The best products for healthy locs doesn’t have to be name brand products you find at a high end beauty supply stores. Even those top products may contain not so loc-friendly ingredients may do more harm to your hair than good. You can achieve healthy locs using simple and affordable products that benefit your locs without all the extra chemical ingredients. The goal here is to work with less chemicals and additives found in those products by singling out the product’s selling point, and only using that particular ingredient. In other words, instead of buying a brand of coconut hair gel with one part coconut oil and the rest hard to pronounce chemical compounds, why not just buy 100% coconut oil from your grocery store? You get all the benefits of the coconut oil without worrying about other ingredients that work against your hair and health. Also, you’ll probably end up getting more for your money with a product that will last longer than the little tub or bottle that costs around the same price.
You can find a majority of these products at your local grocery store, your farmers market, your pharmacy/health food store, or you may even find these products in the cabinets of your own home. What’s even better is that many of these products can be used all over your body. Again, the best products for African American natural hair are minimally processed with no harmful chemicals added that will add any further build up to your locked hair. Axe the wax, my friends! No sulfates, please. Locs may be considered dead hair, but you’re very much alive, so keep the formaldehyde for those going to meet Glory. Your overall health is what makes for healthy locs, so always read the ingredients of any natural hair product before purchasing. Better yet, why not just buy your own ingredients and create a concoction that is chemical free and great for your natural hair?
The following details below are items I have found in places like the ones listed above. Most are affordable and simple to use on your hair. It’s broken down into these categories: oils, butters, and cleansers.
Oils are plentiful, many offering the same benefits; however, they work even better when combined with one another or other essential oils. You can use these products to condition your natural hair. No worry about much build up, and when mixed with purified water in a spray bottle, you have the best moisturizing hair refresher in town! Check out some of the following oils below. These are just a few out of the many oils that will keep your locs healthy.
● Coconut oil – Penetrates and conditions your locs, leaving them smooth and soft.
● Olive oil – Aids in retaining moisture as well as keeping the outer locs protected and shiny.
● Almond oil – Provides good vitamins and good fats that’ll aid in strengthening your locs, and it may also aid in hair growth. If it can do wonders for your body, imagine the good it can do for your natural hair.
● Tea tree oil – Helps eliminate dandruff with its antifungal and antiseptic properties because it refreshes and cleanses your scalp. If nothing else, always keep a bottle in your cabinet. A few drops in a spray bottle of purified water goes a mighty long way.
● Jamaican castor oil – Boosts natural hair growth in those spots that just don’t seem to ill in; however, it takes time and patience. If you can wait for your hair to loc, then you should have no problem waiting on those edges to come to form. Your edges will be happy!
When you think of butters for natural hair, only two may stick out. One is shea butter and the other is cocoa butter. These butters are versatile when purchased raw. They can be whipped, melted, and blended with some of the essential oils listed above. A little bit goes a long way when used correctly. Keep in mind that since both butters get clumpy when solidified, build up in your locs will occur, so use caution when handling these products. Most people use these butters as twisting agents for their locs. Bonus to these butters is that they benefit your skin in so many ways. Stretch marks be gone!
You don’t need shampoo full of parabens and sulfates when you can use natural cleansers that get the job done just as well without the hard to pronounce chemicals stealing the spotlight. Also, these cleansers are a bit more gentle on the hair and scalp. For example, castile soap is a gentle, multi-purpose cleanser. You can also use black soap as well. For tougher jobs, when gunky build up takes over your locs, you may opt to do an apple cider vinegar cleanse. This method goes different ways. Some saturate their scalp and locs with ACV, wait a few minutes, then wash it all out using castile soap. Others use a combo of ACV and baking soda in a sink or tub of water, then soak their locs until squeaky clean. Consequently, all this acid will strip your hair of all oils, and possibly color if your hair is dyed. I would only recommend this method if you’re transitioning away from using waxes to twist your locs or any other product that has caused too much build up in your natural hair. Also, only do this at most twice a year, and be sure to follow up this cleansing with a deep conditioning using a combination of the oils mentioned.
Healthy African American hair can be achieved using many of these products, while hopefully saving you a few bucks. These products can last for quite a while and are usually not hard to find. Switch it up from time to time to see which products work best for you. The good thing about trying each product is that you KNOW what’s going in your natural hair, so there’s no need to worry about any damaging effects on your overall health. Tell me, what products or ingredients do you consider best for your locs?
– Kevin L. Tarver