My name is Joi and I am a product junkie. Since going natural in 2014, I have easily accumulated over 250 hair products for curly hair. From products by John Frieda to Mielle, curl-defining products and amino acids, dry shampoo and depositing masks—you name it, I’ve used it. And now I’m here to break down the best hair care products in 2021 for Black hair.
I have truly tried it all and all of it was EXPENSIVE. This is why I am here, writing this, hoping to save you a bit of money and time! And who doesn’t like both of those things?
In this article, I’ll tell you why I chose these five products, how they’ve worked for me, and then list the pros and cons of each. So, sit back, relax, and hold onto your wallets until you’re finished reading about the best hair care products for Black hair!
1. Max Prime
On the EXTREMELY RARE occasion, and I am talking maybe once a year, I get the urge to straighten my hair. I am talking hot oil treatment, protein repair treatment, deep treatment conditioner, and a mask! I take every precaution to keep my hair safe and healthy from heat styling.
Now, after all of that, I can finally get to straightening my hair. Another precaution you can take in order to protect your curls is to use high-quality equipment. Have you heard of the Max Prime by InStyler? This is not your mother’s flat iron by any means.
It has the ability to straighten and curl while also leaving your hair shiny and smooth. This styler flaunts a 1.25-inch tourmaline ceramic barrel that rotates and the other half has two rows of bristles that separate and smooth your hair and then adds on the shine!
Here is a tip: make sure the barrel is rolling in the direction of your hair cuticles to max out the shine in your hair. Once you finish one side of your hair, change the direction that the barrel is rolling by tapping it twice.
My hair is thick with 2 c’s but straightening my hair usually takes no more than an hour. I wrap it up in a silk scarf when I shower, sleep, or work out and when I am ready, I unwrap it, fresh and ready to go! My hair lasts for as long as I care for it in that state.
PROS OF USING THE MAX Prime by InStyler
FAST AND SIMPLE
Straightening my hair has never gone as quickly as it has while using the Maxi Styler. Anything that can get my hair done quickly with great results will always get an A+ from me!
LOW RISK OF HEAT DAMAGE
The rotating barrel keeps the heat moving so it’s not sitting on my hair for too long.
WORTH THE PRICE TAG
The price is great for a high-quality item! And unlike cheaper versions of the Maxi Styler, it will last for years.
CONS OF USING THE MAX Prime by InStyler
WATCH THE TEMPERATURE!
The heat settings can reach 425 degrees. Don’t straighten your hair at such a high temperature unless you actually need it. I was happy with using 315 degrees (the second to last setting). The best way to test the temperature is to start low and work your way up from there.
Be careful around that barrel! There is no shield to protect you or any of your other melt-able things on your counter.
2. New Wash
As a baby natural back in 2014, I learned that shampoo can be bad for your scalp due to the detergents found in many of them. New Wash was an amazing product to find when I did because my scalp needed to be cleaned but I was terrified of shampoos. This is a hair company that understands that having clean hair does not mean that it has to be stripped.
Do you love the planet? Good, because I do too and so does New Wash. As a product junkie, I am well aware of the number of plastic tubs, bottles, etc., that I personally contribute and it makes me feel like a big ol’ doo-doo.
New Wash uses 63% less plastic by using pouches instead! Plus, their product doubles as shampoo and conditioner so wash day is a little bit easier.
New Wash is targeted for all hair types and it promises to transform your hair–which it did for me! When I step out of the shower after using New Wash, my hair feels clean and moisturized, never dry or stripped.
To the pros and cons!
PROS OF USING NEW WASH
HAPPY HAIR AND HAPPY PLANET
My hair loves their product and the Earth loves that it uses much less plastic. Goodbye loads of plastic bottles in landfills and oceans!
LARGE CONTAINER SIZE
I can buy up to a 32 oz pouch so I don’t have to buy as often (especially because I have a heavy hand while using products).
CONS OF USING NEW WASH
IT’S NOT A LEAVE-IN
New Wash is great, but I love to leave a bit of conditioner in my hair at the end of my shower for a bit more moisturizing power. But, because it is also a shampoo, I always make sure to rinse it out completely.
Before finding this line of products, I was at a standstill with my hair. After 7 years of trying products on and off, my hair was healthier than it was when I was still damaging my hair with relaxers, but it was still dry, frizzy, and constantly matted. I was more frustrated than ever.
I remember walking through the aisles at my local ULTA feeling utterly defeated. My dry hair was mocking me under my baseball cap.
And then I saw the bright yellow packaging of Pattern stacked on a shelf. I had never heard of Pattern before. I was so confused because, prior to this, I have heard of and tried nearly every product meant for natural hair on the market.
“Ah, what the hell”, I thought, and chose a leave-in conditioner, a styling cream, and a stronghold gel. I replaced them throughout my weekly hair care routine and I couldn’t have been happier!
The difference in my hair after a single wash was night and day. Not only was my hair frizz-free and more moisturized than ever before, but it changed how I felt about my own hair pattern and type.
