So far it's been a very mild Autumn, and i've yet to break out the heavy layering, but knowing the great British weather, i know that crisp mornings, frost upon the ground and huge scarves are not far away so i've been splurging on some new products to keep my strands in tip top condition. You'll be happy to see that all the products can be bought in your local 'drug store' or in this case Boots. (some products aren't on the website though, so i've linked to where you can purchase online if you can't find them in store!) It makes me SO happy to see more variety and diversity in high street stores, representation is important and i'm glad there are companies out there who make accessibility and representation something they work on continuously, so big love to Boots for making my trips to the 'drug store' that bit better!
MOISTURISING, SEALING & QUICK TIPS..
The single most important thing i've learnt in my hair journey is the art of moisturising and sealing effectively. If your hair is adequately moisturised and sealed, and you wear your hair in protective styles, your hair will retain length. For me it's the foundation that keeps my hair in tip top condition. During the cooler months, i tend to co-wash and bun very often because it's a quick and easy way for me to get a boost of moisture into my hair via water and it means that my hair will be stretched in a sleek bun for about a week, so it saves time and stops me from frying my hair by blowdrying it or straightening it. If your hair isn't quick bun length yet, i'd suggest wearing puffs but sealing the ends of your hair really well, if you're into braids, wigs and weaves, they work superbly during the cooler months and if you're anything like me and you're lazy in the morning, it means your hair is more or less good to go! One cool tip i've learnt is to deep condition on the go, Whitney from Naptural85 has a great video detailing it here.
THE DEEP CONDITIONERS
Since it was my birthday last month, i popped into Boots to treat myself to a few new products as you get double points on your card if you buy things during your birthday month, I picked up some Organic root stimulator products which i hadn't really given much time to since going natural because i've always associated it with relaxers, so I was surprised to see that they have a line of products targeted towards natural hair which is awesome! I know it feels like a lot of brands are jumping on the 'natural hair bandwagon', but at the same time i'm happy to see products that are being tailored to healthy kinks and coils. One of the products i picked up was ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioning Pak which is a protein based conditioner that imparts strength and definition to curls. I loved this product when i was relaxed and still love it now. It just does what it says on the tin and leaves your hair feeling strong, but without the dry crispy feeling i normally associate with protein based conditioners. I also picked up the ORS Olive Oil Hair Masque which left my hair feeling adequately moisturised. The size of the little packs were good and just enough for my whole head, i also loved how cheap they were and the fact that you can give them a try without committing to paying the full price for a product you're not sure you'll like. Continuing my conditioner talk, my ultimate favourite over the past few weeks has got to be the Shea Moisture 'Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque*. This is now my holy grail of deep and heavy conditioning, it is so good! My hair felt buttery soft after using this for a few weeks and i'm so happy that it's now in boots because i hate ordering things online! It's definitely a good product for those of you who struggle with consistently dry feeling hair with split ends, especially in the winter months like i do. Coconut Oil is the third ingredient and that to me is the sign of a good product.
THE MOISTURISERS & LEAVE-IN'S
For winter-proof hair, deep conditioning is important but for me the game changer is the leave in moisturiser you'll use because it will affect how your hair feels and looks. I've experimented with many a product in my natural hair history, some epic fails (blog post on that soon!) and some amazing ones. I picked up one of the ORS Curls Unleashed Leave In Conditioner's as i thought it would make a nice change from my regular Dark n' Lovely Curl Moisturising Soufflé which i've spoken about extensively here. The ORS leave-in makes a really good light moisturiser and i generally use it as a mid week re-moisturiser particularly in the evenings when i'm braiding my hair for bed. For a heavier moisturiser i've been enjoying the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie* which i've used before but hadn't revisited since picking it up in New York back in 2013. I'm not sure about it's curl enhancing properties as i rarely define my curls but i will say that it gives you a lush braid out! I have it in my hair at the moment and the scent is just delicous!
You've moisturised your hair to the gawds right? Now to seal it all up. I usually love heavier based sealants but i'm all out of pure shea butter and castor oil so i'm using coconut oil as it's a fail safe, again i've spoken about this particular brand which is Groovy Food Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, but it imparts shine, smells lovely and is a good no-nonsense product. I've run out of my beloved eco styler gel which i use to keep my edges sleek, but i decided to try Shea Moisture's JBCO Strengthen, Grow & Restore Edge Treatment*, which is more of a moisturising glycerin feeling type of gel rather than an alcohol based one. The texture takes some getting used to as it's high in glycerin and castor oil so it doesn't quite have that slick finish to it that i usually go for with my edge control products, but if you use it with a scarf overnight or for a few hours, you'll be good to go, and not even Beyonce would be able to snatch your edges ;).
Let me know if this has been helpful! I love writing about natural hair and natural hair products especially for type 4 hair as we are often overlooked. Will you try any of these products? And let me know your A/W hair care saviour, the product junkie in me is on the hunt for even more products to try…
Have a great week!