 at 11:03 am

      You can use Organic’s Africa’s Best or look for products that are free of sulphates, silicone and paraben. You can also buy natural oils like castor and coconut and essential oils like peppermint and tea tree. Oh, make sure you have organic Shea butter too.

    • Anie

      April 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Mix Glycerin, leave-in conditioner and water in equal amounts, apply on hair every other day,your hair will be soft and manageable .
      For Glycerin, and other hair and skin products, contact 08166243282 or join C002B7A07

    • ThatGhanaChick

      April 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Try MilleOrganics, you can google her, her products has amazing reviews and she ships world wide.

  7. Selfless

    April 10, 2016 at 2:23 am

    @ Leah I live in North America. Just started my journey on transitioning. I need good conditioners and moisturisers. Thanks.

  8. Californiabawlar

    April 10, 2016 at 4:10 am

    From a 7 year natural: save your energy and put your short hair in braids for a good while. Of course change it out often enough. In between installments, deep condition. Always add olive oil to your deep conditioner (makes it slippery). Experiment with different products. Never comb your hair when dry. Stretch out your hair before going to put your braids in. Make sure your hair dresser does not have spiritual blade in her fingers, i.e pulling your edges out.

    It’ll take at least a year before you can flex natural styles. Think Genevieve and Beverley Naya….No one knew they were natural for a while cos they covered their natural hair up with weaves and braida while growing it out. Remember that there’s a huge chance you won’t be TY Bello?
    I watched a lot of YouTube videos back in the day o! But It’s worth the time…even when I didn’t have to do anything with my hair for a while, I’ll just log on to see what’s out there.

    • Susan

      April 10, 2016 at 11:05 am

      That was never TY Bello’s hair even, she admitted it was a wig.

    • Californiabawlar

      April 10, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Same difference?

    • Olanma

      April 10, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Her point was probably: using TY Bello wasn’t not sufficient. It’s not her hair and she’s attested to that. Your comment is spot on, the TY Bello part however was ??. You could’ve used some else like Instagram.com/hairoflife, Eki Ogubor, Teyonah Parris etc as an example. People who actually have long natural hair, and not someone who uses a big/weave.

    • Olanma

      April 10, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Wasn’t sufficient*

    • jhennique

      April 11, 2016 at 8:20 am

      FYI susan. TY bello actually has full, thick, long hair before sshe cut it. Ever noticed her hairline?

    • Californiabawlar

      April 11, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Egbani elaja! I’m not letting this go ?

      Everybody and their mama knows TY Bellos hair is not hers…it still hasn’t stopped people from oohing and ahhing about the look of it and it has definitely inspired a lot of people to go natural.

      Now that said, I don’t know the people you mentioned nor do I care…but what difference would using Nneka as an example have made? The point was to make people manage expectations on getting a huge fro look.
      Please get your panties out of a bunch and stop nitpicking casual advice that I was sharing from personal experience. Biko write your ‘spot on’ comment and give your own perfect examples.

  9. ATL's finest

    April 10, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Well knowing your hair type, texture & how sensitive your scalp is helps a lot. As for product, I try not to jump from one to another. So far, Cantu products has been GREAT to me. So is Organic coconut oil, vitamin E oil, Jojoba oil etc Eco style gel not Bad and they are very cheap. So I LOVE been natural and won’t trade anything for it ever again..

  10. P

    April 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I cut my hair two years ago b.cause it wasn’t growing any longer. I didn’t want to apply relaxer too soon so it won’t be stunted again. fast forward two years I have a large strong afro without too much stress.(I didn’t have the intention of going natural, I just did braids, loosen, do another braids or use weaves…and it grew well) I recently started coming it out. its cute.
    I can’t go to school with afro everyday. too much stress and it has a habit of becoming short the next day. if I dye it, I’m afraid of what will happen. I have very limited styles when using weaves. infact I’m tired. anytime I want to relax it I wouldn’t have the heart. tchew. long epistle sha…..but is there any product that can relax the hair temporarily or make it look relaxed so I can pour it on my weaves? this big hair tire me.

    • Anie

      April 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Mix Glycerin, leave-in conditioner and water in equal amounts, apply on hair every other day,your hair will be soft and manageable.,plus roll it overnight,if you want waves

  11. Kmer sista

    April 10, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I have quit the relaxer in 2007…And for me, it is not that deep.
    I have found 5 products that work for me (action on my hair and perfume mostly) and stick to that. I don’t really care about the new products that keep flooding the market since brands understood that there is an ever growing demand there.
    I am not sure I consider it as one of the “healthiest” decision in my life…It is just convenient as it was hard for me to maitain relaxed hair !

