In these economic times getting the most bang for your buck is what it's about. You want to buy high quality products that does what it says its going to do and can be multiple purposed. Having many products, each for a different purpose only drains your wallet and leaves your hair without a consistent routine. Of course, we all have different needs for our hair texture and lifestyle so finding those key products will help simplify the maintenance of our hair immensely. Here are some pointers that I tried and has allowed me to focus on products that do what they say they will, gives me versatility when styling and simplifies the process of washing and conditioning my hair each week:
- Choose a shampoo and conditioner combo by the same brand that not only clarifies but adds moisture to your hair and stick to it: For months I was searching for a perfect shampoo and conditioning set. Kiss My Face Big Body Shampoo and Conditioner really delivers for me. The shampoo clarifies but doesn't strip my hair and the conditioner adds moisture and strength to my hair with a mix of rice protein, aloe vera, glycerin and oils like jojoba, colza, and sunflower. This conditioner is great, I can use it to do co-washes, quick treatments for five minutes after shampooing in the shower and as a leave-in conditioner. My hair loves this combo and I can definitely say these are my weekly wash and conditioning staples.
- Keep it simple with moisturizers: We all love the new, newest thing especially if it boast all natural and organic ingredients. Don't be fooled, hair is simple in the sense that if you have your staples and they work than stick to it. You only need one or two moisturizers depending on the change of climate of where you live from summer to winter. I eliminated a moisturizer out of my routine because my shea butter was doing a great job along with my leave-in conditioner at keeping my hair moist, conditioned and frizz free during these summer months. In the winter I'll start adding in Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream again, until than I'm good!
- Know your oils: Some naturals hate oils while others like myself love them. I have three main ones other than my shea butter that I use. Extra Virgin Oilve Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Neem Seed Oil are used for a variety of things like sealing my ends (evoo & castor), adding them to my deep conditioning treatments (evoo, castor & neem), hot oil treatments (evoo, castor & neem), and scalp messages (evoo & castor), which oil I use or if I combine them depends on my mood and the needs of my hair. My go to pomade is Qhemet Biologics Amla Oil Nourishing Pomade for smoothing my hair, adding shine and conditioning, I love this stuff!
- Check out your kitchen: simple kitchen stuff like honey, mayonnaise, cooking oils like olive oil and grape seed oil, baking soda, molasses, eggs, crisco, and yogurt are used by many naturals to maintain their beautiful tresses.
- Buy in bulk and/or make annual orders from online: This will save you mon-ey! I buy my shea butter by the pound and that means I only buy it twice a year if I buy a pound at a time. You will also save alot of money by buying large quantities online to last you the whole year instead of doing multiple orders and each time paying ridiculous shipping charges.
- Stick to what you know works for your hair: I say this from experience. Don't buy every product that another natural professes works in their hair. I did it a few times and I can certainly say that most of them didn't do nothing for my hair but make it more dry and damaged. Most of the products that are my staples is because I did research on the brands that I use by looking at the ingredients. My hair loves herbs in products like sage, burdock nettle, coltsfoot ....etc., my hair loves oils and a moderate to small amount of protein if any. So I know if I give a product a try with these general guidelines my hair just may think its okay or love it.
- Choose key styles and mix them up: My key set that I use is bantu knots. I can do so much with my hair when I set it at night and let it out in the morning. I can seperate it and fluff it for a curly fro, bun it, half up and half down, banana clip it, do a cute chignon or I can french roll it, the list can go on and on.
- Buy locally: If you can get an item like shampoo, shea butter, coconut oil, etc. locally than why order online? As consumers their is a wealth of variety for us to choose from. If you are having difficulty finding a product visit places you may not be accustomed to like your local flea market and/or health food stores to find simple products that are staples for many of us.
The most important thing I can say is to leave your hair alone. The less you do to it the more your hair will thrive. Give it what it needs and let it live! Natural hair is beautiful and should be cared for as fine gold but that doesn't mean we have empty wallets with fab hair styles, that's not cool. Balance it out, and use what you have.