5 Must Have Black Hair Care Products

If you were given five minutes to escape your house or your place of abode, what are the five hair must-haves that you should carry? I generally pitch this question to persons who are interested in growing long healthy relaxed hair and the answers would vary. The reason I ask is, you do not need more than five products  to maintain hair  growth at any one time. Some ladies stock up on a lot of hair care products and use them every day or every week and then complain that they are getting no results from the stuff they buy.

Fact is, the more products you use, the likelihood is there that you will dry out your hair shaft and clog your scalp thus impeding hair growth, it may even break and fall off. This is bad news for product junkies, so as a recovering junkie myself, I have to say this gently, simple is better. Depending on your hair needs, I say go with the adage that less is more. If you are new to this hair growing thing, look carefully at your stash of products and then delete the ones that are unnecessary.

Look at the ingredients on your three or four deep conditioners; they are basically the same aren’t they? Look at your shampoo; does it contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulphate? Chuck it, it’s stripping your hair of well needed moisture and have dreaded side effects.

The first thing I did when I started my hair regimen is to get rid of my brush, it was the hard jagged edge type and I realised that after brushing my hair for a while masses of hair would be stuck in the bottom of the bristles. After a weeks worth of dragging it out, I would sometimes have a ball of hair in my palms, which I am pretty sure I did not have to lose.

Second thing I did was to get rid of the products which contained isopropyl alcohol, petroleum and mineral oil. I gave them to my mom, who thought that I should not be wasting perfectly good products. When I explained why I would be using them no more, she eventually gave them up too. I will explain more about these products later.

My Five Must Have Hair Care Products

After clearing my hair cabinet of most of the products, I was left with a good conditioner (I use a variety of them, I change them every three months), castor oil, coconut oil, a broad tooth comb and a silk scarf to tie my head with at nights. By the way, a good conditioner can do the job of your shampoo.

That’s it. My five things. Most of them had no additive or fillers except for my conditioners and were 100% natural. And then I realized something, the more natural the products, the better my hair started looking. Not only was it thicker and glossier but even when my hair needed to be relaxed, people were asking if I just did it. The secret to hair care is simple, less is more.

So what are your five important hair must-haves?


  • Rose said:

    How often do you relax your hair and how long do you leave it on for? Is every 4 months okay?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Rose,
      I relax my hair every 4 months. I usually go to a stylist, to do it, she usually leaves it on for 15 minutes or so. Four months is definitely okay, especially if you are keeping your new growth and relaxed hair moisturized properly. When you stretch for long periods of time you need to be able to handle the moisture situation pretty well.

  • Loraine said:

    Where in Jamaica can Castile soap be purchased and for what price? Do you use Dr. Bronner’s?

  • Tebogo said:


    I grew up being told that you have to relax your hair every 4 to 6 weeks. Even at the salon that’s what they say.

    Please explain more about why it should rather be every 3 to 4 months and how to maintain your hair in between. I haven’t relaxed in 5 weeks (in fact I’m going to relax tomorrow) and my hair is already getting a bit rowdy. I’m still new to the DIY hair care world so I might still not be doing it right in terms of moisturising.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Tebogo,
      Welcome to the DIY hair world. I have addressed these concerns on the site but I realize that the articles are scattered all over. I will address this in a master article soon.

  • Paula Edwards said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I began my transition journey from my last relaxer in March. I have been faithfully following your site seeking as much information as possible,since I’m new to this. I’ve found All your info to be extremely helpful because my hair was in a disastrous state due to poor care from the last hairdresser. I am 55 years old and live in the Caribbean. I developed a regimen by your help – weekly hot oil treatment using your Thursday night cocktail, Aloe Vera shampoo(yours), ACV rinse and deep condition. I do one of your protein treatments every five weeks. I also cowash once a week followed with a green tea rinse. I seal with a 50-50 mix of olive oil, and castor oil with a couple drops of vitamin e and rosemary oil. My hair has been responding well so far thanks to you. My one problem is I tried the black tea and rosemary rinse and it turned my hair red (the relaxed part)- this I did not want so I tried to wash it out (using your aloe Vera shampoo). My hair (the relaxed part) is now orange in color. Please tell me what I did wrong and how I can correct it, I really don’t want to put braided extensions in my hair to hide the orange color. Thank you once again for all your help via your website.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Paula, I am still reeling from the fact that your hair turned orange. The black tea is supposed to make your hair darker. I am guessing (just guessing mind you) that the ACV might be lifting your hair color. If you dye your hair, vinegar can strip the hair of any dye products. Have you ever used henna or any red color in the past?
      Let me know please.

      • Paula said:

        Hi Brenda

        Thanks for responding. No, I have not dyed my hair, never used henna or any red color. I’m making the best of the situation as is. Still following your advice and my hair (especially my new growth) is doing really well. I am thankful for the day I came across your site.

  • Uche said:

    Wat about Ammonium Laureth sulphate containing shampoo???

  • madhura said:

    please suggest the methods to treat grey hair and home made dye. I do not want to use artificial hair dye

  • Kalisha said:

    First off, I love this blog and I try to get on and learn more about how to take care of my hair often. I recently relaxed my hair after almost a year and a half of natural hair.I want to grow my hair to mid back length and am currently at a little longer than shoulder length. I really appreciate your concern and help for black hair. Can you make a article on alternatives to heat styling such as curling? I’m going to wait around 5 months before relaxing again and I want some curls and thickness…

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