A few years ago I was scrolling down curly hair platforms hoping that I could find some advice for my stubborn curls. Instead, I ended up looking for the answers I wanted to hear, rather than looking for those that could really help, and over time I ended up with some serious buyer’s remorse. I constantly asked myself if there were things I could do in order to prevent this from happening, and quickly discovered that I should be paying attention to the needs of my curls. So here are the 6 things I think about when searching for my holy grail products for my hair!
1. Self-acceptance is key
The first step is to fully accept your hair texture, the beautiful struggles that comes along with it and the advantages.
Especially during my transitioning process I was not very accepting of my natural crown. When searching for curly hair tips I looked at the hair textures I was hoping to have and therefore I followed advice, which was not meant for me. Outdated beauty ideals and the fact that my hair was relaxed when I was a little girl made it very hard for me to embrace my hair texture. But now I cannot imagine hating my curls.
2. Only use the relevant sources
I only seek information that is meant for my hair type. If I want to see a tutorial on a curly hair routine, I make sure that the vlogger has the same hair type as I do. The curly hair routine of someone who has wavy hair differs from someone who has curly hair, and products that work for someone's high porosity hair may not work for my low porosity hair.
3. Seek out ingredients that work for you
When you purchase a product that does magic to your hair, you should look in the ingredient list. Research the benefits of the ingredients and this will enable you to learn more about the needs of your hair. Then you never will end up purchasing products that disappoint! I've found that products containing coconut oil make my hair much bouncier and shiny. After doing some research, I learned that coconut oil moisturizes my hair by penetrating the strands and sealing your hair cuticle. It doesn't work for everyone, so paying close attention to that ingredients list when you find something you do love is key to making your next purchase a success.
4. Assess the price
I value organic products that do not consist of harsh chemicals because I've found that certain products contribute to the health of my scalp. I also live in the Netherlands where curly hair products are quite expensive, so I have to pay attention to price as well. If a product of 250ml requires me to pay more than 20 euros, I will search for an alternative. When I shop I pay attention to the ingredients, proportions and the price. Ignoring any one of these factors can lead to buyer's remorse in the end.
5. Check for slip
The tangles in my hair are my biggest struggles. It takes more than 45 minutes for me to fully detangle my hair and after one day I already feel the knots coming. In order to ease the detangling process, I purchase products that contain of slip or I add oil to the conditioner, which has the same effect for me. Since I started doing this, I have experienced way less breakage and search for products that provide good slip.
In the NaturallyCurly community we've seen that fragrance can play a major role in whether consumers like or dislike a product, and it is so personal! While it may not impact the way the product performs, it does have a large impact on the way you experience the product. Lately, I cannot handle strong fragrances. When products smell too sweet, I immediately skip the purchase, because I know that nausea will be a unwanted visitor. My favorite leave-in right now is the Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner by SheaMoisture, which has the perfect fragrance! It isn’t too sweet, and coats my hair perfectly. Of course fragrance is completely subjective, and if you have a chance to smell a product in store, at a friend's house, or as a sample before you buy it you will have a much lower chance of regretting your purchase. For those who don't like any fragrance, there are also unscented options on the market.
With these tips in mind, I am always mindful when making product purchases for my hair. If a product doesn't match my process and the things I look for, then it isn't going to work for me.
So how do you find your holy grail? What key things do you look for?
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