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viola davis spring 2012 hair color trend

Imax Tree

by Jenell Stewart

Transitioning to natural hair doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. It’s just what you make it. There are many naturals, myself included, who spend countless amounts of dollars on new products, countless hours watching YouTube and reading NaturallyCurly.com and many other natural hair websites/blogs. There are many naturals, myself included, who also spend countless amounts of time taking care of their hair. And let’s not forget the naturals who spend time reading product labels.

These things all have their pros and cons, but let’s be real, not everyone has this kind of time or level of commitment — and that’s OK!

Shampoo Overload

Do you really need more then one shampoo? Let’s take it back a few steps. The purpose of shampoo is to clean the scalp and hair of dirt, skin particles, dandruff and product buildup. We use shampoo because it has safe detergents that can remove all this unwanted build-up without harming the hair and scalp.

There are so many brands and types of shampoos to choose from — clarifying, moisturizing, anti-frizz, curl defining, invigorating, strengthening, volumizing — how can you choose just one? Actually, it’s a simple answer: choose a shampoo based on what your hair needs. Choose one that works, and stick with it.

I have type is type 4B hair which is thick, very textured and loses moisture quickly. I don’t have any scalp conditions like dandruff. Based on this information, what do you think would be the best type of shampoo for me to use? If you said moisturizing, you are correct. The other types of shampoos would not necessarily cause me harm, if used properly, but my hair would benefit the most from a moisturizing shampoo.

Evaluate your hair as I’ve done here, and tell me, what type of shampoo would work best for you?

Conditioner Contents

How many conditioners does it take to moisturize your hair? If you’re like me, you might have said 3 to 5, but if we pay attention to what conditioners are made for —  to condition, moisturize, add shine and protect — then any one will do. You don’t need the newest, most popular, most expensive, best-packaged conditioner to reap the benefits of conditioner. Most conditioners contain:

• Moisturizing humectants that attract and hold moisture in the hair

• Reconstructors to penetrate and strengthen the hair

• Acidifiers to maintain the conditioners pH levels to around 2.5 to 3.5

• Detanglers to soften and add gloss to the surface of the hair

• Thermal protectors to shield the hair against heat

• Oils to soften and mend the hair

• Glossers to reduce frizz on the hair

• Lubricants to moisturize the hair

• Preservatives to protect the hair

Now that you know that most conditioners are made with all of these forms of ingredients, the only thing you really need to do is find a smell that works for you.

Oils and Stylers

Oils are nature’s gift to you, use any carrier oil you want. Most oils are inexpensive and come in large quantities. My favorites are coconut oil and castor oil because they soften and add the most shine to my hair.

Styling products are a whole other issue. There are too many out there for you to choose from. They all promise different things, so choose wisely. Unlike shampoo, conditioner and oil, styling products do matter. I have way more styling products than I need, and you should find comfort in having at least one or two styling products.

More experienced naturals wouldn’t dare break things down to such simple terms, because we have invested our time into researching and have become accustomed to the time it takes to care for our hair, but this doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. If you choose to keep it simple you are no less natural than anyone else.

More from NaturallyCurly:
Big Chop Tips You Can't Live Without
Transitioning Hair Tips
Transitioning to Natural Hair on a Budget
How to Create a Healthy Hair Regimen
Find a Stylist Near You

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