Which Products Are Best for My Hair?


This would be the #1 question I get asked every day in my DM's and emails! First things first - visit this post to work out your Porosity, Texture, Density and Curl Pattern and I'll meet you back here in 5!


Ok, so now that you’ve learned all about your hair type and figured out your Porosity, Texture, Density and Curl Pattern - Let’s go through the products, ingredients and techniques that will work best for each of those hair characteristics.


Firstly – a couple of things to note about hair types and products:


Needs v Wants

As with everything else in life – we have needs and wants. Our hair needs things like moisture, and we may want things like volume – Your Porosity and Texture will be the most important factors in choosing products to meet your hair needs (e.g. how much moisture? delivered via what type of product?) .


Contradictory Hair Types

As you’re reading through these recommendations, remember that the needs for each of your four characteristics may contradict each other {for example – if you have low porosity hair (which loves regular cleansing and lighter weight, easily absorbable products) AND Coarse hair (which loves co-washing and creamier denser products) or, like me – you might have fine hair (which loves lighter weight, easily absorbable products) but also High Porosity Hair (which drinks up heavy products)} – you will need to weigh up the needs of your own hair, which aspects of these recommendations will work best for you and where you can compromise each requirement in order to get the best results.


Ok – lets get started – we are going to kick off with the most important characteristic (when it comes to product selection) - Porosity!

POROSITY



We have learned that your porosity dictates your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. For this reason, porosity will heavily impact on the types of products that will work best for your hair.




Low Porosity

Low Porosity hair features a tightly closed cuticle. For this reason, you may need to use light weight, easily absorbable products and use techniques to temporarily (but gently) open the cuticle to receive moisture. Low Porosity hair is prone to build up so regular low pooing or clarifying may be helpful.


Techniques:

  • Low Po’s may benefit from ‘low pooing’ over ‘cowashing’ and/or clarifying regularly to avoid build up.

  • Use gentle warmth to open the cuticle – examples include:

  • Using a heat cap while Deep Conditioning

  • Using warmer water to rinse out your cleanser before applying conditioner

  • Using steam (steamers designed for the hair or face!)

  • LOC/LCO Method – The Liquid or Moisture product you apply to your hair will need time to absorb – sealing this in with an oil, will lock in the moisture – creating a barrier whilst your hair absorbs it.

  • If you have thicker products (conditioners/stylers) that you wish to use up, add water to thin them out and ease absorption.

Ingredients:

Generally:

  • Avoid low PH formulations

  • Avoid very thick or difficult to absorb products which will just 'sit on’ the hair.

  • It's a myth to say all low porosity hair is protein sensitive, however Protein should be used with caution and in conjunction with moisture-based formulations

Specifically:

Low Po Loves:

  • Lighter oils such as Baobab, Apricot Kernel, Argan, Grapeseed, Sweet almond, Avocado or Jojoba.

  • ‘Film Forming Humectants’ such as Pectin, Marshmallow root, slippery elm, honey, seaweed extract/irish moss, nettle, flaxseed – Aloe also fits in this category however some people do experience flash drying or build up with this ingredient (but there are work arounds for this too!).

  • If using proteins, look for smaller proteins (that are more easily absorbed). These include hydrolysed silk, hydrolysed keratin or hydrolysed collagen, amino acids or peptides.

Low Po Avoids (in top 5 ingredients on ingredients list):

  • Heavier oils such as Olive, Coconut Oil, or Castor Oil (these difficult to avoid altogether as they are in many products - just try to ensure they are lower down the ingredients list and not in the top 5).

  • Larger Proteins (Wheat, Quinoa, Oat or many proteins that are not hydrolysed)

Products to consider:

Look for light weight (but moisturising) products that are easily absorbable and which will ‘sink in’ rather than ‘sit on’ the hair. Generally speaking, products such as hair milks, sprays and liquids work better than thicker creams.


