PRODUCT REVIEW: NIGERIAN HAIR CARE PRODUCTS SUITABLE FOR NATURAL HAIR

By Hadassah Agbaps - July 01, 2013

Source: africanimports.com

Hi guys, what's been on? Hope you've been having a fabulous week!
Today I'd love to share my list of Nigerian products that have been good for my natural hair. I wrote a post earlier about trying to find "Made in Nigeria" haircare products.
I invited suggestions from you guys and here are a few I've tried and liked.
Before I start,  I'll like to give MY criteria for a good shampoo,conditioner,leave in, oil, gel.

MY CRITERIA FOR SHAMPOO
- It should cleanse scalp thoroughly (no more dirt or product) without drying it out. 
I don't always apply oil to my scalp. I want it to moisturise itself naturally with sebum. After a period in my life battling with itchy scalp and dandruff,I try to keep my scalp as free from products as possible to reduce clogging which causes my scalp to itch. I only apply a thin layer of natural oil or butter mixed with growth stimulating essential oil and that's it for the next 3-4 days.
So, in the long run, my scalp should not feel dry after using the shampoo.
- It should cleanse hair without drying it out. When I use a stripping shampoo to wash my hair, I observe my hair gets hard on rinsing despite the fact that it's wet. Also if I don't condition on drying, it's full of tangles, frizz and feels like an iron sponge. If I dare comb dry, it'll snap that comb in half!
So a shampoo that cleans off dirt and products without stripping my hair is most welcome.

MY CRITERIA FOR CONDITIONER 
- It provides good slip for easy detangling.
I use fingers now, so the less tangles I feel, the better.
- It should contain more natural ingredients in the first 10 and should not contain a lot of chemical ingredients.
- It should be able to double as a co wash and as a leave in conditioner.
A conditioner with silicones cannot double as a leave in or co wash for me because in the long run, the product buildup weighs down my fine strands, my hair gets dryer inspite of misting, my hair loses its glossiness and then it easy attracts dust and dirt which lead to pimples on my face and itching on my scalp.
- It should pass my two day rule.
This rule states that a conditioner that does not help my hair retain moisture for two days will not be repurchased.
After washing and conditioning my hair, I apply just a coat of natural oils to seal in and do not reapply again for the next two days.
My hair should stay soft and frizz free for two days before -misting.
- It should smell nice.
After the grassy smell of henna, the sour smell of yoghurt, egg, vinegar,mayonnaise and such, it is "tres necessaire " to have a conditioner that masks or gets rid of the smell.
I'm the kind of girl the puts a dab of perfume on her hairline and nape. I'm also the kind that believes in "hair must smell really nice either of a faint scent of vanilla, strawberry or some interesting fruity smell". I'm more confident that way.

MY CRITERIA FOR GEL
- If for any reason I want to apply gel to make a sleek wavy bun, I should not be left with a rock hard helmet on my head to the point I can't smile!
- It should be alcohol free.
- It should define and moisturise my coils with a soft not crunchy feeling.
- If crunchy when used alone, it should be crunchless when mixed with butter ( NappyGirl Pudding is the only one I use).
-A little should go a long way. Don't like product buildup. It should easily be refreshed by misting with water.
- No flakes! I don't want to relieve my dandruff experience all over again! It's really embarrassing and I can't weather shame as well as I did when I was younger!
- Clear. Don't really fancy those black gels.
- Smell nice or don't smell at all!!!!

CRITERIA FOR LEAVE IN CONDITIONER.
-Same as conditioner.
-It should be made 98% of natural moisturisers and shouldn't cause buildup.
-I'd appreciate one with scalp friendly minerals and vitamins....and a lil tingle from something minty won't hurt!
-It should be in a spray bottle for easy application.
-It should maintain moisture levels for up to two days without need for refreshing..... most important to me.
- It should play well with other products so if I'm mixing up products to get a particular result, no white goop!
- It should be easily absorbed into hair strand not lying on top.
I compared the shampoos with my favorite shampoo (Aussie Moist).
I compared the conditioners using ORS Replenishing Conditioner and Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. It has really good slip.
I compared Emily Millionaire with Cantu Shea Butter Repair....(I wonder if it was a fair match).
I parted my hair and used a different product for each section.
I made sure I followed directions on the labels and when I didn't get favorable results, I tried to tweak a little.
I tested the products under normal conditions i.e. my hair is dirty, needs a wash, I use the products.... nothing extra special.....!

