Monday, January 28, 2013

Product Junkie Diaries: Out with the Old, In with the New

     I must confess that I am a recovering Product Junkie. If there was a support group for natural hair product addicts, I would be among the first to sign up. Now that it's 2013, I'm beginning to see the error of my ways (and the exorbitant totals on my Target receipts). In 2013, less is more. This post is about the products I used in 2012 that didn't make the cut for 2013.
      Let's start with the shampoos. 2012 was the year I discovered sulfate-free shampoo. My inaugural sulfate free poo was Nubian Heritage's Honey and Black Seed Heat Protectant Keratin Shampoo ($10 at Target). A few notes on sulfates-- they are cleansing agents placed in shampoos. Unfortunately they can be very drying,and strip the hair of the natural oils it needs to stay moisturized. Typically they are listed as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. I'm still doing my Co-Wash Challenge, so I've discontinued using shampoo for the next month at least. The Honey Black Seed shampoo is definitely a step up from regular shampoos; it is silky and slippery in texture, and it didn't seem to strip my hair. My curls were fresh and bouncy when I stepped out of the shower, and easy to detangle. In addition to the honey, this product also contains coconut and shea oils. The smell is a bit underwhelming-- it's really not appealing in any way, but it does get your hair and scalp clean. Even though this product wasn't in any way damaging to my hair, I won't be using it in 2013 because I don't need it! However, I may consider finishing my current bottle in the summer to better protect my hair from the sun's damaging rays.
      I also briefly used TRESemm√©'s Luxurious Moisture shampoo for 2 wash days. This was an unintentional buy; I thought it was conditioner in the store! It's a little thicker than most shampoos, and it's very smooth in texture. It felt nice and silky on my hair but after I rinsed it out, my hair felt a very dry. This was the last shampoo I used before I started my Co-wash Challenge. It isn't sulfate free, but it is alcohol free. It could be a nice alternative to other shampoos for that reason-- that and it cost about $4.
     Another product I'm not head-over-heels about is the Shea Moisture Organic African Black soap Purification Masque. It aims to relieve dry itchy scalp and it contains Plaintain Enzyme, Tea Tree and Willow Bark Extract. I used this product as a pre-poo and deep conditioner. Although this product has AWESOME ingredients, I feel like it didn't do very much for me. I will say that it did temporarily relieve my itchy scalp. It is gooey and slippery in texture, grayish in color, and smells a little bit like banana bubble gum (if that makes any sense...let'st just say I wasn't in love with it.) In accordance with the Shea Moisture creed, it consists of all natural ingredients, is sulfate, paraben, and paraffin free. It cost about $10 at Target.
      The last product I can do without in 2013 is Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Blow Dry Protector. It's supposed to be infused with argan oil, but considering that I can't pronounce most of it's ingredients, I think it has less argan oil and more synthetic ingredients that could harm your hair. I'm not sure it protected my hair at all from the blast of my hair dryer. It cost about $7 at Walmart, and I consider it a definite waste of money, because I no longer blow dry my hair 100% of the way. The best heat protectant is a leave-in conditioner followed by an oil to seal in the moisture. There is nothing remarkable about this product-- at least that's the verdict of my 4c hair! I think it might work best for texlaxed or relaxed hair.
      This concludes my Product Junkie Diaries! Hopefully I'll be smarter about buying products that I don't serve any purpose for my hair in 2013, and I'll be sure to follow up with a post about my staple products this year. What products did you use in 2012 that you wish you hadn't?

 Keep it Nappy,
AphroKiKi

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