The natural hair care industry is POPPIN. Which is truly amazing. Natural hair products are finally available in a way they never were, even 10 years ago (where were you when I was in high school?!?). Not only are they available, but our cups runneth over. So many brands, so many blessings. But it almost makes you pause when you look at your shelf of products - thinking about all the money, all the time, all the build-up on your scalp, and all the plastic waste!! It’s easy to get sucked up into the marketing and all the recs from our sisters. Plus, any advice you seek on the internet will probably just recommend yet another product to you. My personal weakness is that I think there has to be one product I’m missing, one new item that will finally complete my hair system. So I end up picking up something new every time I run to CVS. Well no longer. I think we all need a little less stuff, for the sake of our coins, our mental health, and our planet. So here are my tips to declutter your hair system!
- Rather than thinking about the different products you need, shift to thinking about the kind of care your scalp and curls need.
For instance, mine need to be cleansed, moisturized, the defined, and then a few chunks need to be locked in place for the day while other chunks need the freedom to move. Your needs are different! But the first step in minimizing your hair care is to address your needs, rather than build an arbitrary routine based on product. When left to its own devices, what is your hair like? Based on that, procure products that complement what your hair is already doing. You might be using a product when your hair can achieve the result on its own.
2. Source multipurpose products.
Nothing’s better than a two for one! And with our hair, efficiency should be the name of the game. If you’re using a ton of products, that probably means they aren’t all working as hard as they should. Hunt for single products that can cover multiple jobs. Cowash to cleanse while retaining moisturize. Use your conditioner as your leave-in. Or, cop one of the emerging curl systems on the market designed to help cut time on wash day, and give you the most bang for your buck. But also getting back to basic ingredients is a perfect way to simplify your routine. Ingredients like tea tree oil - great for cleansing your hair and stimulating growth, plus it’s a great spot treatment and cleanser for your skin! Coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, - all products we know and love, but usually are combined with a bunch of other (sometimes) junk. In the raw, we can use these products head to toe, and check off some of those previously defined hair needs.
3. Don’t be afraid of losing a little length.
I think the natural hair industry uses a lot of length politics on us. Listen, if long hair is your jam, I’m here for that But I think we privilege length over the health of our hair (I know I certainly have). We’d be surprised by the number of hair issues we try to solve with products, that could actually be solved just by getting a trim. Trimmed curls often hold their shape better and tangle less, which cuts out two products right there! Plus your head will feel lighter and you’ll promote healthy hair growth. Maybe your hair feels soft with all those products, but the build-up can dry out and damage your hair, which means when you finally do go in for a trim, you’ll need more taken off to get to the healthy stuff. Those are my biggest tips to minimize your routine, but most importantly - once you get a routine that works, be content with it! Try not to get too distracted by all the new brands that seem to pop up by the day. And if you do feel like your routine needs a switch up, try to replace them once they’re empty, and purchase from spots that will let you return items after you’ve tried them so you don’t end up with a shelf full of ineffective products.
By: Sianay Chase