Satin bonnet? Check. Vent hairbrush? Done. An extra-large bottle of conditioner? Of course! No natural hair journey is complete without these essentials, but there’s a laundry list of other strand-saving products your hair needs to flourish. With summer approaching—and the looming debate about what protective style to install next—there’s no better time to stock up on the best products that’ll meet all of your hair needs. But with a new hair launch every week, how do you even shop for natural hair products anymore? According to celebrity hairstylist Xia Charles, you should consider your hair type and current needs first and then make your shopping choices from there. “Some companies will state the hair type and/or porosity that their products and lines are most compatible with, and from there you can find what’s best suited to you,” says Charles. “For example, if your hair is type 4 and you experience a lot of breakage, you may want to find a product that helps retain length and strengthen the hair shafts.” It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients listed on product labels. “DMDM hydantoin a formaldehyde used in some shampoos and conditioners as a preservative has been proven to cause skin irritation and hair loss,” Charles says. Of course, you should also stay away from drying alcohol-based products. “Some alcohols often used in hair products as thickening agents can make your hair extremely dry. Dimethicone, although used to treat skin irritations, is a silicone added to some hair products that can cause unnecessary buildup if not used in moderation,” Charles adds. You should, however, invest in products with natural ingredients such as moisturizing vitamin E and aloe vera.As a self-professed natural hair product hoarder, I scoured the web (and my bathroom cabinet) to find the best natural hair products for every hair type, length, and concern.
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