In the natural community, there are products and ingredients that get a lot of shine. They are loved by one and all, but I’m here to give the unpopular opinion that they aren’t all that. Here are my top five hair product ingredients that are overrated and that you can afford to take out of your rotation entirely.
I dislike shea butter. There, I said it, and it felt good! But for the life of me, I can’t get away from it. It seems to be at the top of every ingredient list and used and loved by one and all. It’s thick, sticky, and when it dissolves, becomes oily.
I don’t think I'm the only one who shares this sentiment. There are kinky haired women walking around with oily unresponsive hair, with shea butter as the culprit because they were told that it was the miracle ingredient.
However, if there was ever an argument for casting aside hair typing and focusing more on hair porosity, this is it. It took me one and half years of naturalness to realize that I’m a low porosity natural and shea butter just sits there. So if you aren’t getting results from shea, then consider something lighter like oil, regardless of how tight your kinks are.
Aloe Vera Gel
Like the aforementioned shea butter, I just don’t get the hype. I firmly subscribe to the belief that "out with the old and in with the new," which is why I don’t understand why aloe vera is still one of the most popular hair product ingredients.
It’s in just about everything, but it really just can’t hold a candle to flax seed gel. By itself, aloe just doesn’t have the hold to set styles like twist and braid outs or lay down edges. Also, if used by itself for curl defining, you would have to use an industrial sized jar to get the job done. Yet aloe continues to steal the spotlight when flax seed gel, which has hold and defines like a dream, gets no attention.
Before you skip over this one and cast it in the pile of, "This makes no darn sense," just hear me out. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use water at all. After all, what would we wash our hair with? Instead, I think that many naturals should reduce their water usage — no more spritzing, remoisturising, midweek detangling with water, etc.
They say that the more water we add to our hair, the more moisturized it will be, but all the while we are constantly manipulating our hair. Remember that hair is weakest when wet. Also, water by itself just doesn’t do it for most curlies. If you have to add something on top to finish off the job, then why not just save yourself the trouble and moisturize well from day one and avoid walking around dripping wet throughout the week?
I am a no fuss girl and I like to extend that simplicity to my hair. So you can imagine just how frustrated I get on wash day when I have to apply layers of product to my hair section by section by section. So the natural remedy for this situation is to get rid of at least one of those layers, and the first layer to go is the moisturizer.
The leave-in provides the slip and moisture needed for detangling and keeping your hair happy. The styling agent helps to set your hair, which only leaves the moisturizer.
Its job is rather redundant, especially when you consider that its ingredients are pretty similar to the styler, just different ratios of shea butter and aloe vera gel — especially if they are from the same line. So save some time, keep cash in your pockets and see how your hair fares without the moisturizer.
Exotic Oils & Other Rare-ish Things
Don’t get me wrong. Like the average person, I'm a sucker for anything exotic. Give me a guava over an apple any day, but when it comes to hair product ingredients, I like to keep things simple.
Cheaper oils like olive and grapeseed work just as well as anything else exotic on the market and are much cheaper, too! Yet somebody had the bright idea to add one drop of (insert exotic oil here) and sell me a product at double the price then if it didn't have that ingredient. And this doesn’t just apply to oil!
Frankly, I don’t care how rare it is. I don’t care about the death defying climb to the top of the mountain to squeeze the oil from the berry growing on the only bush on the planet. I don’t care about the deep political and social history of the far away country where this ingredient is produced. And frankly, the story of the angel who came from heaven and gave you the vial of this mysterious ingredient doesn’t interest me in the least .
I shall not be swayed. I will take the $11 product with generic ingredients that works just as well and pass on the $30 product with angel tears, Zeus’ sweat, a unicorns horn, eye of newt and all the rest of that good and EXPENSIVE stuff.Side Note
It would be remiss of me to not add relaxers to the list of products that we most definitely can live without. I don't need to explain. You get it.
Learn how to mix and match products and price ranges to get the biggest bang for your buck, and the best curls yet!
Now that you have my list, ladies, what are some of the hair product ingredients that you believe are just too hyped up? Let it out, here and now!