A Complete Product Guide

Let’s talk products! You may have noticed by now I do not use a ton of products. I don’t post  a lot of products on the blog because I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that makes you think you have to run out and buy something that may not work for your hair. I fell for that starting out, spent tons of money and my hair STILL did not look like theirs!

I always tell people it’s more about what you DO to your hair than what you USE. My goal for starting Curly Country is to teach you how to treat your hair to achieve great result regardless of what you use.

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Now don’t get me wrong a good product can enhance your natural hair greatly but you shouldn’t expect it to work a miracle. If you know your hair is in bad shape focus on getting it healthy. How can I say this…hmm no product is going to make your hair curly. You either have curly hair or you don’t. *cue crickets* Please don’t be in your feelings about that. If your hair is more coily than curly, ziggy than swirly, girl you better work those zigs and coils! Embrace your texture and focus on keeping your hair in good health no matter the texture.

You MUST read the ingredients of products. Listen, I will stand in an aisle looking at products and reading labels for so long I start to look suspicious! But I don’t care, they can call the popo lol! I am not putting junk in my hair. You wouldn’t put junk in your body and expect not to get negative results so don’t put junk in your hair and expect good results.

Ingredients are listed on products by highest concentration to lowest. So the first ingredient listed is what makes up the majority of the formula.

With that said here are the products I must have in my arsenal:

1 A good cleanser. What you want to look for in a cleanser is one that will clean your hair without stripping it. You don’t want that squeaky clean sound, eeek that’s like nails on a chalk board for me. Look for cleansers that are sulfate free and that have good nourishing ingredients in them so that it is adding back good things as it is taking dirt and build up away.

2 A slippery conditioner. As a rule of thumb the first ingredient in a conditioner should be water or aloe (I don’t think I’ve ever noticed one with something else listed first). You want to see an ingredient listed that provides some slip like some fatty alcohols-don’t think drying- these are totally different alcohols, (Cetyl or Lauryl for example) a natural oil, marshmallow root, slippery elm or btms (a few examples) which is an emulsifier that gives amazing slip. Some water soluble silicones in a conditioner are A-Ok but anything ending in ‘cone’ should not be high on the ingredient list.

3 A great leave in. Again with a leave in you want to see water listed first. Followed by nourishing ingredients, oils, beneficial herbs, butters etc. We all know which one I love 😍.

4 A great sealer. You need something to seal in all the goodness from your leave in. For a sealer you want to see an oil or butter listed first. You can’t really ‘seal the deal’, pun intended, with water listed first in my experience. Or just use your favorite natural oil or butter straight no chaser. You can also use aloe vera it can function as a sealer, keep it in the fridge 😀! Everyone loves Shea butter including me but if you find it too heavy there’s a trillion other butters to try like aloe butter, mango butter, cupacua butter to name a few. Or make your own! Mix together you favorite natural oils and butters. A sealer can also function as a styler. More on that below.

5 A good deep conditioner. You can either make your own like me or look for one with nourishing ingredients that don’t have petroleum, or mineral oil high up on the listed ingredients. If those are first where is the moisture coming from? That is coating the hair not moisturizing it. Some naturals are cool with mineral oil, but I #canteven with it. It’s a magnet for dirt for my hair. Same thing with petroleum. It builds up too heavy for me. Both let nothing in or out of my hair.

Not letting anything out sounds good until you go to wash it. How are you going to get water in your hair? You will have no choice but to strip it off with harsh shampoos which dry your hair out. You don’t want to totally clog your hair up. Like anything else it still needs to “breath”. And for good hair sakes don’t put either on your babies hair..use a more natural oil or butter instead (coconut, sweet almond, olive, grape seed, argan for examples). But I digress…I like my and curly cuties hair to feel and look like a feathery pillow. Your hair should move when you move. If your hair is weighed down avoid products with heavy ingredients in the future.

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6 Protein for strength. There are different types of protein. There are a number of plant based and animal based proteins. If you want to avoid animal protein look for something with say a soy protein listed or a milk protein. I will tell you my favorites are Aubrey GPB (plant based), and Aphogee (animal based). If you find you are protein sensitive try Henna or Cassia (if you don’t want the red hue) as your strengthener.

7 Gel. For a gel again you need to look for one that is not harsh alcohol based. You def don’t need a million ingredients in a gel. I love aloe vera gel. It is multi use item for me but a close second is Eco Styler gels. The gels in this brand are all alcohol free and they have nourishing ingredients added. You can make your own gel if you are adventurous like flax seed gel. That is a winner among many naturals. A gel can also function as a styler.

8 Styler. a styler should be a combo of water, oils to seal, and something for hold. You want one that is alcohol, mineral oil, and petroleum free. It should also have something nourishing included. However a separate styler is not always a necessity for me. You can just use a sealer to style or even a gel which I do often.

I know this was probably my longest most thorough post. Kudos to you for hanging in there! I wanted to give you a complete guide of what to look for in choosing a quality product. Standing in that product aisle can be overwhelming if you are just starting out. Hopefully this will narrow it down for you.

I don’t want to tell you what to use. To be clear at this point I am in no way sponsored nor do I receive products from companies. The brands I may mention from time to time are my tried and trues. I truly do love and trust them to give good results.

In the end you have to listen to your own hair, watch how it responds to certain ingredients, and follow these guidelines if you’d like to choose healthy products for healthy hair. ❤ Ash

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