Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

Crossing Product Lines

By January 27th, 202145 Comments
Crossing Product Lines
Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

Most product companies have a complete, comprehensive line of products they believe to be essential to the health of your hair and in some cases, body and skin. As such, they are promoted to be used by the consumer as a system, including the shampoo, conditioner, leave in, styler, etc.

For the most part, the hair product selection process is treated much like a buffet. We take what we want from this part of the buffet, and then venture on the other side to avoid what we don’t want. I was approached by a product distributor who was selling his line of products as a complete package and refused to sell me separate components, all the while perturbed enough to explain to me how I don’t know anything about products and how they are meant to be used together or they have no value. While I recognize the marketing standpoint and applaud the entrepreneurial spirit, as disrespectful as he was about it, I am not 100% convinced of the validity of it all. I do in some circumstances understand the notion that many things are meant to be used as a system. For example, if there is step oriented dynamic, much like a facial cleansing system; Step 1 cleanse, Step 2 tone, Step 3 moisturize. I can also see how using them in the order they were designed is essential to their effectiveness based on their formulations. I’m just not quite sure that applies to hair products so I wanted to get another vantage point.
For those naturals who have it all figured out as it relates to a regimen which yields awesome results, many tend to use a shampoo from this line, a conditioner from that line and a styler from yet another product line, despite the fact that most complete lines will announce on the label “best results achieved when used with (insert another product from the same line)”. Are these empty claims wrapped in a bow of marketing strategies or is there some truth to them? Some product companies have a loyal, almost cult like following and their customers insist on using the entire line.

For me – it would be 100% easier on me and my process if I could simply use products all from the same line and call it a day. I would actually prefer it and I am open to the concept but thus far I have not found success in doing so. I would at the very least like to use the same shampoo and conditioner from one family of products. While I have found a few where I can do that (and they have earned a spot in my arsenal), those are few and far between. It most scenarios, my curls have a mind of their own and I am in love with one component; and the other….not so much.

What has your experience been? Do your product choices cross product lines or do you stick with one line for all your hair care needs? 

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Photo Source:


  • Lauren Chevalier says:

    For the excellent company Begin with the internet site, the customer service over the cell phone, to the detailed care they deliver in your presence
    leather jacket

  • Kiona says:

    I also do the buffet method. I'm transitioning from heat damage. While doing so I'm doing research on product lines I'd like to try. I swear using 1 line would make things soooo much easier but of course of that nvr happens oop

  • Samantha Smith says:

    I definitely cross product lines! I not only feel I'm better serving my hair by finding products that work for it, but I also think it's fun! Finding products that work for my hair is of the utmost importance, so I'm willing to "cross product lines" whenever necessary. No one has the answer-all perfect line of products and my hair is as finicky as a 3rd grader at step-mom's thanksgiving, so I go with what works for me. For the most part I hardly even use commercial products. I mainly stick to basic all natural and/or organic single ingredient products like shea butter and aloe vera. I can mix these up myself and I know that my hair is getting exactly what it likes

  • hunnybun says:

    I agree somewhat that when evaluating a product line you need to use their entire product line. After all when they tested heir products they did not use them with products from other brand. And after having my hair get dry and form white balls from mixing too products that reacted badly I can believe that some products just do not mix.

  • Decia says:

    I prefer the buffet approach myself. We're making this too complicated.

  • Hilary B. says:

    Ideally, I would like to stick to one line for all my hair needs for the sake of simplicity but that just doesn't happen. Instead, I try to stick to a few products that work well together and weed out any unnecessary products. For example, I love the salmon Shea Moisture line but I've noticed that the styling milk and curl enhancing smoothie have almost the same exact ingredients so I don't feel like I need both products.

  • Brooke B. says:

    I'm one of those naturals that doesn't always use all natural products so when I've tried to buy one line of products a few of their ingredient lists have things in it that don't agree with my hair.

