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Two For the Price of One: 6 Natural Hair Products With Dual Uses

Avatar • Mar 15, 2013

Taking a product that is intended to do one thing, and repurposing it for another is an all too familiar concept with naturals. Just look at co-washing: we have taken a product that was meant to be used after shampoo, and instead use it to cleanse. In fact, because the no-poo movement is picking up so much momentum, product manufacturers have begun rolling out “cleansing conditioners” in record numbers — just check out Pantene, Shea Moisture, Wen, As I Am, and countless others. Not only can product remixing be good for your hair, it’s good for your wallet too. Nothing beats finding a cheaper way to do something that your hair needs anyway.

Just for starters, here’s a list of some products that work well for their intended purpose, but have stellar alternative uses. It is by no means conclusive, so feel free to add to this list with how you’ve remixed some of your favorites!

Elentee Soy Organics Braid Marinade

Original Purpose: For taking down twists and braids

Remixed Purpose: Detangling and curl sculpting

I first discovered this at Sally Beauty, on clearance for $4. I picked it up because I had been dabbling in the idea of setting my hair in mini-twists soon. But as soon as I began pouring over the ingredients (silicones, polyquats, etc.), I realized that even though it is purposed for removing twists and braids, it would probably make a kick-butt detangler too. Combined with a few spritzes of water, I had a detangler’s dream. I even noticed that hours later, my detangled hair had some great curl definition. I never planned on using it as a styling aid, but hey, why not? To use as a detangler, just spritz hair with water after applying a dime-sized amount of Braid Marinade. As a curl sculptor, apply more or less to each section, depending on the amount of hold you seek.

 

Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-In Conditioner

Original Purpose: Post-wash or styling leave-in

Remixed Purpose: Detangling

On The Mane Objective, I go into plenty of detail about this product, as a leave-in. It performs well, provides moisture, and is a great base to any style or post-washing routine. However, where this stuff truly shines is as a detangler. A quarter-sized amount is enough to tackle a small or moderate section of hair in no time. Check out my review, and give it a whirl!

 

Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque

Original Purpose: Deep conditioner

Remixed Purpose: Styling pomade

I love this stuff as a deep conditioner – it is moisturizing, strengthening, and smells great. I love it equally as a styling aid. One day when I had run out of coconut oil (a natural’s nightmare…haha); I needed something to sit under the EcoStyler gel I was using (at the time). As we all know, EcoStyler is good for giving your hair the crunchies, unless you use a moisturizing product underneath or work the crunchies out. Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque stepped in and saved the day. It mixed well with EcoStyler, softened my edges, and imparted great moisture to my beach-esque waves. Even though my hair was out, it retained significant moisture. Click here to find out more about how I used the deep conditioner on my hair.

 

Tresemme Split Remedy Conditioner

Original Purpose: Temporarily mending split ends

Remixed Purpose: Detangling

Admittedly, I never cared for this product as a conditioner. It doesn’t moisturize my hair at all, and leaves a void in the softness department. But, that’s not what it’s for. It is specifically designed to temporarily mend split ends – and that is exactly what it does. I test-drove this product’s effectiveness in that capacity here, if you are interested. Even though it works well at mending ends, the super-slippery formulation makes it an even better pre-wash detangler. For maximum detangling, sprits your hair with water in sections, apply a generous amount of conditioner, and get going with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

 

Elentee Soy Organics Twist & Lock Gel

Original Purpose: For styling/holding twists and locks

Remixed Purpose: Styling/holding edges

Generally speaking, this product is formulated for sculpting and styling locks, twists, and other styles. Many naturals also use this product for wash n’gos, twist, and braid-outs. I fall into the latter category, but I also use it rather effectively to slick back my edges for buns and ponytails. To get effective hold without hardness, spritz your edges with water, apply a dime-sized amount of gel, and smooth your edges with a soft bristle brush or your hands.

 

Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque

Original Purpose: Scalp and hair detoxification, treatment of scalp conditions

Remixed Purpose: Wash & go leave-in

If you don’t like the banana‑y smell, this one isn’t for you. If you don’t mind or kind of like the smell of the Purification Masque, then try it as a leave-in for your wash n’ go. I’ve used it several times and gotten great definition and softness (not to mention a nice tropical aroma that followed me around all day) with each use. Just apply a small scoop in medium-sized sections of your hair, work through, and go!

Ladies, what products in your regimen have dual uses?

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About Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

I use Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner as a pre-poo, deep conditioner and protein treatment. It is A‑M-AZING. I love this stuff.

Oils are also great for multiple uses: sealing, hot oil treatments, lubricating to prevent SSKs you name it 🙂 I think I’ll write an article about how I use all my natural oils. Thanks for the idea!

SJ
SJ
7 years ago

I do NOT work for shea moisture, but I really do think that all their products that come in that round container (Anti-Breakage masque, purification masque, curl enhancing smoothie) almost always can be used for something else.

