The bulk of my beauty dollars are spent on hair care products. If anyone out there tells you that natural hair is easy to manage and maintain, slap/shake them until they take it back. For me, that shit is ridiculously time consuming and eats into my food and wine budget. While you have to look extra hard to find a selfie with my hair not in a bun, it takes a lot to keep my hair in decent condition in order to pull off said bun while keeping my edges in tact.
Current Favorite Products and Tools:
Nexxus Humectress Replenishing System Masque - If your hair is properly moisturized but you still have unexplained shedding, you might need a protein treatment. This masque contains white caviar and 100% pure elastin protein as well as glycerin, so it gives you the protein treatment you need without leaving hair feeling hard. I use it once to twice per month depending on my hair needs. $19.99 at Walgreens.
Leonor Greyl Masque a L’orchidée - is a conditioning mask that strengthens hair while forming a protein layer over hair cuticles to help tame frizz, boost shine and improve manageability. It doesn't have much slip but manages to keep hair tangle free with little to no shedding. I use this most often if I'm going to blow dry then flat iron my hair. $65 at Leonor Greyl
Okay Jamaican Black Castor Oil - Black castor oil has been a staple in my hair care routine since childhood -- my Grandmother used to make it. This one by Okay has Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E added -- both of which are believed to improve hair and scalp health. I use a tiny drop on my scalp and/or use it as a hot oil and steam treatment once or twice per month. $9.99 at sallybeauty.com
I absolutely love the Oyin Handmade Hair Dew ($13.99) -- It smells amazing and adds moisture to my hair without weighing it down. It helps that this leave in conditioner is made with good for hair ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, aloe and squalane. If you have hair like mine and you haven't tried this product -- get on it!
My Go-to heat protectant is Mizani Thermasmooth Smooth Guard Smoothing Serum ($25) - I add it to my hair before blow drying then just add a tiny bit more before flat ironing. It helps the iron glide over hair and smooth it out while giving it amazing shine.
The above products made it possible to blow dry and flat iron my hair once every two weeks. The Kiss Handle-less Blow Dryer ($24.99) makes blow drying super easy so I have to mentions as one of my most used styling tools. The Jose Eber Flat Iron ($139) has been my go-to iron for a few years and continues to be so. I use it most often on 325 degree because I'm not trying to go bone straight. I use Conair Prostyle 1875 Hooded Dryer for deep treating and steam treating my hair -- I have had mine since college and it might be on it's last leg (talk about $35 well spent!)
The products above are staples but since the start of the year, I have been making a real effort to wear my hair curly in the form of twist outs, so, I haven't been using the tools. However, I'm still trying to find the perfect combination of styling products and the right technique to get great twist out results every single time. Whenever I do a twistout I have to have a backup plan just in case they come out mushy, undefined, flaky or any number of ways other than perfect. So far, it's been a challenge and I am years deep in this natural hair game. Le sigh.
I want to wear my hair curly this year to get away from heat styling for a while and try to grow out my hair. I have a habit of cutting it just about every 6 months or so because it's so time consuming to manage. I've also started using Women's Rogaine to try to regrow the hair in the crown of my head [no, I won't post a before picture -- you're just gonna have to trust and believe :)]. The thinning of my hair and the extreme sensitivity of my scalp are the reasons I went natural for the second time in 2010 (my first time was in 2000) -- I have since found out that more than 1 in 4 women will experience female pattern hair loss. (As if cellulite and cramps aren't enough.)
Anyhow, over the next several months I will be sharing more hair care posts as I try to find the right products for my twistout. In the meantime, please let me know what products you like for twist outs.
This is officially a long ass post. (Leave a comment below if you made it all the way to the end. You deserve a prize!)