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sunday retrospective: regimens gone wild?

Avatar • May 24, 2009


So I posted Friday about my spritz-induced breakouts, and how I started spritzing because… well… because everyone was doing it. It got me thinking about a phenomenon I’ve seen in the natural hair community — the regimen gone wild.

Let me preface this by saying that this post is not about spritzing — spritzing is a proven and effective strategy for some natural women.

This post is about the fact that after leaving the expensive and involved world of relaxers/straighteners, many women re-complicate their lives with an endless products chase (which, apparently, can cause acne… among other things) I’ve seen online hair albums with pictures of dozens of products. I’ve read of women spending $100 a month on moisturizers.

On the other hand, in one of my first interviews on this blog, natural hair care author Chicoro said that all she really needed to maintain her gorgeous curls was a quarter cup of pure water, a cheap conditioner and some vegetable glycerin.

In a recent Sunday retrospective several newbies said that the natural hair community is in serious danger of information overload, and I think I might agree…

So my question is, are we complicating a process that should be simple?
Is there actually any benefit in being a product junky?
What are the roots of the “regimen gone wild”/product junky-ism? Is it lack of education? Is it something else?

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Crissy
Crissy
11 years ago

I’ve read so many blogs about regimens. I don’t think everything has to be so complicated. I was reading what seemed like a never ending list of products. I’m thinking some people just get too confident and reliable on those things.. and end up believing it makes a huge difference when it really doesn’t. I’ve had some crazy regimens for skin, hair, etc.. I’ve found that easy and simple does the trick in certain situations :p

Vanessa
Vanessa
11 years ago

I certainly think so. It has taken me quite a while to narrow my product base down to 5/6 products and I’m still working to narrow that down even further to a max. of 4. 

I think after all of the experimenting you get tired of listening to the “latest and greatest” and you simply bypass that to stick to what you know best.

Naturally Leslie
Naturally Leslie
11 years ago

In short, yes, we are. But taking a deeper look into it,I equate going natural with something like falling in love. When you first meet someone and fall in love, you are infatuated, almost obsessed. You crave knowing everything about that person and you want to spend as much time as possible getting to know them, just being with them. When Black women finally get to know their natural hair after so long living under the perm, it’s like a reawakening and many people fall in love with their new selves. This in and of itself is not a bad… Read more »

Ebony Intuition
Ebony Intuition
11 years ago

A regimen should be simple.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair
11 years ago

@ naturally leslie… i think what you said is SO true:

I think (IN GENERAL, NOT FOR EVERYONE) the longer you are natural the less you are a PJ, the less you need tutorials, the less people’s opinions control what you do to your own hair, because you have spent more time with your natural.”

So true! J says this all the time.

Kinky Rhonnie
Kinky Rhonnie
11 years ago

Me, I’m a reformed moisture/styler chaser. I first fell in love with Qhemet Biologics. I found that I ALWAYS had to use a styler on top of the moisture to set my two-strand twists for twist out styles. After one-year of being a moisture/styler chaser, I finally found a product that combines moisture with a soft hold. The product is Ohm Body’s Sweet Hair Pudding and I’m in love. And thankfully, it doesn’t cause my adult acne to flair. I’m so in love that I sold/swapped all of my other stylers and most of my moisturizers (had to keep my qhemets)… Read more »

Chanel
Chanel
11 years ago

compensating for the fact that relaxers, maintaining weaves and buying flat irons are no longer necessary?

msjaim
msjaim
11 years ago

sometimes i think PJ ‑ism can be attributed to folks expecting a product to perform some sort of miracle in changing what their hair is actually capable of doing…ive even see this with women who have been natural at least 3 yrs.…acceptance of what grows out of ur scalp is important..ive also see where some naturals look at shopping for hair products like shoe shopping…but at leila, i dont think ur the only person wondering what the hell is going on. i stumbled across one blog where the owner was offended because a reader asked how was she able to… Read more »

Jayla K. Parks
Jayla K. Parks
11 years ago

I will have to say I was a product junkie the first few weeks that I started to go natural (I am still transitioning). I would see things about at home leave in conditioners or daily moisturizers and I would try them. They would dry my hair out like that.  I was even a product junkie when I was relaxing. Now that I am on my journey to natural hair I have decided to keep things simple…no more product junkie-ness. I am going to use all the products I have consumed over the months.  I don’t really know if this is… Read more »

keisha
keisha
11 years ago

There is no benefit of being a product junkie unless you’re trying to help save others from spending and wasting potentially several hundred or even thousands of dollars.  What blows my mind is when I read about women hiding purchases from husbands or SOs. That’s presenting a trust issue, and the PJism is a manifestation of deeper, personal issues. So, I do think in some cases, it’s about more than too much information or a lack of education. I saw a high school girl on a hair board greatly bothered because she couldn’t afford a $20 2oz jar of some… Read more »

