Hey family, I hope everyone is doing great! How did you spend your father’s day? I hope anything you guys did, you had a fantastic time! The weather was fairly good.
I really wanted to do this post because I realise I get asked this question a lot ‘Sarah, what products can I use for my hair (either relaxed or natural but mostly natural)’ OR I hear this a lot ‘Sarah I can’t go natural. My natural hair is too much for me to handle’. My response is always the same ‘yes you can or try so and so product etc’.
Questions like that get me thinking on how much information is out there and how easy it is to get confused or overwhelmed so quickly. I am by no means the best at taking care of my hair or a professional (I’m still learning) and I have been natural only 5 years but it seems there is always some new method been invented( which could be great) but also confusing if you have just transitioned to natural hair. Some of the steps in some of these methods are completely unnecessary and just prolong the whole process (of wash day especially) and may even put off people embracing their natural hair. Let me give you an example, I went natural back in 2011 and during my research at that time, a lot of things I saw/read were off people who would condition and deep condition their day on the same day i.e. they would put the normal conditioner for about 5 mins rinse out then apply a different deep conditioner for about 45 mins, rinse out then apply their leave in conditioner! This confused the hell out of me but I thought maybe she’s right after all she’s been natural for a while and I have only been for about 1 month lol. So I did the same but I found my hair would usually be limp. Another example is detangling. A lot of people used a wide tooth comb, a Denman brush and a fine toothed comb!
TRIAL AND ERROR
These are just a few examples, don’t get me started on apple cider vinegar rinses, green tea rinses, oil rinses etc etc. whilst some of these maybe actually be beneficial they may not be necessary ALL time. Anyway back to my story, so with all this information, I was trying everything expect for the rinses, I was very skeptical and I just hated the smell of apple cider vinegar (And look my hair is just fine! 5 years later). I also realised I was spending way too much time doing too many different things and my hair staying the same. That’s when I stopped trying to copy routines, skipped a few steps and just doing things a way I found was easier and quicker but still ‘safe’ for my hair. So for instance, for detangling, I used just a wide tooth comb plus finger detangling (And my hair was fine, as I have learnt more I have skipped using combs all together and just finger detangle).
Over the years, I have continued to simplify my routine and I have never been happier and spent less time in the bathroom. I now wanna pass the mantle lol. These are my top 10 essentials you will need for your hair complete with product recommendations and prices (Are you not happy I am a product junkie! I have also personally used all these products and bought them myself lool). This is also very budget friendly but most importantly simple and effective. By all means change where necessary and of course trial and error!
- Conditioner for detangling. You want something that will make it easier for you to comb through your hair (i.e. has a lot of slip) and is a good size too because you will be using a lot of it! TRESemme moisture rich conditioner is the best one I have used so far! Its 900mL and only £2.99-£4.99. It depends on where you get it from but it’s usually cheaper in Savers for £2.99. Have you realised Savers is actually hard to find? Lol if you don’t have a local savers check your local Superdrug, it will be more expensive there but it will be worth it. Currently, Superdrug has a 2 for £6 pounds offer on selected TRESemme products. A great and cheaper alternative is the Alberto Balsam conditioners. You can get these from anywhere: Superdrug, Boots or the pound shop. It’s also a pound wherever you get it. I find the Raspberry conditioner has the greatest slip (Trust me to have tried almost all the different versions lol). Tip- detangle in small sections from the ends to the root of the hair. Twist or clip the section out of the way once done.
2. Sulfate free shampoo. So that your hair is not stripped dry when shampooing. I am currently loving the Dr. Miracle conditioning shampoo. £2.99 from your local beauty supply store (BSS) (I got mine from A.C.E). It’s also paraben free. I LOVE the tingling sensation of this shampoo. Tip- always apply to scalp first.
3. Deep conditioner. Look for size as well- you will be using it a lot and a lot of it (lol). You can also look for moisture/protein based conditioners as well. I love the TRESemme reconstructing deep conditioning treatment for £4.99 from Superdrug. A cheaper alternative is the Elasta QP DPR11 for £3.99 (one of the first ones I used) from your local BSS or the beautiful textures rapid response deep conditioner for £3.49 from your BSS. Tip- work the product in and cover with plastic bags!
