Hair Products for Healthy Relaxed Hair

July 13, 2014

I have been getting a lot of questions on hair products to combat dryness and breakage. A product will not help if the root cause of the problem is not identified and addressed. Once identified, it is much easier to find the right product to remedy the problem. NEVER use a chemical treatment (i.e. relaxer) to solve hair problems; it makes matters worse. The post on importance of moisture and protein balance in hair  explains this in further details. In the meantime, below is the post on products, as they are vital to healthy hair care.

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Hair Products

Below are the products that I have researched and they are grouped by their similarities and effects on hair. The list is a very small sample of products available on the market and you don’t need every product from whatever line you choose.

Below is a general guide for product selection:

  • Product ingredients (food, cosmetics, hair, etc.) are listed in the order of concentration; the highest concentration is listed first
  • Opt for water-based products (i.e. the first ingredient is water/aqua). A water-based product can be washed out with just water
  • Choose the same product line for shampoo and conditioner; they are formulated to work together. Opt for sulfate-free shampoo for maximum moisture retention
  • Choose natural oils over commercial oils, they have more nutrients
  • Use an essential oil (tea tree oil, mint oil, etc.) with a clarifying shampoo to eliminate flakes and build up; avoid dandruff shampoos -they strip moisture from hair

The retailers listed below are Canadian; the products are also available at same retail chains in U.S.

Group A

$$ Range: $9-16 CDN
Available: Loblaws, Wal-Mart, Target, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall Pharmacy

John Frieda Frizz Ease Collection | L’Oreal Paris Sulfate-free Collection | Aveeno Pure Renewal System | Joico Moisture Recovery System | Herbal Essences Hello Hydration | Pantene Pro-V | Organix

If you are starting a hair regimen, budget conscious and need products that are easily accessible, I will recommend group A. The caveat is that, you need to boost the products for optimal results because they are not formulated for textured hair. Boosters are natural oils and butters (i.e. Shea Butter). I also recommend a prewash treatment.

Group B

$$ Range: $9-20 CDN
Available: The first 3 lines are available in select quantities at Target, Wal-Mart, and Shoppers Drug Mart. Other: Beauty Supply Stores, Online retailers.

ORS Olive Oil system | Crème of Nature Argan Oil system | Shea All Naturals | Cantu Shea Butter System | Pantene (Truly Relaxed, Truly Natural, Relaxed & Natural) | Aphogee System

These lines are formulated for textured hair; I recommend Group B if you are starting your hair journey with dry, damaged hair and are budget conscious. As hair improves, you can move back to Group A. I began my regimen with the ORS Olive Oil line and it has become my staple line.

Group C

$$ Range: $16-40 CDN
Available: Beauty supply stores, online retailers

Shea Moisture  | Carol’s daughter | Miss Jessie’s | Mixed Roots

These are ideal products formulated for textured hair.  They are very popular in the natural hair community because they are free of chemicals such as sulfates and parabens. They also contain higher contents of natural ingredients compared to Groups A and B, and they don’t need boosters.

Group D

$$ Range: $20-45 CDN
Available: Beauty Supply Stores, Online retailers, Salons, Shoppers Drugmart*

Moroccanoil | Macadamia Natural Oil*

These are high-end products and they are very popular in hair salons and on runaways. The $$$ is steep, but you notice improvement after the first use.

I have tried the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask and my hair was noticeably softer and shinier after first use; by the third use, I had no more dry ends!  I will recommend Group D if you are looking for the fastest way to improve your hair condition and you don’t mind shelling out some $$$.

The only caveat is that, once hair becomes accustomed to the products, it might be difficult to switch to low-end products in group A and B. I experienced this when I finished the mask and returned to my normal deep conditioner mix; my hair was not pleased and it took about a month to fully regain control.

Is your favourite product on the list? 
What about your staple products?  
Which product lines did I missed?