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Not every product was designed for you. It is as simple as that. We are all unique and despite having the same porosity, density, or curl type, there are other factors that come into play on finding the right products for you. Genetics, climate, or even allergies makes for differences in hair conditions, types, and needs. That is why having so many choices in hair care products is a great thing for curly, coily, and wavy ladies. It also makes for questions some may have like Nyla  brought to our attention in our Curly Q&A  section.  

Question

Why do shampoos and conditioners make my hair hard? Every time I wash my hair it gets hard. I know it's the shampoo and conditioner because my hair is soft before I put shampoo and conditioner in. It's also soft when I rinse it out. Even deep conditioners make my hair hard. So far I have used Pantene and Organix shampoos & conditioners and the deep conditioners I've used are Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque (the original one ), and Africa's Best Hair Mayonnaise. I think my hair is protein sensitive too. To keep my hair moisturized I spray it with water and seal with a shea butter mix. The mix is the only thing that makes my hair shiny, soft, and kind of defined. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do?

Answer

There can be several ingredients in a product that make for hard deposits on our hair. The best way to find out why a product will work well or poorly is to check out the ingredient list and good ole trial and error. I know you tire of that answer but what may work for someone else may or may not work well for you. Giving it the old college try is the best solution, but like in Nyla’s case…what if a lot of different types of products are not working? Here are some tips to help with that.

You may need to do more DIY recipes

You mentioned your hair responds very well to your own DIY water and shea butter mix. You may be on your way to becoming a master DIY mixtress, and since you did well with that mix, others may be soon to follow. DIY mixing can be less expensive than products you can purchase and allows for you to know exactly what you are putting in your hair. Many curly girls prefer creating their own hair products for those very reasons and others just love whipping up new items to try. Even if you do not fully embrace the DIY route, just know there are cleansers like shampoo bars and clay washes that are natural and simple to use if you do not want a commercial shampoos. That goes for conditioners and stylers too. Less is more for many curly girls who opt for simpler products for their hair care.

Remove a few ingredients

Some of the products you mentioned may have silicones or proteins and both can be troublesome for many curly girls with low porosity hair or strands that are sensitive to product buildup. Check the ingredient list in your products and if they do have silicones or proteins, then steer clear of those two items for a few days (or weeks) to see how your hair responds without them. If you notice a huge difference (in a good way), then you know those two ingredients do not agree with your hair. Now, this is a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t, so remove an ingredient from your hair care and see if it makes any kind of difference and go from there. Process of elimination will yield a better understanding of what your hair needs.

Try more natural ingredients and/or brands

I am a huge proponent of natural brands or natural ingredients. My hair responds well to them and it sound like yours may as well. Now, of course the DIY route will allow you to use natural ingredients but many brands like SheaMoisture or Avalon Organics use a lot of natural ingredients and have sulfate, parabens, and protein-free products and collections worth trying. They are far from alone so do a little homework and see if more natural ingredients will help to soften those strands, as it may be product buildup creating that hard exterior.

Read more: You are Feeling Texture, Not Dryness