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair
11 years ago

@ keisha… wow… i so agree with this: “I believe many naturals are unconsciously internalizing the media/hair board hype that natural hair is “trendy”. And people want to go out and spend that $20 on 2oz of Product X because that’s what so-and-so used on her hair and it’s hawt.” i really think that as black women, we are trained to be hyper consumers — esPECIALLY when it comes to hair. all our lives we’ve spent so much money on hair related things (weaves, relaxers, extensions, flat irons) that it’s hard for us to accept that, more often than not, a simple… Read more »

Audrey Jazz
Audrey Jazz
11 years ago

I’m glad you brought this up! As a newbie, I had to agree with the “too much information” sentiments expressed by others. Its hard enough adjusting to the new way you look without having to complicate things by trying to decide which products, among the zillions, you should put in your hair. But I don’t think it’s lack of education that’s making people go product crazy. It’s simple curiosity and knowing that you don’t know what will work until you try it. Personally, I simplified my own daily routine because of my impatience and lack of funds…lol.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

I’ve been natural for almost 3 years now but i discovered hair forums and blogs 3 months ago. The amount of information i found on blogs have been so helpful, it feels as if a just went natural. Learning about shea butter was PLUS because i struggled like hell to find something, anything to soften my hair. I don’t think their is too much information, for some just getting to know their hair its a like money falling out of the sky. As naturals, we need this amount of information because their was nothing before. I am 22 and i… Read more »

Monisola
Monisola
11 years ago

I’ve been natural for 3 years. I do agree that the longer you are natural the more streamlined your regimen will be. However any beauty product can cause a breakout. Skin it obviously very individual and not every product will agree with your skin. I am a product junkie but I always was. I am in love with the act of trying new things that I am just discovering. I don’t buy everything that makes a good claim. I do, however,research a product to see what people are saying about it and what type of hair they have. I find… Read more »

tgirl
tgirl
11 years ago

I’ve been a natural for almost 8 years and in the last 4years texlaxed my hair for greater control of my thick hair. I’ve never been much of a PJ simply because I don’t have the room in the apartment to store any of the stuff I’d love to buy!Black women especially spend $ for $ on hair and cosmetics than any other racial profile. Why not be as educated as possible about what you buy. Stop supporting an industry that isn’t very excepting of us unless we are spending money on them. I just spent a stupid amount of… Read more »

Kells
Kells
11 years ago

As a 2nd time around natural (had locs for 8 years, cut them off and now trying to grow a big ass afro, I agree that it is easy to be sucked in by all the products available. But, I am so very happy that there is so much info out there. When I started to loc my hair 9 years ago, there was VERY little info for us naturals. It’s great to have so many choices to ultimately find the simple regimen that works best for u.

Nicole
Nicole
11 years ago

First of all, I think it’s really important that people have choices, as not everything works for everyone. However, if you look at the ingredients of many of the popular products, there are usually a few ingredients that are used across the board. I’ve been able to The purpose of any regimen, I think, should be keep yourself healthy and to make your life a little easier; no one should be a slave to a regimen.

4aspiral
4aspiral
11 years ago

Personally I agree partially with you. Some women get out of control and I have often times wondered how some of them keep up with the expense. However, if what you are using now doesn’t work for you, you have to experiment to find out what does. A lot of newbies like myself have to experiment to find the right combo of products. However that doesn’t mean spending your salary on conditioners and creams. ITA with naturally leslie, it’s like a love affair. I’ve only been completely natural for 2 months but when i was transitioning I spent 100 bucks… Read more »

Franki
Franki
11 years ago

I think a lot of it is just people getting used to their hair and finding out what works. A product that’s absolutely amazing on damaged hair might build up and flake once that hair becomes healthy, randomly straight strands or frizz pockets begin to appear after a month’s use, etc. And that’s not counting the fact that a lot of PJs are in the first years of their transitions or are just getting into taking care of their hair and therefore haven’t had the lifetime of trial and error and the resultant knowledge that Pantene works for them, Tresseme… Read more »

Patricia Grannum
Patricia Grannum
11 years ago

I think you definitely have to narrow down the products that work for you but it takes a lot of trial and error to do so 

http://womanofcolour.blogspot.com

Jai
Jai
11 years ago

I agree with Naturally Leslie

I think (IN GENERAL, NOT FOR EVERYONE) the longer you are natural the less you are a PJ, the less you need tutorials, the less people’s opinions control what you do to your own hair, because you have spent more time with your natural.”

Once the newness wears off and you find out what really works for your hair you care less about the next best curl defining product and you may even stop comparing your hair to someone else’s.

Kristy
Kristy
11 years ago

I agree with TGirl I can’t be the biggest pj in the world because I don’t have room lol. But when I started as a natural I really didn’t use that many products at all I found that I only needed one or two, a good leave-in and some kind of hair oil. Now that my hair has gotten longer I’ve recently started to experiment with a few more products because I wanted to find something that would give me more moisture and help with detangling. I bought this one product that I really loved so I’m glad I did. I… Read more »

divadelux76
divadelux76
11 years ago

I have been natural for over a year. I was natural a few years back when there is no information. I like the fact that I can try out new products. However, I am now finding that most of the products work the same. Since we are in a recession, I am trying to make my own products.

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