Cleansers:

Kinky Curly Come Clean (Clarifier), Inahsi Soothing Mint Sulfate Free Gentle Cleanser (low poo), Clay based cleansers (e.g. Uncle Funky’s Daughter Bye Bye Build Up or Flora & Curl Coconut Mint Curl Refresh Clay Wash), Flora & Curl Mint Scalp Shampoo, Vida Bars, Treluxe Cleanse & Renew (low poo), Jessicurl Gentle Lather (low poo)


Treatments/Oils: Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment, Cachos Brazil Low Porosity Hair Elixir, Curlsmith Hydro Creme Soothing Mask, Boucleme Intensive Moisture Treatment, Uncle Funky's Daughter Heal & Renew (Protein), Curly Hair Solutions Silk Conditioner (Protein)


Conditioners & Leave In Conditioners: Giovanni 50-50 Balanced Hydrating Conditioner (pH Balancing), Giovanni Direct Moisture Weightless Leave In Conditioner, Kinky Curly Knot Today, Cachos Brazil Rio Mist Leave In Conditioner, Inahsi Naturals Aloe Hibiscus Leave In Conditioner, Inahsi Naturals All-in-One Leave In Moisture Mist (protein), Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner (protein), Curlsmith Featherlight Protein Cream (Protein), Flora & Curl Floral - Jasmine Oasis Hydrating Hair Mist, Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner, AfroShe Hair Milk,


Stylers: Giovanni 2Chic Ultra Volume Foam Styling Foam, Kinky Curly Fast Dry Foam, Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz, Giovanni Papaya & Tangerine Volume Amplifying Gel, Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Alikay Naturals Creme Brulee Curling Delight (Coarse low porosity), Cachos Brazil Low Porosity Hair Butter, Cachos Brazil Brazilian Combing Crème, Curlsmith Featherlight Protein Cream (Protein)


High Porosity

High Porosity hair which may occur naturally or due to damage (for example - by heat, chemical or mechanical causes) means that the cuticles are more open (or cracked/damaged). High Po hair tends to tangle more easily (due to the raised cuticles), become dry more quickly, appear dry/damaged and colour treatments may fade more easily. High Po hair needs strength and structure. Whilst it’s not possible to repair the cuticle, it is possible to fill gaps, smooth cuticles and create the appearance of ‘repair’.


Techniques:

  • Avoid Heat (air dry as often as possible)

  • Finger detangle where possible – if you need assistance from a tool, try a very wide toothed natural comb – ensure it has no jags/sharp edges that can tear at your hair. Start at the bottom and take your time.

  • Pre-poo or ‘Dirty Deep Condition’ – treat your hair with a Deep Conditioner, Conditioner or oil for a short time before shampooing/clarifying/low pooing – this will help protect your strands from cleansers and also allow less water to rush into your open cuticles at wash time (High Po can take on too much water too quickly, causing the hair to swell and create further damage – using a penetrating oil or Deep Conditioner prior to washing may assist by slowing the water absorption).

  • After washing/conditioning - Close cuticles by rinsing with cool/cold water or using sealing aids.

  • LCO/LOC Method for styling to seal in moisture.


Ingredients:

Generally:

  • Protein based treatments can help add structure

  • Sealing aids

  • Focus on repair, structure, strengthening & protection.


Specifically:

High Po Loves:

  • Heavier butters (for sealing) such as Shea, Mango, Coconut, Murumuru, Cupuacu butters

  • Sealing aids (ACV or Citric Acid)

  • Strong hold stylers (to help look in moisture, prevent it escaping those open cuticles!)

  • Sealing oils (JBCO, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil (finer hair)


High Po Avoids:

· High heat and chemical treatments which will create further damage (personal choice!)


Products to consider:

Look for products that will moisturise, repair (fill gaps) or add structure & strength. Seek products which will seal in moisture and those which will protect the hair from further damage. Ensure your Protein/Moisture balance is in check (don’t simply load up on 100% protein products, it is likely this will send you into overload – there are a combination of protein/protein free products in the lists below).


