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Product junkie I am not but at one time I guess I could say that I was. It was during the “what in the world is my hair doing and what does it need” stage that lasted for the first two years of me going natural and actually trying to take care of it. I was trying anything and everything that said it would give my tresses moisture, curls or grow. Sad but true. I was believing all the hype that was out there and then some.

hangs head in shame

You live and you learn and with going natural I learned a lot about myself and the hair product industry. The most valuable lesson I learned about the both of is that one of us has my hair and wallet at heart while the other is trying to make me and my dollars part ways.  It is OK…honestly because we all have a mission and the mission or the purpose of the hair manufacturers is to sell me their products but my mission or purpose is to use only the best for my tresses without breaking the bank.

Just like most naturals, over time you begin to look for pointers or hints as to what products will be good to try and others will need to be passed over. Hey, this technique cannot be mastered overnight and unfortunately, we have to figure it out for ourselves. We all have different hair porosity, genetics, and geographical locals and ages so that must be factored in when one goes looking for new products to try.

I have a few things that will keep me from buying a product and I am sure some of these may be on your list as well.

Mineral Oil

This extremely common ingredients in beauty products is derived from petroleum and may actually be contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons according to this article on Livestrong. It also seals off the skin and keeps it from breathing, aggravates acne and can cause skin to age prematurely. Despite this pretty common information regarding mineral oil many products still contain it and many women actually love it. I am not one of those women so if I see it or another name it is used under like petrolatum or paraffinum I run for the hills. I have even stopped using body oils or any beauty products containing this.

Fragrance or Parfum within the first 5 ingredients

I always wonder what the heck are they doing up there in the first place. We already know the importance of the first five ingredients so when I see that perfume or fragrance is within that list that tells me two things. One, what smells are you trying to cover up and why do you need so much of it? I have only seen that a few times but in each instance I was quick to return that bad boy back to the shelf as I am not interested in much more in my first five other than water and natural ingredients.  #firstfivesnob

Unappealing packaging

Sad but true. If you want to bag me than have a pretty package and a pump.  I do not care for jar unless it is a deep conditioner (OK, AS I AM Coconut CoWash gets a pass because I love it but wish they would get it out of that darned jar!) but if you have a boring package or it looks unprofessional than I may not even turn it around to check it out.

I love pastels and earthy colors and I do not like key words being plastered all over the bottle because often it is not within the first five ingredients and that irritates me. If I feel I am being conned, I will not even give it a chance so wow me but be truthful.

Scent

I must like the smell of a product if I plan on using it. Not every scent agrees with me and even if the whole world loves it, I need to love it if I will wear it in my head. I smell EVERYTHING I use on my hair. It must smell heavenly--that usually means a natural scent of an essential oil, butter, or a mixture and not a commercial fragrance. No sugary sweet smell because I do not want to smell like cookies, but anything in the nut or fruit family is a winner with me.

Non-natural ingredients within the first 5

I have been following the curly girl method for two years now and try and keep my usage of non-natural ingredients to a minimum.  My hair reacts better to natural ingredients and that includes fatty alcohols but when I see more chemicals than natural in the first five than I will put it back on the shelf with a quickness.  I know what my hair responds to better when I see a ton of herbs, oils and roots than without it so I will put that jar or bottle back on the shelf with a quickness if too many of the ingredients are foreign to me.

Price (sometimes)

OK, I am far from rich but I am also not a starving college student. I often look back to a few months ago where I was with my starving college student daughter to get her nails done and I honestly did turn my nose up at the place she went to. When I was her age, I would have gone to a place like that as well because price was my main motivating factor but as we age we do tend to let price fall farther down the priority list on some things--mine would be pedicures, clothing and hair products.

I am not trying to put a hair product’s children through school but if I want it, like it or really have to have it I will pay for it. Now, there are plenty of products that are reasonably priced (although the term “reasonably priced” is subjective) but if I want to try something and it is more than my staple products I will give it a try. If I am sold on the ingredients, smell, personal accounts and the product line than I may forgo the price but if it is too pricey and has other issues than it will stay on that shelf all by itself.