Now let me set the record straight, I’m no scientist but if I remember a tip or two from my first classes in elementary school, I’ll tell you this: observation is one sure way to keep tabs on how substances react with one another over a period of time. When it comes to hair care, observation is a simple skill that may help you identify which products your hair loves or hates. 

As a hair blogger, I share my hair tips with many new naturals but always with a caveat – what works for one’s head of hair may not work for yours. For example, some naturalistas swear by coconut oil while others can’t stand it. The same goes for henna use – I’ve used it to successfully grow out my hair while several other bloggers have given it a toss, as they felt it led to breakage. The one common thread, regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself on, is that observing how our hair responds to various ingredients over time is one sure way of determining which products are effective and which are not. Here’s three types of ingredients my hair hates: 


I know, I know! I said it and I mean it. My hair has never quite had an affinity for glycerin. I’ve tried all manner of recipes and concoctions. I’ve tried using it in various climates and seasons and in different quantities but to no avail. My coils don’t seem to like glycerin – it leaves my strands feeling crunchy and crackly. Other naturalistas have used glycerin as a moisturizing agent – particularly in the summer months as some claim that it helps retain moisture.

Raw products

I know this may sound a little vague so I’ll explain. By raw, I mean egg yolk, Greek yogurt, butter cream, and freshly chopped avocado just to name a few. My hair cannot stand raw products, particularly when used as deep conditioning agents. I find that it tangles easily when large food particles get lodged in my strands during the conditioning process. Believe it or not, I had the unlucky experience of “cooking” an egg on my hair when I made the ambitious attempt to deep condition my hair using a homemade egg and mayo recipe. It took me several hours to pick out little bits of yolk. Trust me girl, it was no fun!

Ingredients with long names that I can’t pronounce

Most of the time, ingredients with long scientific names that are listed on product packaging tend to be preservatives and stabilizers. While these are useful in extending the shelf life of a product, I’ve found that my hair doesn’t take too pleasantly to products with too many artificial ingredients. If a product has an extensive list of ingredients with numbers and letters that don’t make any sense to me, even after a quick Google search, I take this as an indication that I should probably leave the product right there on the shelf, as these products are likely to lead to excessive buildup.

Does your hair hate certain ingredients and not others? If so, which ones are absolute no-nos for you? Leave us a note down below, we’d love to know!  

Tabitha Tongoi

I’m a sunshine seeker and color lover! I write about my type 4, coily, waist-length hair journey and my experiences living as a young African woman abroad. I’m all over the Internet, feel free to come say hi!

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