Cleansers: Inahsi Naturals Tropical Escape Cowash, Bounce Curl Hydra Drench Cleansing Conditioner, Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Cleansing Conditioner, Curlsmith Curl Quenching Cowash, Bounce Curl Moisturising Silk Shampoo (low poo), Curls Creamy Curl Cleanser (low poo), Flora & Curl Organic Honey & Rose Cream Shampoo (low poo), Hair Dance Intensive Hydrating Shampoo, Innersense Colour Awakening Hair Bath (Low poo), Inahsi Naturals Sulphate Free Clarifying Cleanser (Clarifier)


Treatments/Oils: Curlsmith Bond Curl Rehab Salve, Curlsmith Hydro Crème Soothing Mask, Curly Hair Solutions Silk Conditioner, Uncle Funky’s Daughter Heal & Renew, Kinky Curly Stellar Strands, Inahsi Naturals Mango Hemp, Cachos Brazil High Porosity Hair Elixir, Flora & Curl Hydrating Hair Mist, Curlsmith Intense Treatment Serum (for coarse High Po),


Conditioners & Leave In Conditioners: Curlsmith Multitasking Conditioner, Flora & Curl Organic Honey & Rose Cream Conditioner, Hair Dance Moisture & Strength Conditioner, Treluxe Untie The Knot Conditioner, Curls Green Bamboo Protein Treatment (Leave In), Curly Ellie Leave In Conditioner, Rizos Curls Deep Conditioner, Innersense Colour Radiance Daily Conditioner


Stylers: Bounce Curl Clump & Define Cream, Bounce Curl Defining Butta, AfroShe Shea Butter Styler, AfroShe Curl It Moisturising Gel, Flora & Curl Flora & Curl Sweet Hibiscus line (Curl Volumising Foam / Curl Activating Lotion / Curl Defining Gel /Twist & Braid Cream), Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist & Shout Cream, Inahsi Naturals Coconut Avocado Curl Defining Custard, Bounce Curl Light Hold Crème Gel, LUS Brands All-In-One Stylers, Giovanni LA Hold Natural Styling Gel, Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control, Treluxe Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer/Styling Gel, Rizos Curls Light Gel , Inahsi Naturals Strong Hold Sculpting Glaze, Innersense I Create Hold, Boucleme Superhold Styler, Jessicurl Aquavescent Hair Spray


Stylers for fine haired high po's: Bounce Curl Clump & Define Cream, AfroShe Curl It Moisturising Gel, Flora & Curl Flora & Curl Sweet Hibiscus line (Curl Volumising Foam / Curl Defining Gel), Bounce Curl Light Hold Crème Gel, Treluxe Reflex Serum, Giovanni LA Hold Natural Styling Gel, Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control, Rizos Curls Light Gel, Curlsmith Featherlight Protein Cream, Inahsi Naturals Strong Hold Sculpting Glaze, Boucleme Superhold Styler,


Medium Porosity

Medium Porosity Hair has cuticles that are neither too tightly closed or too open/damaged. Luckily for Med Po’s – porosity has little impact on product selection. Those with Medium Porosity Hair should still ensure their protein/moisture balance is in check and may find that light-medium weight products work well (though depending on the rest of your characteristics, heavier creams and butters can be of benefit to some!).


If your hair falls in the medium porosity category - focus more on your texture characteristic (see below) and the needs that will generate.


Cleansers: Bounce Curl Hydra Drench Cleansing Conditioner, Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Cleansing Conditioner, Curlsmith Curl Quenching Cowash, Bounce Curl Moisturising Silk Shampoo (low poo), Curls Creamy Curl Cleanser (low poo), LUS Moisturising Shampoo, Flora & Curl Organic Honey & Rose Cream Shampoo (low poo), Hair Dance Intensive Hydrating Shampoo, Innersense Colour Awakening Hair Bath (low poo), Treluxe Cleanse & Renew (Creamy low poo), Jessicurl Gentle Lather (low poo), Inahsi Naturals Sulphate Free Clarifying Cleanser (Clarifier)


Treatments/Oils: Curlsmith Bond Curl Rehab Salve, Curlsmith Hydro Crème Soothing Mask, Curly Hair Solutions Silk Conditioner, Uncle Funky’s Daughter Heal & Renew, Kinky Curly Stellar Strands, Inahsi Naturals Mango Hemp, Cachos Brazil High Porosity Hair Elixir, Flora & Curl Hydrating Hair Mist, Curlsmith Intense Treatment Serum (for coarse hair), Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner


Conditioners & Leave In Conditioners: Curlsmith Multitasking Conditioner, Flora & Curl Organic Honey & Rose Cream Conditioner, Hair Dance Moisture & Strength Conditioner, Treluxe Untie The Knot Conditioner, Curls Lavish Leave in Moisturiser, Curls Green Bamboo Protein Treatment (Leave In), Curly Ellie Leave In Conditioner, Rizos Curls Deep Conditioner, Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner,


Stylers: AfroShe Shea Butter Styler, AfroShe Curl It Moisturising Gel, Flora & Curl Flora & Curl Sweet Hibiscus line (Curl Volumising Foam / Curl Activating Lotion / Curl Defining Gel /Twist & Braid Cream, Curls Blueberry Bliss Twist & Shout Cream, Inahsi Naturals Coconut Avocado Curl Defining Custard, Bounce Curl Light Hold Crème Gel, Treluxe Reflex Serum, Treluxe Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer/Styling Gel , Inahsi Stylers, LUS Brands All-In-One Stylers , Giovanni LA Hold Natural Styling Gel, Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control, Inahsi Naturals Strong Hold Sculpting Glaze


Treatments/Oils: Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment, Cachos Brazil Low Porosity Hair Elixir, Witch I Love Your Hair Magic Mist, Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, Curlsmith Hydro Creme Soothing Mask, Curly Hair Solutions Silk Conditioner (if a protein conditioner is required, say for fine low porosity hair),


Conditioners & Leave In Conditioners: Giovanni 50-50 Moisture (pH Balancing), Giovanni Direct Moisture Weightless Leave In Conditioner, Kinky Curly Knot Today, Cachos Brazil Rio Mist Leave In Conditioner, Inahsi Naturals Aloe Hibiscus Leave In Conditioner, Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In Conditioner, Curlsmith Featherlight Protein Cream (Protein), Flora & Curl Floral - Jasmine Oasis Hydrating Hair Mist, Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner


Stylers: Giovanni 2Chic Ultra Volume Foam Styling Mousse, Kinky Curly Fast Dry Foam, Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz, Giovanni Papaya & Tangerine Volume Amplifying Gel, Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Alikay Naturals Creme Brulee Curling Delight (coarser low porosity), Cachos Brazil Low Porosity Hair Butter, Cachos Brazil Brazilian Combing Crème, Curlsmith Featherlight Protein Cream (Protein).

TEXTURE


Texture describes the size/thickness of the individual strands of hair. The categories are Fine, Medium and Coarse.


Coarse Texture

Coarse Hair describes hair that is thicker (individual strand diameter) than average. Coarse texture is most often a result of genetics, though hair can become more coarse due to medications, medical issues or in some cases grey hairs grow in with a more coarse texture. Coarse Hair can come in any curl pattern, porosity or density.


Despite what some coarse haired beauties have been led to believe – Coarse Hair is not more difficult to manage and is definitely not 'a problem to be fixed'. Well cared for coarse hair can be just as healthy, is just as beautiful and hold styles just as well as any other texture.


Coarse Curly hair is prone to dryness, so the focus will be on moisturising and retaining hydration.


Techniques:

  • Cowashing/No poo (over low poo) as Coarse curly Hair can be prone to dryness.

  • Limit heat – Air Dry where possible, if you need to diffuse > low heat (and try ‘Plopping’ first to reduce diffusing time required)

  • Weekly deep conditioning (with a heat cap or warm towel, if your hair is also low porosity)


Ingredients:

Generally:

  • Moisturising ingredients such as Aloe, fatty alcohols,

  • Softening ingredients such as

  • Cowashing, no-poo or cleansing conditioners for regular use, Cleansing alternatives such as clays for occasional deep cleanse


Specifically:

Coarse Hair Loves:

  • Aloe or Water based products (look for either as first ingredient)

  • Fatty alcohols (Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Behenyl alcohol)

