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Spin-off: It’s 2020 and years into natural haircare, Salon Products vs. “Natural” Products

Dayjoy

Old School Member
There was a thread that got bumped the other day when @Theresamonet asked about Aveda Universal Styling Cream. She and @LiLi talked about realizing salon products work better for them than “natural” products. They mentioned the heaviness of natural products and use of lots of oils in their recipes. They made me think about how I did enjoy using salon products “back in the day” and how much trial and error is involved with natural products. But I wasn’t natural back then either. What do you all think? I’m rethinking my stash and staples.
 

toaster

Well-Known Member
I think, like everything, people go through phases in their natural journey.

From DIY to online only natural shops to products at Sally’s to professional products.

For me, it really depends on the styling I’m doing with my hair. A roller set? It’s a 10 leave in is perfect. Twists on my natural hair that could eventually be a twist out? I can use heavy butters and oils from a natural brand. Wash and go? Gel and foam that are easy to find works for me.

I think more than whether the products are professional or natural, and more whether we retain our standard hair care practices. Are we properly cleansing our hair? Are we clarifying every few months to remove potential product build up?
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
I think, like everything, people go through phases in their natural journey.

From DIY to online only natural shops to products at Sally’s to professional products.

For me, it really depends on the styling I’m doing with my hair. A roller set? It’s a 10 leave in is perfect. Twists on my natural hair that could eventually be a twist out? I can use heavy butters and oils from a natural brand. Wash and go? Gel and foam that are easy to find works for me.

I think more than whether the products are professional or natural, and more whether we retain our standard hair care practices. Are we properly cleansing our hair? Are we clarifying every few months to remove potential product build up?
Great points, especially the bold.
 

oneastrocurlie

Well-Known Member
For me I think it's been more techniques than products. I think. The salon I go to use first used NYC Curls and then Briogeo on me once my hair got longer. NYC Curls isn't natural and Briogeo is mostly natural. I'm pretty sure my stylist is going to use Innersense when I see her next.

However I can only speak for my natural hair (that I haven't straightened in almost 3 years). Not sure if my answer would be the same if I was relaxed or wore my hair primarily straight.
 

toaster

Well-Known Member
Great points, especially the bold.
Im seeing a lot of stylists on Instagram that focus on natural hair saying we got away from the hair care practices we’ve known for years.

They mostly blame salons and stylists and manufacturers for missing the boat on natural hair. In the interim, YouTube and diy took over and now stylists and professional manufacturers are trying to tell us everything we’ve been doing is “wrong.”

And wrong isn’t the right word at all. Some people have seen their hair flourish since the mid 2000s with their hair care practices. Others have had several setbacks and might benefit from trying a new avenue.

All parties are trying to make money off of us as consumers, so I take everything they say with a grain of salt.
 

ChemistryGirl

Well-Known Member
Hmmm, good question.

if I had to choose, I’d choose natural Haircare products. No salon leave-in product has ever kept my hair moisturized. So I use mostly natural Haircare products. I only use salon products to clarify (Redken cleansing cream), strong protein treatment (Joico k-pak deep penetrating reconstructor) and heat protectant (Paul Mitchell super skinny serum & Tresemme heat protectant spay).
 
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Dayjoy

Old School Member
Im seeing a lot of stylists on Instagram that focus on natural hair saying we got away from the hair care practices we’ve known for years.

They mostly blame salons and stylists and manufacturers for missing the boat on natural hair. In the interim, YouTube and diy took over and now stylists and professional manufacturers are trying to tell us everything we’ve been doing is “wrong.”

And wrong isn’t the right word at all. Some people have seen their hair flourish since the mid 2000s with their hair care practices. Others have had several setbacks and might benefit from trying a new avenue.

All parties are trying to make money off of us as consumers, so I take everything they say with a grain of salt.
True.
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
Hmmm, good question.

if I had to choose, I’d choose natural Haircare products. No salon leave-in product has ever kept my hair moisturized. So I use mostly natural Haircare products. I only use salon products to clarify (Redken cleansing cream), strong protein treatment (Joico k-pak deep penetrating reconstructor) and heat protectant (Paul Mitchell super skinny serum & Tresemme heat protectant spay).
I can see the bold being true for a lot of naturals.
The categories you mentioned (and some of the actual products) are the same ones I was thinking about as well as regular shampoo.
 

mzteaze

Pilates and Yoga Kinda Gal
I think it comes down to technique AND what you need from the product in the final end result. For example, the products and technique needed to straighten natural hair are different than those for defined curls.

