The natural hair care game has come a long way, probably even in your lifetime. There was a time, not very long ago, when mainstream stores carried little to no natural hair products. Tucked away at the dark end of an aisle were a handful of products that were often a one-size-fits-all formula. Unfortunately, some stores are still like this.
For the most part however, things have changed. More and more black-owned companies have had their products hit shelves and popular culture has fully embraced the beauty of natural, textured hair types of all kinds.
This explosion of product availability however, has led to a new problem…an overwhelming amount of things to choose from. Instead of co-washing your hair with coconut oil like we all did 30 years ago, there are now dozens of buzzy ingredients, methods, and formulas touting beautiful, healthy curls. So how do you know what’s right for your hair?
Finding the best shampoo or the perfect conditioner for curly hair might feel like an overwhelming task but we’re here to help guide you through what to look for when choosing the right formula for your curls.
Why You Should Never Skip Shampoo
Before we dive into assessing what you should be looking for in your natural hair products, let’s talk wash day. Now, some people will swear by co-washing or skipping shampoo as often as possible.
Skipping shampoo however, is not the healthiest choice for your curls. With so many natural hair care ‘rules’ floating around the internet you might think it’s better to wash say, once a month. While that may work for some people, every curl is unique and that system may not be what’s best for your hair.
Besides not looking great, an under-washed scalp leads to massive buildup which can clog pores and hair follicles, causing flakes and ultimately, slowing the growth of your hair. While you’ll need to determine how often your unique hair type needs washed, the average is about every 2 weeks.
The 5 Step Wash Day Routine
At African Pride we’ve perfected the washing process. Our 5-step #CoilyGirlMethod wash day routine works for all types of curls and coils, but is particularly great for Type 4 hair. You can read all about the African Pride Curl Care Method here but let’s take a moment to do a quick breakdown of the steps to your best hair yet.
Step 1: Detangle Unwashed Hair
Incorporating our African Pride Pre-Shampoo into your wash day regimen helps to detangle hair, minimize breakage, and define coils. This lightweight cream moisturizes and detangles using the natural benefits of Aloe Vera and Coconut Water. Plus it conditions, protects strands, and removes tangles from natural coils; leaving hair soft and easy to manage during cleansing and styling.
Step 2: Shampoo & Condition
Maintain healthy, hydrated coils with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner duo that’s infused with moisturizing properties. The easiest way to do this? Divide your hair into sections, shampooing and conditioning each section individually. This ensures every strand gets some love and makes the whole process much easier. Your hair will be left soft, shiny, and smooth.
Step 3: Hydrate Hair
The more you hydrate, the easier your future wash days will become (and the better your hair will look in between). Add a rich leave-in conditioner to ensure your curls are hydrated and manageable. A liquid leave-in conditioner provides the foundation of moisture that coily styles need and gives hair an extra layer of protection against breakage plus long-lasting moisture.
Step 4: Define Curls
Not only does this step help define each unique coil, it gives strands extra shine, and provides extra moisture (in case that leave-in conditioner wasn’t enough). Whether you’re doing a twist out, braid out, or finger coils, our Moisture Miracle Flaxseed Oil Curling Cream will provide tons of moisture and definition without all the frizz and flakes.
Step 5: Seal & Protect
Either during or after you’ve put your hair into a protective style, lock in all that good moisture and shine. Protect your coil definition with a restorative oil. African Pride’s 5 Essential Oils use a nourishing blend of essential oils, including vitamin E to replenish your hair’s natural nutrients, protect against breakage, and promote natural hair growth. Over the next few days (or weeks) your scalp and strands are going to dry out. You can repeat this step as needed between wash days to maintain your curls bounce, shine, and moisture.
4 Things To Look For In Your Shampoo & Conditioner
When trying to find the best shampoo and conditioner for curly hair, there are a few key things to consider. Your personal preference combined with what specific needs your hair type requires will certainly dictate the products you choose. However, there are some universal things you should look for when finding the right natural hair care products for you and your hair.
Free of Sulfates & Harmful Chemicals
Sulfates are cleansing agents that create that rich lather in shampoos, soaps, and other similar beauty products. While everyone should stay away from these, people with curly hair are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of sulfates. Sulfates and other similar chemicals strip hair of it’s natural oils and dehydrate strands which causes frizz and potential damage. Instead, look for nourishing, moisturizing formulas that are free from alcohol, sulfates, parabens, and other harmful chemicals.
