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 C