  • Ambee says:

    Its been a long road that i was on trying to find the best conditioner for my hair. Before when I was using the conditioners that didn't work for me, I was also using the shampoo and other styling products that were from the sameline. I finally found a good conditioner that worked for my hair and I stook with it. (Silicon Mix) I found a good shampoo for my hair from Cream of Nature in Argan Oil and I stook with that because of the Argan Oil ingredent. I just think that sometimes peoples sell everything together but can also work seperate. I think that is something that they do to get you to buy.

  • Cassandra [C.] says:

    Finally someone who seems to think like me. I too thought that $10 was too much for Shea Moisture or any other product. But a lot of blogs list SM as a "cheap, affordable line." My only exception to this lil rule of mine is kinky-kurly knot today. It works wonders for my hair, and all I have to do is add it to soaking wet hair [doesn't work too well for me on dry hair].

  • Cassandra [C.] says:

    I use different products from different lines. The closest I have come to using an entire product line was Aussie Moist; I had the shampoo, conditioner, leave in, and deep conditioner. I must say that when using these, I did love the results. My hair definitely was moisturized, even my mom used it with success. I don't know why, but I stopped using it to try Kinky-kurly. I now have the shampoo, leave-in, and custard, but I only like the KKKT, the shampoo is nothing special.
    I say use whatever you like, if that means label-crossing so be it, as long as it works.

  • Caramelcurls says:

    My favorite product lines (and I have tried MANY) are Carols Daughter (Shampoo/Butters) Aubrey Organics (Conditioners), and Shea Moisture (Coconut Hibiscus Styling Milk/Conditioner). These products have kept my hair moisturized, healthy, and growing, and my motto is "If it ain't broke, don't try and fix it."

  • Cadetrus Smith says:

    When I was relaxed, I was very loyal to one product line. However, now I have discovered that some product lines compliment each other very well.

  • Julie says:

    This feels like an ad….

  • Anonymous says:

    I have spent plenty of money trying to use an entire line both with relaxed and naturalhair. As a relaxed diva I found a couple of lines that really worked well. Now that I am natural I still haven't found a product line that my hair likes from start to finish. So I mix it up.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use to mix it up for 7 years of being natural, but I would not get good results. And then became a product junkie (several lines at a time). But now in my 8th year I have decided to use one line and my hair is seeing tremendous results. I truly believe it's because the same line of products work better..well at least for my hair. And since my hair is comfortable with this line, I will not use any other.

  • LaNeshe says:

    I've tried full lines, Kinky Curly and Shea Moisture, but my hair works best with a mix.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use the entire line of Kinky Curly products for myself & my children. Especially in the summer. I did not like the Come Clean at first it was very drying. I thought the knot today wasn't conditioning enough. After using it on & off for a whole year I keep coming back to it with consistent results. I think as the health of my hair improved I actually began to like the come clean, especially when I need to remove the silicon from other products. The knot today also works better now than it did a year ago.
    I also use the entire line of Jane Carter. I've been using JC for about 10 years since I was a straight hair natural so I was glad she came out with the curl cream. I was introduced to Jane Carter by my hairstylist sister. Love her line.
    My other favorites lines are Ouidad,& Shea moisture and then I have pieces of other lines because I'm a PJ.
    I'm a bit OCD so I prefer brands that I can use the whole line. Even when I purchase odd pieces I don't use them as much as the whole line. I'm a low maintenance woman.

  • Unknown says:

    I never use a whole product line. I think that eventually I'll head in that direction ( I love almost every ORS product I've used) but for now I like to experiment with everything that's out there. Using one product line seems so limiting!

  • Anonymous says:

    I had recently started going to a new stylist and after I described my variety of products, she insisted that I need to use just one line… her preference is Jane Carter. But she said it so matter-of-factly, like HOW did you not know this? This had really thrown me for a loop, so I'm so glad to hear that there is no right answer. She had me thinking that I had failed the basics of natural hair.

