A natural product promises shiny, luxurious, bouncy curls. BUT...Every hair product isn't for every head of hair. Some of us thrive on coconut oil, others olive oil, and still others may prefer silicones. Whatever your "hair elixer" is I'm sure there has been a time in which you've learned which products and/or ingredients are THE ENEMY. Trying to make a product work when clearly your hair hates it, will be to the detriment of your hair's well being.
Testing, testing...1,2,3 Test out new products on a small portion of your hair or on your inner wrist to see if there is an allergic reaction. Years ago I learned this the hard way when I slathered on some natural hair butter only to have the most intense itching ever! I immediately shampooed the product out of my hair before hair loss could occur. NEVER continue to use a product if it causes severe itching or redness. Doing so may cause hair and/or scalp damage.
Smell check and all that weirdness. If you can take a whiff, pop the top and sniff. Why? Because if you have a sensitivity to smells then a strong fragrance will bother you to no end. If you can't sniff a product then make sure to check the return policy and keep your receipt just in case you need to return the product. I had this unfortunate encounter with a conditioner that smelled like flowers on adrenaline mixed with popcorn toes. I mean, the smell made me literally sick. Now, I learned the hard way that some products are too sickly sweet for me to use.
Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Surprisingly, some companies still give out free small samples (or for a small fee). This is an excellent way to try out products and avoid the money pit of product junkyism. For instance, Miss Jessie's and Original Sprout are two GREAT companies that sent me samples FREE of charge. Another way is to become a part of a natural hair forum and swap products for other products. Often times, naturals will have bottles that are more than 60% full of product to swap or even sell for a reduced free. However, if you choose to swap or sell on the hair forums makes sure that it's from a reliable user with a good reputation. Many forums post great swapper recommendations or swapper complaints for users to get the scoop on who is reliable and who is super flakey.
Naturals like myself who have chemical and/or dye sensitivity or skin conditions have to be careful about product selection. What advice do YOU have to offer to sensitive naturals?