I’ll be the first to admit that buying products for curly hair can be slightly overwhelming. We as consumers have every product review available at our fingertips via our phones. Long gone are the times where you’re standing in the aisles of Target or your favorite drugstore scratching your head, wondering "where do I start?" Even though I’m a few years fresh onto the natural hair care scene, I’ve managed to develop my own checklist that helps me put my money where my curls are when purchasing product.

Ingredients that shine

As much as we’d like to believe every product is made of the same curl yumminess, we know this is just not the case. I like products rich in oils like coconut, apricot, avocado and extra-virgin olive oil that will make my hair shine like the top of the Chrysler building. I need the rehydration and control like SheaMoisture Tahitian Noni and Monoi Smooth & Repair High Shine Glosser provides to control my frizz.

Butters

Like every lady rockin’ curly hair, I also need to give my hair some lovin’ from time to time and you know our hair loves nothing more than a good masque/smoothie treatment. My biggest two ingredients I look for in these products are the creamy, smooth butters like Shea and Cocoa that give me moisture and protection to keep my hair healthy. Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie is one of my favorite’s because it smells amazing and does the double duty of a daily and deep conditioner. 

Scent

We all know that with the fluffy and free expansion of our curls comes the many people who love to comment on how good it smells. The right combination can make your hair smell like an island paradise or like a walk through the garden of Eden. While different products can make this happen, I often find that helping create an intoxicating scent for the nose starts at the roots - and by roots I mean shampoo and conditioner. The Aunt Jackie's Curl La La and the Camille Rose Moisture Milk is a wonderful combination that makes my hair smell salon fresh and hydrates my naturally so I don’t always have to put 10 different products in afterwards. ALWAYS pop the top and take a whiff before you purchase so you won’t be surprised later.

Texture

There’s nothing worse than sticky or thick product that you have to wash off your hands or scoop out from your fingernails. For me I need the texture of my product to be smooth, durable, and to produce a sufficient results so that I don’t have to use half the bottle in one use on my hair. Unfortunately, you don’t always get to feel this until after your purchase, but this is when reviews come into play which can help you get an idea of what the texture and consistency will do to your hair before your purchase. I don’t want something heavy in my hair nor do I need something that is so light I’ll be looking in the mirror cursing out my hair later.

I love, love, love the Paul Mitchell Curls Twirl Around Crunch-Free Curl Definer because the dual smoothing gel and cream defines, separates and tames my curls without making them crunchy. Who likes crunchy curls? Not me. This texture is the right amount of thickness that I don’t have to wipe my hands on a towel afterwards, but still gives love to my curls. Another favorite is Mixed Chicks Morning After Redefining Foam which looks like mousse, but my curls know better. It’s not watery nor do I need ten pumps to get the job done. It’s weightless and gives my curls the added boost they need after a few days without a wash.

The deal breakers

A few of my deal breakers I go through when purchasing mainly fixate on price point or the amount of product within a bottle. I’m very careful when shopping to make sure I’m not buying two products that are going to do the same thing for my curls, they have to work independent and be distinct. Along with that, I don’t want to invest in a product that I know will run out within a week. It needs to at least hold me over till the next payday, so a product that looks like a sample size, but charges full price is a no-no.

Do you have a checklist before purchasing a product? Share with us your essentials below. 

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