Love it or hate it, many naturals are product junkies and are generally always looking for new products to usually make detangling easier or to soften, moisturise and style hair better. This is my recap of the products that have been asked about and talked about the most in 2014.
1. Bentonite Clay — Bentonite clay is winning big! It has cleansing ability and is also a curl clumper. Its reputation has transformed from possible natural alternative but with worries of mess and drain clogging to a must-have product for wash and go aficionados.
2. Qhemet biologics amla and olive heavy cream — Full confession, I have never used this product myself but I have to say that it gets constant raving year in and year out on hair blogs and forums. For those who like heavy creams, this looks like a must try.
3. Aloe Vera Gel — Gels in general appear to be back in thanks to the max hydration obsession and topping the list of affordable and of natural origin is aloe vera gel.
4. Shampoo — For some years now, pretty much every guide to going natural had to include a section on how to eliminate shampoo and co-wash. In 2014, I have seen a dramatic change with more advice on how to select gentler shampoos and even use of occasional clarifying shampoo, so shampoo is back in!
5. Tea rinses — Tea rinsing has been around for a while now but in 2014 it really seemed to take off, possibly because it is a fairly simple additional step of pouring cooled brewed water at the end of the wash. The possible benefits of strength, hair growth stimulation and cuticle smoothing may be possible reasons why tea rinses are winning.
1. Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner was and to be fair still is one of the most loved products in the natural world. However, things have began to tumble as the company was forced to drop the organic label and the revelation of the full ingredients list showed alcohol as one of the top 5 ingredients. There is hope though because quite a few naturals do feel a tangible difference when using the product compared to other conditioners and therefore vouch for it.
2. Aloe Vera Gel — You may have spotted aloe vera gel in the winners column but yet here it is in the losers section too! It is a product that really does split opinions right down the middle. This is no surprise as most humectants such as honey or glycerin do the same too. For some it may be flaky or may make hair too mushy. Sometimes it is a trick of tweaking the amount or order of product layering but other times, it just does not work.
3. Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System — There was a serious raucous raised by this product in 2014. Social media icons such as Chary Jay and Chime Edwards as well as natural stylist Felicia Leatherwood were key to the brand establishing knowledge of the product within the natural world. The fascination for the product did begin to wane as naturals questioned whether it was really natural. A scientific analysis of the product ingredients showed that it is a BKT that is formaldehyde free but that would change hair. For some naturals the BKT aspect meant BTTMS needed a wide berth.
Who would you add to the winners and losers list this year?