Good Products vs. Bad Habits

I get asked all the time:What products do you use? Please advise what you’ve applied to your hair to make it grow.


Many still rely on those miracle products to save their hair. From hairline loss to breakage to “something that’ll make it softer…forever”. If you’re waiting to find the holy grail of products, you’ll be waiting a long time. You can have it in your hands but all of your progress can be hindered by adopting bad habits, being lazy or unwilling to put in some work, commitment and consistency in how you handle your hair. Natural hair isn’t hard, it’s different from what many of us were used to and that’s what makes the journey hard. It’s hard to unlearn things we’ve been told and seen our whole lives but it’s not impossible.

I have a friend who has been natural for a few years and ’til this day, she struggles with her hair in the mornings and resorts to straightening it just so it’s manageable. She’s seeing her hair is getting damaged and it’s weak but she continues to do it anyways. I asked her (even though I knew the answer to my question) what she does to prep her hair before she sleeps. “Nothing.” Not even an attempt to wrap it at night. So, of course the mornings prove to be a battle every day. I mentioned this a few months ago: wrapping your hair and prepping it for the next day should be ingrained in you like brushing your teeth or removing makeup before you sleep. If you know your hair matts if you don’t prep it, why are you still expecting a manageable mane the next day?

Now, I’m not disputing that when it comes to healthy hair care, carefully chosen products play an important part.

Are they the be all and end all…well, no. While I’m discerning when it comes to the products that touch my hair, I don’t rely solely on them to grow my hair or make it look a certain way. And I think this is dangerous territory to be in. Many women seem to think that by buying something that promises them exponential hair growth or thickness, their problems will be solved or worse; it’ll fast track them to waist length hair without them actively putting in some work. In my opinion, the main thing holding you back from your healthy or long hair goal is you. How do you treat your hair? What habits have you adopted to make sure that these kick-ass products are going to get your hair to where you want it to be?

I have another lady who works at my spa asking me what products I use because she wants something that’ll permanently make her hair moisturised and soft. Permanently? How would that even be possible? When you wash your hair, that product comes out, so you need to actively re – moisturise and keep it soft. It doesn’t magically and permanently change – unless you put chemicals like texturiser or relaxer which…ummm kinda defeats the purpose. Products are important and it’s not easy finding a great selection in South Africa as our choices are limited but they’re not the only things to get you to healthy hair. They’re merely tools to help us there but we’re our own worst enemies. You could have the holy grail in your hand but your hair will still tangle if YOU don’t keep it detangled. It’ll still be dry if YOU don’t moisturise it regularly. It’ll still break if YOU decide to heat style it excessively.

It’s no good spending R300 on a product that has great ingredients only for you to undo any work it could’ve done by combing your hair with a fine toothed comb when it’s too kinky or…you get my drift. If you’re still not wrapping it at night that product isn’t going to save you. Good products can make your routine more manageable but only if you help it along.

What say you? Do you think a woman’s healthy hair is a result of just products?



  1. Anonymous
    September 12, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    Great blog post. You are totally correct!

  2. August 7, 2015 / 2:09 pm

    the game changer is the techniques!! it changes everything. i am actually surprised to find that I was using good products but the bad habits were cancelling the goodness out!

    great post!

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:17 pm

      Thanks Kangopie, I wish other women come to that realisation!

  3. August 6, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    Absolutely not! Even the product has directions on it so you can use it effectively.

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:16 pm

      Riiiiight?! Yet even after that, there's still questions on how to use it, what it contains etc. I just can't deal.

  4. August 4, 2015 / 9:47 am

    For me techniques matters a lot more than the type of products. But I have also found some holy grail products that make my hair feel so damn luscious. Like Dr Miracles Deep Conditioning pack. Yes yes yes to that.
    My hair is really thick so there have been times when Ive been lazy and it has cost me a couple of strands and length retention. But I am more careful nowadays and make sure its wrapped at night, make sure I detangle it properly, avoid certain hair tools and moisturize, moisturize and moisturize some more.

    Lol at the permanent moisture thing. I've seen so many naturals ask about having soft, manageable hair. How can I get my hair soft? Always have to tell people its not possible.

    Taking care of your hair is like taking care of your skin, it requires work.

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:18 pm

      Amen. Amen. Amen. And yes you can find some awesome products but even with those, if you mess around they won't save you. Only you can save your hair.

  5. August 3, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    You're very right. No matter how many great products you buy, if you don't put in the proper and CONSISTENT care, your hair will not flourish.

    Berry Dakara Blog

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:16 pm

      Thanks Berry, you put it in a nutshell

  6. August 3, 2015 / 10:56 am

    I think you on point. I dont use much products but i do make some effort to take care of my hair and it's very happy. Celebrating my third month fully natural now and 8 months no relaxer. My only problem is my scalp (have scalp eczema) and i'm still researching on products that will work for both my scalp and hair. My hair loves shea butter but my scalp hates it and currently i have to wash it twice a week to maintain a clean scalp and hair. Thanks to you Aish i always read your blog averyday i've read it all and has helped in my journey and i copy most of your styles.

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      Thanks so much Providence. I'm glad you're doing your own research into your hair and scalp health. It's so important to take it into your own hands and not always rely on a salon stylist etc.

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:10 pm

      Good you know it!

  7. August 3, 2015 / 8:20 am

    Permanently moisturised hair? Lol even our skin isn't permanently moisturised. Oh well. I agree with everything you've said. I invest in products so I know everything on my shelf is pretty good, but. I really could be more patient with my hair. I know I'd be doing better at length retention if I practiced more patience with my super thin strands.

    • August 15, 2015 / 1:09 pm

      Thanks for weighing in. I had to laugh at the "permanently soft and moisturised" question lol. Just like you, I also know that my habits are what has lead my hair to this stage.

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