8 Essentials For Gorgeous Black Hair

A woman having her hair done by a stylist(BlackDoctor.org) — There’s so much information out there to tell you what’s good and what’s not so good for Black hair. But how do you really know if this information is right for you? Don’t forget: a product that your best friend loves may not work for you at all.

All this said, there are a handful of ingredients that just about every hair care expert, and just about every hair type, can agree on:

1. Water

Water is the ultimate moisturizer. Not only does it work on the outside of your body, it works from the inside, too. If this is the first ingredient listed on products, that’s a good thing.

2. Coconut Oil

You’ll find products that contain coconut oil, but if you can buy it pure and/or organic, you can use it straight from the jar. It’s a wonderful emollient because unlike other oils, coconut oil actually penetrates the cortex instead of simply sitting on top of it and making it look all nice and shiny. It absorbs wonderfully and is multi-functional; use it on your skin and cook with it, too.

3. Shea Butter

Look for pure, unrefined shea butter that’s pale yellow and smooth. Gritty, dark yellow, white or green shea butter is either too refined or even rotten. Again, look for a light yellow color and uniformity when buying shea butter. There’s plenty of products that have jumped on the shea butter bandwagon, but if it’s not one of the first five ingredients listed, it’s probably not doing you much good. You can either buy a shea butter-based product, or better yet, use it straight from the jar. Pure shea butter can be firm, but it melts easily and absorbs into dry hair well.

4. Olive Oil

Another multi-tasker here, olive oil is great for hot oil treatments and for mixing with rinse-out conditioners. Use sparingly as this is a heavy oil and can weigh your hair down when used in large amounts.

5. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is prized as a natural ingredient because its composition is similar to that of your scalp’s natural oils. Use straight from the bottle, although it’s not considered as effective a penetrator as coconut oil, or mix with conditioners and hair moisturizers.

6. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

For those of you out there who are already into reading ingredient labels, this one may throw you, especially if you avoid using sulfate-based shampoos. The vast majority of commercial shampoos contain either sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. The former, sodium lauryl, is drying and should be avoided. The latter, however, sodium laureth sulfate, is a suitable cleanser for black hair that won’t overly dry it.

7. Avocado Oil

If you’ve ever used mashed avocado as a conditioning treatment, you’re familiar with the moisturizing properties of this vegetable. The oil is good for use on dry hair.

8. Aloe Vera
Purported to prevent hair loss, aloe vera does more than soothe sunburn. A good aloe vera shampoo is said to restore the pH levels of the scalp.

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