Shopping for hair products has changed drastically throughout the process of becoming a curly girl. At first, I would purchase products that were trendy and I had a serious case of being a product junkie. As time went by, I paid more attention and I finally learned what maintains my hair’s health. It took a lot of trial and error. I also took a lot of time to journal and photo document my journey. I learned that I preferred more natural and organic products in my regimen because I was able to recognize those healthy ingredients. I can finally say that I mastered my hair care regimen and this is what I look for in the products I need.

Moisture

My curls love moisture! I prefer to use shampoos that include moisturizing ingredients such as butters and oils, because they do not make my curls feel dry and stripped of their natural oils. My scalp is also dry and it can get flakey, so I also like shampoos with peppermint oil or tea tree oil to reduce the itch and help with flakes. Since those oils are usually formulated in clarifying shampoo, I try to use them before my moisturizing shampoos.

Slip

My daily conditioner has to have one important quality: slip. When you have a conditioner with slip, it makes your wash day extremely easier. It can also affect your styling session. Thoroughly detangled hair allows for an easier styling session and prevents over manipulation. My daily conditioner has to also have moisturizing ingredients. When applying conditioner, I like to apply generously to make sure there is an even coat of product on my curls. Due to this practice, I try not to spend too much money on a daily conditioner since I will use more products then directed.

Thickness

It can be really challenging to find a deep conditioner for my regimen because slip is still an important quality for me. Deep conditioners or masques tend to have a thicker consistency than daily conditioners. Due to my thick hair, I prefer having a deep conditioner because they are more hydrating and keep my curls defined and shiny, but I need more slip to make it easier to detangle and apply thoroughly to my hair. I also love deep conditioners that smell amazing! I like to think of my deep conditioning sessions as relaxing sessions and a tropical fragrance can make me feel like I am in paradise.

Thinness

My regimen is pretty low maintenance. The only styling products that I use are a leave-in conditioner, oil, styling cream, and an edge tamer. Again, all products need to be moisturizing due to my thick curls. I prefer for my leave-in conditioner to have a loose consistency because I do not like thick, white residue in my hair after I apply my products. A loose consistency leave-in is also a great base for DIY hair cocktail mixing (shout out to my curly mixologists). Coconut oil is my stable and Jamaican black castor oil is a winter favorite. I like for my edges to look polished for my twist outs and buns so an edge tamer is a must. It has to have a great hold and it cannot leave my hair flakey or dry. A styling cream is also essential because it weighs my curls down (in a good way) to help reduce some shrinkage.

If your curls are similar to mine, I hope my product expectations have helped. I realized that a minimalist hair regimen helps, especially when you are trying to figure out what products work best for your curls. It allows you to easily see what you need to change in your routine. Also, while shopping for products, always remember that the price does not always matter. I have tried expensive hair products that have done nothing to my curls and budget friendly products that are now my Holy Grails.

What are your product expectations? Have they changed along your hair journey?