I know that product shopping can be a little overwhelming. There are so many items on the selves with claims to cleanse with drying, moisturize prevent frizzness, so on and so farther. Its easy to become a product junkie. Every ones natural hair is different and there is no way one person can honestly recommend products for each individual without consultation. I know from my experience in my household we have curly hair but can not use the same product and expect the same results. This is also true for styling. Two people can do two strand twist but still get different looks. So when shopping for the perfect hair regimen, trial and error is the method. Of course, recommendations are very helpful but you must experiment to find what is right for you.
Overall for natural hair, natural botanticals are a necessity for moisture and growth. Find products that are right for you lifestyle, styling preferences and texture. To ensure that your products are beneficial these items should be avoided or used in small amounts.
Things to avoid:
Sulfates which include sodium laureth sulfate, sodium laureyl sulfate...
This compound is a degreaser and a lathering agent. It can be found in many household items body wash, hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste and etc. Don't be alarm this chemical is not harmful. But it can be very drying to the hair if you use on a regular basis especially for my hair type 4 ladies which requires more moisture than other hair types. Please refer to the "No Poo" posting for more natural and moisture retaining options.
Mineral Oil which is liquid Petroleum and/or paraffin.
This ingredient clogs pours and prevents the hair and scalp from receiving moisture. This ingredient is not a moisturizer and products with this as a main component will only suffocate the scalp and hair. Mineral Oil is not all bad though, if you are in extreme climates (cold, hot and/or dry) moisturize the hair and then sealing with an oil or product with mineral oil will coat/protect the hair. This is also true for products with silicones. They help to prevent the hair from reverting to curl state when straighten. For more information see Health Press. Also, these compounds protects against damage from the elements and heat styling.
Any product/ingredient used in excess or too large amount is not beneficial to promote health hair and scalp. Natural hair can only intake so much moisture at one time so be careful not over feed your hair. You can clog pores even with the right ingredients and products. The amount of product need for your hair depends on length, thickness and hair type. If you notice your hair feels heavy or looks limp, your probably using too much product.