By Veronica Wells
Coconut oil is lauded as the superstar of any natural hair care regimen. And I get it, my hair loved this natural oil…until it didn’t. My sister and I were in Turks and Caicos when we discovered that we could not stop scratching our scalps. For me, the itching was mild but my sister’s scalp was in crisis. Large chunks of dried skin were falling out of her head. It wasn’t long before we realized it was the coconut oil that was causing this reaction. After a couple more tries, it was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to all of the products in our arsenal that contained coconut oil. (In theory, many of them still occupy space on our bathroom shelf.) The transition hasn’t been easy. Coconut oil is in about 80 percent of hair products for Black women. So you have to be careful.
If you find that your scalp is itchy even after you’ve washed, oiled and styled it, or you already know you have a coconut allergy, here are some products that will be lifesavers for your hair care regimen.
I know this is not a very large or well known brand. But I saw this at the health food store on 125th in Harlem and decided to give it a try because–it didn’t contain coconut oil and I needed a good, heavy butter-like product to condition my scalp and penetrate my locs on wash day. This product was perfect for that. While you can feel it contains all natural oils and herbs, it still manages to go on lightly. It doesn’t leave your hair feeling weighed down and it smells delicious.
From my experience most of Jane Carter’s products don’t contain coconut oil. I recommended this shampoo because, unlike so many others, it does what the bottle says it will. When you wash your hair with this product you’ll know your hair is clean without feeling like you’ve stripped your tresses of the oils they so desperately need.
I really can’t say enough about this product. It’s my favorite on the list mostly because conditioning is so important. My locs felt INcredible after I applied this on my hair after a good shampoo. The mint stimulated my scalp, opening my pores without being too abrasive. (Some even got into my eye and it didn’t even burn.) It smells delightful and leaves your scalp feeling invigorated and your hair hydrated.
This is for the “free haired” naturalistas. I haven’t used this product myself but I watched as my sister used it for one of her twist outs and it produced some of the most defined, longest lasting curls I’ve seen on my sister’s head. This twisting butter features “gourmet ingredients” like almond, aloe vera and honey, among many other natural and delicious oils. And it smells like cake in the jar but isn’t as loud on your actual head.
If I was really taking care of my hair like I was supposed to I would set aside time to give myself hot oil treatments, especially in the winter. The cold winds can be particularly rough on our hair. This anti-breakage oil can be used as everyday moisture or for more intensive hot oil treatments. This product contains oils like Kalahari Watermelon, Baobab Seed oil, Castor and Evening Primrose. I haven’t tried this one personally but I love Mane Choice’s products so this one, with these fabulous and fragrant ingredients, sounds like it has the potential to be another winner.
I should also note that all of these products are created by Black women, so there’s the extra incentive of supporting our sisters to go along with this list.