Natural hair care for African Americans

February 26, 2013 10:15:08 AM PST
All products are not created equal when it comes to which are best to use in African American hair.

There are particular ingredients anyone with a "natural" hair style need to look for when buying hair products, and harmful ingredients that should be avoided. Nadra Smiley-Martin, the founder of Amazon Natural Essentials has some advice.

    Products Smiley-Martin mentioned:
  • Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo -- found at most local retailers (i.e. Target, Walgeens, CVS, etc)
  • Evolving Textures,
  • Camille Rose,
  • Jane Carter Solution,

To book a free hair consultation or sign up for an upcoming class, contact Amazon Natural Essentials at (773) 256-0500 or visit

Harmful Ingredients in your hair care products:
Ingredients mostly found in Styling Products: Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Lanolin, Petroleum- causes pore blockage, weigh the hair down and cause greasy build-up the hair and scalp.
Propylene Glycol- often found in cosmetic and hair products for a gelling or slicking affect, propylene glycol is also found in antifreeze, brake and hydraulic fluid.
Isopropyl Alcohol & Ethyl Alcohol- even though this is an organic ingredient it acts as solvents commonly used for dry cleaning, paint thinners, spot removers and nail polish. Alcohol can dry out the natural protective oil in your skin and hair
Ingredients mostly found in Shampoos and Conditioners: Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl- dries out the hair and scalp also strips the hair of natural oils causing breakage to occur.
Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl)- chemicals are most commonly used as preservatives in shampoos, conditioners and styling products.

Natural Alternatives for Preservatives: Vitamin E, Optiphen Plus and Potassium Sorbate
Natural Alternatives for Moisturizers: Almond Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Almond Oil and Aloe Vera
Natural Alternatives for Oily Scalp: Peppermint, Basil, Eucalyptus, Witch hazel and Lemongrass
Natural Alternatives for Hair Growth: Lavender, Rose Hip Seed Oil, Rosemary, Aloe Vera and Avocado Oil
Natural Alternatives for Anti-Dandruff: Tea Tree Oil, Olive Oil , Jojoba, Garlic and Evening Primrose