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When good products have mediocre results…

Avatar • Jun 30, 2011

Reader Patricia (pictured above) says;

I’ve been natural all my life but I learned how to care for my hair through trial and error. I’ve done well considering all the women in my family are relaxed and plan to stay that way.

My hair has always been resilient and there is a LOT of it; I’ve found that I can pretty much do anything to it (or nothing) and it will grow. Wanting to maximize my growth and improve my hair lustre, I’ve been using Shea butter and other products from Mother Earth and organic companies for over two years. My hair is the same. I’m not complaining, I just thought that I would see more “evidence” of their benefits. To tell the truth, my hair flourished when I did all the “bad” things naturals talk about.

I used to be addicted to straightening and my hair grew like CRAZY when I consistently went to the salon and was shampooed, conditioned, blow-dried and flat-ironed. I can’t explain it. My “regimen” was similar to a lot of black women — except I didn’t have a relaxer — and my hair was fine. My stylist used an excellent protectant, but other than that, I never had to use a lot of product. No heat damage either! And my hair was bright, shiny, healthy and long. But it wasn’t me.

I’ve decided to rock the curls more often, but I find myself getting more and more frustrated as the novelty of styling is wearing off. And I refuse to believe that constantly applying heat to your hair is better than being natural. I’ve done everything to achieve optimum health for my hair– but I seemed to be better off when I was going to the salon. And even when I was curly, the cheap, store-bought products worked WONDERS. What’s up with that?

What do others think? Are there some store-bought products, laden with silicones and petroleum, that work better for naturals than shea, coconut oil, jojoba, etc? My hair is generally unaffected by all of the “good” products. Maybe I need to wait another two years?

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Viva the DivaTV
9 years ago

That’s really interesting even though I can’t say the same thing has happened with my hair experience. I’ve read a lot of blogs in the past, and many women have stated that their hair was not negatively effected by the use of silicones and petroleum.

I really think this phenomenon really goes to show that we all need to listen to our individual strands. We shouldn’t view someone’s success with their hair journey and copy their regimen “product for product” because it might not necessarily work as nicely for our particular strands.

Great post and thanks for the read =)
????? Viva

LaNeshe
9 years ago

I chose to use natural products not because I was convinced they would make my hair grow faster than the old school “bad” products, but that they were better for my overall body. The longest my hair had even been before now is when I was younger and used all the Pink Lotion products. If I can get the same results from a product with better ingredients then that is awesome, and if I can get better results, thats even better.

mangomandness
mangomandness
9 years ago
Reply to  LaNeshe

I chose to use natural products not because I was convinced they would make my hair grow faster than the old school “bad” products, but that they were better for my overall body.”

+1

Tabora
Tabora
9 years ago
Reply to  mangomandness

+1

Jade
9 years ago
Reply to  mangomandness

+1

I don’t care about length. I am conscious of what I put on and in my skin and body.
That and I don’t like the way I look with straight hair.

RaeChardonnay
9 years ago

Plain and simple… everything doesn’t work for everybody. WhoisSugar on youtube said it best “Do You”. whatever works for you hair and provides the results you like then that’s what you should use. I use a mix of “mother nature” products and store bought items… because it works for me and my hair.

Queeen
Queeen
9 years ago
Reply to  RaeChardonnay

lol I completely agree! I should have read this first before I posted

virago
9 years ago

I understand the obvious difference is that the store bought ones have ‘bad’ ingredients and the ‘natural’ don’t, but those facts probably have nothing to do with anything, lol. It sounds like the natural products you’re using are super thick and heavy. Are the store bought ones you used more creamy? Maybe your hair can’t absorb the heavy stuff. If you already haven’t, give lighter natural products a try and throw in some with cones and whatever else just for a comparison.

But yea, do whatever works for your hair 😉

Victoria
Victoria
9 years ago

I think your hair should represent you whether it’s straight or curly as long as it’s healthy. So if you protect your hair when you straighten it then you can rock it if you want. There is no fact that says wearing your natural curls is the only way to go. I would just say be remember that when you straighten your hair it can appear to grow quicker than if it was in it’s natural state because there’s no shrinkage. But other than that just express yourself however you want the important thing is if your hair is healthy.… Read more »

Queeen
Queeen
9 years ago

I think everyone’s hair is different and responds differently to products. I used to go hard with ‘no mass produced products because its bad!’ and ‘if it has this chemical in it I WILL NOT BUY IT.’ Thus my journey for only natural/organic products especially geared toward natural hair. In the process I found some products (e.g. Curls whipped cream- yes I’m throwing that product under the bus) that make my hair feel like TRASH! But I never down the product I just down the affect it had on my hair. Subsequently when ppl ask my opinion on a product I… Read more »

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 years ago

I enjoyed this post a lot because I often think the same. I have been natural all of my life. I used to use gels and mouses, and my hair always looked great and my hair was seemingly healthy. Now, that I’m taking “better” care of my hair with natural oils and products it is not as great as before.

