Twelve years of taking care of natural hair, I must say has come with quite a bit of trial and error. Like many African American women, with getting a relaxer at age 12, I didn’t initially learn how to take care of my natural tresses. So making the decision to embrace my natural curls came with much excitement but also learning about my own body & hair and what works best to keep it healthy as well as to accomplish the styles and looks I want.
And trust me, over the years, I feel like I’ve tried sooo many different brands and types of products. A few weeks ago while talking to some teen girls about our hair patterns, the breakdown of different types of hair, and how various styles and products impact our hair, I pulled out a few books and products that I shared with them. So, I figured why not also share them online for those that may be starting their journey to grow out their natural hair or looking for different products or styles to try.
Not everyone is interested in studying and understanding the science, physical breakdown or the process of hair growth, however, if you are, here are a few books that I collected. These also include information on maintenance, hair care regimens, styling techniques, perceptions and attitudes towards natural Black hair, myths, common questions, and even the affects of diet & overall health.
“Let’s Talk Hair” – Pamela Ferrell
“Naturally Healthy Hair: Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair” – Mary Beth Janssen
“No Lye! The African American Woman’s Guide To Natural Hair Care” – Tulani Kinard
“Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weave When Chemicals Became Too Ruff” – Lonnice Bonner
“Ultra Black Hair Growth II” – Cathy Howse
Throughout the last decade, name a brand and odds are I’ve used or tried it…Mizani, Pantene, Carol’s Daughter, Crème Of Nature, African Pride, Aveda, Ms. Jessie, Shea Moisture, are just a few. Though I still like trying new products, particularly as I take advantage of the versatility of different hair styles and ways to maintain them, here are a few of my current favorites:
Naked by Essations Honey & Almond Whipped Shampoo: a shampoo that cleanses without stripping your hair or leaving it dry while leaving the texture of my hair soft and quite luxurious.
Essations Moisture Sheen Conditioner: A conditioner that enriches my hair and works great as a deep conditioner, as well. This product is awesome for protecting your hair, especially when taking down braids or twists.
Kinky Curly Leave-In Conditioner: A conditioner that coats my hair and makes it easier to comb out and style while wet.
CHI Silk Infusion: This pomade is amazing! This product gives my hair a silky feel for ease of combing, detangling, styling, and even for pre-blow-drying.
Organic Coconut Oil: As many of us have grown up using grease to oil our scalp and hair, I now swear by coconut oil. It’s light enough to use every day to keep the scalp & hair moisturized and to add sheen. I love to massage my scalp with it at night. Though it solidifies depending on how cool you keep it, but you need only warm it in the microwave to liquefy. You can also put in a spray bottle to use as an spray oil. Plus it smells great.
La Easia-Diamond Shine Gelee: As someone who’s personally always hated hair jel, which never really worked great on my hair or edges to slicken or straighten back (unless I tied my hair down), this gelee was a surprising find. It’s one of the few products that allow me to slick back my hair with ease (even without a brush), while also giving it shine. You also don’t need much and will last the whole day without frizzing.
Feel free to post products you’ve used and what you think of them. I rarely straighten my hair and had found a sample of a product that was good for protecting hair from heat while also allowing for maintaining straightness for longer periods of time. However, I forgot what it was and am open to your suggestions.
I’ve also used a few products for when I twist my hair (small double-strand twists), but I’m also interested in others, particularly for twist out styles.
And fellas, please feel free to share any that you use. Guys must maintain their hair too.
With the various perceptions that people have of natural hair, relaxed hair, straight hair, extensions, short, long, and the like, your attitudes on hair and why are most welcome? And I do hope you will share… 🙂