I don’t know if it’s legal to be this under the weather in the first few weeks of the year. Sigh. Anyhuuuu… let’s go!
Now, in the spirit of a new year and hopefully growing together, I thought I’d share some of the products that worked for me last year. So, let’s start with the oils, shall we?
- Kentaste Coconut Oil
Coconut is one of the most popular oils for natural hair.
I like this product because I find it on the ‘edible’ section. Anything that I can eat, I can definitely use for my hair and/ or skin. I love it because I started oil-pulling. Buying this brand allows me to kill two birds with one stone. I’m curious about how many people (without Googling) know what oil-pulling is. Let me know in the comments section below. Secondly, I absolutely love the smell. Most people don’t like the coconut smell but I live for it! I don’t think it’s weird. I mean, some people love the smell of petrol so…..I’m not badly off, ama?
Last time I checked, the Kentaste brand is about KShs. 800 for the 700ml bottle. You can also get the 300/ 350 ml bottle for about half the price in most supermarkets. I usually separate what I use for my hair from the main batch after opening the jar because I use the rest for cooking. Therefore, I can’t exactly comment on how long one jar lasts…….
- Pietro Coricelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I find that I often have both coconut and olive oil, although you can have either. I don’t have any brand preference. In fact, the only reason that I have been using this brand is because it’s relatively cheaper than the rest. The 500ml bottle should be about KShs. 800 as well. However, there’s a smaller 250ml bottle at about KShs. 500/ 600. It’s available in most supermarkets as well. Just like the coconut oil, I wouldn’t be able to accurately estimate how long the bottle of olive oil lasts. However, I can confidently say that I have never replenished my stock before two months are over.
- Mamado Tea Tree Oil
Let me tell you the story of how Tea Tree oil saved my life!!!!! My scalp used to itch like crazy before I discovered it. If you watched the Animaniacs cartoon as a kid, there was a professor who used to pull a generous amount of his hair from frustration. That could’ve been me, but Tea Tree oil saved me.
I tried to find the ‘OG’ essential oil from the bigwig health shops but those things are expensive for nothing! Yaani I buy that small bottle that barely lasts a month (kama ile ya eardrops) then I pay 2,500 for it? It’s a complete LIE!!!! I’m not in a position to maintain such a lifestyle considering that I need to have this ‘regular’ in my life. So I opted for the Mamado Aromatherapy one (150ml) which I get at Super Cosmetics for KShs. 950 and it lasts up to, if not more than six months.
- Pameri Organic Shea Fantasy Shea Butter
Shea butter came to my life at a time when I didn’t know how much I needed it. I bought this jar back in May 2016, believe it or not. I ran out in December. I used to use Marini curling butter but Bella woke up one day and decided she was not feeling it. Aki the way mpaka people thought I was a marketer for the company because of how I kept telling people Marini is life. I guess Bella had other plans. After that I didn’t know what to use. I had the Shea butter which I was using for my skin (it did wonders BTW) so I decided to use it as a temporary fix. The temporary solution became permanent because it became my staple for any protective style such as twists and flat twists. I found that this brand gives amazing hold and doesn’t leave a white residue. This jar was, and still is about KShs. 500 at Super Cosmetics. I have actually tried rawer organic Shea butter from a different brand and I didn’t like it so I stand by Pameri.
- Tropical Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO)
I don’t like to give one thing so much power but gaaaaah!!!!!!! I love this thing. It’s viscous so it helps lock in moisture better (for me). I have honestly noted a difference whenever I didn’t mix it in with the other oils before using them on wash day. It’s not a magical solution to all hair problems though. I hear people say that it helps hair grow but I cannot say the same. I will only stand by that statement if (or when) it works for my eyebrows…….because I have none. The irony! Hehehe.
I like Tropical Isle as opposed to other brands because it doesn’t have salt. You can see that on the photo. I‘ve been weary of using other brands because they have salt…..which is not an ingredient I want for Bella. It’s available in Kenya on some Facebook pages and retails for about KShs. 2,000/ 2,500 for the 240ml bottle. Now I think by now you guys know that I’m about to be dramatic because of the price… but I’ll refrain. Ha! I bought mine on Amazon for KSh. 700 back in February and it ran out last week. So now I have to wait for someone flying into the country from the States so I can get my JBCO. Sigh. Such is the (relatively) cheap life……
As usual, I share my opinions and what has or hasn’t worked for me. I also try as much as possible to go for relatively affordable options and I’m sure that some of you can relate. After all, I want healthy hair but not at the expense of my finances. I can confidently say that these five oils for natural hair have come through for me in terms of locking in moisture and for hot oil treatments.
My Two Cents
Pick between coconut and olive oil if you can’t get both. If you do get both, the advantage is that you don’t have to buy either for a while. This comes in handy especially because you guys know how our supermarkets are: one day the shelves are stocked then the next day they’ve closed down. It gives you time to plan and window-shop for alternatives just in case. As for the tea tree oil, it has antiseptic properties. If you suffer from an itchy scalp like me or have acne-related issues, then it would be a helpful addition. If you don’t have any of these issues then it isn’t a staple. The same applies for Shea butter. Finally, the JBCO is what you would call a luxury. Does it have its benefits? Yes. It’s like owning a car in the +254. You will not have to: jav, participate in rugby matches when there is a matatu shortage, share in everyone’s cologne, sit with that annoying person who occupies half your seat, be subjected to loud music of the driver’s choice or run the risk of having less bus fare when it rains and conductors decide to hike the price. So JBCO isn’t a staple but if you have the extra cash, it’s a nice addition.
Kwa hayo machache, I’m starting a Go Fund Me Page or MPESA Paybill to raise funds for my Tea Tree and JBCO because pesa onge! Njaanuary has come with Njaa-n’-worries for Bella. Even she knows dhings are dhick. Hehehe. 😀 Pray for me dear sistren! In the meantime, find me @njeriegitau on IG and Twitter.