How I decide which hair products to buy

23 Sep

I thought I would share with you how I decide which hair products to buy.  When starting a healthy hair journey one of the first decisions you need to make is which products to use.  Usually you will have spent years using products that do nothing for the hair and when you decide to start on your hair journey, you need to get new products. 

When I see / hear about a product I want to try I always start by looking up the ingredients.  I look out for the ‘bad’ ingredients such as mineral oil, petrolatum, sulphates, alcohol, parabens etc (note that these ingredients are not necessarily bad for everyone).  I check to see that if a product has these ingredients and if so how high they on the ingredient list.  The higher they are on the list the more of the ingredient there is in the product.  I will also look for ‘good’ ingredients like water, any natural oils, humectants (e.g glycerin), as well as any other natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter etc.  Sometimes, going on the ingredient list alone, I will decide not to buy a product.  If mineral oil or another ‘bad’ ingredient is first on the list then I will not buy the product.  I will also look to see whether the product contains any protein.  I do this because I always categorise my products as having protein and not having protein.  See this article for more information on protein vs moisture.

If the product passes the ingredient test, I then go on to google it to see what other women are saying about the product.  I go to a few popular hair boards to see what the general sentiment is.  Of course not everyone will like a product but you can get a general sense whether a product is well received or not.  If a product generally gets bad reviews then I will likely not buy it and not use it.  If the reviews are generally good then I will likely purchase.

Next on the list would be the price.  A product may have great ingredients and also get great reviews but if it is expensive I may pass it up for a cheaper option.  There are some really expensive hair products that I am dying to try but they are just out of my reach.  I cannot justify spending that kind of money on a hair product.  One such product is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme.  It has great ingredients and excellent reviews but at R530 (about US$65) for the 150ml jar and R1,200 (about US$150 for the 500ml jar, it is just out of my budget.  A few months ago I asked Philip Kingsley for a sample which I tried out.  I really loved the product but did not purchase it because of the price.

So what process do you go through in deciding whether to buy a hair product?


4 Responses to “How I decide which hair products to buy”

  1. Taylor 27 September, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    I literally do what you do step-by-step. It’s like you read my mind!

    One more thing guides my purchases though: de-cluttering. If I already have a product that’s doing something for my hair (e.g. a conditioner, a deep moisturizing/protein conditioner etc), I won’t buy another product that offers the same benefits but is just a different brand. No matter how cheap it is or how great its reviews are. I first finish what I have “in stock” before I try different brands.

    The only time I break this rule is when it comes to children’s hair products. Here if a product gets an excellent safety rating or already has known safety record and is just entering the market here, I will buy it to replace what I am currently using on my daughter’s hair. I will then hand over my daughter’s old hair products to my husband to use (he doesn’t care what he puts in his hair, lol). This allows me to declutter without wastage!

    I also stay away from hair gels/waxes/sprays/holds/gums and the rest of that ilk as well as those that promise to repair split ends. And I never color my hair so that section of the aisle I just by-pass.

    • Tendayi 27 September, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      As for me Taylor, I am a product junkie!! The amount og hair stuff I have in my cupboard is embarrassing. Sometimes I will buy something then decide I dont like it and Im stuck with it. Im actually trying now to slow down on buying or trying new things until I deplete what I have.

  2. glitter 04 January, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    just like me also I seem not to know which product to still trying to figure out a best product for my hair and its dry and breaking..

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