As promised in my previous hair post, here are the products that have been keeping my hair happy during it's natural journey and the products I've have had to ditch along the way.
My hair LOVES this shampoo and conditioner! Both products are sulphate, silicone and paraben free and packed with natural goodness. The shampoo is so moisturising, that when I first used it I thought I'd mixed it up with the conditioner. My hair feels lovely and clean afterwards without feeling stripped. The rich conditioner leaves my hair so soft, it's cut my post wash de-tangling time in half. It's a little more pricey than your standard shampoo but The Body Shop are always offering up discounts and even at full price I think it's worth it.
Shea Butter Mix
When it comes to sealing my hair post wash nothing has been as effective as my shea butter mix. The blend contains coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, shea butter and a few splashes of tea tree oil. The oils all have fantastic properties that my hair loves. I used to suffer from an itchy scalp and the tea tree oil has improved things immensely. I massage the mix in to my hair and scalp while it's still damp and that's it.
This is my favourite beauty staple, I use it as a night cream and eye cream. It's also fantastic on the cuticles. For my hair, I use it to moisturise my scalp and hair when needed. I know there are some who think oils have no moisturising properties but this really works for me. My ends get their bounce back and my hair just feels good.
I mix these two oils together to create an oil rinse that I use with my conditioner during wash day. Honestly I'm not 100% sold on the idea that castor oil makes your hair grow but I do think the thickness of it really seals in moisture and keeps strands from tangling. The EVOO dilutes the castor oil and makes it easier to use. I also heat this mix and use it as a pre wash hot oil treatment.
I have a love/hate relationship with this product. When I want long lasting definition from a twist out, it works a treat. My twist out will retain length and have its bounce for at least 3 days. The downside is getting the product out of my hair come wash day. The silicones in the product mean my sulphate free shampoo has a tough time shifting it. If I could find a silicone free product that was as effective I would switch but for now I'll stick with it.
When it comes to removing build up from my scalp, I rely on good old apple cider vinegar. It's cheap and more importantly effective. I dilute 15ml of ACV with 250ml of warm tap water and massage in to my scalp after shampooing. If I have an excess, I put it over my hair as it also has great conditioning properties. I let it sit on my scalp and hair for about 3 minutes before rinsing and applying my conditioner. I try to limit ACV rinsing to once a month as it can be drying for your scalp.
Oh how I love thee, tea tree oil! This miracle essential oil is great for anyone suffering from a dry itchy scalp. I added a few drops to my shea butter mix and oil rinse which I massage in to my scalp every wash day. It's anti fungal anti bacterial properties keep itchiness and flakes well away. Be sure dilute it with other oils as on it's own, it can cause inflammation.
I wanted to love this shampoo, I really did. I tried using less on wash day, I tried diluting it and I even tried not directly applying it to my hair. It just didn't give me the results I wanted. My hair more often than not felt stripped afterwards. I felt like I was putting up with it rather than enjoying it. I'm not sure why it didn't agree with my hair but my sister loves it and was happy to take it off my hands.
This is a great conditioner with wonderful slip, that always left my hair with that silky feeling. The reason it's dropped out of rotation is because The Body Shop conditioner does the job without the silicones. I would recommend the Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner to anyone who isn't fussy about silicones.
I actually liked this product but it was just surplus to requirements. It gave great hold for twists but they didn't last as long as when I used Aunt Jackie's. It also works well as a moisturiser but then so does my coconut oil.
This product helped me LOTS during my transitioning period. I used it to set my braid outs and it worked a treat on the relaxed ends. Once I big chopped, it just couldn't keep up with my natural texture. It's a great entry level product for transitioners as it's cheap and available in local supermarkets.
This was a mix of Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner, water, olive oil and coconut oil that I would comb through my hair before wash day. It helped with detangling but I find these days that it is unnecessary. I achieve the same results with just coconut oil that I massage in to my hair the night before.
Olive Oil & Water Spray
I would spritz my hair every other day with a mix of olive oil and water especially the ends in the hopes of retaining moisture. The biggest problem was my hair was constantly wet and I was getting shrinkage which caused tangles. I've found it best to try and get as much moisture in to my hair during wash day and leave it be.
When it comes to the products I put in my hair, I've learnt that less is more and the closer to nature the better. Scalp build up is a problem for me so I avoid products with silicones when possible. I don't fight shrinkage but I don't encourage it either so I avoid spraying water on my hair outside of wash day. Sealing my hair with my shea butter mix and applying coconut oil as needed through out the week has worked for me. The products I've ditched are not bad products, they just didn't work well with my hair but they might work for you. I would encourage every natural to go through a process of trial and error and find what works for you.
What products are you loving or loathing right now? Share your thoughts in the comments below! To get updates on my day to day hair looks, follow me on instagram @mbashorun
Product images and links courtesy of Amazon
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