The three-year anniversary of my big chop is fast approaching and it will mark me wearing my hair naturally for three years, officially. But my journey began long before my cut and, if I am honest, I have begun to slack on earlier practices because my hair is really healthy and has become quite normal to me.
In the beginning I was careful to only use sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner and, along my journey, I discovered brands like Aunt Jackie’s and Elvive Extraordinary Oilthat produced products that catered for my strand. I, religiously, bought these products because they treated my hair well and they were designed to add moisture and the necessary oils to my, typically, dry strands of hair. When I say this, I am giving the general assessment that curly hair, by nature of the strand, is generally dry in comparison to sleek hair as it takes longer for natural oils to make their way down a curly hair shaft (or pattern). I know this because of the amount of time I had spent on the internet at the beginning of my curl journey; the recommendations to use products that are formulated for natural hair have served me well over the years.
Where am I going with this? Well, recently I bought ordinary shampoo and conditioner, Pantene Pro-V Moisture Renewal for Dry and Damaged Hair to be exact. Like I have said, this journey has become incredibly normal to me and I could not see why my hair would not respond to any cleansing products because, well, my hair is healthy and it has had three years of care so what effect could a shampoo and conditioner really have. What added to this supposed rationale was the fact that my styling creams would remain the same and that my hair would still be treated with their goodness and love.
OH, WAS I WRONG!
I noticed that after a week of using the Pantene shampoo and conditioner, that my hair appeared dull and that it began to frizz halfway through the day. My hair began to knot and I struggled to get a natural shine, even though I had added oil to my daily routine. I initially put it down to my hair needing a trim (which it did) but, after doing my monthly top-up of Elvive and Aunt Jackie’s I, decided to put them back in the shower and use them alternatingly. The result? My hair was instantly okay. After a second wash with my Oh So Clean Moisturising & Softening Shampoo and Extraordinary Oil Curl Nourishment Conditioner my hair shone and bounced even without me having it trimmed. I should not have been surprised at the fact but I was. Mostly, I was relieved.
What is the point of me sharing this?
Well, I wanted to share the importance of using the correct products for your hair type. I needed to remind myself, publicly, not to take my hair health and strength for granted, even though my hair has become a normal part of my existence. I also wanted to remind my readers that different hair types respond differently to different products, so it is really important to try as many as you can and stick with the ones that you feel adds the most moisture, strength, health and shine to your hair; what works for me may not work for you and vice-versa. This post is not a criticism of Pantene but rather a recognition of the brands that work best on my hair; I know many curly-girls who use a wide range of products that are not specifically formulated for natural hair and they have no complaints.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that I am so appreciative that the local market in Cape Town caters for my hair type. A few years ago, the selection for natural hair products in stores was virtually non-existent. We have to celebrate that the beauty market, although limited, has begun to cater for all hair, beauty and skin types. We are moving towards inclusivity at a larger scale and it is because of this type of awareness that I can mumble over something as basic as shampoo and conditioner.
What are your favourite products and brands? Leave a comment to share them!
Until my next post!