To answer the question, I have an Amazon store with the products that I think work well for hair based on:
a) my own usage
b) usage by other naturals and most importantly
c) reading the product list.
Note that I am not the seller of most of these products.
Hair care management is most important when you're trying to grow long, healthy hair but products are just as important because the wrong ones will spoil all your efforts.
To avoid information overkill, at any one time I'll only ever have a maximum of 9 recommended products in a given category. There's no single product that will work well for everyone because we all have different hair textures and needs. Here's how to shop for good products:
- Must be gentle and not abrasive.
A GOOD DEEP CONDITIONER
- Must be slippery and must make the hair feel soft
- Should not tangle hair
- Must not be surface acting only
After deep conditioning your hair it should feel soft, springy, strong and "fresh".
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS (aka Moisturizer)
- Should make your hair feel softer
- Should make your hair feel hydrated
- Creamy, oil/butter rich textured moisturizers work very well on dry hair
You want high grade oils, even when they are not organic you will get a better quality product if it has been cold pressed (i.e. refined without heat). I'm naturally going to recommend my awesome hair growth oil blend - you can use it for hot oil treatments and scalp massages:
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
I would go for something shea butter based. Butters are great when applied to wet hair.
CHEMICALS TO AVOID
There are certain chemicals natural black hair does "not like" because they dry hair out or coat hair in a film that makes moisturising diffifult. Some chemicals, e.g. Parabens aren't bad for hair as such but have been linked to cancer. Whenever I buy hair products I go for those that are 100% made from natural materials. I would avoid anything with:
- PABA or DEA (paraaminobenzoic acid and Diethanolamine)
- Propylene Glycol
- "Fragrances" normally refers to synthetic chemicals; essential oils and fruit extracts are best for adding a good smell to hair products
You don't need: a protein conditioner
You would only use one if you had hair damage or periodically on relaxed hair where the protein has been depleted. Protein conditioners:
- Strengthen (damaged) hair
- Require heat to fully penetrate hair and works from inside the hair shaft
- Cannot be used regularly otherwise it will do the opposite. Damaged hair can have a weekly protein condition; hair in good condition doesn't need it more than twice a month.
The picture below shows all the basic tools you'll need to take good care of your hair. Every product is available in the Neno Natural Amazon Store. I talk about each tool in:
9 Essential must-have tools for natural hair management