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.