Beginning the journey to healthier natural hair can be an overwhelming process. Choosing the right products can be costly, time extensive and frustrating with so many options available. But it doesn’t have to be a headache, if you pay close attention to ingredients.
Contrary to what many companies would like for us to think, most natural hair products contain the same ingredients and don’t vary much from product to product. When you learn what ingredients your hair likes and dislikes, it will become 100x’s easier to pick hair care products. You will know that if a product contains a certain ingredient high in the ingredient list, it may or not work well for your hair.
Here is a list of 6 must try first ingredients, all of them are under $10 each and can be mixed and matched to suit your hair type. These ingredients are found in almost every type of natural hair care product from leave-ins to shampoos!
1. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is a great pH balancer (pH of 4), and can soothe itchy off balance scalps, add much needed moisture to thirsty hair, and smooth the cuticle. Aloe vera juice is great as a spritz (has a light hold) or as a rinse after using a shampoo with a high pH. It can also be beneficial during the detangling process. You can order aloe vera juice online or get it from your local health food store.
2. Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin often gets a bad rap because it is a humectant, and in certain environments can make hair hard, crunchy, or greasy. When used in certain formulations, however, vegetable glycerin can be your hair’s best friend, attracting and helping to retain moisture.
3. Tea Tree Essential Oil
If you have scalp problems, let this essential oil become your best friend. One thing that many women complain about is an itchy, dandruff laden scalp. Tea tree oil is a great addition to your routine… add it to shampoos, conditioners, and even alongside carrier oils for a nice scalp massage.
Whether, you opt for shea butter (my love), mango butter or avocado butter, get you a butter and make a mix for your hair. You can use butters as moisturizers (mixed with other ingredients), sealants, etc. The world of butters is endless. You can use them in multiple ways from nourishing, to smoothing, to styling! Buy them in bulk and you can get enough to last at least a year!
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the best oils hands down. You can use this oil in many ways- – oil rinsing, scalp massages, moisturizing, sealing, and as a styling aide.
6. Coconut Oil
Just like Olive Oil, this oil can become your best friend. It’s great for deep conditioning and as a leave in, and can be used to seal in the moisture from your conditioning treatments.
This is just a basic list, but once you find out how your hair reacts to these few ingredients, you will be able to quickly decide which hair products are worth your money and which ones aren’t. You may not like an ingredient as a leave-in, but find that you love it mixed with your shampoo or rinse-out conditioner. Experiment and remember that using natural hair products doesn’t have to be pricey or overwhelming! Keep it simple!
My staples are: Glycerin, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vatika Oil (enriched coconut oil), Tea Tree Oil & Avocado butter.
My staples are: WATER, EVOO, tea tree oil, shea butter creme (raw shea butter, olive oil, tea tree oil), castor oil, and ACV rinse. I have not used aloe vera gel BUT I'm actually going to purchase some today. Also, I recently used vegetable glycerin, BUT all it is doing is making my hair really greasy…any suggestions for using the glycerin?
I just came up with a mix that works wonders for my hair: rosewater, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and a little bit of plain H20.
A good conditioner, oil, mild cleanser, and a wide tooth comb. Unfortunately, aloe does nothing for my hair.
Coconut oil, Olive, oil, Castor oil, Rosemary essential oil, Shea butter. I will definitely be adding honey and aloe vera juice.
Since aloe vera juice balances the ph and closes the cuticle should I be putting that on after my moisturizers and before my oil sealant?
Sorry ladies! Shea butter was just too thick and too oily for me. However, I have found a friend in aloe butter. It is light not as thick as shea. Definitely worth trying. camdegrey.com
Coconut oil, aloe vera juice and honey are my bffs!
Coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera gel, and a really good moisturizing and/or strengthening conditioner.
Shea butter, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil!
and water of course!
great post! I'm with everyone on the butters.
coconut oil, castor oil, neem oil (substitute for tea tree oil which irritates my very sensitive scalp), shea butter, aloe vera juice.
Argan oil, coconut oil, castor oil, aloe vera juice, mango butter, water, and henna!
Shea Butter, Olive Oil, and an essential oil.
Thanks atribitt for explaining the different between Aloe Vera Gel and Aloe Vera Juice. Now I have an explanation as to why my hair seem to love some Aloe Vera Juice.
Clarification: The pH of aloe vera GEL is 7. The pH of aloe vera JUICE is 4 – thus explaining it's cuticle-closing properties.
Great article and every item on the list is indeed must-try as a new natural!
coconut oil, aloe vera juice, water, shea butter, and ACV. Thanks for the article!
Mine are coconut oil, brahmi oil, henna (does that count as an ingredient?), and WATER!
Don't forget water!!
My staple natural ingredients are coconut oil, honey, black tea, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera gel and tea tree oil.