As a self-proclaimed product junkie, I have gone through so many products through my transitioning and now fully natural process. I have heard it all… Is your hair falling out? Do you feel a difference? How do you know what products you like when you try so many? I don’t know about you, but for me it only takes one time and I know if my hair will respond well to a product. Wanna know my process? Well, then, proceed to read.
TRY TESTING PRODUCTS FROM ONE LINE
The first thing I do is keep a mental note of every point I want to focus on when I try a new product. Preferably, I have a complete line that I can try so that I can review the quality of the product on my hair as a whole. For example, if possible, I will have the shampoo/cowash, conditioner, deep conditioner and styling cream at bare minimum.
If there’s an oil, styling gel and curl refresher that goes with it, I’m super excited. This is important for me because if there is a product item that I prefer over the others, then I’m more likely to see if it plays well with others; brands that is. When I find a product I like, then I will try it on my daughters since we have different textures or hair types or whatever you want to call it.
TRY PRODUCTS YOU LIKE FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS
Depending on how that goes, then I will continue to use the product for a few months while testing other products in between. You might think that this defeats the purpose of getting to understand the product’s effect on my hair, but I find that no matter what I do in between, it works the same way. Sometimes, the really good products will save my hair from the results of using products that torture my poor tresses.
So what do I look for when I am trying a new product. That’s such a smart question. When I process a product, I look for the following: smell, texture/consistency, first impact upon touching my hair, slip, styling, length of stay and then an overall outlook.
DO YOU LIKE THE WAY IT SMELLS?!
Smell is so important. It’s usually the first thing we do when we first open the bottle. If you don’t like it in the bottle, you will not like it in your hair. I don’t worry too much if the smell is too strong. I find that after the hair is dry, in most cases, the smell dissipates. If it is a smell you really like and it’s strong, then you might be able to forgo wearing perfume and smell naturally delicious. Talk about win-win.
DO YOU LIKE THE WAY IT FEELS?
The texture/consistency of the product is important. If the shampoo is too watery then you want to determine how much you actually need at each wash without wasting it. A watery shampoo can be good thing because you do not need to use as much and you know that it will rinse out easily. On the flip side, if a conditioner is too thick and it is in a regular bottle instead of a jar, it loses points in my book.
I don’t want to come out of the shower with circle marks on my hands or bulging forearms simply from trying to condition my hair. I can usually tell if I like a product the second it touches my hair and has been well distributed. When you have to dip into the conditioner six or seven times just to finger detangle or separate your hair, you may want to rethink how good of a conditioner it really is. That or your hair needs some serious TLC. I’m just saying.
Along the same line, I love products that provide good slip. The goal, or at least my goal, is to detangle my hair as quickly as I can with minimum pain to my scalp. That’s good slip right there. Styling products are crucial to a good wash day. I prefer products that are properly absorbed in my hair. The product can’t just sit on top of my hair because then it leaves a white residue and causes my scalp to itch.
If the products do not work well on your hair and you do not have good styling products or cannot style your hair that you just wasted four to eight hours of your Sunday trying to figure out if the product is worth your time. Get back in the shower and do a wash and go with your favorite products or wrap that baby up until the next time.
But, if they style is right and it can last a few days, the wash day heavens have opened up for your and you can keep a low maintenance do with minimal manipulation. Trust me, your hair loves that and you will too as you watch it grow. In the end I determine if the products are worth buying again, giving away or simply throwing away. Yes, there are some products out there that I wouldn’t even give to my worst frenemie. She’s a natural too so I can’t do her like that.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
In the end, every naturalista is different. Her hair is different, her preferences are different, the results she wants are different. However, there is something to be said about finding the right products to give you the desired look. If you are a die hard naturalista who values natural products with natural and/or organic ingredients, once you have confirmed that your product is exactly that and you know what products to avoid, then you’re in good shape.
Believe it or not, net everyone can use Shea butter or coconut oil and some hair types really shouldn’t. Testing products means nothing if you haven’t taken the time to get to know your hair. You and your hair deserve a little TLC so if you value the process then prepare to enjoy the fabulous results. Can we still say “hair on fleek”?
Stay natural. Stay blessed.