Let me start by saying that I don’t consider myself a “product junkie.” I’m not even sure what the definition of a product junkie is, but I imagine it to be someone to buys new products before their old ones run out. As more women embrace their natural curls, more cosmetic companies are creating products specially formulated for textured hair, and let’s face it – it’s tempting. But it’s also expensive, so I try very hard to use up what I have before trying new things. There are, however, a few products I’ve grown to love over the last year, and I buy them again and again.
If I had to throw out everything in my cabinet except one hair product, this would be the one left standing. There is ALWAYS coconut oil in my hair. There always HAS been coconut oil in my hair. My mother has been using this on my hair since I can remember. Lately, I prefer unrefined virgin coconut oil. It’s pure, lightweight, and has all kinds of nourishing ingredients. Applied wet or dry, my hair soaks it right up, resulting in moisturized, smooth, shiny locks. I also use it for my hot oil treatments and as a serum to eliminate frizz.
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
I haven’t used a sulfate shampoo in months, except occasionally when I need one to break down heavy silicones or oils in my hair. Shampoo is very important to me. I’ve tried shampoos that strip my hair of so much moisture that it literally feels like straw while wet. I’ve also tried co-washing with an inexpensive conditioner like Suave naturals, but the oils built up and my hair got very heavy. I’ve also used “moisturizing” shampoos that leave a thick coating of something on my hair. Yuck. Shea Moisture’s shampoo is all natural with healthy ingredients like shea butter (obviously), coconut oil, silk protein and neem oil. It lathers on my scalp, which I do like, but it doesn’t strip my hair at all. My hair feels so moisturized after using this shampoo I could almost detangle it.
TRESemmé Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
As all curly girls know, conditioner is right up there with water in terms of moisturizers we can’t live without. Also as we know, we can run through three bottles of conditioner before we finish one bottle of shampoo. So at about $5 a pop, this conditioner has been my best bet. It’s silicone-free with moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and avocado, and it has incredible slip for detangling. I’ve noticed TRESemmé changed the formula recently, and I actually prefer the old one (it was a bit thicker), but the new one still works wonderfully.
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
The Shea Moisture development team really hit the nail on the head when they made this product. Like all their products, it’s free of parabens, sulfates and mineral oil, it’s thick, super-moisturizing, and a little goes a very long way. I rake this through my hair to coat all the strands and define my curls, it leaves my hair so soft, and it smells amazing. I mainly use this product for my wash-and-gos.
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
I’d heard so much about this leave-in that I broke my rule and bought it before I ran out of my Curl Enhancing Smoothie. And I’m glad I did! Like the bottle claims, this is a very light-weight conditioner that still delivers moisture with ingredients like aloe vera juice and sunflower seed oil. I’ve been using this product whenever I do my french braid-out, since it dries quickly and doesn’t leave my hair heavy when I take out the braids. I do use a bit of coconut oil over this product to tame the bit of frizz it leaves.
L’Oréal EverStyle Curl Defining Gel
Gel, oh gel. I have such a tenuous relationship with thee. OK, I know that gel makes my hair super defined and frizz free, but I cannot STAND how it feels once it dries. So I don’t buy or use much of it. During one of my 20-minute visits to the hair section at Tar-jay, I saw this and thought I’d give it a try. It’s alcohol-free, but what really convinced me is that it contains orange peel oil, and my hair loves a good, lightweight oil. Lo and behold, it wasn’t bad! I use it very sparingly, just a light coating over the crown of my hair while it’s still wet, and it dries crunch-free and fights the frizz. For a gel, I give it a thumbs-up.
This is it – what I use in my hair every time I wash it, and so far they’re doing a great job. Of course, there are a TON of products I want to try, but I guess we’ll have to wait until I run out of something!