Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014 Roundup of Favorite Products: Hair Care

To close out the old and enter the new, I spent the last few weeks of 2014 working on this list of some of my favorite products of the year. And, okay, I even included a few of the not-so-favorites.

  • Africa's Best Hair Mayo I adore this stuff. I don't use it all the time but, when my hair has gotten stressed and dried out from over-dyeing or just needs a re-boot, this is the stuff. Less the 12 bucks (online) for 15oz; slightly cheaper at local stores - when you can find it. Little goes a long way.
  • KeraCare Leave-in. Just wish this were more affordable. A little doesn't always go a long way (depends on what shape my hair is in), but I love the non-sticky softness it gives. 
  • Mineral Balsam Conditioner. This is like the Hair Mayo: works best to re-boot my hair from product build-up. Works really well for natural hair care. Seriously hydrates the hair & a little bit does go a long way, making the price well worth it. I cannot find this in any of my local stores or salons, so it's best to order ahead to make sure there's always some on hand. 
  • StaSofFro. I will not ever be without some of this around. If my hair is seriously dry, I will drench it in this and sleep with a scarf on. By morning, the spray has soaked in and my hair has gone from desert to ocean - as far as moisture retention. This is best for natural styles because it does make hair difficult to  heat-style. I think this should be a staple for every natural hair woman, especially when wearing protective styles that will maintained for a while. Also, I would never pay more than $5.00 for it. This can easily be found at Walmart wherever there is any kind of ethnic diversity.
  • Vidal Sassoon Moisture Lock Shampoo & Conditioner. I know that I'm supposed to be concerned with sulfates and blah blah blah. I want to be concerned but I'm broke. I have to use what is cheap and effective. This fits the bill. I think people overlook V.S. products in favor of all that's newer and trendy, but I have to give this top billing for price and effectiveness.  

As far as things that were on my so-so and so-not lists, I won't go into much detail. Let me just say that I have been disappointed in more than a few hair care products for the following reasons:

  1. They get a lot of celebrity endorsement & hype without living up to it. The price is also usually up there with what only a celebrity should be buying... 
  2. They don't work as well as more affordable products, but their prices afford them better marketing.
  3. They are made by companies that obviously don't understand "natural" hair - or any hair that doesn't fit a general mold of needs. 
  4. If they actually do work, they cost so much that it's a shame to use them.
Finally, I save some criticism for all those items that come as part of a hair care kit - hair dyeing kits, hair-relaxing kits, etc. I really hate when they include a shampoo or conditioner that works like voodoo. Until you go out and purchase that shampoo or conditioner as a stand-alone item. Then it never works quite as well. (Kind of like how the $90-a-bottle perfume never smells quite as good as the sample you got. I'm just saying.)

Next time, I will post about some of my favorite skin care products and remedies.