There are so many new and emerging hair care brands on the market now in response to the natural hair movement. Along with the new brands, there is a resurgence of some old school hair products that were popular when I was a kid. I recall attending a natural hair event, and during a panel discussion with hair stylists, someone asked about some of the old school products. She mentioned that as a child, her hair was not relaxed, and her hair was thriving – even though the shampoo had sulfates and there was a lot of Blue Magic grease involved.
It made me wonder, were the hair products we used back then all that bad? Do old school products have any use in our healthy hair regimens? Let’s talk about three products that might not be as bad as you think:
#1 – Hair Grease
Most of the hair grease brands from back in the day were petroleum based, and that’s why most people take issue. But as far as being used as a sealant, it can serve the same purpose as any other heavy butter or oil. Apply a water-based spray or leave-in conditioner first, then apply the grease as you would any other oil or butter. Since grease is heavy, be sure to use a clarifying shampoo to avoid any product buildup.
#2 – Curl Activator
I received a jar of curl activator gel in a gift bag at a natural hair event once and I laughed. I thought ‘isn’t this just for Jherri curls?’ I decided to try it out for a wash and go just for kicks and giggles, but the joke was on me. That wash and go style was amazing! Turns out that the main ingredient in most curl activators is glycerin, which is great for adding moisture to your hair. And the more moisture, the more your curls with pop without the crunch. My hair was very hydrated, and I used that entire jar.
#3 – Oil Sheen
Oil sheen is basically aerosolized hair grease and typically it contains mineral oil. The same principle applies because mineral oil and petroleum are similar in that they coat the hair heavily. Some brands have updated their formulas so they include natural oils besides mineral oil, but go easy. Use oil sheen as a finishing spray to add sheen to your hair style.
At the end of the day, at it’s core hair is hair. While textured hair has some unique properties and hair care needs, most of the basic hair care principles still apply. If you aren’t insisting on using all-natural or organic ingredients in your hair products, these oldie but goody old school products can still be a part of your healthy hair care regimen.