There’s always that one product you want to strive for, consistently saving and scrimping to purchase it every time it runs out. But what about those curly hair products that hold us over in the meantime? You know, the ones that don’t work?

Whether it’s shampoos, conditioners or styling products you probably own several not-so-great products for every one miracle product in your hair care arsenal. Now that you know which ones don’t work, it’s time to take them to the chopping block. Like everything, it’s all about approach. Here are a few pointers on how to get rid of the duds and replace them with better curly hair products that will get you that perfect ‘do.

Why Some Products Don’t Work

Is it them, or you?

Sometimes it is not only about the hair products, but the steps you’re taking in your curly hair regimen that just aren’t working. For instance, are you following the directions on the product’s bottle or box? Are you overworking or over-brushing your hair, or not putting in enough conditioner? Before eliminating every product you have, there are a couple of things you can try. Little things can make or break a product, so here are tips to eliminate the cause.


Massage the scalp with shampoo and avoid using your nails. Don’t work the shampoo through all of the hair unless it is a clarifying shampoo.

Of all of the available curly hair products, shampoo is the most likely to strip the natural oils from your hair, making it dry and unmanageable. If this sounds like your not-so-great shampoo, try adding conditioner to it. This will make your hair softer and more manageable. Before you know it, that shampoo you disliked will be all gone.


Leave the conditioner in for the time it says on the bottle, maybe even a bit longer. Remember the longer the conditioner stays on the hair in the shower, the easier it will be to detangle and maintain.

If you find you’re having trouble with conditioners, there may be a few reasons. Other hair products, such as your shampoo, may be too stripping. To put moisture back in to stripped hair, apply a deep conditioner once a week. This will help your hair to better absorb your usual conditioner.

If you are one of those people that needs a lot of conditioner, using the cheaper, but larger in quantity, products might be the way to go. If you have a cheap conditioner and feel as though it’s not helping, try adding left over henna or ayurvedic treatments.


Note the styling products you use regularly. It’s important to avoid throwing all of your products just because one product is not working.

Before you do anything, take a look at why you’re not using those products. If your hair is too tangled and you feel the product does not do a good job overall, try detangling in sections. If your hair becomes dry quickly and you notice the anti-frizz serum is not working, wet your hair and immediately reapply the serum. Or try adding an oil before adding the serum.

Isolate the one problem product before tossing everything out.

Cleaning the Slate

What to Look for Next Time


Many people question giving products a second chance, especially brand names. Every product is different, even if the products are all under the same umbrella brand name. Don’t avoid trying a particular brand just because of a bad experience. With a bit of research about its ingredients to give you the know-how, the perfect product may just be that problem product’s sister.


The debate over pricing and products will always influence whether or not you buy certain curly hair products. Just because something is inexpensive does not mean it won’t work and the inverse of that is true, as well. Try a sample size first if you can — it will save you money and give you a good understanding as to whether it’s the right product for you.

Trust Your Instinct

  • Problem products don’t have to be a bad thing! Learn from the experience, read the ingredients and get curly hair product savvy!
  • As always, you should follow your instinct and choose the right products for you because you, and not a brand, know your hair best.

Want More?

Can’t find that one miracle product? Tired of tossing out all of your problem products? Become a mixtress and make your own curly hair product recipes!

Samantha Berley


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