I should start by saying that I’m NOT a natural hair guru. In fact, I’m far from it. I started this blog as a way to free mwananchi wa kawaida from my random hair conversations on the streets of Nairobi. Someone would say, “Your hair looks nice” and 5 hours later, they would still be listening to me going on about anything and everything hair-related. Sadly, I became ‘one of those people’ who harass innocent people with unnecessary stories. As a detox, I decided to accost people here….hehehe. I figure anyone who’s here is ready for my mucene, ama?
Now that we have that out of the way, the product haul series started last week with the oily affair. The next step was to do a wash day product haul but I just realized that if I squeezed everything in here it would be one long post….and who has time for that? No, seriously, who has time to read all that? So in place of that, I will do three posts: cleansers, conditioners and styling products. To kick off, let’s start with natural hair cleansers.
In 2017 I embraced cleansers more. I had been co-washing my hair a lot in 2016 which was not entirely a good thing for Bella. We’ve talked about co-washing before. My scalp tends to be extremely itchy and grimy if I don’t wash my hair regularly so I had to incorporate cleansers more. So far, I can say that these 5 natural hair cleansers have worked for me:
- Head and Shoulders Shampoo
This used to be my go-to because of (again) the itchy scalp and dandruff. However, with time, I noticed that it stripped my hair too much. This was not sitting well with my colored hair so I didn’t end up restocking it after it ran out. It should be less than KShs. 1,000 at the beauty supply shops on Mama Ngina Street.
- Shampoo Bar
I decided to try the shampoo bar from Bu.ke, formally Shea by Asal. This product works for me for three reasons. The first is that it doesn’t strip my hair of the oils but it still cleans it. Win-win! The second is that it didn’t cause breakouts on my face, which (for me) happens with shampoos. The third reason is that the small bar is extremely affordable. The last time I bought mine it was about KShs. 400 and that small bar lasted about two and a half months. This was impressive especially considering that I wash my hair every week. When I spread out the cost and consider the utility, it was and still is a no-brainer for me!
- Bentonite clay
Bu.ke is the gift that just keeps on giving!!!! I will try my best not to be dramatic. This bentonite clay is like the Muarubaine and quail eggs to my hair and skin!! I don’t kid. The bentonite clay, which currently costs about KShs. 340 for 100g, has worked miracles for my skin and hair. I prefer to use it as a hair mask instead of a shampoo. In the former, I make a paste instead of a runny fluid like in the latter. I found that my curls became more defined every time I used this clay. The best part about using Bu.ke clay is how easily it mixes with water. I have actually used other brands of clay and they tend to clump together, which is just annoying for me.
By the way I have no affiliation with Bu.ke. This love is purely out of the efficiency and effectiveness of their products. You can get the products at Supercosmetics or directly from https://www.instagram.com/bu.ke_products/
- ACV Wescobee
I had seen this ACV rinse trend for a while but I couldn’t jump on the bandwagon because a 500ml bottle of Braggs costs like KShs. 1,200 or more in health shops. For those who may not know, Braggs is one of the most famous ACV brands on the internet since it is organic and has ‘the mother.’ Whose mother, you ask? The mother of all ACV ! *Terererens*
Seriously though, ‘the mother’ is the good stuff: the beneficial bacteria that give ACV all its awesome properties. Think about ACV with ‘the mother’ as ile unga ya brown imesiagwa kwa (what do you call a flour mill in Swahili?). The regular ACV which has been filtered and done through other processes ni ile unga ya white processed. If that is too jua kali a definition for you, check out the Green Beauty channel on YouTube. Hapo kuna mhenga Fulani ako na wisdom.
Anyway, so I happened upon Wescobee brand at Maguna’s Supermarket in Kahawa Wendani. The 500ml was KShs. 500. The great thing is that it’s also organic and has ‘the mother.’ I ended up doing the ACV rinse in place of shampooing when I ran out of products and hadn’t restocked. Other people do it more often but I can’t stand the smell. It doesn’t matter how much I dilute it; my eyes start watering even before the mixture hits my scalp. The added benefit of having ACV in your stock is that it can be used as toner and as a weight-loss aid. With all these benefits, I’m visualizing the mganga mashuhuri kutoka Tanzania ‘adverts.’ 😀
- Crème of Nature Sulfate-free Shampoo
This is a recent addition to my cleansers. I remember I’d told you guys that I hadn’t tried out any sulfate-free shampoos yet. So as I walked through Dubois one day, I decided to check out the two shops I know sell legit natural hair products. Sometimes I just pass by these two shops, check what they have in stock, ask for prices, compare with other high end retailers, do a quick search online and decide what makes money sense before I buy any product.
I got the 345ml bottle at KShs. 700 I think. It is also available at Supercosmetics. I thought it would run out in a few weeks but to my surprise, it’s still there (almost) three months down the line. The impressive thing about this shampoo is that it takes such a small amount to clean your hair. The suspicious thing about it is that it lathers. I had read that one of the properties of a sulfate-free shampoo is that it shouldn’t lather. Since I’m not a hair scholar, I cannot tell if the lathering is a good or a bad thing. However, it has challenged me to start learning the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ingredients to look out for in hair products. After all, the aim is to grow and information is critical to growth.
I should probably state that I used these products at different points in the year and not all at once. In my humble opinion, you only need one cleanser.
So, there goes my natural hair cleanser stash that carried Bella through 2017. I’m hoping to stick to the staples through the year and hopefully try out one other product just to see if there’s anything better out there. I hope that the information is helpful, especially for newbies. Let me know what has or hasn’t worked for you in the comments section.
PS: For making it to the end, bonus Bella photo just because. 🙂