  • Habiba Kaba says:

    It depends on the product line, the Liquid Keratin line from Ulta is like an at home keratin treatment, and p.s. it is VERY well made. I dont use it any longer, but i would totally recommend ALL of their products to ppl. Anyway, with this line, the products are sold individually and as a kit. The company asks customers to use their whole line together, like all other products… "for best results…" Anyway, with this product it actually makes a difference if you listen to them or not, because the efficacy and durability of their keratin smoothing treatment decreases markedly in the presence of sodium chloride (salt). Salt is sneaked into many product ingredient lists. However, the Liquid keratin companion products are specially formulated without it. I'm sure there are other components that are matched up particularly with this line too. You dont HAVE to use their products once you know the reason why they suggest you do, but there is a benefit to it… btw the conditioner is GREAT. So, i think some discretion is called for when it comes to mixing and matching. it never hurts to try mixing product lines, however, you cant mix product lines or not follow the manufacturer's directions and then blast them on the internet when you dont get the results that they claimed. Now, if you do as they instruct and the results are still doo doo, by all means, rip em a new one if you feel so inclined!

  • Taylor says:

    I love mixing it up. I've found some products in the same line simply do not work for me so I have no choice but to find something better.

  • Anonymous says:

    I definitely cross product lines in my quest to satisfy my tresses. My favorite shampoo is Terressentials mud wash, henna, a homemade deep conditioner, Giovanni Direct-lv-in, styling products are from Afro-Veda, Shea Moisture, Uncle Funky's Daughter, Curls Unleashed, & Jane Carter Solutions.If it gives my hair what it needs, then I use it.
    Allnatural1 (Michelle in TX)

  • LM says:

    I use a mixture of lines simply for cost effectiveness. For instance, most items in the shea moisture line seem to be 10 dollars. I REFUSE to pay that much money. I just don't have it like that. My shampoo is around 6 dollars and my conditioner is under 5 dollars. I do use the curl enhancing smoothie by shea moisture but that is all so far. If I can find a line that yields good results for a cheap price then I will stick to it.

  • Claire says:

    I think that the notion of using only one product line is a part of a grand scheme by the companies. It's just like the idea of folks only using "black" hair products.

    They rely on hype to keep customers in their pockets.

  • Anonymous says:

    What I find is, for example, the shampoo from one line is extra drying so that you see amazing result from their conditioner, so I try to avoid sticking to one line because I hate that type of dependent damage.

  • Anonymous says:

    Mixing product lines for me works best. I use Shea moisture line the raw Shea butter and curl and shine line. I use the raw Shea butter shampoo because it is more moisturizing than the curl and shine shampoo. I use the deep treatment masque from the raw Shea butter line, but after I use the curl and style milk for my leave in or the curl enhancing smoothie. I then seal with olive oil or Carol's daughter Mimosa hair honey then I am done I pre-poo with coconut oil, olive oil or Aubrey organics honey suckle rose conditioner.

    Megan Montgomery

  • Anonymous says:

    I definitely use products from other lines that variety tends to work for me.

  • elle says:

    @anon ~lexa~

    I LOVE sheamoisture and Nubian heritage from their soaps to lotion to shampoo and conditioner.
    I also love that they're a sister company and for me they pretty much always get it rightas well.
    at this moment if I could fill up my whole bathroom with their products I wld but being as I have locs there are some things I wldnt use on the regular basis for certain reasons, but whenever I feel like being a loose natural they'd probably be my staple brand(s).

  • 'Chae says:

    None of my products come from the same line but i think its mostly because the ingredients may differ. I use elasta qp shampoo. and organic roots stimulator dc. I use as i am leave in and then I seal with argan styler is lottabody setting lotion for my bantu knot outs. its funny cuz i didnt realize this until you wrote this post lol

  • Courtney says:

    I hate to say it but my hair gets the best results when I use Giovanni conditioner to cowash and theN use Giovanni direct leave in. I've tried to cowash with other conditioners before and my hair does not feel the same.

