I often get questions about product recommendations. Because my readers have a variety of hair textures and folks don’t always provide enough information, I often hesitate to make very specific product recommendations because what might work for one person with a specific texture may not work for someone else with yet an entirely different One.
However, I do usually try to respond, but I’ll tell ya trying to give individual product recommendations is a daunting task, particularly since the success that someone has can be very hit or miss and all about personal preferences. And even when I respond, any specific recommendations are usually based on my personal experience, which really isn’t all that extensive. You see, I’m not a product junky — never had to be simply because I figured out what worked for me early in my natural hair journey. Years later, I’ve paired it all down to just ONE must have product…my moisturizer. Everything else, including shampoo and conditioner are totally optional.
So now I’m gonna take this opportunity to exhaust the list of products I’ve tried, and why I use them or why I ditched them. And if you have hair like mine, this should be a good starting point for what you may want to try yourself. But beyond that, you’re really going to have to do some RESEARCH, see what’s out there. Join a hair board and check the products forums to see what people are using AND what they’re saying about them. cNappymeNow.com, Nappturality.com and Longhaircareforum are just a few that come to mind.
Blogs are another good source for product reviews and recommendations. I’ve just started to add full blow product reviews to my blog, Nappturology 101 so information here is limited in that regard. Beyond mine, check out AfroBella.com and NappilyEvahAfter. The sistas who maintain these blogs (and have a different texture than myown) LOVE to do product reviews and are LOADED with information and most likely will lead you to other resources as well.
After that, you’re just going to have to give something a try. But before you buy, pay attention to a company’s return policy. I mean, why should you have a shelf full of products that don’t work and you no longer want. If it doesn’t work to your satisfaction you should be able to return it and get your money back. I never buy products from any place that doesn’t allow me to return it. My philosophy is that companies and manufacturers should stand behind their product. If the label says it moisturizers, but leaves your hair hard, dry and crunchy, then that product has NOT delivered on it’s hype and the company should not get to keep my money.
If you find that you can’t return something (and you buy it anyway) you might be able to get rid of it on an Internet swap-and-sell board. Again, black hair care sites are often a good source for this type of activity.
Now for my personal list:
PRO-LINE COMB-THRU LITE CREME MOISTURIZER. Oh how I love thee…let me count the ways!
It has a scent-free water/glycerin-based formula that keeps my hair moisturized (not tacky or sticky), during the summer months, for days on end. If I apply to clean, air dried hair, I’ll need to applications and after that, my hair will stay moisturized for weeks on end. In the winter, I usually add just a little jojoba oil to it to make the product more substantial. I can usually apply liberally and repeatedly in a two or three week time span and not have horrible build up. It’s water soluable and rinses right out under forceful, streaming water.
No matter I what I try, I always run back to this stuff. It’s the absolute bomb. Seems like you can find a 6 oz tube of this stuff most anywhere including Walmart for about $2.10 and just under $3 at Walgreens and most beauty supply stores. For the time being, I get Dollar General for $2.
Biggest pro: It moisturizes extremely well in the summer. Biggest con: It needs help in the winter. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it moisturizes by drawing water from the air to bind with your hair. In dry conditions glycerin does not work at all so your hair can dry out much faster. In the winter, I add jojoba oil to it to help it act as an emollient so that my hair is more soft and supple.
Carefree Curl Moisturizer. This is the first water/glycerin-based product that I ever tried as a natural when I was switching over from mineral oil and petroleum-based products. I first read about glycerin on hair boards. Then one day, I was at a BSS and picked this up and read the label and it had what I was looking for — glycerin. I was hesitant at first because, it is after all a jheri curl product and that alone gives it a bad rap. But I decided to try it, and I’m glad I did. Instant softness like nothing had ever done for my natural hair before. Unlike the product of old, it doesn’t have that jheri curl scent that folks my age are so familiar with.
Biggest pro: Moisturizes great and leaves hair really soft. Biggest con: The product is thick and it comes out of the pump in globs, which can clog up the pump. It’s best applied to loose hair and has to be worked into it thoroughly or else you can find yourself with glops of unabsorbed product in your hair. An 8 oz bottle sells for under $4 wherever you can find it, including any beauty supply store.
Wave Nuveau Moisturizer. The wave nuveau was the answer to an improved jheri curl. When it was invented, they came up with a moisturizer just for that. If memory serves me correct, the Wave Nuveau was supposed to be the “dry, no drip curly perm.” Hmmm…whatever.
For my purposes as a natural, it worked just as well as the Carefree Curl Moisturizer, and I could use them interchangeably. So I won’t say much more about it except to say I don’t think it’s as thick as the Carefree formula, and I never had a problem with the product clogging the pump. Available where ever you can find, including most beauty supply stores at a comparable price.
Scurl Lite Wave Jel Activator. For the life of me I can’t remember this stuff being blue. I thought the product I had was clear. Anyhoo, this is the Scurl was yet process that was invented to improve upon the jheri curl. So hence the need for an Scurl product. Now, for those of you too young to remember jheri curls, when they got old, the curls wouldn’t hold as well. So then you purchased activator to liven them up. Turns out, this stuff is the bomb on natural hair. It’s light and clear (I swear mine was clear) and doesn’t flake. It’ll dry and leave your hair touchable. Unfortunately, I never used it during the winter so I don’t know how it performs during the colder months of the year.
Biggest pro: lite, clear formula that doesn’t turn sticky or tacky. Build up isn’t a problem either. Biggest con: I’m soooo cheap so I thought this was a tad bit pricey, a six ounce tube will set you back about $3.
ey. hen just try it on CLE, PRODUCT FREE HAIR, because if you’re layering it on top of other products, you really can’t tell how it’s performing. Additionally, you have to consider that no all products work well with one another and as a result, you can end up with some nasty residues that can be over sticky/tacky, grainy or hideously flakey.Really pay attention to your hair and how it responds to a product. I can tell you what types of things to try in general. For example, someone might say that their hair is dry and breakinglikI can only telly you the kind of products my hair likes and that includes ones like and Wave Nuveau , which are two very good water/glycerine based products. I also like Pro Line Comb Thru Lite Creme Moisturizer and this has become my staple go to product over the last four years. No matter what I try, I always end up coming right back to my trusty Proline. I’ve also found that my hair responds well to . However, in a crunch I don’t particularly need brand loyalty when it comes water/glycerin-based products cause it seems most any product with these two primary ingredients can keep my hair sufficiently moisturized. However, I have thumbed my nose at some because over time, they’ll leave nasty, hideous grainy or flakey residue in your hair and on the scalp. So not ALL are reated equal even if they appear to have the same or similar ingredients. But the ones I have listed here have performed well for me. So if you have 4b hair similar to mine these could be a good starting point for you as well.
Bottom line: Whatever your texture, you’ll need to experiment to find your preference and discover what’s right for you.