Most textured hair, but especially Type 4C hair, is prone to dryness and breakage. Tighter curl patterns make it more difficult for oil, water, and proper hydration to fully penetrate the hair shaft. This means the further down the hair strand you go, the drier your hair will be. To combat this using a daily spritz of water and leave-in conditioner can help. However, the best way to ensure nourished hair all-day is to start at the beginning of your hair care routine.
Make sure both your shampoo and conditioner are packed full of nutrients and hydrating ingredients like Castor Oil, Honey, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Aloe Vera. The other key ingredient to look for? Make sure the shampoo and conditioner formulas you choose are water-based. This means the very first ingredient should be water as it serves the perfect base for total hydration.
At African Pride, we believe in harnessing the amazing power of nature. We utilize natural, good-for-you ingredients in all our formulas. Similarly we craft them without parabens, sulfates, or harmful chemicals.
This is an incredibly important aspect to consider when choosing a new shampoo or conditioner. Natural ingredients like Coconut Oil or Aloe Vera add valuable nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids that help your hair look and feel it’s best. Natural ingredients like this also help balance your hair’s pH levels.
Curious about how these natural ingredients work? Read all about the 7 Ways Honey Can Transform Your Natural Hair, 6 Amazing Aloe Vera Benefits, and The Amazing Benefits of Using Tea Tree Oil on Natural Hair.
Infused With Oils
We know how great oils are at sealing and protecting your fab new hairstyle or making it easier to style frizzy hair. However, oils can do wonderful things for cleansing, nourishing, and moisturizing hair. No matter what your hair needs are, there is definitely a natural oil out there for you.
If you want deep conditioning and moisture, Coconut Oil is an all-star ingredient. In either shampoo or conditioner this timeless oil helps protect hair while reducing protein loss. The fats that make up Coconut Oil have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, allowing its many nutrients to be easily absorbed into the hair. It moisturizes, adds shine, encourages growth, and is incredibly nourishing for dry scalps and tighter hair textures.
To help relieve a sensitive scalp opt for Tea Tree Oil. Gentle enough not to irritate sensitive skin yet strong enough to treat itchiness or psoriasis, tea tree leaves hair moisturized, refreshed, and soothed. Its antifungal and antimicrobial properties also help treat dandruff and dry scalps.
To find the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair consider what your specific hair and scalp goals are, then look for formulas infused with oils that will combat those issues.
The Best Shampoo For Curly Hair
For the best shampoo that’s packed with natural ingredients, oils, and hydrating properties look no further than our Moisture Miracle Honey & Coconut Oil Shampoo. This gentle cleansing formula removes dirt and buildup from hair without stripping it of its natural oils. Its unique blend of Water, Honey, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and Shea Butter deeply hydrate natural coils and curls, leaving hair soft, shiny, and nourished.
Hair especially dry or tangled? Before you shampoo, reach for our Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo. Formulated with Aloe Vera and Coconut Water, this refreshing blend helps remove tangles from natural curls and coils and protects hair before washing.
The Best Conditioner For Curly Hair
Never skip conditioner. It’s crucial for curly and textured hair types to keep their strands hydrated and nourished to prevent breakage, frizz, and potential damage. Reach for a nourishing conditioner that’s specifically designed to moisturize curly hair types. Our Moisture Miracle Honey, Chocolate & Coconut Oil Conditioner utilizes a unique blend of Grapeseed Oil, Honey, Coconut Oil, and Cacao to nourish and condition dull, dry strands. It may seem like a surprising ingredient, but Chocolate, or Cacao, is packed with vitamins and has incredible restorative benefits for textured hair.
Short on time? Our Olive Miracle 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner is a deeply moisturizing option that cleanses and hydrates strands. Using a unique recipe combining the finest African miracle herbs, oils, and natural ingredients this dual-action formula helps condition, repair, and rejuvenate dry hair.
Before you aimlessly wander through the drugstore, consider all these key things to look for in your next shampoo and conditioner. It might seem like a lot to remember but essentially, you should seek a natural, sulfate-free formula that’s packed with oils and ingredients to nourish and protect your curls.
Making positive, healthy choices for your curls and coils might take a little bit more time or effort to ensure but that’s why we’re committed to creating effective yet affordable natural hair products to make your life a little bit easier.