To start this bad boy off, please note that just because I’ve deemed this list to be “premium ingredients for healthy natural hair” DOES NOT mean it will be the best for you (or that they are shipped from around the world, for that matter). The natural hair journey requires a lottttt of exploration and experimentation so don’t take my list too literally.
The following is a list of the ingredients I have found to work amazingly for my natural hair. There are always new ingredients to discover and millions of DIY cocktails to be made, so this list is nowhere near complete. When you’re done here, make sure you check out the Worst Ingredients for Natural Hair.
Side bar: my definition of “premium” just means that it’s the most moisturizing and therefore the most beneficial to length retention. Moving forward…
Water absolutely has to be the number one ingredient to moisturize natural hair. It’s the only substance on Earth to actually do just that. That’s why products with water as the first ingredient tend to be better for our hair. Everything else is basically going to sit right on top of the strands. So when purchasing products, note that a moisturizing product will have water listed as the first ingredient and a styling product may not have any water at all.
Oils are a staple in natural hair products. Why? Because curly hair tends to run on the dry side and it kinda makes sense. The natural oils from our scalp condition our hair but they can only make it down so many turns in the coils. That’s why our ends are always dryer then our roots! To combat this, we can use a multiple of oils to treat different conditions and seal in hydration. Let’s quickly go through my favorites:
Essential oils are meant to be used in small doses (think: 2-4 drops per use) so they tend to be sold in smaller glass bottles and cost more than any other oil. Their primary purpose is usually for scent but the following oils have additional properties. Tea tree is excellent for an itchy scalp while peppermint can be used to promote hair growth and reduce dandruff. Not to mention, it’s super simple to just add a few drops into your store-bought product for added benefits!
- Tea Tree
Lightweight Carrier Oils:
These oils are great for not weighing down the hair. They can be used as sealants to reduce moisture loss. Lightweight oils can also be used to reduce itchy or dry scalp (try jojoba oil mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil).
- Grape seed
- Sweet Almond
Heavyweight Carrier Oils:
These oils are great for adding a little weight to the hair (think: slicking down fly-aways). Heavyweight oils are almost always used as sealants or as the base for oil mixtures. These oils are usually known to give added sheen to the tresses, as well.
- Jamaican Black Castor Seed
- Extra Virgin Olive
Hair butters are another staple in the natural hair care world as so many products can be made with them. We already know the moisturizing capabilities of raw butters in body lotions so we really shouldn’t be surprised when they are so prevalent in hair products. Hair butters contain fatty acids that make it perfect for sealing in moisture.
- Cocoa (note: I find cocoa butter to be more beneficial when melted and it’s definitely easier to work with)
Humectants draws moisture from the air into the hair shaft. Not all hair types loves humectants so don’t try anything new when you have to be somewhere lol. Wanna do an experiment?
Use a honey based moisturizer on a humid day. I did this by mistake and my hair actually felt almost wet because it was that saturated with moisture. Note: I also did this in late July in New York. The humidity was like 100% lololol. It was actually dope but I did not plan on the fro!
Anyway, if you want a nice fluffy fro for the summer, add one of these ingredients to your moisturizer:
- Aloe Vera Juice
For a deeper understanding of these ingredients check out this article by Chinwe!
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many new ingredients and products to try and that makes it kinda difficult to narrow down the best ingredients. However, those mentioned above are tried and true. So if you’re new to the natural hair world, give them a try!
What ingredients does your natural hair love? Drop me a comment in the comment section down below!
Until next time, stay blessed & unstressed!