Healthy hair
Credit: Courtesy of Brides

Getting Acquainted With Your Hair Products

Are you reading the labels?

Caring for afro-textured hair doesn't have to be costly or difficult to maintain. For centuries black people had to tolerate harsh products unsuitable for use on their hair due to lack of available ingredients and proper research. Because of this, the use of heavy oils- basically petroleum based products-were extremely popular. Petroleum was cheap, easily produced and has been found to cause damage to the hair and scalp by clogging hair follicles, creating dirt build-up and retarding hair growth. Esthetically, it makes the hair appear dull and dirty and can be difficult to wash away.

At one time it was thought to aid in wound healing, but modern studies have found that it does the exact opposite by trapping bacteria within the skin which can cause infection. While the substance is not considered carcinogenic to humans, it is best to avoid hair products that contain petroleum, also known as white petrolatum, parrafin and mineral oil ( a derrivative of petrolem). If your goal is healthy, beautiful hair, stay away from products that contain this ingredient!

Returning to Nature for Optimal Hair Health

The perfect products to help care for your hair may be closer than you think, and more affordable than you expect! As awareness grows regarding the health of  aftro-textured hair, research has found that the most effective black hair products are the ones with all natural ingredients, namely, essential oils.

 The good news is that you can skip the fillers and simply buy the high quality indredients! Mostly all of these essential oils can be purchased at your nearest health food store or even online. They are reasonably priced and are known to work as well or better than costlier brand-name hair care products. 

When it comes to essential oils, a little goes a long way. They may be used as everyday moisturizers along with, or, as a main deep-conditioning treatment. Because some of them may also be food grade, they can have numerous other uses throughout your home!

Top Ten Essential Oils for Black Hair:

1. Apricot Kernel Oil-A delicate oil used to help heal and restore brittle damaged hair. Do not heat.

2. Shea Nut Oil- Extracted from shea butter and contains many of the same conditioning and healing properties. It blends very smoothly into other hair products. Do not use this oil for cooking.

3. Grapeseed Oil- A light, quick absorbing oil, excellent for sensitive skin and adding shine to the hair

4. Avocado Oil-Be sure to use cold pressed avocado oil. A natural protector agains styling and heat damage. Absorbes easily into hair and scalp and helps stimulate circulation

5. Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil-May be used as a daily conditioner and hot oil and deep conditioning treatments

6. KuKui Nut Oil- Kukui oil comes from the Kukui tree and is known as a healing oil in Hawaii , it is rich in essential fatty acid and vitamin A and E. This is a heat-sensitive oil that should not be used as a hot oil treatment. It has a limited shelf life so it is not meant to be stored over long periods of time. 

7. Olive Oil-Be sure to use extra virgin olive oil. It acts as an anti-inflamatory agent for the scalp, prevents dandruff and contains vitamin E. 

8. Tee Tree Oil- Great for dandruff prone dry scalp.

9. Lavender Oil- A fragrant conditioning oil  used in aromatherapy

10. Jasmine Absolute  Oil- A fragrant conditioning oil also used in aromatherapy

The best thing about essential oils is that they may be combined with each other or boost the conditioning properties of a hair cair product you already own! Use the aromatic oils to scent your moisturizers and conditioning treatments. Yor hair will smell delicious! Another popular favorite that can be easily made in your own kitchen is rose water. Rose water smells amazing and improves scalp circulation, which encourages hair growth. It also stops and prevents split ends.

Ingredients you will need are:

Rose Petals

Sweet Almond Oil

Distilled Water

Pot/Stir Stick

(See rose water turorial below) 

A short video about essential oils, carrier oils and other natural products

Rose Water Tutorial