Let's talk Product!
I'm a little hesitant about writing this because my experience has shown me that most natural hair wearers start their journey dipping their toe into the vast world of natural hair products and by the time they get to me, these kinky curly girls are swimming in an ocean of unnecessary product purchases. You're laughing, but you know it's a thing. Becoming a product addict is a very real thing! I've seen it with my own two eyes. I've had new clients proudly walk into the salon, carrying a bin full of products labeled as the best, newest, greatest thing since sliced bread for natural curls. I usually stand with an expressionless face as I listen to them ramble on and on about the many products they've tried and then they look at me with confusion in their eyes and say "Which of these products should I use for my curls?"
Well in case you're wondering. I usually advise these product overloaded clients to keep maybe 3 out of the 25-30 products she's collected.
I like to start off new curl relationships by telling new clients to stop using products all together. In the beginning, of our curl relationship, I take a few weeks to see how your curls and scalp really behave. We've been taught to slather on tons of heavy conditioners, creams, gels, oils, lotions, & potions to tame our curls, combat flakiness, and obtain that forever sought after "SHINE!" What I have found over the years is that most of us actually need very little of these products, if any in between styling visits. Curls that are healthy and moisturized behave happily without much of the extra stuff.
But these times are different. You and I aren't able to get together in the salon right now, because Covid-19 has us social distancing. So for the next few weeks, your hands will have to be an extension of my hands. In order to protect the health of your curls, over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing with you everything I know about curl health and maintenance. I refuse to loose any curls to breakage during this time. I'm just not willing...
So here goes the product talk (why do I feel the same anxiousness I felt when I had the talk with my daughters about sex and protecting themselves??? It's like I gotta give you the information so you can make an informed decision about your curls, but I don't wanna give you permission to be out there all willy nilly ordering everything you see. I wanna say, this is necessary and fun but I'm just not sure you're ready.)
Before I get started, let me say this about all of the products I am recommending. These are all products I have tried and fallen in love with for various reasons, but there are a few characteristics that all of them possess. I seek out clean products. I do not like products with lots of unnecessary fillers and crap. I read labels, not descriptions and false promises. All of the products I use are moisturizing. Moisture is the most important thing when it comes to having healthy curls. So having said all of that, let's get started.
1. I love Influance Rosemary Stimulating Shampoo for crochet braid shampoos. It is my favorite. It gently cleanses the scalp without drying it out. It tingles so you actually feel clean and refreshed. It can be used on all curl patterns. If you have very dry hair that has a hard time absorbing moisture, use this as your first shampoo and choose the curlessence as a second shampoo. We will talk about the basics of shampooing properly in a different blog post. You can not buy this the store though. You can purchase this product from a licensed stylist. You may be able to find some places online that sell it and ship it. I am actually trying to get some shipped to me, so that I will have some bottles that you can purchase on the website.
2. Congo Mello Moisture Hydrating Shampoo is another favorite of mine. It also provides a gentle cleanse. It is my preferred shampoo for ladies wearing updos, two strand twist, and other protective styles. If you have crochet braids and don't care for the tingle of the rosemary shampoo, this is an excellent option for you. This shampoo can be used on all curl patterns. I love that a little of this shampoo goes a very long way. This is another product that must be purchased through licensed stylist. You can also find it online at different places.
3. Curlessence Moisturizing Shampoo is a must have in the salon. This is a gentle shampoo with great lather and it leaves the hair feeling soft and moisturized. And it smells delicious. This can be used on all hair types. If you have itchy scalp use the rosemary for your first shampoo and this as your second. If you have product build up or are a person who sweats heavily, use a clarifying shampoo for your first shampoo and this as your second. This is a product you can find in most local hair stores or purchase online. I'm including an amazon link for this shampoo. If you need to get some shampoo like yesterday...this is it. Buy here.
4. Malibu Un-Do-Goo. This is my go to clarifying shampoo. It is great for taking away product build up without drying out your curls. You can't really ask for much more from a clarifying shampoo. You can purchase this here.
1. Aquage Healing Conditioner...Anybody who's been in my salon at least once in the past 10 years will tell you I love aquage conditioners. It is hands down the best conditioner I've ever used. I have an old IG video that talks about why I love it so much....I'll see if I can find it for you guys. But in the meantime, just trust me on this. It's amazing. This can be used for most natural hair wearers, low porosity, high porosity, dry, flaky, it can be used for protective styles and blow outs. It is not heavy and creamy, its just moisturizing. If you have very dry brittle hair, you can slather a nickel sized amount on your hair, cover with a plastic cap and allow it to marinate and moisturize. You can purchase it on amazon as well. Purchase here.
2. Curlessence Moisturizing Conditioner...This is the companion to the curl essence shampoo. It is a gentle conditioner and moisturizes fairly well. I use this conditioner mostly on clients with high porosity hair. If you have thick, coarse, or sexy kinky curls, this is not the best conditioner for you. You can purchase this here.
3. Silicone Mix Deep Conditioner...This conditioner is a very good deep conditioner. It can be used with a plastic cap and heat and steam. It is great for most curl patterns. For curl patterns that love thick creamy conditioners, this is a very good everyday conditioner as well. If you feel you need a deep conditioner, hit me up and let's chat about what is going on before purchasing. You can purchase this here.
4. Congo Mello Moisture Hydrating Conditioner...This is my go to conditioner for blow outs and curl patterns that can not handle heavy conditioners. Its an excellent hydrating conditioner that does not leave any residue behind. It does not do well on thick tight curls. As with other Congo products, it must be purchased from an authorized seller.
Leave In Conditioner
Before I share my favorite leave in conditioners, let me say, I use a leave in conditioner on every client. I double condition. I use the conditioner at the shampoo bowl to hydrate, condition, and moisturize curls. I use the leave in conditioner primarily to ease the detangling process and prevent breakage when detangling and combing wet curls. I like for my leave in conditioners to be light and have tons of slip.
1. It's a 10 is my absolute favorite. It works well on most curl patterns and it smells delicious. It provides excellent slip without residue and build up. It can be used when getting protective styles or blow outs. It provides extra protection from heating tools as well. You can purchase it here.
So, this is a list of a few of the main products I use in the salon. It should get you started. If you have questions on which products you should choose, feel free to email me to set up a virtual consultation or appointment.
Happy Product Shopping!