Black Hair Products

February 16, 2011  |  

Many of the products marketed towards Black women are not actually suitable for Black hair. Our hair is particularly susceptible to dryness and breakage, which can be the result of using some of these “ethnic” products that are heavy on harsh chemicals, fragrances and Afrocentric packaging, yet devoid of the ingredients we require for healthy hair.

Black Product Lines vs. Black Owned Product Lines

Just because a product is called ‘African Magic’ or ‘Black and Beautiful’ does NOT guarantee that it was made by a Black company; in fact, the vast majority of the products in the Black hair care aisle were made by the same manufacturers that produce the products in the other hair care section. Some 3,500 hair care products feature the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute (AHABI) “Proud Lady” symbol on the packaging, which lets you know they were made by Black companies. However, not all Black owned hair businesses belong to AHABI. And, as you know, Black owned does not guarantee quality, nor does is it a requirement for being a great product for Black hair.

Know The Black Hair Killers

Regardless of who the manufacturer is, beware products that contain harsh sulfates, which are particularly damaging for Black hair; ammonium laurel sulfate, TEA laureth sulfate, TEA laurel sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate are some of the worst offenders. Shampoos containing these ingredients should be used no more than once a month to remove heavy product build-up, if ever. Sulfates that are less damaging include polyoxethylene fatty alcohols, PEG 80, sorbitan laurate, cocamidopropyl betaine and sodium laureth sulfate. Also, relaxers containing lye are a death wish for Black hair.

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