Nigerian Hair products I found okay.

1. Vinoz Hair Conditioner
Kay likes this one. Maintains moisture balance in her hair quite well and she loves the tingle. I love the minty tingle on my scalp too but the condish didn't do much for my hair. It has a minty shampoo too but I wasn't interested in trying it out. My hair was starting to act up because of the different products I was trying out and the Petals shampoo brought out the worst in it, so I'm a little wary of the Nigerian shampoos so far.

2. Emily Millionaire Coconut and Herbs.
Love this! Contains 100% natural coconut oil, soya beans oil, carrot oil, basil ,banana jam, vitamin E, refined palm oil, shea butter, avocado pear oil, almond oil, honey, vegetable oil, orange peel and a host of others...a concotion of natural ingredients....actually saw some coconut shavings and smelt some banana.
 It also smelt a bit alcoholic even though no alcohol on label... what's up with that???
Great for overnight deep conditioning on damp hair and for moisturizing ends when diluted a bit with water. Softness and moisture for two days. I avoided application on my scalp though because it was too heavy but it had more slip compared to Cantu but not enough to detangle.

3. Dudu Osun Blacksoap
Sulfate, paraben and silicone free alternative to a shampoo bar...actually for bathing.
Contains Pure Honey, Shea Butter, Camwood, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa pod ash, palm ash, aloe vera, lime juice, water and fragrance. It contains no artificial color, preservatives and is biodegradable.
Not pH balanced (more alkaline than acidic) but a less drying alternative to the choice of sulfate shampoos currently available.

4. Royallux Organic shampoo
It is made by Hardis and Dromeda, an indigenous company in Enugu. It contains Sodium Laureth sulphate and the organic claim seems to come from the lemon extracts....reminds me of dish washing liquid but Kay's medium stranded/normal porosity hair didn't seem to mind it. It was a bit harsh on my finer strands but okay when really diluted. Depending on your hair type, it can be used for monthly cleansing after cowashing.

5. Petals Shampoo.
One word. Drying. It contains sodium lauryl sulfate. Really have to dilute it if you'd like to use it as a clarifying shampoo.

6. Petals Conditioner
Just basic but can act as a base for mixing henna, DIY Deep conditioning.
Not so great as a cowash because it caused build up on my hair.  My hair felt a bit funny and greasy. It's a great detangler and be used in place of Hello Hydration for detangling IMO if you ignore HE awesome fragrance.

What I think...
I still think we need gentler shampoos. I compared Petals Shampoo with Aussie Moist Shampoo which is not particularly sulfate free (contains Ammonium Laureth Sulfate). It dried out my hair more than the Aussie, the Royallux was better and Dudu Osun, best!

The conditioners didn't do it for me. They didn't fit my criteria for a good conditioner but Kay thinks Vinoz Conditioner is good and it's doing really well with day two moisture on her hair, so I'll give it a thumbs up.

I still think more natural hair loving ingredients should be used even though it's more expensive than chemicals used but one thing I like about Made in Nigeria products is the relatively fewer ingredients used. So they can easily act as a base for mixing in natural products.

The downside is the constant presence of petrolatum, paraffin liquidum or whatever name it is that the synthetic oil/wax shows up as.
Emily Millionaire Coconut & Herbs did try with a lot of natural ingredients which were really there. I could see and smell a lot of them...lol... which isn't so pleasant but not bad at the same time.

I like the fact that these products are affordable and easy to locate.

I won't mind better packaging though. There's something pleasurable about looking at beautifully packaged products in the bathroom even though they're almost empty!
I'll be in a hurry to chuck out these products before they are half empty just because they don't make my bathroom look pretty.

I've not seen any gel I remotely liked...I wouldn't mind suggestions!

I've not seen any possible hair butters /stylers I could try for curl definition. Suggestions anyone?

I'll try and post in depth reviews as soon as I'm able. I just wanted to share these with you because I've been getting emails about Nigerian natural hair care alternatives to some foreign products.

Still, if you've tried out any Nigerian hair care products and loved it, please share with us in the comments section!

Till I spill again,
Live Beautifully. Naturally.
HadassaH.

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