I have fine hair with a lower density so buying salon products are fairly economical for me because the bottle can last longer than say the typical long haired popular social media personality. But for a person with a lot of hair that uses an entire bottle in one setting, they may prefer professional products that get the job done and stay fairly economical per use at the same time.
 

Rocky91

NYE side boob.
I do think that for some people, salon lines simplify their lives. My little cousin buys everything Keracare (thick 4b natural) and keeps it moving. She has never had a product junkie stage, lucky girl :lol:

it does sometimes seem like more consistency can be found in a salon line for me. I can use design essentials (for natural styles) or biosilk (when I straighten) from top to bottom but for most natural lines, I’ll hate the leave in but love the shampoo, etc. Mane choice is kinda consistent but sometimes feels too heavy for my fine hair.
 

keranikki

Natural, 3abc/4a, Fine, medium density
I choose natural products over salon products for economical impact reasons. Most of the natural products I use are from small businesses.
I experienced more consistency issues with salon brands vs natural products. Even after clarifying, I couldn’t achieve the same wow factor I received during the first use of a salon product.
Once I realized my hair hates coconut oil and glycerin, choosing natural products became easier. I have my staples and my hair is healthy.
I do agree that product amount versus price point can be a cause for contention when trying to choose between salon and natural products. So far, I’m okay with the product amount I receive.
 

GGsKin

Well-Known Member
I wish I could get larger products for the money I spend on 'natural' products, i.e conditioners.

I have a good mix of salon and 'natural' products in my arsenal and depending on what I am doing (how I intend to style the hair) I'll use them interchangeably. I still try not to use too many products with dimethicone or too many polyquats.
 

BonBon

Well-Known Member
if I had to choose, I’d choose natural Haircare products. No salon leave-in product has ever kept my hair moisturized. So I use mostly natural Haircare products. I only use salon products to clarify (Redken cleansing cream), strong protein treatment (Joico k-pak deep penetrating reconstructor) and heat protectant (Paul Mitchell super skinny serum & Tresemme heat protectant spay).

True. I do sometimes find something, but I tend to waste a lot of money and time with misses.

If I go for a natural line I tend to get more hits. At the moment I'm using Qhemet Biologics and love everything from them.

Though I do sometimes feel a bit bowled over by the smell of natural products. If it says Orange, mango or something like that - it's never just a hint. I wish I could find more natural products with a subtle, soft fragrance.
 

Sarabellam

Well-Known Member
Natural products give me better results on my natural hair in its natural state. The second I add heat I have to reach for salon products. Silicones are 100% necessary to avoid damage. Natural products tend to work best by being applied in large amounts and left on the hair. But if I am applying heat the. I want clean hair so the silicone can properly protect my hair. However I rarely straighten my hair so it makes since to focus on short-term “function” over long term quality.
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
Natural products give me better results on my natural hair in its natural state. The second I add heat I have to reach for salon products. Silicones are 100% necessary to avoid damage. Natural products tend to work best by being applied in large amounts and left on the hair. But if I am applying heat the. I want clean hair so the silicone can properly protect my hair. However I rarely straighten my hair so it makes since to focus on short-term “function” over long term quality.
Great breakdown!
 

LiLi

Well-Known Member
There was a thread that got bumped the other day when @Theresamonet asked about Aveda Universal Styling Cream. She and @LiLi talked about realizing salon products work better for them than “natural” products. They mentioned the heaviness of natural products and use of lots of oils in their recipes. They made me think about how I did enjoy using salon products “back in the day” and how much trial and error is involved with natural products. But I wasn’t natural back then either. What do you all think? I’m rethinking my stash and staples.
My issue is that natural hair products that I have loved are no longer available. The reliability just isn’t there as much as it is with salon or even drugstore brands. I’m still not over Silk Dreams not not being made any longer. That line was the best for my natural hair and I have used just about everything. So I gave up and went back to “mainstream” products. I will just spruce up conditioners with oils and honey if I need a boost. Also, fresh aloe vera gel works extremely well too. But my hair was flourishing when I was using salon products so that is my focus for the next year to see if I can get it back to the way it was.
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
My issue is that natural hair products that I have loved are no longer available. The reliability just isn’t there as much as it is with salon or even drugstore brands. I’m still not over Silk Dreams not not being made any longer. That line was the best for my natural hair and I have used just about everything. So I gave up and went back to “mainstream” products. I will just spruce up conditioners with oils and honey if I need a boost. Also, fresh aloe vera gel works extremely well too. But my hair was flourishing when I was using salon products so that is my focus for the next year to see if I can get it back to the way it was.
You’re so right about the reliability of many natural products not being there due to either being discontinued, the companies going out of business, or even the formulas changing completely when they go mainstream. When we find a product that works for our hair we become almost dependent on it. It seems so much easier to depend on mainstream brands that have always been and seem like they will always be there.

