If you could cut down all the products you use to just the essentials, what would you have left? Here is an excerpt from a conversation I had with two naturals Fola and Anne. Anne has been natural all her life except for 3 months at age 11 (not her fault she stresses lol). Fola has been natural for nearly 4 years now.
Jc: I am a minimalist. I need coconut oil, conditioner and shampoo in that order.
Fola: I'm still experimenting with my hair. I think I can go without oil but I would need some conditioner and some type of leave in too.
Anne: I need oil and water. My aunt maintained my hair for years as a kid with water and afro sheen (haha - gotta love that afro sheen). I think that curly hair feels dryer not just because of water but also because it lacks oil.
Jc: You actually have a point. People with straight or wavy hair rarely complain about dryness unless they have had some type of chemical process. Also their hair tends to get greasier between washes while curly hair tends to get drier.
Fola: Yes but the point is that our scalps naturally produce oil so all we need to do as people with curly hair is help the oil move along by massaging it upwards. So in reality we don't need more oil.
Jc: You also have a point but I prefer to not have my fingers in my hair for too long. I also don't think it is possible to really copy the flow of oil as would happen with straight hair by just massaging alone.
Anne: I think that natural hair is by nature dry hair. It is normal for the hair to feel and be dry but many people see that as not normal. On the hair forum that I'm on some people mist their hair multiple times a day or use humidifiers at home. Many of them do also talk about oil their hair too but I have always wondered if the dryness is really about just water?
Fola: But in my view if you use a non-drying shampoo or follow a no-poo routine then that is enough to cleanse the scalp and condition hair.
Jc: Hmm? Hmm! Hmm?
My final thoughts.
1. I think the concept of hair being less oily due to being very curly and that contributing to the feeling of dryness is interesting. Is it true? I don't know.
2. I don't know if it is useful or beneficial to eliminate conditioner from a routine and stick to oil and water. I think conditioner serves a role that oil, water and shampoo cannot do. Is it essential? Possibly not because several hundred years back, it didn't exist and people still had hair.
3. I am not convinced that strict no-poo routines work. Has anyone not used shampoo for a year or more? IF you have,please please please let me know - plus I want some hair pictures too please pretty please.
What are your thoughts?
1. Can you eliminate conditioner from your routine?
2. Do you think you can eliminate shampoo from your routine?
I'm also putting up a poll question in a couple of seconds - Is your natural/curly hair dry normally (ie if you didn't apply any product?