Most products typically fall under one or more of the categories listed below. Stay tuned for posts that provide more information on products that are essential for healthy hair care. Also, see the wash section on how the products are applied.
Pre-(sham)poo products and mix, natural oils (avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, etc.)
Clarifying shampoo, moisturizing (sulfate-free) shampoo, essential oils
Conditioner, deep conditioner, protein conditioner
Water, leave-in conditioner, moisturizing creams/lotions
Natural oils, butters (shea butter, cocoa butter), serums
Heat protectant (spray, serum)
The list is quite extensive, so please refrain from speedy acquisition (i.e. impulsive purchase). I am willing to bet that your product collection contains at least 3 of the listed categories. Some products can also be used in multiple steps; for example, natural oils and butters can be used for prewash and deep conditioning treatment. Finally, do not use petroleum jelly; they are very bad for your hair! I will explain their effects in upcoming post.
Blow dryers, curling iron, flat iron, hot combs, etc. Apply a heat protectant before using heat and use low to medium setting. Part hair into sections (at least 4) and wrap the ends of the ‘unstyled’ section in a bun to reduce exposure – it also speeds up the styling process. Heat protectants have their limitations and the only way to prevent heat damage is to avoid heat. Air-dry or use the cool setting on a blow dryer and opt for heatless styles.
Combs & Brushes
Wide teeth combs, mid-width combs, soft bristle brushes, etc. Hair is very fragile when wet and must be handled with utmost care to minimize breakage. Use a wide-teeth comb to detangle after conditioning and never detangle after shampoo. Do not use a rat tail comb to detangle (wet or dry), it results in major breakage! Opt for seamless combs, they do not snag on hair.
Bristle brushes are ideal for blowout styles. They can also be used to achieve smooth, sleek, and heatless styles. Do not use on wet hair, use a diffuser or your fingers to distribute heat till it is about 90% dry, then switch to the brush (using the chase-method) for a smooth finish.
Heatless Styling Tools
They are used for heatless styles; a few are flexi rods, perm rods, satin rollers, and curlformers.
Hair clips, scarves (silk or satin), head band, etc. Avoid accessories with rough edges or metal finish as they tend to snag on hair, causing breakage. Opt for smooth and fabric-textured accessories.