4. Leave in conditioner. A good one will do many things including double as a base for styling products and leave your hair soft and moisturised. I have a range of recommendations for you! (Don’t you just love me? Lol). The 1st first leave in I used was the Giovanni direct leave in conditioner. I loved it a lot and so did my hair too! I loved it so much that I left it one time at a hairdressers place and I went back for it! Lol It’s a bit pricey £7.99 on British Curlies (http://www.britishcurlies.co.uk/) but it’s well worth it. Another popular and well recommended product which I am sure you have heard of and even used is the Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner (you’re giggling now right because you know I am right lol) its only £3.99 from your local BSS. Another great one and budget friendly is the Beautiful Textures tangle taming leave in for £3.99 from your local BSS. Tip- apply your leave in after you rinse your conditioner out and twist and allow to air dry.
5. With this product I would really advise you to just experiment with your works for you. Of course there are the popular ones like coconut oil (£2.99 from A.C.E), Argan oil, And Castor oil etc. I have used all the above but for different things. Other popular ones e.g. grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, olive oil are great too but don’t feel like you have to get all of them or use them. After 5 years, I am only trying olive oil, grapeseed oil and castor oil and my hair has been fine! Tip- you can mix all these oils for a hot oil treatment. Alternatively apply after your leave in conditioner to seal in that moisture!
6. A styling product. This is probably where you will go crazy lol and try out different products that will work for your hair and style you want to achieve. Try asking for samples from the shop to try out before you commit. Also check YouTube but with caution: it may not turn out the same for you or not work at all. I don’t really style my hair in terms of twists outs, braid outs etc (omg Sarah are you really natural? Where have you been? Lool). My 1st ever successful twist out was using Ecostyler gel (from £1.29 in your BSS) however I woke up the next day with flakes everywhere lol. Tip- always use your leave in conditioner as a base for your styling product. You don’t want a bomb twist out which is dry lol.
The next couple of items are tools you will need
7. Wide tooth comb- if you ever have to use a comb in your hair make sure it’s wide toothed! Its only £0.99p from your BSS. Tip- when detangling, it’s your best friend lol
8. Hair clips/ hair bands- have you ever tried to detangle your hair without this? Lol. Make sure after you section your hair, you keep it in place with clips/bands otherwise hair everywhere lol. Its only £1 for a pack in Primark or the pound shop. Tip- it also doubles for pretty much everything lol
9. Plastic bags- lol. Great way to deep condition your hair! If you can’t be bothered to sit under a hooded dryer for 15 minutes, this is a great way to trap heat to help the product penetrate the hair. It will help you make use of that time for other things like errands. Set a challenge on how many bags you use LOL. I think I have had 4 bags plus cling film and a scarf at one point LOL (this is not necessary btw lol 1 or 2 will be fine). £0.00p lol or however much your groceries cost lol. Collect them when you go shopping and keep them. Tip- Somewhere in almost EVERY house hold, there is a plastic bag full of plastic bags (there’s that giggle again right? Because you know its true lool) make use of this lool instead of buying ‘conditioning caps etc’
10. Satin bonnet/scarf- its true cotton dries out your hair. It will absorb all the lovely moisture you have just added. Tip- Its best to get the bonnet that way you know it won’t come up when you wake up lol
That’s all folks. A really simplified product list that builds into a very simple routine. Do not be afraid to skip some or exchange some products in place of other as this is probably the only way to learn what is best for your hair. Of course I have not gone into co-washing, finger detangling, shea butter (horror face! Lol), cleansing clays etc because I just wanted the essentials: things that will make it EASIER and SIMPLE. I thought back to when I first went natural and what product/things I was using and what made it easier for me in those 1st years. This list is also very budget friendly. Students I got you lol. There are great brands e.g. SheaMoisture, NuNaat, etc I haven mentioned but use if your budget allows you to. Maybe next time I will use these products and build an example routine for you guys.
Let me know your thoughts, hints and tips whether you’re natural or still transitioning. I would love to hear from you! What are your go- to products? And where do you usually get yours? Internet or in store?
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Until next time