Neitrua
Neitrua
9 years ago

Well, first of all, I don’t consider products that don’t work for me to be “good products”–even when they are organic with no harsh chemicals. “Good products” are those that work for me. Shea butter is proclaimed to be a “good product”. It’s great for my skin; it does NOTHING for my hair. Instead I use plain ol’ vaseline (Chicoro style) to seal my hair…Proclaimed “bad product” but it does WONDERS for sealing my hair!!

BeautyIAM
BeautyIAM
9 years ago

I’m a firm believer that products themselves do not make your hair flourish. I have no evidence of this myself, but I believe that its really how you are taking care of your body on the inside and out as well as how you manage your hair. Products can aide in the health of your hair, but I don’t think that by themselves they are able to work wonders. That is why I don’t believe in products that claim to help your hair grow. And when they are geared toward black people they are always spelled funny. If someone like… Read more »

Rashida
Rashida
9 years ago

Finally someone who gets me! I find being natural is a true study of YOUR hair, not anyone else s. When I first went natural the only curly girl product I knew of was Frizz Ease, and it worked pretty darn good. I find my hair grows no matter what I use. Organic, non-organic, sulfate free, with sulfates… it all ended up being the same. My major issue with many of the specific natural hair products is quantity. I have a big head and a lot of hair. I can use a half a bottle of conditioner in one night. So,… Read more »

foxyr
foxyr
9 years ago

My hair can stand a little bit of both natural and unnatural hair products. When I first went natural I used a ton of conditioners with silicones in them. Everything was great! Then, I switched to more natural hair care products. When I tried a product with silicones in it the next go round, my hair didn’t like it at all! I don’t know what happen! It felt all greasy and gross. Additionally, it took forever for my hair to air-dry, which was a pain. I typically wear wash ‘n gos, so I don’t want to have wet hair all… Read more »

Candyce Noelle
Candyce Noelle
9 years ago

I can understand this post…I think we all get caught up in the hype of the natural products and I believe in just focusing on my natural hair. Like I think back on my hair when it was in its prime back when my mother was its primary carer and she used the commonly known store bought items, your Luster’s Pink Lotions, and Mane n Tails, etc- still renown products even though some of the ingredients we now disagree with. I’m going back to the basics and what worked in my childhood (save Pink Lotion…hate the smell lol). Also, sometimes… Read more »

Gigi
Gigi
9 years ago
Reply to  Candyce Noelle

I totally agree! 🙂

zyaran
zyaran
9 years ago

I think so many people in my opinion are so into going natural for so many of their products, that they forget that alot of the so called bad products worked for our hair. Just because a product has mineral oil or petroleum doesn’t mean that it’s bad for your hair. I say this if your was still healthy and growing while using these both relaxed and natural then keep doing it. If you use natural or organic hair products and notice a change in your hair but not the good kind, well go back to what you remebered helped… Read more »

LBell
LBell
9 years ago

Whenever I see posts like this I have to remind myself that, unlike most of the women claiming natural now, I went natural LONGGGG before all this information was available…in fact when I went natural the Internet was only just taking off. To that end, I must agree with the person who said that “good products are those that work for me” — not those that the online natural hair community decides en masse are good. Shea butter? Only if it’s mixed with other stuff. Cones? Depends on the cone but usually they do what they’re supposed to do. Petrolatum/mineral oil: Hasn’t hurt… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
9 years ago

Good to hear this. I guess I can keep my mineral oil, petroleum oil, laureth sulfate filled Paul Mitchell foaming pomade because nothing makes my hair shine like it, ever. I’ll keep it for special occasions, but I’ll try not to feel bad anytime I use it.

Netra
Netra
9 years ago

I find this to be true as well. When I first went natural I went to my local beauty supply and bought products and they worked. Hair seemed to be healthy and growing at a fast rate. When I discovered YouTube and hair blogs and started doing things different my hair changed/ suffered from it. I recently said I was gonna go back to doing me cause it worked. DO YOU BOOBOO!!!

