Being a Junkie: Hi, My Name is Victoria, and I’m Addicted to Natural Hair Products

April 18, 2012  |  

As the title says, my name is Victoria, and like many women (though they won’t admit it), I’m a natural hair product junkie. Or better yet, I was.

Just over a month ago, I made the decision to start locking my hair after a year of messing with, picking at, nurturing and loving my afro. With that change, I was instructed by my hairstylist, who is a big fan of all-natural, straightforward and basic products, to get rid of the creams, the greases, the curly puddings and more that were taking up all the space in both my large medicine cabinet, and the cupboard under my sink. When she told me to do that, I wasn’t really sure if I would. “NOT MY HAIR PRODUCTS!!!!!” I thought. They took me through my transition, they’ve kept my hair from looking a hot mess, and they’ve helped it grow. No, not my precious, precious products…

Then I realized how crazy my devotion to some KeraCare, Motions, Miss Jessies, and Kinky-Curl products was, especially since I had almost 20 products collecting dust in my bathroom.  After some thought, I decided that yes, she was right. Those expensive products with their ambiguous ingredients had to go.

So last Friday, I walked into work, bag in tow, with hundreds of dollars worth of hair products. Like a black female Santa Claus, I gifted my co-workers an array of products I couldn’t use anymore now that my hair is transitioning into a new journey. As the Miss Jessies Curl de la Creme ($18) was taken, the stretch silkening cream ($22), the KeraCare daily milk ($20) and more were grabbed from my Barney bag (scratch that, it was a fragile Target bag instead), all I could think was the following: “It’s a damn shame that I spent so much money on products in general…”

Oh, the struggles of going natural. Trying to figure out what would work for my natural texture without drying my hair out or breaking it off cost me a pretty penny. And as one of those women who used to make a trip to the beauty supply store as a weekly activity, I was buying new curling creams and moisturizers as if they were perishable foods. Hot mess, right? But I’m not the only one. I know a lot of women with natural hair who can agree that in the beginning, your hair can never be too moisturized, too shiny, too bountiful, or too big, so one or two products is NEVER enough. You go through a wealth of products to see if you can get the results, and in the end, you low-key become a product junkie.

Even a trip to Wal-Mart for feminine products can turn into an opportunity to raid the sparse hair section for oils (OOOOOOOH tea tree oil!). Yes, I found that when you’re natural, buying hair products, taking hair recommendations from any and everybody, and bargaining with yourself about why paying $20 for a shampoo is an investment is all part of the addiction to hair products (and in reality, women of all hair types find themselves spending mad money on a bunch of products). And yes, I was one of those addicts, ready to snap when a friend or family member was trying to use my $18 tub of Carol’s Daughter mimosa hair honey.

But now that I’m on a new natural hair journey, I decided to get over the money I spent on hair products in the past, and get my Goodwill on by giving up the products that were taking up space in my bathroom and in my life (Okay, I’m being MAD dramatic). After having all those products in my bathroom, I’m now done to virgin olive oil, a tea tree oil hair spray, a Jane Carter locking spray, and some Jamaican black castor oil. I think that deserves an applause. Indeed, this product dependency is a struggle many women go through, and it can definitely put a dent in your pocket. But I recommend doing some research before you just walk in the beauty supply and experiment with an aisles-worth of products–that will save you some time, and of course, some money. Budget and be realistic about how many products you really need. Eventually, you’re going to find the few products that your hair can’t do without, and the rest you’ll be more than willing to hand off to another woman getting to know her own strands. Or better yet, won’t end up wasting all those dollars in general. But until then…good luck sistas.

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  • sissimpson

    I turn up my nose and say ‘product junkie?? qui, moi???’ NEVER! I make my own products! Then I think about the collection of butters, and oils, and herbs that I am acquiring…..(le sigh)

  • LezMiz

    I’m relaxed, but I went through the same journey. Now, aside from shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, and the occasional protein treatment when I wash, I just use coconut oil and occasionally jojoba for shine and I’m good. I remember when I just couldn’t resist getting new products — funny thing is my hair is a TON longer and healthier now!

  • gigis83

    Just keep on lol

  • I too am a Natural Product Junkie and after 3 years I FINALLY Got it! I have been using As I Am line and out of ALL of the products….

    (Kinky Curly, Relaxed and Natural, Miss Jessie’s, Carol Daughter and several more I can’t remember – I am talking about 10-15 more product lines…at least 4 to 6 items out the line itself) 

    This is the ONLY line that I’ve had minimum breakage and a great turn around in growth, thickness and moisture is this line….I was happy someone finally got it right! I usually use a product for 2-3 months to make sure my hair gets use to the product. My husband loves the scent and the way my hair looks so I kept using it. 

    NOW I am still addicted to this products…QVC had a great sale on WEN products that I’ve been itching to use…got it, used it and hmmm the verdict is still out. I can say this…it gives natural hair great moisture but the next day requires a little but of work. I have to figure it out but it’s a good product. 

  • JudgeRudy

    i’m still a junkie- and i rotate the products i use- i love the variety of natural hair products- my fear is the natural fad will go away and they’ll stop making natural hair products

    • Monica

      Natural products will never go away.  I’ve been natural since 1997
      (I’m 35 now), natural hair for me is a lifestyle choice not a fad. 

  • Msmykimoto2u

    After about a year of being a product HOARDER, im finally down to a few for sure ingredients and products. Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1, Organics edge control, eco styler gel, and my coconut, olive,castor,argan,jojoba,honey,glycerin, aloe vera juice and water spritz.

  • well i went through that but i made sure i used that stuff b4 i purchased more items.. u know just to see what i like.. i don’t like throwing away money.. 

  • Mls2698

    I know most hair stylist will not agree with this, but for my natural hair, I use my grandma’s old stand-by….Vaseline! A lil’ dab will doo ya! While you’re at it, get those elbows. Works for my hair doo’s and my don’t s…….. as in don’t go out of the house ashy.

    • Chanda

      At least you’re honest. Do what you gotta do, chica.

  • Chanda

    I can so relate to this but I’ve had to slow down because buying all these products does add up. No more shampoos and conditioners over $10, no more buying online (except I do plan on getting that Jamaican castor oil from Amazon unless I see it in a store). Buying trial size items and using up products before I buy something else is what I’m trying to do.

    • ShamikaMH

      I like this! I’m gonna try and start doing this!…setting budgets & price ranges for the products… Thankx for the idea.

  • Nefijones1

    NIce article!  I can certainly relate.

  • I’d be happy to take whatever you don’t want off of your hands. I am a PJ but I’m also natural & unemployed so my supply has dwindled. Especially because a curly 10 yr old doesn’t know the meaning of moderation!

  • ShamikaMH

    I’m transitioning into natural hair, and it’s a struggle! I’m still trying to find what works BEST for my hair. I am slowly on my way to becoming a product junkie. And this isn’t a good thing because, as a broke college student, “these new products hurt my pockets,” (in my best Kanye voice!)