By Hadassah Agbaps - March 02, 2017

Q. Hi NappilyNigerian,
I saw your thread on nairaland. You are really doing a good job and giving us hope that we can grow our hair long. I noticed that you listed some products you use some of which are hard to find in the market. You also mentioned that some products can be made at home. My question is which is more effective...the store bought products or the Do It Yourself ones especially when it comes to dry hair?



Thank you for your kind words.
To answer your question, both the store bought and the D.I.Y. products are effective as long as the ingredients in them are designed to solve the particular this case dryness.

In both cases, you need ingredients that would add and draw moisture towards the hair. Here's where water and known active humectants like glycerine should show up in the ingredient list. Also to make sure that the water provided would not evaporate easily. This is where sealants such as oils and light silicones come in.

In order to know whether to go the D.I.Y. route or the B.I.Y. route, you have to consider factors such as time, availability of products, cost and extent of hair issues.

To guide you in your decision, I will outline some advantages and disadvantages of the Do It Yourself and Buy It Yourself hair care solutions.



- You'll know exactly what goes into your hair product and how much goes in it! 

Some haircare companies cut corners by practicing the 'one drop' rule. That bottle advertised as 'all natural olive oil hydrating moisturiser' may contain just 0.01% of olive oil and a big dollop of silicones, waxes and petrochemical by products which you'd prefer to do without!

- It's cost effective especially if the ingredients are abundant in your area.

 For example making a shea butter moisturising butter is cheaper in Nigeria because we produce shea butter locally but making an argan oil moisturiser will be much more expensive since we don't grow it here.

- It saves you the hassle of looking for some hair products.

 A lot of products readily available in the States are not available in Nigeria and if you want to keep hunting them down, you may travel long distances before you locate a store that stocks that product.
 Why not simply make your own?
For example, you may have a hard time finding Ecostyler gel in your area, so why not simply make your own gel from flaxseed or use aloe vera gel to tame frizz?

- Environmentally friendly. 

Since your mix contains a lot of natural ingredients, it is much more bio degradable when washed away. Also, it is more likely that you'll recycle an old empty container of a product you've used before than purchase an entirely new one. Less litter. It is also less likely that you'll be using an industrial size CO2 emitting heat source which means less contribution to depletion of our poor ozone layer! So it's a win for you and a win for the environment.


-It can be time consuming. 

The time spent looking for individual ingredients for mixing could be spent just buying one good product.

-There's the issue of hygiene and health. 

Unless you are knowledgeable in preservation of degradable products to prevent/control microbial growth, you might just be mixing up a health time bomb! There are many ways your mix can be contaminated. Your mixing surfaces, your bowls, mixing tools, your fingers and even the ingredients themselves are potential sources of microbial contamination.

-It may not be cost effective in the long run.

 Sometimes purchasing raw natural ingredients can be more expensive. For example, if you want to make a hair moisturiser containing hair growth stimulating oils, you would spend a lot purchasing each essential oil by the ounce as against simple buying a good product with the very same essential oil. Essential oils tend to be expensive if you want the real thing.
Also, to keep the product fresh and germ free, you would have to make smaller batches of product which can run out sooner than you think and you would notice that you spent more while repurchasing your ingredients.

-It may not be good for your hair. 

Without proper understanding of what individual ingredients contribute to the health of your hair, the quantity needed and how each ingredient complement each other in your mix, you may be doing more harm than good to your hair. Most good hair care companies invest a lot of money and time researching the best ingredients to solve that particular hair issue. Why not reap the benefits of that research by simply purchasing a bottle of hydrating hair lotion for example?!

BUY IT YOURSELF (ready made products)


-It is time saving.

 You don't have to spend hours mixing up a hair product when you can simply buy one that solves the problem.

-Cost effective. 

You save money buying one product that contains all the ingredients you need than buying individual ingredients in quantities that you may end up wasting!

- Great aesthetic appeal. 

Ready made products come beautifully packaged in attractive colours with awesome scents which let's be honest, you can't really replicate in DIY products without spending extra on packaging and aromatic oils. A lovely addition to your product shelf...why else do we have product junkies?!

- Wider range of products. 

There are different products tailored to different hair types and different hair issues. All you need to do is pick it up, throw it into your basket and head to the counter. It's a whole easy shopping can even try on a new lipstick while you're at it!


- Do you really want all the hard to pronounce chemicals in that glossy bottle? 

Do you really want to wonder if that ingredient is carcinogenic, comedogenic other words....a health disaster in the long run?

-Do you really want to wonder if there's enough of that natural ingredient in that bottle?

I was looking for a pH balanced body wash one day and I stumbled across Imperial Leather Citrus Burst Body wash with promises of lime and kiwi extract. On perusing the ingredients list, there was absolutely no mention of lime or kiwi extract or their latin moniker.....see what I'm on about?

- It can be really costly with no real hair care benefits. 

You may spend a lot of money on a product that's absolutely rubbish. All you are really paying for is the fancy bottle or tub. Your hard earned money is financing expensive adverts so they'll deceive more gullible consumers with products that are not worth it!

In a nutshell?

If you are ready to invest the time and money to make your own products, you need to do your research to create effective herbal hair care products that would suit your needs.
If you decide to buy them, it's best you purchase products that contain good quality natural ingredients.
Whatever you decide, make sure you are only using products that nourish your hair and keep it healthy.

To take the guess work out of looking for good products suitable for your hair, you can request for a NappyGirl Hair Kit by sending a mail to!😁

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