Friday, February 19, 2010

For Amanda

It really is some trial and error. I rarely shampoo my kids' hair. I only use conditioner. Right now we are using Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose. We have also used Neutrogena's Hair Mask. On Kenson's hair, it was always pretty short so I just used Africa's Best oil or olive oil and it seemed okay. With Conleigh's hair, I'm using Taliah Wajiid's Protective Bodifying Mist followed by a thick shea butter based product, Butter Me Up (Curls by Sisters Smith). I don't know what your price point is but here's a few names that get rave reviews by just about everybody. (For me this is always an issue.) Some mid priced products you might check out include Darcy's Botanticals and Kinky Curly. More expensive would be Miss Jessie's. The only cheaper (drugstore type) products I have like are the Neutrogena's Hair Mask, the Africa's Best, and the oils/butters that you buy at the health food store/in your grocery aisle. It doesn't mean there aren't okay things out there, just that most of the cheap stuff for ethnic hair has mineral oil or petroleum in it.

You really have to become good at reading labels. I completely avoid the mineral oil/petroleum products. Paraben is also a petroleum derivitive. It's kind of an iffy product. It's in several gels I use on Kenson's locs. But I am cautious of things with parabens. Also anything with cone at the end means it has an artificial "shiner" in the product. Again kind of iffy. Some say they are okay, some say not. The cone is supposed to make the hair look shinier. I will buy a product with a cone but prefer not to. Something else you want to look for is alcohol. Here's a link to an article on alchols. Not all alcohols are drying so you kind of want to learn the difference.

In general, you should be getting some type of conditioning/deep conditioning in the shower/bath. (Maybe every 3-4 days, maybe less.) Then add some additional moisture to the hair (this could be a hair milk, a leave in conditoner, aloe vera gel, etc.) Then add a sealer (coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, etc.) Every day that you don't do the conditioning in the bathtub, wet the hair and repeat adding moisture/sealer. At night, you can do a quick spritz with a leave in conditioner/moisturizer. (I spritz Conleigh's hair very lightly with Taliah Wajiid mist before bed. Not enough to get it completely wet, just enough to kind of "coat" her hair.) You might also try a hot oil treatment in the bathtub which might help you get some extra moisture back into the hair. (Just like you do a hot oil treatment on white hair, but you can just use some warm olive oil.)

Conleigh's hair felt terrible for several days after I took her braids out. It's finally getting better. (And not sticking straight out at odd angles.) So keep working on it; you'll get it.

You might also read through this post; I think I finally figured out the "why" behind what product to put on when.


Amanda said...

thanks so much for sharing! I'll be coming back to read it more thoroughly, but I think I'm on the right track. I stopped in at Whole Foods while we were out of town yesterday and bought a few items that have been recommended in general. I'm looking forward to seeing results, but if not, I'll step back and punt, on your advice! :~)

JoyfulMom @ said...

Great suggestions! Just a heads up, if anyone is looking to avoid petroleum, silicone, and mineral oil, they should skip Miss Jessie's products.