There are a lot of Black hair products on the market these days and many of the big companies are paying attention to us. They know what we look for in products and mark their products appropriately “No sufates, parabens or cones” to grab our attention but may have mineral oil or petroleum as the first ingredient! So for this reason, I always stress the importance of understanding ingredients in hair products.
Using mineral oil as a prime example, it is a cheap “filler” ingredient that gives relatively little benefit to the hair. However, it can give the hair a short term feeling of being moisturized and shiny by coating the strands. However, a few days after using a deep conditioner with mineral oil as the first ingredient we will probably notice our hair feels greasy but brittle. So if we can’t always trust the way our hair feels alone, how can you tell if your products are working for your hair?
Read The Labels
First you have to understand the ingredients in your hair products as I said earlier. Things like knowing that water is the ultimate moisturizer, what oils penetrate the hair and what are humectants versus proteins for example. Once you feel like you understand your ingredients, now READ the ingredient labels of every hair product you buy. Don’t just blindly trust a brand or the description of the product. Who cares if it promises to leave your hair silky and strong when it contains crappy ingredients or things your hair doesn’t respond well to? Plus, sometimes brands change their formula without notifying customers and usually we won’t realize the difference until our hair begins to suffer.
Does the Product Disappear?
This is a great tip I read on a fellow hair friend’s blog, This Natural Thing. While reviewing a conditioner she noted that after applying the product appeared to sit on the hair with a white cast. Later, after she sat under her heat cap, the product seemed to “disappear” into her strands. This is an excellent measure of whether or not the product has penetrated your strands. I’ve personally experienced this when I used a deep conditioner that contained emulsifying wax and despite all the positive reviews about the brand noticed that the product never did disappear into my hair and just seemed to sit on the top layer of my hair.
Does Your Hair Stay Moisturized for Multiple Days?
Normally if you use a great deep conditioner, you will notice that you don’t need to add tons of products afterwards. Furthermore, your hair will stay moisturized for several days without needing to add products to moisturize the hair. Even though I do moisturize and seal throughout the week regularly, it is usually to prevent dryness not because it is already dry.
Pay Attention To Your Hair
Even if you understand product ingredients and read the labels carefully, everyone’s hair is different. Some people have hair that loves protein, others are protein sensitive. Part of the success of any healthy hair journey involves a bit of trial and error. You have to take note of how your hair feels and how it responds to products. Does your conditioner leave your hair feeling soft and moisturized? Does it cause build up? Are there common ingredients in the conditioners your hair likes? These are all questions you should ask yourself after using a new deep conditioner.