Afro Bliss: Finding My Way

March 03, 2011

By Katrice

I was talking with my good friend Ebony Janice (of today about our natural hair experiences and during the conversation found myself pointing out something that comes up often in one-on-ones. But, a fact that I hadn't ever written about here. And that is that in the nearly three years that I've been natural, I have gone through several sets of product combinations/routines as the length of my hair has progressed and the texture continues to change. I literally have had a mini beauty supply store between my linen closet and bathroom cabinet.

So, I thought it would be good for me to share some of what I've tried to encourage those of you who are still figuring out the right products for your hair. It really is about trial and error, and it does pay off. Don't get weary.

This will be sort of a ramble, so bear with me. 

When I first had my hair officially cut into it's natural state, my routine was as follows:

Washing and conditioning with Aura Rosemary Mint Rejuvenating Shampoo and Aura Rosemary Mint Rejuvenating ConditionerI layered on Barry Fletcher Instant Moisture Spray and Moisture Silk MousseOnce it was dry, I applied Organic Root Stimulator Shea Butter Hair Softening Lotion
I struggled with a lackluster cropped 'fro and was always bothered by how dry and rough my hair felt by the end of the day. 
Of note: I think it's particularly interesting that I tried to use Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade, a staple in my styling routine with relaxed hair, and my hair did not respond well, at all. 
I used the shampoo and conditioner until they were gone, and continued to use the Barry Fletcher and ORS products for at least a year. 

At about three inches, I was desperate for moisture and so I started washing my hair with Hair One Sulfate Free Shampoo. My cousin was using it and thought that I could benefit from the premise that the non-sudsing cleanser would eliminate some of the dryness I was experiencing. I washed and then allowed my hair to drip dry because I had heard people say that rigorous towel drying would also deplete my hair's moisture.

Luster's Pink Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Glossing Polisher
Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue
Murray's Parnevu Leave-in Conditioner

Of note:
 I made my first trip to Urbanbella at this point, and Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue was suggested as well as Curls Euphoria Elixir. I was never able to achieve the suggested styles with the Curly Meringue, but I finally turned a corner as far as my hair having a nice sheen because of the Euphoria Elixir. I would still be using it, if Urbanbella still sold it. 

To replace the curl elixir, I purchased 
Motions Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Hairdress. Although, it was more wet than I was used to using for a hairdress, it smelled good and dried quickly. It also kept my hair from looking as dry as it still felt. I went through at least two containers of this before my hair was too long for me to use it and it not feel like a curl activator {at the length in the pic below}.

Of note: At this point, I was using Parnevu leave-in conditioner and my hair responded extremely well to that product. I noticed that it was more moisturized that it had been through my entire natural cycle up to that point. However, when I ran out one day and had to search for something else in the cabinet, I discovered a Qhemet Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee in an event gift bag. Another turning-point product in my natural hair journey.
You can literally tell the difference in my how much more lush my hair looks with this conditioner.

Realizing the importance of a good detangler was major for me. My entire process changed and I went from loading on oils and moisturizers to washing with Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo and Qhemet conditioner, applying a extra virgin olive oil and going. 

I got the nerve up to try a twist out in January, 2010, which was also the week I started my blog. The twist out as a protective style was another win for me in learning to care for my afro. My hair was suddenly softer and more manageable.

Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil
Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer
Organic Root Stimulator Lock and Twist Gel
I just recently used the last of the carrot oil and mango butter, but I will continue to purchase both as they have been noticeably effective in my hair at this stage. I consider them base products that I can always fall back on as I periodically try new products. 

I'm very happy with the repertoire of products I have now and my routine. But, I enjoy sampling what's on the market for something even better. The object is to use up what I have before launching into something new and to as always to be patient with my hair as it continues become more of itself. 

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  1. If you don't mind me asking what is your hair type? I have bought three conditioners in the past two weeks and am not happy with any of them. So I'd like to try the Qhemet bcuz I've heard good things about that one.

  2. My hair type is 4b and extremely dense.

  3. Thank you for sharing this info, I have posted this one on my page. There are some products you listed that I want to try. I wish we could swap products bc I have tons of stuff under my cabinets as well. I went back to using pantene after my hot oil treatment bc i was experiences dryness. So you know I will keep you posted. Also have you ever used an over head steamer? I saw this at the hair show!!!

  4. You're welcome! And yes, I have a huetiful steamer. I use it at least three times a month. I should, actually, do a post about my experience with it. I've only talked about it a bit here: and steaming, in general, here .

  5. Ok. I'm 4b too so will def try out that Qhemet soon see how my hair reacts to it.

  6. I'm definitely going to have to write some of these products down. I decided I'm going to stop being lazy & put more work into wearing my hair curly more often as opposed to flat ironing it. Thanks for posting this, it will help me out a lot. :-)

  7. I would not suggest all of them. Qhemet, definitely. Curls Euphoria Elixir, Parnevu, ORS Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo, MoroccanOil.

  8. You have really helped me along my most recent hair (and revitalized fashion :-)) journey. Thanks for the continued insight! Such a brave soul to open your work - and hair - to the world!!!

  9. Sabrina, I hope that it's helping.
    : )

  10. Hey there cousin, I have done more investigation on Miss Jessies and have found that most of the women on her web sight have chemically treated hair to obtain the soft and curly look...kinda disappointing after I tried the product...moving on through trial and error after going about six years without relaxing my hair, I too have a little beauty salon of my own. I truely know the But this has been a journey I enjoy going thru every day!

  11. found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

    aromatherapy world

  12. Hmm, that?s some cool information. I would search on Google to find other relevant articles. Actually, I came across your blog on Google Blog Search. I?m going to add your RSS feed to my reader. Continue posting please!


  13. Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

  14. I'm glad that this was helpful. And yes, Sabryna ... I agree with you that it was impossible for me to achieve the "Miss Jessie's look" on my own. ?? Lesson learned, though. Even with all of the products I've tried, I have no regrets.


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