As someone who recently began embracing her natural hair and really learning how to take care of it, I have a lot of products. Whether it comes from something I was specifically searching for, something that I bought on impulse or as gifts from family, friends, or companies themselves, I definitely have a shelf or two full of products geared towards natural hair. On my hair shelf, you can find some doubles (even a triple or two), some products I’m never even gotten a chance to try before, and then you can find my favorite products of all time. Now, I’ve tried a lot of brands, both popular and homemade and I’ve gathered a few of my favorite go-to products to share with you all.
My first two go-to products are Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo and their Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Conditioner. When it comes to Shea Moisture, they’re usually a new natural’s first choice brand due to the hype and after a while, it dies down and one usually moves on to other products. That’s only partially the case when it comes to my natural hair journey. Although I’ve steered away from a lot of their leave-ins and other styling products (I still love the detangler from their low porosity live though!), I still love using them for my overall cleansing products. My type 4 hair absolutely loves Jamaican black castor oil so this shampoo is perfect for making sure my hair is still getting the nutrients it needs while it’s being cleaned. This shampoo also has shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar and I know that apple cider vinegar is great for cleansing so it definitely gets the job done since my low porosity hair is prone to product buildup. I also add a few drops of tea tree oil to my shampoo because I’m pretty sure it’s one of my hair’s favorite oils and it helps with dry hair, which I tend to have at times.
Speaking of my low porosity hair and tea tree oil, Shea Moisture’s conditioner from their low porosity line is a godsend. It not only smells amazing, but it has ingredients that feed my hair the moisture it needs. It includes both baobab and tea tree oils, spearmint, and clary sage. Each of these products works very well for my low porosity hair because they not only help condition my hair, but they cleanse it as well. The product itself is said to “provide lasting moisture without product buildup” and it really does just that! I recall one day my friends were rushing me for one of our family dinners and I was washing my hair at the time so I didn’t have enough time afterward to do a whole twist or braid out so it ended up being a wash and go and it surprisingly stayed moisturized throughout the night (with the addition of a little leave-in conditioner as well, specifically the low porosity leave-in detangler from Shea Moisture). If you aren’t about exactly what hair porosity is or how to figure out exactly what yours is, check out the graphic above. To put it simply, hair porosity measures how well your hair takes in moisture. As a low porosity gal, my hair doesn’t take moisture well at all and is prone to product buildup, because of this I have to use shampoo to make sure my scalp is clean and I can’t use super heavy products because it will just weigh my hair down instead of moisturizing it.
My next go to product is, of course, my handy dandy spray bottle! I keep it pretty simple in my spray bottle, just water and a small collection of oils. So the first oil I use is extra dark Jamaican black castor oil, there’s really no specific reason why I started using the extra dark kind, it was just the only one available when I bought it. After looking up the difference, extra dark JBCO is said to have more nutrients than the original but I’m not sure if there’s any actual truth to this. The next oils in my spray bottle are sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, flaxseed and monoi oil (from Aunt Jackie’s and I literally just ran out), and lastly, hemp seed oil. When it comes to my hemp seed oil use, I was a little skeptical at first because I wasn’t sure what the direct use of it in my hair would do for the health of my hair but after much research, I found out that it has a huuuuge amount of benefits such as stimulating growth, super moisturizing your hair, strengthening it so that it prevents breakage, and more (1, 2, 3). I tend to use my spray bottle for literally everything. I use it when I need to moisturize it real quick or when right before I apply my leave-in during a style. I highly recommend that every naturalista get a spray bottle and throw a couple of oils in there and maybe a leave-in conditioner too.
My next favorite products are two leave-in conditioners that smell fabulous and define the hell out of my hair. First, is Camille Rose’s Honey Leave-In from their leave-in collection. This is only one conditioner from the collection and is used to hydrate the hair. I saw it one day in Target last year and bought it on impulse and I’m so happy that I did! It smells so sweet and it really defines my curls really really well. I also know that honey is a humectant, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air and humidity, so I only use this in the summer and it just really brightens my day knowing my hair is all moisturized and smelling good. I prefer to use this product for styling rather than refreshing since the honey leaves my hands sticky and my hair slightly heavy. It definitely needs some time to set into my hair and moisturize it before I wear it outside.
The second leave-in that’s captured my heart and the health of my hair is Curls Blueberry Bliss Leave-In Conditioner. If you’ve ever tried this conditioner, you know that this stuff has a strong smell and that’s partially the reason we all love it. I like to use this product for a quick refresher of moisture, whether that’s right before wash day or when I’m just too lazy or don’t have the time to wash and style. It definitely does a great job and locking in moisture and keeps my coil moisturized throughout the day.
My final go-to products are the one, the only Eco Style gels. In the lead photo, I featured the cannabis sativa oil, black castor oil, and olive oil one but I also love the Eco Gold gel and the flaxseed & JBCO Eco gel. I use them all for different things honestly. I don’t like to use the flaxseed one for twist outs or braid outs, I usually use it for laying my hair down (well, attempting to) or my edges if I ever feel like doing them. I prefer to use the other two for twist outs and braid outs as well as getting my hair braided, especially the sativa one. If you’re wondering how I came across this product, I saw it on Pinterest and spent all summer looking for it in Georgia but didn’t find it until I came back to DC and I love it. It, like almost all of my other products, smells great and I really think that it has contributed to my hair growth while it’s in protective styles.
So those are my go-to products, but as a product junkie, I do like to switch it up at times and try new things so stay tuned to my Instagram where I share a lot of what’s going on with my hair. If any products that I didn’t include come to mind, I’ll definitely add them to my story and my “beauty/style” highlight! What are a few of your go-to products? Would you consider yourself a product junkie? Let me know in the comments below!