Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Growing natural hair is probably about 60% correct styling and handling methods and 40% correct products. That's my extremely reliable statistical analysis after my nearly 21 years of having natural hair. Up until the age of around 14, I had ear-chin length pretty damaged hair. I got tired of my hair looking busted and decided after looking at all my cousins who had mid-back length hair that it wasn't in my genes or destiny to have raggedy locks. (side note: short hair is great too, just counteracting the myth that black girls can't grow long hair  unless they have 'good' hair)

Like most black girls, I grew up being deceived by the lie that Dax, Doo-Gro, or other poorly spelled (because black women all speak like Chicken George from Roots (duh)) products would make my hair healthy, strong and long. Just like the cartoon woman on the front of the green tub. The combination of bad hair products (Dax, Sulphate shampoos), blow-drying and harsh combing meant my extra fragile hair was never going to last.

I did my research, and have finally got a few core products down that really work for my hair. Before I do some reviews of them here are some tips for finding products that work for you.
Generally with curly/ afro hair (or even if it's relaxed) there are some key ingredients to avoid:

1) Sulphates - e.g. Sodium Lauryl/ Laureth Sulphate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate  - these are found in most commercial shampoos, and they strip curly hair of it's much needed moisture.

2) Mineral Oil/ Petroleum -  somtimes labelled on products as Paraffin Liquidum / Petrolatum. This coats the hair and traps moisture inside, but also doesn't let moisture into the hair strand, leading to dryness and breakage. Most of the products we call 'grease' have mineral oil or petroleum in them. They are literally glorified Vaseline with food colouring. Don't waste your £1.99 on them, give it to charity.

3) Silicones - e.g. Dimethicone. Cyclopentasiloxane, Amodimethicone. The problem with these are that although they do work for some curly folks hair, they have to be washed off with sulphate shampoos, as natural shampoos aren't strong enough to remove them,  leading to dryness. Using too many silicones also leads to product build up.

Sooo now onto the products I use.

Shampoo: Dr Bronners Magic 18 in 1 Castile soap. (yeh it's a mouthful)
I dilute this 1 part shampoo to 2 parts water, with a teaspoon of olive oil or an oil I got from and shake it up in a bottle. This lasts for aaaaaaggges. It's £8 a bottle, but one bottle lasts me 7 months maybe, and all the ingredients are completely natural. At first, my hair felt weird when I used it, but I got used to the feeling after a while and I highly recommend it. Get it at: or or

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner

After I shampoo deep condition with this conditioner and it is aammmaazing. Pricey, but in my opinion 100% worth it. Get it at: or or

Moisturising/ Leave in:
Castor Oil
Cheap, cheerful, from your local Asian food/hair shop or from (I'll do a controversial blog on the economics of black hair and why we should support black business another time) Note: This isn't the castor oil that you get in a tub, it's 100% pure and in a bottle.

 Other leave ins/products:
Bee Mine Deja's Moisturising hair lotion - This is really good, use it as a leave in after I wash, and as a day to day moisturiser.
 get it at:

Vo5 Moisture Milks conditioner -From some 99p stores ;-) I use this for co-washing, or when I run out of my normal conditioner, or when I'm between blessings (i.e. broke). I usually buy my usual conditioner in bulk though so I don't run out.

Hope someone found this helpful. If there's anything you want me to blog about, write in the comment box below or get at me on facebook if we're friends!!
Peace, Love, and (non petroleum) Hair grease!


  1. Guys, what products do you use / have found to be good?? Any products you hate??...share your info below (that rhymed innit?)

  2. Love the look of the site Shade, big thumbs up! : ) I see a lil movement going on where ladies are finally tired of the weaves and extensions and want to see their hair not only in the former glory they had as a child but also await to see the latter Glory! I recently joined the move, blogs like this help cuz I literally dnt have a clue of how to rly maintain my hair, I neva took an interest when I was younger. So product research is very important and your views can definitely be respected as you've shown yourself to be a woman of substance who speaks truth. I'll be coming back to read more! xx

  3. Yay! I'm so glad you found it helpful. Yeh, I am really noticing loads more women joining the natural side. I hope it's a movement and not just a fashion trend because we really need to reclaim our standard of beauty as what God set it to be and not what we've been told. By God's grace I'll continue to be someone of substance, your comment really made me smile, Thankyou! xx

  4. My hair has been a jumbled mess since i was 15 yrs old, with all the dance and pratices, hair products, dying, my hair has become fried....literally its started breaking anywhere fron an inch to 2 inches from my scalp...I have alot of native american in me so my hair is naturally wirery...and grows quickly, sometimes...but its growing so slow lately and it just keeps comming out...any tips on how
    I could manage my hair, I love my hair but as i read, to many of the products have wax and harmful substances. Any cures? My hair is in big trouble:(

  5. Hey Anonymous :-)...your hair sounds like it's in need of a lot of moisture. I'm gonna do a blog post on this soon, but basically, moisture is water. Use a spray bottle with 70% water and 30% vegetable glycerine, which you can get from any good hair shop or health shop. Spray this on daily, and straight after spraying, seal in the moisture by applying an oil on top such as castor oil, coconut oil or a thick butter like shea butter. Please, for the sake of your hair, think about avoiding the ingredients I've mentioned in this post...not only are they harmful for your hair, but also your general health...I've also got a youtube channel with sue product reviews, my youtube name is afrosaxon1. is a great site for products..