  12. Ta

    April 10, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Nyss,do whatever fits/pleases u with ur hair. Natural hair seems to be the “in thing” now,n it’s lovely (on most ladies,odas look like dey just got cured from madness/are homeless). There r pple tho, dat dont rly care bout it,would b nys if d natural hair lovers stop ‘disturbing’ such pple. As I sed natural hair looks gud if kept n maintained rightt,but not evrybdy is intrestd in it…sorry saying dis here but felt it’s a gud medium,sorry if I offended anyone.

  13. Oghogho

    April 10, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I stopped using relaxers after reading studies that link relaxers to fibroids, infertility, cancers of the reproductive system, kidney, liver failure. There is so little research done on relaxer but as you can imagine big corps are not going to spend money to study the long term effects on our mothers sisters and daughter, especially as they are literally making a killing from the profit. I cringe when I see relaxers aimed at kids. I have actually seen lightening creams for KIDS!!!!. The bigger issue here is far from manageability, acceptability it is Infact all about making the right choice based on health and wellness. But it’s all related, self love and self acceptance leads to different choices in all areas of ones life. People need to empower themselves with knowledge to be able to make informed choices.

  14. Teekay

    April 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Eell i cut my hair two years ago and it as really grown but my issue is that my hair is very hard and i kind of get tired of natural hair becauee it is hard. Have used leave in conditioner but when it drys up it becomes very strong am tired but i cnt relax because my hair grew better unrelax

  15. Cheekie

    April 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    olori.com.ng,that’s the mecca of natural hair products… They have an extensive array of different brands,its like a natural hair candy store…

    Be patient,know what works for your hair..What Ada uses that makes her hair long and curly,may not necessarily work for you….Experiment with products and natural ingredients like fruits,organic products etc for your hair..
    Also don’t have unrealistic growth expectations, you may deep condition regularly,pre poo,use onions,use JBCO,moisturise LOC/LCO etc and still not have hair like TY Bello.. Healthy and beautiful hair is all that matters..

    • Olanma

      April 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      I think Jumia and Konga however have a wider variety of natural and organic products, both indigenous and international. You name it.

  16. oluwadunsin

    April 10, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    oho, people are going natural now but when they see those on dreadlocks, they’ll complain (esp the spiritkoko ones). in their voices; dreadlocks is not professional, it makes you look razz, it makes you look unserious, bla bla and bla. I’ve been natural hairwise since 740BC. Dreadlocks all the way.

  17. naijamess

    April 10, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    At Olawadusin i totally agree with you, dreadlocs all the way, its path of our Africa culture.
    I dont know why Africans dislike dreadlocs? Its time every black people go back to thier roots, its time to be proud of how God created us.

  18. african girl

    April 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I recently jumped onto the natural hair bandwagon. I am transitioning – trying to hold on to my length as much as i can. lol. I will start with the struggles i am facing as a transitioner. Dealing with two different textures is the worst. Twist outs and Bantu knot outs never come out perfect. My natural hair gets a nice curl but the straight relaxed hair wont curl at all. it falls flat and looks a mess. I always have to transform my knot outs into an updo with bobby pins to hide those terrible ends. I don’t know where i am going wrong. tried it on damp hair and on dry hair, same results.

    Secondly, and I speak for myself when i say this, going natural aint cheap! At all! In my country products like raw shea butter, virgin olive oil and coconut oil are not affordable products. In fact Raw Shea Butter and Coconut Oil are not things you see in many supermarkets here. The few shops that stock them practically rip us off. I have to buy these online (Amazon UK) and don’t even get me started on the ridiculous shipping fees! I mention these three products because these are the products i see when i google natural hair regimens. My friend says going natural these days is for the rich and i can’t blame her. So if anyone knows any other cheap products, please share.

    Despite the struggles, going natural has transformed me. I have never felt more beautiful in my skin than i do now. Knowing I am beautiful even without a 22 inch weave is the most wonderful feeling ever! Not saying i will never wear a weave/wig ever, but i don’t rely on weaves to validate my beauty anymore and my confidence is no longer challenged whenever I take them out. I can proudly say ‘I AM NOT MY HAIR!’

    Thanks

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