I wear wash and gos now more than ever and my hair is so bouncy and healthy-looking! I should probably contact Tracee Ellis Ross for my percentage of her sales because I recommend her line of hair care products for natural hair to literally everyone that I meet.
So let’s break it down to our pros and cons list:
PROS OF USING PATTERN
CAN YOU SAY MOIST?
My hair stays moist for days without having to reapply and without weighing down my hair.
THE DEFINITION IS UNREAL!
Pattern has definitely helped to form my curls and coils on wash day and they stay that way even after drying.
CONS OF USING PATTERN
CAN BE A BIT FLAKY…
After many uses, I’ve noticed that when I use a bit too much gel, it can be a little flaky once it dries.
HEFTY PRICE TAG
Pattern is on the pricier side of natural hair products. I believe these products are worth it, but that does not mean it doesn’t hurt my wallet just a bit when I have to reup on my supply!
I come from a large family, so when someone swears by a product, I take their advice and run with it. One of my sisters recommended Prose, around the same time that I became hip to using Pattern. She described it as hair care but personalized. And that is exactly what it was!
I have always been a sucker for taking fun quizzes online in order to pass the time. Prose has an online quiz because they work with all hair types—even hair that has been dry damaged! After taking the quiz, Prose reviewed what ingredients would work best for my hair and scalp, along with what fragrance I would like for my personalized products. I decided to order the shampoo, conditioner, and wet hair mask.
After wetting my hair, I applied the mask and let it sit while I washed up and sang along to some of my shower jams. After about 15 minutes or so, I rinsed it out and used the shampoo (only on my roots) and then the conditioner. I have never looked back after using these products.
My hair had never looked so healthy after washing it before. It was clean and soft, without feeling stripped.
I often switch between using these products and New Wash, depending on what I am feeling that wash day. Believe me when I say that these products will leave your hair feeling refreshed and ready for hot girl summer 2021! So, pros and cons:
PROS OF USING PROSE
JUST FOR ME!
There are not a lot of things that I get to personalize and I loved the idea of this company just for that. It works so well with my hair makes it even better!
I love that I can pick and choose exactly what ingredients and fragrances are used in the products. Prose gives you a list of exactly what you do and doesn’t want in your products. For example, coconut oil, sulfate-free ingredients, dry scalp aid, and floral scent.
CONS OF USING PROSE
OUCH, SAYS THE WALLET
This one is pretty expensive as well. The shampoo and conditioner come in only 8.5 oz so I have to buy more a little more often than I would like due to my heavy use of products, especially conditioner.
PLANNING AHEAD IS A MUST
Because it is independently selected just for you, you can only buy online. This means you have to plan ahead for when you’re close to running out. A huge con for forgetful people like me.
5. Hair Wax Dye
Even though I have been a natural-haired girl for almost 7 years, my biggest fear, after heat damage, was hair color. I’ve watched too many videos and read too many accounts of natural girls (and guys) damaging their hair beyond repair. I have always been happy with my natural dark brown-black hair color, but when summer rolls around I always get a bit sad that I can’t color my hair cotton candy pink or aqua…until now.
You have probably heard of Overtone and have been dragging your feet about trying it. Well, this is your call to action! Order some fun colors now and have fun with your hair color without the fear of damaging your hair!
When you first arrive on their page, guess what…there’s a quiz to find your perfect color! I obviously took it and my results directed me to magenta, rose gold, or pink–perfect. I was happy to know that I would not need bleach or anything for this hair color.
To keep the color longer, condition your hair with their conditioner, which re-saturates the color. All you have to do is apply it to dry hair (in sections), leave it to sit for up to 15 minutes, rinse, and you’re done! It’s great for long-term wear with absolutely no damage.
Now is time for the pros and cons:
PROS OF USING OVERTONE WAX DYE
After using this on my hair multiple times, I’ve noticed that there is absolutely no damaged hair. This has quelled my fears of adding color as much as I want from now on!
FAST AND EASY TO USE
Using Overtone colors was easy to use, and it was quick! I hate sitting around doing my hair all day but thanks to their 15-minute max setting period, I could color my hair faster than ever. There is no mixing of products or aluminum foil needed either.
Overtone’s prices are not too expensive which is great because I am very indecisive so I can get as many as I want without my wallet being completely cleaned out.
CONS OF USING OVERTONE WAX DYE
NOT AS BRIGHT ON DARK-COLORED HAIR
If your hair is dark like mine, the color won’t be very vibrant. However, I was very happy with the results I did have aka I didn’t have to step into the sun in order to see the color! But we are used to that already, aren’t we dark-haired ladies?
MUST USE THEIR CONDITIONER
In order to have the hair color last as long as possible, you have to use their daily conditioner. I love that the color could last longer, but I love to use my other conditioners to keep my hair happy.
And that is it, my dear readers: my own hair care products list that I have personally used and have fallen in love with so far this year!
Don’t be like me and Google “hair products for Black hair” and buy half a dozen products to see what happens. I was hoping you could save your money and let me know what you think about the products in the comments section below! Until then…hair, take care.