Hello, my name is Ashlei and I’m a product abuser. *audience choirs back* “Hi Ashlei”. I didn’t know I was an abuser until that faithful day. I was standing in the natural hair care aisle at Target negotiating with myself like a mother talks to a toddler at meal time: “eat what you have on your plate, and then you may have some more”. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. I was buying products knowing good and well I didn’t need them. I had plenty at home!
My product abuse has negatively affected my life in the following ways (clearly I watch too much Intervention):
1. My stash was ridiculous. Half empty bottle of gels, conditioner, shampoo, leave-ins, trial packs of deep conditioner, all trapped in the closet never seeing the light of hair. I have given away so much stuff smh but I’m sure my sister appreciates this.
2. My pockets. We all know products are not cheap! I found myself adding up the dollars as I gave things away. I’m ashamed.
3. My hair became confused and performed differently with every product switch up. I know the products I like that gave bomb result and my hair obviously loved so why did I feel the need to constantly switch it up? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! 🤦🏽♀️
Maybe my abuse was fear of running out?! Then I realized that I wouldn’t need gallons of conditioner if I were using the products correctly. I never read labels (save the ingredients of course)! I bypassed the instructions on products which lead to overuse. I left in conditioners that should be rinsed out. I overused deep conditioners. No wonder I always felt the need to buy more.
I began following a lot of curly stylist on IG (Devacurl stylist specifically) and one day I was watching an IG Story that featured a wash and go. I heard the DevaStylist say “You should be able to feel the product in your hair, not see it“. And bam! That was it…that was my mistake! Not only was I overbuying and overusing, I was rinsing most of the dag-um product down the drain. Frustrating.
“Feel it, don’t see it” makes perfect sense. If you can see the product in your hair, clearly it’s not being absorbed. OR your hair has already absorbed as much of the product as it can. Adding more is futile.
I have greatly reduced the amount of conditioner/leave ins that I use and I can frankly tell you, my hair feels no differently from when I was using 7 pumps vs when I correctly used 3. I conveniently forgot that most products are water activated. If you’re not getting the slip you want from a conditioner or deep conditioner, add more water rather than more product. Now if adding more water doesn’t increase slippage more than likely you need a better quality product.
I hope my wake up call helps others who need to attend a product abuser anonymous meeting. This has really changed my hair game. It has helped me to become way more efficient product and time wise on wash days.
Also let’s address the elephant in the room. Where have I been?! Life comes at you fast and furious sometimes. Around this time last year, my work schedule did a complete 360. On top of that I was nominated for and subsequently joined a national Non-Profits Board. Plus Cutie has picked up another sport, softball! I haven’t been able to dedicate much time to my hair let along posting. Now that I feel like I’ve finally got my ducks swimming in row, expect to hear from me more! Click subscribe! You don’t want to miss a post! Missed you guys ❤ Ash