Now that you’ve done the Big Chop, it’s time to figure out how to choose natural hair products for your hair. The internet is overloaded these days with reviews for natural hair products. So it may be hard to figure out what products to choose for your hair. No need to buy & try every product that Kisha, Nequa and Nay Nay gave rave reviews. Take these steps to find products that will work for YOUR natural hair. You and your pockets will thank me later.
It’s important to have an idea of your hair type to help you to figure out what natural hair products may work best for your hair. Keep in mind though that everyone’s hair is different, and just because you have the same hair type as someone else doesn’t mean that the products that they use will work for you. There’s other factors to consider such as density and porosity (we will get to that.) Check out this post to help you determine your hair type. Now that you have an idea of your hair type, it’s important to figure out your hair’s density & porosity. Knowing your hair’s density and porosity is the next step in figuring out what your hair needs. Let me explain starting with hair density.
Density refers to the number of strands of hair on your head. But you don’t need to count the strands to figure it out. In simpler terms, density refers to the thickness of your hair. If you can easily see your scalp without parting you have thin, or low density hair. If it’s hard to see your scalp you have thick, or high density hair. Your hair can also be medium density.
Let’s use my hair as an example. My hair is high density and extremely thick. I can not see my scalp at all unless I part my hair. When my hair is dry, I can’t even easily get to my scalp to scratch. Lightweight moisturizers does little to nothing for my hair since it’s so thick. I have to seal with an oil and use a heavier cream on top (L.O.C. Method). Now if my hair was thin, the heavy cream would weight my hair down too much. The lightweight moisturizer would be perfect for me. To sum it up, low density hair = lightweight moisturizers. High density hair= heavier creams.
Now porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. You can figure out how porous your hair is with the Float Test. Take a few strands of your hair and drop them in a glass of water. After a few minutes, if your hair floats it’s low porosity, if it sinks slow it’s normal, and if it sinks immediately it’s high porosity.
Low Porosity hair resists moisture, is prone to product build up and takes a long time to dry. Clarifying shampoos and hair treatments such as Bentonite Clay helps to avoid product buildup and opens up the cuticles for moisture. Too much protein can make the hair dry and brittle. Deep conditioning with heat helps the hair to absorb the products better. And it’s best to style hair when damp. The L.O.C. (leave-in, oil, cream) Method can help to seal in and retain moisture. Just use minimal amounts of product to avoid build up.
Normal Porosity hair easily allows moisture in, and holds moisture and shine well. Hair is low maintenance and benefits from regular deep conditioning and moisturizing.
High Porosity hair is usually damaged. It easily absorbs water and soaks up product. The hair dries quick and can look dry and frizzy no matter how much products you apply. Protein treatments helps to make the hair stronger. While the L.C.O. (leave-in, cream, oil) Method can help to seal in moisture, protect hair and eliminate frizz.
I have type 4C hair with high density and low porosity. Here’s some of my favorite products…
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
As I Am Leave-In & Coil Defining Jelly
Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-In & Style Setter
CURLS Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly
Eco Styler Olive Oil & Coconut Oil Gel
EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Natural Curling Jelly
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie & Curling Gel Souffle
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo & Leave-In
The first five ingredients in a product has the highest concentrations. If your hair loves shea butter and coconut oil and a product boasts to have both, you may be inclined to snatch it up. However, if shea butter and coconut oil is number 12 and 13 on the list, put that product back. It’s not enough of either in there to do anything!
Now I know that was a lot to digest. After you figure out your hair type, density and porosity, choosing natural hair products should be easier. When choosing products, pay close attention to the ingredients list. As far as types of products, start with a shampoo, conditioner, oil to seal (I love coconut) and a styling product like a gel. Speaking of styling products, the next post in the Natural Hair 101 series will be Styling Your Own Natural Hair.