Hyspin
Hyspin
9 years ago

I find it not about good or bad but knowing the pro and cons of these products and know whether to use them, when to use them, how often to use them and where to use them. Just because they are natural doesn’t mean you shouldn’t observe how your body acts to it. For example I have learned that I must be modest with rosemary rinses and peppermint essentials, also that my skin ( including the scalp) doesn’t like coconut oil and Lily of the desert topical aloe Vera gel. Yet my hair is fine with petroleum on the ends… Read more »

Twitty
9 years ago

I’m not really big on “good” hair products. I just use whatever works. If I want a fluffier look, I go for the olive oil and shea butter. If I want more curl definition, I use my Cantu Shea Butter leave-in after I co wash. I also change my conditioner every time my current bottle runs out. I’m reluctant to spend ridiculous amounts of money on natural hair products when the cheap ones I get from the Family Dollar down the street works just fine, lol.

Shay
Shay
9 years ago

I agree with most of what everyone has said. I personally use whatever works for MY HAIR. I go to youtube for advice on styling natural hair. This has helped me to try new styles that i never thought of. Other than that when it comes to products i’m so over the natural product hipe. However i have tried a few natural products and i wasn’t too impressed of the outcome. Especially when i can get the same results with a regular old product out of the Beauty supply stores. And then 2nd i wasn’t getting the quantity for the… Read more »

Audrey
Audrey
9 years ago

I try my best to use all natural products, whether I find them online or in my local NHFS. But I don’t do this because I want my hair to grow. I do this because of the life style I have chosen to lead where I consider my footprint and what goes into my body. That being said, before I made this change 5 years ago, I had a ton of success with standard products, but I realized that I was sensitive to fragrances and what-not. Ultimately, to re-iterate what others have said, it’s about what works for your hair… Read more »

yanoui
yanoui
9 years ago

i think the so called bad products are around for so long and they are entwined in our lives so deep it is hard for us to acknowledge it might be really bad stuff not just for “black people“but for all people!! ..for the moment keep an open mind and educate yourself.

also check out this site:

http://www.health-report.co.uk/ingredients-directory.htm

have fun!

yanoui
yanoui
9 years ago

ps .our body is a remarkable thing. it shows us everything we use eat and do. Most of the signs we dont see or we ignore them. We get confronted with bad habits or bad stuff we use or eat when we get sick and need to consult a doctor.. I say better safe then sorry…even though you never have complaints on your outer self (ie you hair) you might have issues with your inner body unknowingly.

Icanrelate
Icanrelate
9 years ago

Sadly, I can totally relate to this. I tried the only natural route, but my hair just doesn’t like it. I had found only one almost totally natural leave in that worked perfectly for my hair, with the help of a little olive oil, but it was discontinued. I have 4a hair, which is kind of weird when it’s dry. It’s like idk. I think I have porosity issues. It’s not soft and cottony, or smooth, it’s just weird and annoying. Without the right products my coils are sticking every which way when dry. I know a lot of girls… Read more »

Smh
Smh
9 years ago
Reply to  Icanrelate

I should add that I’ve only being doing this regimine for two weeks with great results. The gel does leave a bit of crunch but it’s not that bad. However, I added a dollop of my “Garnier” to a spray bottle filled with water this morning and sprayed all over, it works wonders. To speed up drying time, I blot my hair with paper towels after all is done until I’m not dripping any more. Though my hair is doing great right now, I am getting kind of scared of over moisturization. I’ll probably switch to cowashing with “Yet to… Read more »

Victoria
Victoria
9 years ago

Same here…I’ve tried all the natural products and they do nothing for my hair and they break my pockets. Alot of stuff people recommend cost about $60 to $100 dollars a jar. And I can’t afford that at all. I can barley afford a bottle of $2 shampoo. When I was relaxed all I used was VO5 shampoo and conditioner, suave mouse and luster’s pink and my hair was really healthy. When I use natural products my hair feels extra dry and starved. And I try not to use alot because of the price tag but I end up using… Read more »

Denise
Denise
8 years ago

When I started going natural in 2000, I always used “natural hemp” (it had pieces of plants in it. It also kinda looked like it had seasonings in it) but it had petroleum in it. I was in college and I couldn’t afford the real natural products. While I used it, my hair grew so much. I always had to get a trim about every 3 months cause I always put the hemp in mostly in the middle of my head, where its really dry. I also used the Original Creme of Nature (until I wasn’t able to find it… Read more »

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