The year was 2007 and I decided to go natural (again…no really this time it’s real). First item on the hair journey agenda is to decide to chop or transition. Hmmm. Transition, it is.
Next item on the agenda is to decide how I will style my hair. Straight styles for starters then all coils on display once 100% natural. Now the big decision…what products should I use?
No doubt, I have spent $100s on hair products since 2007. I have tried shampoos, conditioners, leave-in conditioners, oils, and pomades. I tried inexpensive products and “This product is way too expensive! I’ll take two, please.” products. Needless to say, I acquired quite a collection of half empty bottles.
The results from my quest for the perfect product varied. Some didn’t work at all. Some worked for a while then stopped working. Some worked but the ingredients gave me the blues. After much frustration and the ever-decreasing space in my pantry, I decided I had to make a change. It was time for product junkie rehab.
I cleared my cupboards of all of the off-the-shelf products that I had purchased over the years. Then I headed over to Google to research the science of hair. There had to be a reason why some products worked well and some did not work at all.
I will not delve too deeply into the science of hair in this post (besides, kimmaytube explains it much better) but I will advise that you learn YOUR hair. Everyone’s hair is different so products may have different results. The product junkie rehab is a 4-step process:
- Analyze your hair’s characteristics (texture, porosity, elasticity and density)
Determine your hair type by visiting Naturally Curly and selecting the hair type that best describes your strands. Keep in mind that you could fall into more than one category. As for me, my hair has a tighter curl pattern around the nape of my neck.Porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb and retain moisture. To determine your hair’s porosity level, visit Naturally Curly.Elasticity is the ability of your hair to stretch and then return to its original length without breaking. To determine your hair’s elasticity level, visit Live Curly, Live Free.
- Analyze your environment (humidity, dewpoint, ambient air temperature, wind chill, heat index)
- Learn more about product ingredients
EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database is an excellent source for learning more about product ingredients. Simply read the label on your product bottle (easier said then done, right?) and plug the ingredient into the search box. My mantra is to stay as close to nature as possible.
- Choose products based upon your hair needs
Now that you know about YOUR hair, it’s time to select your products wisely. Speak with a well-trained stylist about recommendations for your hair characteristics. If you are quite the brave one, mix your own products in your kitchen. Either way, make sure the product is customized for YOUR hair.
*DEEP SIGH* So with all of that said, you are well on your way to kicking that pesky (and expensive) product junkie habit. Good luck!