I'm pretty brand new here as well (only on my 3rd co-wash after getting rid of my flat iron and tons of products), and found this site a tad overwhelming. I think it was all of the acronyms lol Maybe we need more stickies?
I had a few rules of thumb for getting new products:
1)Check out local drugstore/salon offerings online, then
2) Make sure they are cone and sulfate free, esp the poo/co
3) See which of those local products were ranked highly on the 'products' tab above
I budgeted as I knew that I'd have hits and misses (which I did). There were sales on some stuff as well.
0) A 'clarifying shampoo'
1) A 'cleansing conditioner'
2) A leave-in conditioner
3) A 'curl cream'
4) A curl mousse
5) A curl gel
Some people recommend protein and oil treatments. I had some oil from something a long time ago in my cupboard and experimented with that to seal my hair.
I found that:
- My hair will take a while to come up to speed while it heals from abuse, recovers its curl/waves, gets healthier and I figure it out
- I don't need as much product as many other people; much less, in fact, otherwise my hair looks 'wet'. I overbought for sure.
- HOW you put on a product is as important as what it is (lots of threads on this)
- Putting product in soaking wet, as well as 'plopping' really helps fight frizz
- A dryer bonnet did away with the frizz I rocked for a few days
I hope that helps you!