I use the curl enhancing smoothie as a styling aid, a deep conditioner, a leave-in, a moisturizer, and even sometimes to help me finger detangle. I might add stuff in it to change the consistency for its different uses, but once I have one of their products, I have them all. The base for a lot of their products are exactly the same.

kiesh
kiesh
7 years ago

I use the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask as a styler for twists/twist outs. I didn’t like it as a deep conditioner. Go figure. It leaves my twist outs super defined, soft, and moisturized. The Shea Moisture conditioners/stylers leave white residue when used on dry hair for me, though. I use Giovanni Direct leave-in for its intended purpose and for styling my hair into buns, puffs, updos.

Paula
Paula
7 years ago
Reply to  kiesh

I do that too… I works well!!

Paula
Paula
7 years ago
Reply to  kiesh

I do that too… It works well!!

India
India
7 years ago

I use the Shea Moisture Purification Mask all the time! Started off using it as a deep treatment but I also Love it as a leave-in! ~ India of My Natural Sistas

crist_lite
crist_lite
7 years ago
Reply to  India

i’m confused because that mask has salt and soap in it…how does it not dry out your hair as a leave-in??

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago
Reply to  crist_lite

It also has clay it in. I wouldn’t use a conditioner with clay as a leave-in…

I do love the Purification Masque as a pre-shampoo deep conditioner.

kiesh
kiesh
7 years ago
Reply to  India

Hmmm I have some and will try it as a leave-in.

crist_lite
crist_lite
7 years ago
Reply to  India

by the way i love your videos india 🙂

Summergirl
Summergirl
7 years ago

I’m sorry, but what does it matter if your hair is thoroughly detangled or not? As long as it LOOKS nice, that’s all that matters.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
7 years ago

this was probably your most informative article in a while. I appreciate it. Bookmarking this page.

Shayshay
Shayshay
7 years ago

I use Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz successfully as a dry detangler. I use it to dry detangle, then I wash it out. I don’t use it for hold or styling because it doesn’t do anything for me as a styler. With shoulder-length, fine, thin, kinky hair that meshes, mats and locks easily, I will get lots of single-strand knots (SSKs) and hair wrapping around everything in sight if I don’t detangle frequently enough. Although wet detangling with conditioner and a wide-tooth comb works well for me, my hair doesn’t like coconut — it makes my hair crunchy (as do heavily-diluted… Read more »

hmm
hmm
7 years ago

Ugh! Am I the only one that doesn’t love Shea moisture products? Everything I’ve tired is either just ok or sucks. I even brought that Nubian heritage masque from their sister line, not impressive. I’m done wasting money.

Mai
Mai
7 years ago
Reply to  hmm

They don’t work for me either. I tried their deep conditioner in the pink/orange container and it actually didn’t even moisture my hair. An to be honest my hair kind of felt drier than usual.

thelady
thelady
7 years ago
Reply to  hmm

my hair hates protein and most of their products contain protein so they dry my hair out. I only use the Shea Moisture Purification Mask.

Joan B. in S. C.
Joan B. in S. C.
7 years ago
Reply to  thelady

Thanks, @thelady. I was finally going to give them a try since I can find both Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage in Walgrees, but I need to start watching out for protein.

me
me
7 years ago

why do almost all (natural) hair products have protein? 🙁

Kai
Kai
7 years ago
Reply to  me

Because natural hair has weak points at every curve and protein bonds there to fill in gaps and strengthen the strands.

Rhema
7 years ago

Before the ingredients changed I used Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner as a deep conditioner and a leave in. My 4a/4b hair loved it. Sadly the ingredients changed and I’m too paranoid to use it 🙁
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/20130311_074109.jpg[/img]

Ashley
Ashley
7 years ago
Reply to  Rhema

The ingredients didn’t change. Rather, instead of listing the first ingredient as “coconut fatty acid cream base” on their conditioners, now Aubrey Organics actually lists out what was in that coconut cream base. That is all. Hope you continue to use their products! Aubrey Organics are always my favorite conditioners when it comes to dry conditioning or pre-pooing. I even love to use the White Camellia as a leave-in. Leads to nice, elongated curls for me (good for when I want more curl definition vs. volume).

TheActiveSpirit
7 years ago
Reply to  Rhema

Wait… when did the ingredients change?!

Rhema
7 years ago

If anyone has tried the new formula with same results as old please let me know!

Sojourner
7 years ago

I use the Anti-Breakage Mask as a pre-poo and it’s definitely been strengthening my hair. Then I co-wash with As I Am Cleansing Conditioner and deep condition with the Deep Treatment Masque by Shea Moisture. I love being totally natural!!

thelady
thelady
7 years ago

I use the purification mask as a co wash.

karajw
karajw
7 years ago

That is one thing that I love with shea moisture products. I use the reconstructive mask when I twist my hair for protective styling and it keeps my hair moisturized the entire week

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