This post has been a long time coming. Two weeks ago, I went on a cleaning frenzy! I cleaned my abode from top to bottom! Under every sink, in every closet, and ever corner! Guess what I discovered? EVIDENCE OF MY BEING A FORMER PRODUCT JUNKIE! It’s so interesting to take a look at the many unused, half used, and barely used bottles! When I started my healthy hair journey, I’d looked into Ayurvedic hair care and started picking up oils and powders so I could experiment with that. When I made the decision to transition, I began reading more about what worked for other transitioners and went with those products. Later, after realizing that I had so many products that I’d never be able to try them all, I decided to take a more simple approach. Today out of the 5011 products I have under the sink, I only use under 10. I have put together a list of all the products I’ve used. I give a brief description of the conditions under which they were used, PROS, CONS, and a VERDICT on the product.
Hair Products and Supply List:
Hair Dryer: Over the course of my transition, I’ve used this under 10 times while deep conditioning and once I to dry a hair style…FAIL! I didn’t sit long enough for they hair to dry–PROS: Deep Condition Quickly, Leaves Hair Soft CONS: Uncomfortable, Hot VERDICT: I’d use again to deep condition
Hand Hair Dryer: I have never used it during my transition–PROS: N/A CONS: N/A VERDICT: I have heard you can use this to ‘stretch’ the twist and braid-outs so I will re-visit this one after I BC
Flexi-Rods: Left over from when I relaxed my hair, I have never used them during my transition. PROS: Curls relaxed ends, Easy to use CONS: Sleeping is a challenge VERDICT: I will keep these, as I may be able to use them for someone else’s hair. I also want to see if they will work on my hair after I BC
Old Tee-Shirt: I use this to dry my wet hair–PROS: Cheap, Doesn’t dry hair out CONS: None VERDICT: Will continue to use
Combs: In my current wash routine, when I do my oil wash, I finger comb my hair. Then, as I am washing the deep conditioner out of my hair, using my shower comb, I comb each section with my hair under the water, from the bottom of the hair shaft, in an upward direction to the top of the hair shaft. If I reset my hair during the week, I finger comb it then as well. I find that I lose much less hair, my hair is more manageable, and I avoid knots. PROS: N/A CONS: If used on wet or dry hair in a rough manner, or without caution can cause breakage. VERDICT: The only comb I will use and continue to use in the future is my shower comb, otherwise, fingers will do for me!
Bristle Brush: I have not used a brush since I started transitioning. PROS: N/A CONS: If used incorrectly on natural hair, can rip hair out VERDICT: I have heard some women say they use the brush to smooth the hair down for a sleek style, but I believe my hands and a scarf will work to achieve the same result.
Perm Rods: I have 3 sets of Perm Rods, SM, MD, LG. I have used them religiously throughout my transition PROS: Curls relaxed ends, Easy to use CONS: Sleeping can be a challenge VERDICT: Will continue to use for the remainder of my transition…Wondering if I’ll still use them when I BC
Gel: I have never be a fan of gel, but somewhere during the beginning of my transition, I got swept up in the product junkism of it all, and purchased Eco Styler Gel. PROS: Tames the fuzzies CONS: When I used it for a setting agent, hair was dry and crunchy VERDICT: Will never use as a setting agent. I have made peace with the fuzzies in my kitchen and in the front of my hair, so I don’t imagine using it much in the future or after my BC. Naptural85 has made me curious about fax seed gel, so I may try that
Shampoos and Scalp Cleansers: It’s worth mentioning that currently, I do not use commercial shampoos. I cleanse my scalp with ACV or Benzonite Clay.
- Petal Fresh organics Rosemary Shampoo: PROS: Smells Great, Inexpensive, Tingles on the scalp CONS: A bit drying VERDICT: I no longer use this product
- Dr. Bronners Hemp Liquid Soap: PROS: Mild Smell, Inexpensive, Using a little will go a long way CONS: Liquid-y consistency when using VERDICT: May revisit in the future after BC
- Black Soap: I made a homemade liquid black soap shampoo for my hair. PROS: Inexpensive, cleansing CONS: Ratio of black soap to water is significant VERDICT: May revisit in the future, as the soap is great for hair and body
- Olive Glossing Shampoo: Used when I was relaxed VERDICT: Would not use again as I don’t remember anything about how it worked and don’t really like the ingredient list
- Creme of Nature Detangling Conditioning Shampoo: Used when I was relaxed VERDICT: Would not use again as I don’t remember anything about how it worked and don’t really like the ingredient list
- Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: I have mixed using ACV, water, rose water. PROS: Cleansing and conditioning, strong strands, curls ‘pop’ CONS: If left in the hair, can be drying VERDICT: I will continue to use
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Using an applicator bottle with one part ACV and one part water, I apply the mixture to my scalp and massage the dirt away. PROS: Excellent job cleansing the scalp CONS: Some people say the ACV leaves a smell. I’ve never experienced the smell stay on my hair VERDICT: Will continue to use
Conditioners: The largest part of my collection is conditioners. We all know how important moisture is, so I jumped on the conditioner bandwagon early in the game! Currently in my arsenal:
- 5 Hello Hydration Conditioners: PROS: Smell Great, Inexpensive CONS: N/A VERDICT: Will continue to use
- V05 Clarifying Green Tea Conditioner: PROS: Smell Great, Inexpensive Clarifying CONS: N/A VERDICT: Will continue to use
- Petal Fresh Organics Rosemary Conditioner: PROS: Smell Great, Inexpensive (Ross) CONS: N/A VERDICT: Will continue to use
- Nu Lux Conditioner: PROS: Thick, Creamy, Inexpensive (Ross) CONS: N/A VERDICT: I’d use it again for co-washes
Deep Conditioners: The most luxurious part of my routine is the deep condition!
- Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner: I have used this throughout my transition. PROS: Smells great, leaves hair soft and moisturized CONS: N/A VERDICT: Will continue to use religiously
- Parnevu Scalp Therapy: Used twice in homemade kimmaytube leave-in PROS: Smells Good, thick, creamy CONS: N/A VERDICT: I now use Infusium 23 in my liquid leave in, but I may keep this for a back up
- Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Leave In: IDK what I was thinking when I bought this… PROS: N/A CONS: N/A VERDICT: I wouldn’t use again
- Vitale Olive Oil Leave In Conditioner: Used a few times, can’t remember anything significant PROS: N/A CONS: N/A VERDICT: I would not use again
- Creme of Nature Lemongrass & Rosemary Leave In Conditioner: PROS: Used when I relaxed CONS: N/A VERDICT: Not impressed by the ingredients, will not use again
Butters: Another important part of my arsenal is the butters, which I use for conditioning and sealing.
- Shea Moisture Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curls Butter: Though I assumed the product is for fully natural hair, I tried it on my transitioning tresses, with no success. PROS: Smells Good CONS: Will do nothing for your relaxed ends, using too much will leave hair wet VERDICT: I will have to revisit this after my BC.
- Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Masque: I was able to use this on my transitioning and relaxed tresses with relative ease. PROS: Smells Good, left hair soft and moisturized CONS: N/A VERDICT: I will use this when my homemade shea butter whip runs out
- Pure Shea Butter: I HEART SHEA BUTTER! I make my own shea butter whips using oils and essential oils. PROS: Moisturizing, leaves hair soft and shiny CONS: N/A VERDICT: I live by SB and will continue to use it
Oils: Oils are very important to my hair. I use them as a raw ingredient in some of my shea butter mixes or even alone on my strands.
- Amla Oil: I use this for pre-washes. In an applicator bottle, I apply the oil to my scalp and strands while my hair is in sections, cover w/ a plastic cap and let it sit for 1 hour at the least and overnight at the most. PROS: Prevents premature graying, dandruff, strenghtens hair cuticle CONS: Can stain fabrics! VERDICT: Will use this til the day I die!
- Coconut Oil: This oil is one of the best oils for your whole body. I usually use it my whipped butters for hair and skin or on skin alone in the summer PROS: Easily penetrates the strand, smells good, inexpensive, lasts long CONS: N/A VERDICT: Will use this til the day I die!
- JoJoba Oil: I purchased this oil because I was interested in the lighter oils. Unfortunately before I got to use it, the bottle spilled in my bag PROS: CONS: VERDICT: I will revisit this when I purchase another bottle
- Grapeseed Oil: I purchased this oil because I was interested in the lighter oils. I use it to coat my fingers when I take down my braids PROS: Not heavy, light scent, gives hair shine CONS: VERDICT: Would use again
- Olive Oil: I use EVOO for practically everything! Herbal Infusions, to stretch other oils, in whipped butters for hair and skin PROS: Moisturizing, easily penetrates the strand CONS: VERDICT: Will use this forever!
- Castor Oil: Use in final styling for moisture and shine PROS: Moisturizing, adds shine and thickness CONS: Using too much results in greasy hair (and everything else) VERDICT: Holy Grail!
- Hask Placenta Henna ‘n’ Placenta: Purchased this because when I got my hair done, my stylist used it. PROS: Conditioning CONS: N/A VERDICT: I have no use for it IMO, so I wouldn’t purchase again
- Afogee 2-n-1 Protein treatment: I never used this product, but I figured I might need a protein treatment one f these days. Never got around to it. VERDICT: May try once I BC
Other: I have many tools which assist in my hair trials
- Bobby Pins
- Double Pronged Clips
- Elastic Headbands
- Hand Mixer: I use this to make my shea butter whips
- Measuring cups: I use when I make my shea butter whips
- Bowls: Shea butter whips
- Empty Bottles: I like to use and re-use bottles I already have on hand
- Spray and applicator bottles
I think that about covers the products I’ve unearthed from my stash! Again, these are my very own experiences with the listed products. In the future, I’m sure there will be additions !
Are you or have you been a Product Junkie too?