Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Jamaican Castor Oil, Argan Oil, how does one decipher which is best for their own hair and which one really works to stave off dryness, prevent breakage and promote healthy hair growth? The answer is all of them work to some degree in different ways.
Many cultures, over many centuries have used one product or the other and have found life giving properties in the goods that they use. For example, East Indians have found great value in coconut oil, while Shea Butter, used originally in Africa, has provided phenomenal results for hair, skin and treatment of various conditions. All of these products have been touted as “the best” or “one-of-a-kind” in treating whatever ails, with big name manufactures jumping on the band wagon each time a new “best thing” emerges.
Because these oils and tonics do all have validity, the only true way to decipher their worth is to try them all to see which one works for your specific quandary. This can be expensive so proceed with caution. Make sure that the product you are testing has as its main ingredient the actual good you are looking to try (in other words if you want to know if Argan Oil really works, the first listed ingredient should be Argan Oil, not water). Ensure that the product is as natural as possible and not plumped up with fillers and preservatives. Check for allergens as people may have reactions to such products as coconuts, for example.
Reviews can be very helpful. Skepticism has risen about reviews because it seems companies have taken to infiltrating the review process by planted “decoys” and payed reviewers or having someone from the company to pose as a reviewer to sway audiences. With this in mind, check reputable sources such as Amazon.com. The reviews found here often come with a “verified customer” tag, indicating that the customer giving the review is legitimate and that they have indeed used the product in question.
Savvy consumers may also want to check the return policy. Most reputable companies stand behind their products and will provide a full refund if you are not completely satisfied. Do not purchase a product that you are unsure about without being able to return it, otherwise you may be out of a whole lot of money given these products are not cheap.
One final note, it may seem like a “no brainer”, but research has shown that using the full product line in conjunction may increase the efficacy of a product. For example, if you want to use Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk, you may also want to use the corresponding shampoo and conditioner, finishing cream, etc, to really experience superior results. Often manufacturers will suggest this option (to make more money of course), but also because the products are designed to work together. The more saturation you get of the active ingredient the better it performs.
In the quest to find just the right hair product that works specifically for you, look at the process as research, not just arbitrary “trial and error”. This process may lead you to the perfect product that you may not have discovered if you were unwilling to try.
Click here for a witty anecdote about Shea Moisture on Virgin baby hair.