Usually using natural ingredients can help significantly on your hair journey. For the most part, I find that when I use products that contain all natural ingredients, my hair responds well and feels great. However, while I love all natural products, I have noticed over time that there are a few natural ingredients/products that I have to use with caution.
Vegetable Glycerin is a great moisturizing ingredient and humectant. It helps to retain moisture in dry hair and it is also great for conditioning and strengthening the hair. However, the problem with glycerin is that it can be too drying for the hair if the weather is too cold or too dry. If there is little moisture in the air, using glycerin will draw the water out of your hair and into the atmosphere. I have noticed that vegetable glycerin and products containing vegetable glycerin can be extremely drying for my hair. As a result, whenever possible I try to stay away from this ingredient or hair products that list it as one their major ingredients.
Coconut Oil can be a great conditioner and moisturizer for the hair. It is used in so many hair care products because of its long list of benefits for the hair. Unfortunately for me, when I use excessive amounts of coconut oil my hair feels brittle. It is said that coconut oil penetrates the hair and helps with protein retention. If that is the case, the excess protein may be what causes brittleness. These days I will only occasionally use coconut oil as a pre-shampoo hair treatment, if needed.
Olive Oil is another oil that is known as a great moisturizer for the hair. For many people, it is a staple for softening, conditioning and adding shine to the hair. For me, it adds shine and nothing else. Olive oil also makes my hair feel brittle. As an ingredient in a product it usually doesn’t cause a problem, but for my hair care regimen I stay away from extra virgin olive oil entirely.
Castor Oil has been known for possessing several hair care benefits. It has been used for thickening the hair and stimulating hair regrowth. It is also great for treatment of fungal conditions and for cleansing the skin. Castor Oil is dense in texture and can weigh down my hair. Because of this, I don’t use it very often. If I do use it, I only apply a small amount at a time to oil my scalp when needed or as a pre-shampoo treatment so that the majority of the oil would be rinsed out.
Do you like or dislike any of these natural ingredients? What other natural ingredients do you use with caution?
About Tori: I’m Tori, a Jamaican-born natural currently living in Texas. I was reunited with my natural texture in January 2012 when I big chopped, after transitioning for a year and a half. I am still learning about my natural hair, and hope to share the knowledge and experiences I gain as I continue on my natural hair journey. You can find me on Instagram @bonafidestyle.