Best Hair Advice Ever – Conditioning

This is one which may seem strange to people from north America or elsewhere, but in Zambia and I am sure many other countries, most people do not see the sense of conditioning their hair. They will buy shampoo and wash their hair, but conditioer is only for special treatments and steaming etc. So, the conept of co-washing is completely foreign.

In my hair-care regimen, I do not co-wash because it is my understanding that shampoo and conditioner serve two different purposes. One takes something away and the other puts something back or leaves something behind when it is washed out of the hair.

I choose my shampoo and conditioner based on whether or not it is made for African hair. This means, unless it is a product specially formulated for black people, I need to buy the range for dry and damaged hair. The idea is to nourish, replenish and restore moisture to my hair. No matter what you may think, normal hair or fine hair for white people and normal hair or fine hair for black people are two COMPLETELY different things.

That being said, not all shampoos and conditioners are the same. I have learned to choose based on how a product makes my hair feel and look (and because I have a sensitive stomach, to a certain extent, how it makes my hair smell).

I wash my hair once or twice a week and no matter how rushed I am, I NEVER skip conditioning my hair. In fact, if really pushed for time, I would rather co-wash and skip the shampoo. As much as possible (at least every three weeks), I try to pre-condition my hair with coconut oil, either overnight or for a few hours, usually when I go to church. I just stick a big duku on my head, over the shower cap and pray on.

The shampoo in the picture is Organics range by UniLever. Ever since my relaxed days, through my dreadlocks and into my natural era, this conditioner especially has served me faithfully. While you can look for the paraben and sodiumlaurelsulphate free products, this works just fine.

Incidentally, if you happen to be in South Africa, head into to any major supermarket, they do stock the Tresemme Naturals range. Major value for money for a massive bottle at only ZAR70. The Body Shop also has sulfate free shampoos and conditioners (at a price).


4 responses to “Best Hair Advice Ever – Conditioning

  1. I became a convert to regular conditioning back in 2005 when I had to make a hair come back after suffering damage to my relaxed hair. I'd always had a conditioner but used it so very rarely until I started prowling hair boards and learning how to take better care of my hair. I also found that sticking to "black hair" labels didn't work for me. More often than not I found the conditioners marketed for "ethnic hair" (as it's fondly referred to here in the U.S.) didn't work best for my hair. I find those for "dry & damaged hair" are ideal especially when paired with a good moisturising shampoo. These are typically used by women who colour and chemically alter their hair. And since at the time my relaxed hair fell into such a category, it fit. Gladly this remains true even with my natural hair. No matter how rushed I am, I cannot leave the shower without conditioning my hair. Even now that I'm working out more regularly and needing to wash almost daily, the conditioning is a must!


  2. Hair comeback. I LOVE that expression. I have not used many specifically ethnic ranges of shampoo/conditioner, but based on those I have tried, I would also agree that the 'dry & damaged' ones work much better.


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