Quite a few people have asked me what products I use, and when I tell them that many of the things I put onto my hair are homemade, they’re shocked. Granted, doing the whole DIY thing isn’t for everyone. And before I went natural, it wasn’t for me either. But on my quest to find out what I wanted to do with my hair once I stopped relaxing it, I came across some very useful and informative articles, blog posts and videos that explained some of the ingredients many of us use on our hair (and body) every day. That started getting me thinking that it might be a good idea to actually document what works for my hair and what doesn’t. Some women will take photos, others will write the results in a little notebook (NB Cotton On is selling some FABULOUS ones for super cheap ;)) I started a blog. And it’s the best thing I’ve done for my hair. Being able to keep all of the information I’d been researching and a photo journal of how my hair looks after doing a certain something to it with a certain product has kept me on track when I’ve felt uninspired and down. The photos don’t lie, your hair can grow and flourish if you’re mindful about what goes on it.
The truth is, we are very trusting of the companies that sell us these products. I’m in advertising, and from what I know goes on there, most companies don’t have your back. They will say and print whatever they need to, to increase their sales. This is particularly true of cosmetics companies. If a product contains even as little as 1% of an ingredient, the company has the right to focus on that and place it on the front of their product, or include it in the headline of an ad and make it their main selling point. And legally, they’re allowed to do this. Calling a product “Aisha’s Coconut Oil” and advertising it as “The only hair food that contains nature’s coconut secret” doesn’t necessarily mean that it consists of a high amount of coconut oil. The further down the ingredients list it is, the less your product consists of it.
Now, if you’re not too fussed about what products you put on your hair, as long as you have hair on top of your head, then this post isn’t for you. But if you care about what ingredients cosmetic companies are really putting into your products, then it might be a good idea to do some digging. That’s what I did. And that’s how I ended up knowing what to put into my homemade products and what I was comfortable with putting on my hair. I identified that my hair is naturally thick, very dry, prone to breaking and my scalp gets dry and flaky as soon as the day after wash day. From there, I began to research what ingredients help with dry hair? Answer: aloe vera. What helps hair grow? Answer: castor oil. What ingredients help to moisturise my hair and keep it moisturised? Answer: plain old water, glycerin etc. That’s how my daily spritz ended up with avocado oil in it and my lemon butter with a whole ton of shea butter.
I identified my hair needs, and tried and tested products based on research until I found my happy place. And my hair needs may be different to yours, and I won’t know that. But what I do know is that some of the things I’ve read and researched on are true for me and I’d like to share that with you. I’m not an expert, nor a qualified hair professional. I’m just a girl who decided to take more control over what I put into and onto my body. If something actually includes a potentially “bad” ingredient, doesn’t mean I won’t use it…it just means I’m going to research that ingredient and see if it’s bad for me. Some naturals swear off ‘cones; I don’t. Others use 100% natural products and nothing store bought; I don’t. But I do read the ingredients list on every product I buy and if I’m happy with it, then I’ll buy it, knowing full well what I’m getting myself into, not just blindly trusting what “Black & Beautiful” claim they’ll do for my hair.
I’ve done this research. Not to say that I’m finished with
it, taking care of your hair is a continuous process. And although I’m
more comfortable with my hair routine now, sometimes my hair has a
tantrum and decides You know what? I actually don’t like Yes to Cucumbers’
conditioner. It happens. And when that does, I have to go online again and do my research for the next thing. So I’m going to be sharing what I’ve read, come across and learned whilst doing my research by linking my relevant older posts in these new ones.
Here is the first of the series: