It is often said your hair is your crowning glory. Well, who can argue when they see your gorgeous curls? Whatever your natural hair type or color is, it is always important to keep hair clean and healthy. And, for giving your natural hair its best care, nothing beats natural hair products.
What Is Natural Hair?
Before we toss in our list of natural hair products, we will first define natural hair.
Natural hair is hair in which no one has used chemical preparations to change the hair's structural integrity and existing form. Chemical preparations can include texturizers, relaxers, straighteners, or perms. When you let your natural hair grow as is and put nothing on it to alter the structure, then that is your natural hair. One word: curls. Remember that naturally growing hair isn't as straight as a ruler. Even if you have straight hair, your new growth will eventually form baby curls or waves.
Characteristics of Natural Hair
Natural hair has curly growth formations that range from baby waves to tight coils.
If you have African heritage, chances are you have kinky curls that form those gorgeous Afro styles. People of African descent also have a unique curl pattern that is hereditary, which explains why some people can rock amazing braids or rows. Blonde- and brown-haired people also have wavy locks, especially kids whose hair is as natural as it can get. Again, it depends on your genes whether you'll have naturally curly hair.
The other feature is texture. Natural hair is drier to the touch than most altered hair. "Drier" means it doesn't feel slippery or wet like most treated hair feels. On the flip side, natural hair has its natural oil that keeps it from drying out. It also has a unique luster and volume and feels fine without being too fluffy or slick.
Last, natural hair is delicate. It means it needs frequent cleaning, conditioning and moisturizing to keep its natural volume and curls and prevent damage and breakdowns. Natural hair is also very susceptible to extreme sunlight and other elements.
Natural is very versatile. Unlike chemically treated hair (straightened or permed), natural hair lends itself to several styles.
The styles that work best on natural hair are:
Shampoos and Conditioners
What about shampoos or the conditioners we put on our hair after washing it? Aren't those chemicals, too?
Yes and no. Technically, they are chemicals, but they don't directly affect the natural chemical components of hair in a way that alters natural curl formation and texture.
Most shampoos and conditioners have nutrients hair roots absorb to help you grow healthier hair, and they improve the condition of your natural hair. They do not alter it. Some conditioners may relax your wavy hair, but the effect is temporary and will wash out. Therefore, it's important to use natural hair products like organic shampoos and conditioners to help hair grow healthy. Naturally.
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Does coloring hair mean it is not natural anymore? Well it is a good subject for debate.
But remember that the key natural elements are curls and texture. You can have neon pink hair as long as you keep its natural wave formation. Some people may experience hair texture change after dyeing their hair, but this rarely happens. Unless the dye has a relaxer/texturizer, your hair will still be natural (though not 100% because of color change).
Is There a Need for Natural Hair Products?
Yes, there is a need for natural hair products. In fact, natural products should be the only ones you use. The key idea here is "natural." It means the products must have ingredients that are organic (no synthetic chemicals) and naturally sourced from animals or plants (not concocted in a lab).
Unlike chemical products, natural products do not damage your hair because they do not have harmful ingredients or substances that can break down your hair's protein (known as keratin). Nor do they have long-term side effects or risks for other parts of your body (e.g. scalp, skin, etc). Natural hair products contain only vitamins and nutrients that help you keep your natural hair healthy.
You can apply natural hair products directly to your locks, or use them to wash your hair. These products include shampoos, conditioners, leave-ins, looseners, and moisturizers. You can find a variety of natural hair products that can serve the following purposes:
Top Ten Natural Hair Products
For our list of the 10 best natural hair products, we did not rank the products. Instead, we classified them based on product functions and the needs of your hair.
Clean and Fresh Look and Feel
Conditioner ingredients like tea tree oil clean and stimulate your scalp, but sometimes they dry your hair. However, this minty conditioner from Mielle not only cleans deep into your hair's roots, it also gives your hair a fresh minty scent and a moisture boost, thanks to the emollient properties of babassu oil.
Beach Look and Feel
- ADD TEXTURE & VOLUME: Get that "beach-look" with natural SEA SALT to add volume and texture to your hair
- ENHANCES CURLS: Texture and volume added by sea salt enhances the look of curly hair
- PROTECT HAIR: Prevent hair from drying out with LAVENDER OIL
Everyone wants to have that island girl hair that reminds them of a tropical paradise. Thankfully, you can get beautiful "beach hair" without even going to one. This product has actual sea salt to give your hair that "edgy" texture and volume. And, it has a lavender scent that smells heavenly.
Overnight Treatment and Wake-Up Treat
Some think you should put nothing on your hair before you go to sleep, but this product begs to differ. This shampoo acts like a sponge that soaks in oil, sweat, and odor while you're in dreamland. The next morning, the result is gorgeous looking "bed-hair" that is worthy of a thousand Instagram #iwokeuplikethis posts.
Loosening Stubborn Curls
Yes, curls look sexy, but sometimes, you want to loosen things up. This product not only smells nice, it also feels nice on your hair. The heavenly cocktail of natural oils relaxes your natural hair while keeping its bounce and shine.
As we mentioned earlier, natural hair is fragile, so it's prone to breakage and frizz. Also, too much styling and combing can also damage your curls. Put a stop to this hair madness using this weekly rinse-out. Its natural ingredients boost your hair's elasticity to bring back the bounce to your crowning glory.
Colored-Treated Hair Care
- Improves wet and dry combing while helping hair retain moisture and softness
- Helps fight frizz caused by humidity
- Ideal for curly to coily hairy types
As long as your hair's curl and texture are not chemically altered, your hair is still 100% natural, even if you color it. To keep your color-treated hair intact and healthy, regularly apply this leave-in product, and you're good to go. Texture ID locks in moisture to keep your dyed mane healthy and bouncy.
Taming Tangles and Knots
Curls are gorgeous until they tangle like complicated relationships. Undo the mess and allow your fingers to comb your hair with ease using this milk solution from Shea. This product contains coconut oil for excellent moisture management, and neem oil for extra smoothness that improves bounce and lets your fingers glide through your hair, effortlessly.
- POMADE FOR EDGE CONTROL & MORE: This citrus scented shine pomade moisturizes hair & scalp, smoothes edges and controls...
- NOURISH YOUR PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLE: Use Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey to add shine & moisture to any protective...
- NOURISH NATURALLY CURLY HAIR: Created for naturally curly & kinky hair, from the short-cropped 4c curly hairstyle to 1c...
Add more radiance to your bouncy curls using this pomade from Carol's Daughter. This potion of natural ingredients includes shea butter, cocoa butter, and annatto seed, to give your locks a gorgeous shine. And, thanks to lavender, sage, and red clover, it smells great too!
If hair protects your head from the sun, what protects hair? Shield your locks from harmful UV rays with this creamy conditioner of coconut oil, organic honey, and cupuaçu butter. These ingredients lock in moisture (preventing dry hair), add shine, and form a natural UV barrier.
More Bounce and Softness
Don't let the exotic-sounding ingredients scare you. This conditioner taps the power of manuka honey and goes down deep into your roots to infuse your strands with nutrients. The result is super soft hair that does not reduce your hair's bounce, moisture, or strength. Now that's conditioning, honey!
There are hundreds of natural hair products on the market you can buy from specialty stores or online. There are no rules about which products you must buy, and everything depends on what your hair needs. And, just like the products on our list, there are specific products for specific hair needs. So happy hunting as you shop to keep your natural hair healthy.