My Experience Returning to Hair Grease, Sulfates, and Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil

Last week, I purchased some cheap hair care products from the “ethnic” hair care aisle containing petroleum, mineral oil, and sulfates; all of those so-called “bad” ingredients. In my previous post, I debunked a lot of the myths behind mineral oil and petroleum so now I want to share my experiences with them and Suave Naturals shampoo.

Sulfates

The sulfates weren’t as harsh as I recall. My old shampoo, Alba Botanicals, for example, wasn’t all too kind to my hair and even the non-sulfate black soap shampoo Shea Moisture makes made my hair feel like straw while washing. In fact, it caused much friction between my strands, which led me to believe it raised my cuticles to a higher degree than other shampoos; I hated it. The Suave Naturals shampoo wasn’t as silky smooth as the glycerin soap, but it did have enough slip to allow me to do a little finger detangling.

I actually let the shampoo sit for a few minutes to ensure the small amount of grease I smoothed over my braids from the last time I re-moisturized (I’d been naughtily sleeping with nothing more than a cheap oversized head band over my exposed braids so my hair had begun to dry out) would be broken down and washed out. Once rinsed out, I took note of how my hair looked at felt as well as the amount of shedding I experienced. My hair didn’t feel stripped, my scalp was clean, and I didn’t lose too many strands during the detangling process, but that could also be attributed to the Garnier Fructis Fall Fight I used last time.

Overall, my first impression of Suave Naturals Shampoo is that it is gentle enough not to completely dry out my hair, but strong enough to break down buildup, petroleum, and mineral oil. I don’t like that it isn’t as foamy-silky-slick as glycerin soap, but it is a sulfate and it performed much better than expected. Afterwards, I followed up with a Greek yogurt protein treatment under heat and moved on to the next step.

Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil and Softee Indian Hemp

I have been using the AB Ultimate Herbal Oil for a few days on dry patches on my skin, my daughter’s eczema, general body moisturizing, my daughter’s hair, and I even replaced coconut oil and soybean oil with it in my Elixir recipe. The first thing I noticed about it, aside from it being a wonderful blend of natural oils, is how well it penetrates the skin and restores moisture. I love this stuff! When I saw how my skin soaked in the herbal oil, I knew I had to try it in my hair. I first tested the waters by applying a little to my ends before wash day. My hair soaked it in like water. Aha! An oil blend that will penetrate my strands and I only spent a little over two bucks! I then mixed it into my Elixir (SN coconut conditioner, castor oil, and the herbal oil) and right away I noticed I didn’t have to spritz as much of the mixture to hydrate each section. Bonus.

I did not deviate from my usual moisturizing process; I still spritzed my Elixir leave-in on damp hair, applied generous amounts of Eco Styler argan oil to each section, and sealed. The only real difference in this process was the fact that I used Softee Indian Hemp hair grease instead of my shea butter mixture. A little grease really went a long way so I wasn’t heavy-handed at all, unlike when I apply my shea butter. Shea butter allows for more water to evaporate versus petroleum, which is more hydrophobic, making it a great ingredient for retaining moisture longer.

The first thing I noticed about my hair after using the grease was that it also did a great job of taming frizz. Once I had my entire head of hair plaited, not a hair was out of place (as far as kinky hair goes). I kept the braids in for a full day to allow them to dry, as usual. The day after that, I noticed that even though my braids were completely dry, it still had that sleek semi-wet look. I attribute this effect to the petroleum not allowing as much of the water in the Eco Styler and my hair to evaporate as with the shea butter mix.

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Is my hair greasy?
Not at all. When I touch my hair there is no greasy residue, because I did not slather my hair in the grease. My hair is nice and shiny, however. Consequently, because more of the moisture is locked in, my hair has a much softer hold. I have no feelings about that either way as Eco Styler has always given me great hold without crunch and, though a super soft hold isn’t something I actively seek out, it’s fine with me.

Is my hair weighed down by the grease?
No, in fact, it feels lighter than when I use shea butter so there is much more fluff (volume) and movement, which is an unexpected plus.

Will I stop using shea butter, glycerin soap, and organic coconut oil?
No, I wouldn’t say I’m going to stop using my natural or organic products altogether, but I don’t see a need for spending the extra money for them anymore when I can achieve the same results with products that retain moisture better and can be bought under $10 in total. You can’t beat that kind of bargain. I will be purchasing a bulk-sized bottle of vegetable glycerin to add to my Elixir so I can still have that extra boost of moisture my hair responded so well to with the glycerin soap, especially since the dry weather has hit the freezing point here (ugh). Every little bit counts.

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I’m sorry to say I only have pictures of my bangs, which I separated and fluffed to create more volume. I do hate that my ends look a little frizzy in one of the pictures since they aren’t in-person, but oh well. I guess it was a bad angle. The focus is the shine and definition of the braid-out. I should have taken a pic before I got to fluffing and puffing. Next week maybe. I decided to leave the rest of my hair in braids underneath my oversized headband rather than putting it through the mechanical stress of separating and styling just to be put back into the same bun. Even my bangs will be swept to the side, rolled at the ends, and neatly tucked away to prevent me from touching my hair every few minutes.

I’m extremely pleased with my results. It just goes to show, you have to do your own research and do what works for your hair, regardless of the naysayers and natural nazis. If you prefer not to use mineral oil and petroleum because you tried them and they didn’t work out, fine. At least, you gave it a well-informed shot, but what I don’t appreciate are those who tell someone else what to use on their hair, citing propaganda and misinformation, or making backhanded comments using said propaganda and misinformation out of ignorance. I, myself, am going back to basics, to the products and practices that maintained my long hair as a child. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Love, Peace, & Hair Grease!

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