  • keishabradford2006 says:

    I use a buffett of products. I do use shea moisture moisture retention shampoo and the conditioner. The bomb.. But I love aussie moist condish and herbal essence hello hydration. Both courtesy of curly nikki and I still use them almost two years natural.I subscribe to curlbox so I have a plethora of products to choose from.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well for my shampoo and condish I use the same brand: Shea Moisture
    but not the same line. The Shampoo is from the African black soap line and the condish is the Restorative Shea Butter line.
    For my leave in I use Knot Today

    I would love to use one product line as well but for right now this seems to be working for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'd love to stick with one line for my products, but I mix it up a bit … On another note, ol' girls hair is FIYA! Anyone checking her out?! Chiiiille!!


  • Erika A. says:

    I've had no success using products from the same line. I like the variety of using different product lines.

  • Anonymous says:

    Shea Moisture and the sister Nubian Heritage for me. From body soap, facial soap, shampo, moisturizers and Conditioners/Deep Conditioners so far so good. I've been using them since I BC'd last year in July (1wk before anniversary)and the products haven't failed me yet (knock on wood). Don't get me wrong I'm still a PJ and like to try different things, some good some bad, but my hair always gets the right results with Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage line.


  • Aviance says:

    I tried using products from one line, mostly because I'm a little OCD and would prefer matching bottles in my shower. However I quickly found that the same ingredients that made my hair soft in the shampoo, made it dry and hard in the conditioner. What makes a shampoo a shampoo will have a diff chem reaction to the additional ingredients as it would in a conditioner.

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    In a perfect world, I would love to stick to one product line. However, for my current transitioning hair needs I use the "buffet method" in picking my products. Most of my products stem from the Shea Moisture line, however, I have used leave in conditioners from other lines and also herbal and Ayurveda products.
    It all depends on my hair needs.

  • braidsntwists says:

    For a while my staples were from all over the place. I'm starting to finally get it down to just a few. But I could never go with just one line because there's always one thing or another from the line that my hair does not care for. I've always been for whatever product works best for me.

    My shampoo/conditioner are Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle.

    BASK products have become my new best friend. Everything I keep trying I like from their cream to their DC. So those have become staples.

    Qhemets AOHC is my staple during the winter when I need a heavier cream in the cold and dry Chicago winters.

  • Anonymous says:

    In the beginning I tried a variety of product lines. I wanted to pin point what worked for me. Have I found one exclusive line over the 6 years that I've been natural? The answere is NO!

    However, I've narrowed it down to about 3 or 4 lines that are a staple for me…must haves! Qhemet's Biologics (Burdock Root Butter Cream)luv the stuff; but I'm currently looking for an anti-humectant for these drooling hot summer months! If anyone knows of any please let me know!!!

    Another is Jane Carter's, leave in cond., shine & define.

    Panteen's, Dry to Moisturized Cond. mix with Evoo, honey as a DC. and Eco Styler Gel.

    Then lastly, not that its part of any line but I can't live without my unrefined Shea Butter! I do a seperate mix for my hair and one for my body. I mix different product to cater to each. I will always keep this around!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Love KCCC and KCKT for my 4c coils (an HG product for sure), but I'm not "feeling" KC Come Clean shampoo – it's just too stripping and harsh for my hair.

  • cafemochalady says:

    The only complete line I've tried is Shea Moisture, but I'm buffet style and was considering doing Curl Box for a few months to get some variety. I also like Kinky Curly, and shea butter for hair, body, etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    Of course we know it is a marketing ploy. They want you to spend all of your money to use only their products. I do tend to buy the same line of shampoos and conditioners, but everything else is mixed up.


  • Dana says:

    I have yet to try a whole product line. My hair responds well to a mix of product lines. I tend to *listen* to what my hair needs and adjust accordingly. I suspect my hair would start to crave something or another if I used one line exclusively.

  • Anonymous says:

    My success has come from using a "cocktail" of products from at least three different lines! I use Shea Moisture shampoo and Curl Enhancing Smoothie, but in between those two steps I use a Loreal conditioner. I use coconut oil as a sealer/finisher, but if I need a little definition I use a Garnier gel. It usually takes a little trial and error to find the combo that works for you. (mzcnnd)

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never used a full product line that did my hair justice.
    I'm buffet style. One from here, another from there…etc, and that's what works on my hair best.
    I watch and listen to my hair and treat it accordingly.


Leave a Reply