  • Jojoba, Coconut, Avocado and sweet almond oils

  • Cleansing Alternatives: Bentonite Clay


Coarse Hair Avoids:

  • Stronger cleansing agents:

  • Drying ingredients such as drying alcohols


Products to consider:

Cleansers: Rosemary + Mint Cowash, Alikay Naturals Cowash Me Cleansing Conditioner, Flora & Curl Organic Rose & Honey Cream Shampoo, Inahsi Naturals Tropical Escape CoWash, Bounce Curl Hydra Drench Cleansing Conditioner, Uncle Funkys Daughter Bye Bye Build Up Cleansing Conditioner, Innersense Hydrating Cream Hairbath.


Treatments/Oils: Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher, LUS Deep Condition & Repair, Righteous Roots Rx, Flora & Curl African Citrus Superfruit Hair Oil, Innersense Hydrating Hair Mask, Curlsmith Intense Treatment Serum


Conditioners & Leave In Conditioners: Treluxe Untie The Knot Conditioner, Jessicurl Too Shea Conditioner, Vida Bars Hydrate, Alikay Naturals Shea Yoghurt Hair Moisturiser, Curlsmith Curl Conditioning Oil-in-Cream, Uncle Funkys Daughter Extra Butter, Flora & Curl Organic Honey & Rose Conditioner, LUS Conditioner, Cachos Brazil Brazilian Combing Cream (either as a leave in moisturiser or styler)


Stylers: Bounce Curl Defining Hair Butta, AfroShe Shea Butter Styler, Treluxe Curl Supreme, Treluxe Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer/Styling Gel, Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets, Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter or Aloe Whipped Butter Gel, Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control, Flora & Curl Sweet Hibiscus Twist & Braid Cream, Rizos Curls Curl Defining Cream, Alikay Naturals Creme Brulee Curling Delight


Fine Texture

Fine Hair describes hair has a smaller than average individual strand diameter and can range from fine to baby fine. Fine hair is generally a result of genetics, though hair texture can be impacted due to certain medications or medical issues. Coarse Hair can come in any curl pattern, porosity or density.


Fine hair is prone to build up and can be easily weighed down by products which are too heavy or layering of too many products.

Fine hair can benefit from the structural support of protein based products (though if you have low porosity fine hair, proceed with caution and see the porosity section first).


Techniques:

  • Low pooing over cowashing

  • Regular clarifying

  • Damp Styling (reducing excess water weight early in the styling process)

  • Microplopping

  • Diffusing (low heat)


Ingredients:

Generally:

  • Lighter weight ingredients

  • Easily removed ingredients (ones that don’t tend to build up)

  • Stronger hold styling products to help keep curl formation.

Specifically:

Fine Hair Loves:

  • If oils are being used, lighter options such as jojoba, baobab, argan oils.

  • Proteins such as rice, keratin, silk amino acids, or for a gritty texture - hydrolysed wheat protein.

  • Lighter weight moisturising ingredients such as marshmallow root, nettle, cetyl alcohol, hyaluronic acid.


Products to consider:

Cleanser: Treluxe Renew & Restore (low poo), Bounce Curl Pure Silk Moisturising Shampoo (low poo), Inahsi Naturals Soothing Mint Sulfate Free Gentle Cleanser (low poo), Innersense Pure Harmony Hairbath, Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser (low poo), Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo, LUS Brands Moisturising Shampoo (clarifier),


Treatments/Oils: Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner, Curly Hair Solutions Silk Conditioner, Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Treatment, Curlsmith Multi Tasking Conditioner (Prepoo, short DC or rinse out), Curlsmith Hydro Mask (as a prepoo).


Conditioners/Leave In: Inahsi Naturals All-in-One Moisture Mist, Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave In, Innersense Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner, Giovanni Root 66 Conditioner, Giovanni Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture, Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave In, Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Treatment, AfroShe Hair Milk, Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner, Hair Dance Moisture & Strength Conditioner


Stylers: Curlsmith Shape Up Aqua Gel, Curlsmith Hydro Style Flexi Jelly, Innersense I Create Lift Foam,