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The best natural products for African American hair

Updated on April 6, 2011
Shea butter
Shea butter | Source

African American hair tends to be very dry, and is often very fragile. Black hair can shape into random spirals, coils and zigzags. Because of the tight curl pattern, scalp oil can’t reach the ends of hair. This results in dryness, and dry hair tends to break more easily. The solution is to apply products that maintain moisture. Most African American products sold in stores, actually dry hair out. These products contain cheap ingredients such as mineral oil (a horse laxative) and petrolatum (Vaseline). These ingredients clog pores and make hair greasy. Greasy hair does not equal moisturized hair. When I first went natural I started researching natural hair products. I want to tell you about the ones that worked best for my hair and why.

Coconut oil

My favorite natural hair product is unrefined coconut oil. It has a wonderful light smell, that’s very fresh and tropical. The fragrance isn’t overwhelming. If you’re sensitive to smells than this is oil for you. The oil is very light and doesn’t weigh your hair down. The good thing about this oil is a little bit of it goes a long way. You don’t need to use a lot. Coconut oil doesn’t just sit on hair; it actually penetrates the hair shaft. It keeps moisture locked in the hair. Coconut oil is good for every hair type. I like to use coconut oil right after I wash my hair. It’s best to apply hair products while hair is still wet. Wet hair actually soaks things up as opposed to it just sitting on the hair.

Shea butter

Another great natural hair product for African American hair is Shea butter. This product is great for sealing in moisture. It works best on coarse and dry hair. Some with softer or finer hair textures may find Shea butter to be too heavy. Like coconut oil, you only need a small amount. You don’t need to be heavy handed with the application. I like to use Shea butter on my ends, when I wear braids or twists. It’s good for preventing split ends. The smell takes some getting used to though. I would describe it as having an earthy nutty scent. Shea butter has a smell you either love or hate. If your hair is extremely dry or brittle I would recommend Shea butter.

Sweet almond oil

Sweet almond oil is a great pre shampoo conditioner. I like to soak wet hair in sweet almond oil for 15 minutes, and then wash out. This oil seals in moisture very well. It will leave hair softer and well-conditioned. Sweet almond oil also has protein in it, which promotes healthy hair. Sweet almond oil is also a carrier oil, which means you can add essential oils to it. I like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to sweet almond oil. Your hair will smell amazing. You can add any essential oils to sweet almond oil. Then you can use it as fragrant hair oil or as relaxing massage oil.



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