Monday, June 3, 2013

Great African Products for Natural hair:Oils and butters

Hello everyone!So I have been conspicuously absent,but please forgive me.Its been a crazy couple of weeks.I have been planning to post this forever,so here it is!This is the second instalment in the series on products that are great for hair available in markets and shops all over Africa.If you missed the first post,please click here to read it.
Natural oils and butters are the best products for sealing in moisture and making sure your hair stays soft and grows healthily.Natural oils when applied to your hair,do not just help moisturise,but depending on the properties of the oil you use,you would be protecting your hair from infection,stimulating your follicles to grow and also making sure your scalp stays healthy.In some cases,the Oils helps to prevent irritation and help with itchy scalps and dandruff.But,are these oils available in Africa?Yes they are!
Off the top of my head,here are the oils that I have seen in the market and in shops.

1.Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is usually imported,but I know almost everyone has seen olive oil,especially if you're Christian,since its used very often in church.Just ask the salespeople for 'anointing oil'.


2.Coconut oil
For whatever wierd reason,most people prefer to look for bottled or imported coconut oil when there's coconut oil in the market.Almost every market you walk into will have coconut oil,locally made and most likely organic.If you prefer foreign brands or already bottled oil,just check your local neighborhood shop.You're likely to get it in there.Personally,I like the yummy scent of African coconut oil.Its very different from the foreign brands,but they both work the same.I use coconut oil in everything:prepoo,hot oil treatments,deep conditioning and sealing in moisture.Its awesome!

3.Palm kernel oil
Yep.Its true.The locally made palm kernel oil(adwenno as its called in Twi in Ghana) that is in the market is great for hair,relaxed or natural.It works pretty much the same or slightly better than coconut oil,and if you can get over the unique aroma it has,then your hair will thank you for it.A whole commercial well known hair care line is based off of palm kernel oil,and these products are patronised not just by black women,but also by women of other cultures.The next time you need an oil for a quick pre-poo,try that
oil sitting in your kitchen!

4.Vegetable oils
Various vegetable oils are available on the market.You can use pretty much any of those on your hair.I have used regular vegetable oil in my hair as a prepoo when I was out of coconut oil,and it worked wonders!So next time you need an emergency fix,check your kitchen.Just make sure there's no mineral oils in there(I doubt there will be since its for cooking,but just as a precaution).


5.Shea,cocoa,mango butters
These are so common in the market that I don't think I need to say it.However,in case you haven't got some yet,please run out and get yourself some local shea or cocoa butter.Shea butter is very popular in hair care lines,and for good reason.It is a great butter for your hair,nourishes and strengthens it while keeping it moist.I use shea butter for most of my styling,and I usually get great hair styles.You can mix it up with some oils and some gel,and it is great as a holding or curl defining cream.Mango butter is less common,but it also works great as well.If you can have just one of these butters in your hair care regimen,your hair will appreciate you.

Most other oils you will read about are available in shops such as Indian shops,Chinese shops,with the sales people in the market selling herbal products and in the pharmacy.For example,castor oil is sold in the pharmacy but its great for hair.You don't need a name brand,just regular castor oil.Almost all the essential oils are in either pharmacies,Indian or Asian shops or in just regular shops
around.Just look around more!