The more you care for your hair, the better results you get. That’s the whole idea behind the Curly Girl Challenge. If you’re using all natural hair products and spend the time on natural treatments, your hair will thank you with brighter locks and a lot less hassle in the morning. But like any challenge, you first have to figure out the best approach. From the products themselves to the amount of time spent daily on treatment, you’ll begin to discover the pros and cons of using 100% all natural products.
My Personal Outlook
When this challenge came up, I wanted to give it my all. I began with a hot oil treatment (FYI, eggs are optional), fearing that natural products meant it would lose its shine. Natural hair products such as hot oil treatments work, of course, and I highly recommend them. But washing it out became a problem. And that’s where the 100% natural products fall short, or so I thought.
After some research, I tried washing my hair out with vinegar because I had been told it was clarifying. The result was salad dressing. The lesson I learned was research before beginning this challenge. Also, if you’re like me and have a lot of build-up, try a baking soda clarifier instead of vinegar.
What You'll Need
Aside from the variety of natural hair products, including hot oil treatments and clarifiers, you need to figure out what best suits your hair. Some people prefer daily conditioning treatments and dry shampoos while others are looking for sulfate free shampoo and detanglers. And that’s not even the tip of the hair product iceberg.
The first step is always to plan ahead in order to figure out what you need and where to get the products. Or search for recipes online. If you can find a fantastic conditioning treatment at a local health food store, it’s always worth a try. If you don't want to buy ready-made natural hair products, try making something at home. Budget realistically for everything you need and remember to check and recheck your preferred list. After you have everything you need including shampoo, conditioner, and styling products, you’re ready to go.
With any challenge, there are bound to be setbacks. But don’t give up! There are answers to every problem that may arise. Here are some problems and solutions to the Curly Girl Challenge.
- Problem #1: You have products written down and discover everything is way too pricey. You want to continue, but you don’t want to break your budget with natural hair products.
- Solution #1: This is an easy fix. First off, what products are you looking at? If you find you have an all-natural clarifying shampoo that’s too pricey, note the qualities that attracted you to the product in the first place. Then look for something similar. If all else fails, make your own with a variety of online clarifying recipes.
- Problem #2: There’s simply not enough time! Sure, it was easier during the weekend to take your time trying new products and recipes. But now it’s a weekday and there’s too much to buy or make some natural hair products.
- Solution #2: Finding ready made products is usually easier on time, even if it costs more. The big problem usually comes when you have to trek to the kitchen, make a pot of coffee, stir up a homemade bottle of conditioner, and get ready all at once. The best solution is to plan ahead and get a couple of squeeze bottles or mason jars. Some of the recipes are easy enough to make the night before, and others can last in the fridge for several days. Look at all the recipes to see the quantity in the natural hair products; a lot of recipes even have directions on storing leftover product. Take as much as you need to wash, condition, or style your hair, and place the rest in a bottle or jar of your choice. Let cool and place in the fridge if need be. And voila!
- Problem #3: Nothing seems to work! You’ve tried all the products you wanted to try, created multiple recipes and your hair isn’t what it used to be. You’re at a dead end and there’s a counter full of natural hair products. You can almost hear a little cry of help coming from your hair.
- Solution #3: This is a toughie, partially because it depends on the time you’ve spent in the challenge. If you’ve spent a couple of weeks on the challenge and are noticing significant changes, try to keep at it. With any hair-related challenge, there’s usually a two to four week slump that gets the best of its contenders. If it’s been more than a couple of weeks, try a hot oil treatment and seal your hair with palm oil or Shea butter; luckily palm oil and Shea butter are both natural hair products sold in regular supermarkets. This will help moisturize and seal in nutrients, reviving dull hair.
Tried & True Tips for the All Natural Journey
- Look for "all-natural,” “sulfate-free,” “organic,” and similar words. These are things to brag about, and products will often highlight these features in big letters so they’re easier to find.
- 100% natural does not have to be ten times as expensive. If there’s one product you like, shop around for it until you find a good price.
- Organic ingredients and all-natural mean 2 different things! Sulfates, sodium chloride, soy derivatives, and mineral or baby oil are some of the things that still can be found in products that contain organic ingredients, but are not 100% all natural.
Search our product review database to find the best 100% natural products!
Once you have a plan and the products or recipes, the rest is simple. Follow the directions on the product or recipe and you can’t go wrong. Using all-natural hair products doesn’t have to be some long, drawn out and difficult task. It should be fun way of exploring your hair in a new realm. The great part is you can do it here, in the comfort of other curly girls just waiting to take the next step!