You’ve hit on something with using natural ingredients to boost salon products.
 

mzteaze

Pilates and Yoga Kinda Gal
I think a big problem with "natural" products are two fold:

1) The individual ingredients are fairly inexpensive and can be economical when made as a DIY. However,

2) when they are prepared for sale, the formulation has to include some type of preservative. Pricing becomes difficult because there is public knowledge that the individual products are fairly inexpensive but the final product may be priced higher than consumers expects or wants. The short shelf life is also a factor.

Also, for small start up companies (like those on Etsy), even with brisk sales, the process isn't guaranteed to turn into sales that cover business costs. Also, when the price of ingredients increase drastically, as with the pandemic, product pricing increases with each new production run.
 

LiLi

Well-Known Member
You’re so right about the reliability of many natural products not being there due to either being discontinued, the companies going out of business, or even the formulas changing completely when they go mainstream. When we find a product that works for our hair we become almost dependent on it. It seems so much easier to depend on mainstream brands that have always been and seem like they will always be there.

You’ve hit on something with using natural ingredients to boost salon products.
Dependency is so right! I was pretty much begging for Silk Dreams to keep making the products. I even went so far as to say I would spend a set amount every month. I relied on those products sooo heavily and am still crushed they are no longer made. I think those were the only products that ever made my hair feel moisturized after air drying. So now I am kind of forced to blow dry after washing because that is the only way I can reproduce what silk dreams did for my hair.

Also, yes, back in the old LHCF days, the only thing alot of us did was add olive oil and/or honey to conditioners. Then Carol’s Daughter came along and the game changed. At least that is what happened from my perspective. So, I have found that avocado oil with honey mixed in works really well with my hair. Even coconut oil.Get a big jar of that and call it a day! Lol.

Also, most of these companies aren’t really using a lot of the “special” ingredients in their products. If I can buy a whole litre of conditioner for $30 from Ulta or Sally Beauty and doctor it up with some avocado oil, honey, coconut oil, etc. I don’t really need to search for “fancy” natural conditioners. Most conditioners have the same base anyway.

I still and will use some other “natural” conditioners like Camille Rose but I have my go-to’s if they stop making it. No more totally trusting in the natural products to be around for long. I’m done with that. Lmbo.
 

LiLi

Well-Known Member
I think a big problem with "natural" products are two fold:

1) The individual ingredients are fairly inexpensive and can be economical when made as a DIY. However,

2) when they are prepared for sale, the formulation has to include some type of preservative. Pricing becomes difficult because there is public knowledge that the individual products are fairly inexpensive but the final product may be priced higher than consumers expects or wants. The short shelf life is also a factor.

Also, for small start up companies (like those on Etsy), even with brisk sales, the process isn't guaranteed to turn into sales that cover business costs. Also, when the price of ingredients increase drastically, as with the pandemic, product pricing increases with each new production run.
If I love a product, I don’t mind paying more money. It would be nice if these companies (since they are small) could cater to people willing to pay whatever the cost. It’s like you have the formula ... if I am willing to pay ... just make me a batch. Lmbo. But I get it ... it probably isn’t that easy.
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
Dependency is so right! I was pretty much begging for Silk Dreams to keep making the products. I even went so far as to say I would spend a set amount every month. I relied on those products sooo heavily and am still crushed they are no longer made. I think those were the only products that ever made my hair feel moisturized after air drying. So now I am kind of forced to blow dry after washing because that is the only way I can reproduce what silk dreams did for my hair.

Also, yes, back in the old LHCF days, the only thing alot of us did was add olive oil and/or honey to conditioners. Then Carol’s Daughter came along and the game changed. At least that is what happened from my perspective. So, I have found that avocado oil with honey mixed in works really well with my hair. Even coconut oil.Get a big jar of that and call it a day! Lol.

Also, most of these companies aren’t really using a lot of the “special” ingredients in their products. If I can buy a whole litre of conditioner for $30 from Ulta or Sally Beauty and doctor it up with some avocado oil, honey, coconut oil, etc. I don’t really need to search for “fancy” natural conditioners. Most conditioners have the same base anyway.

I still and will use some other “natural” conditioners like Camille Rose but I have my go-to’s if they stop making it. No more totally trusting in the natural products to be around for long. I’m done with that. Lmbo.
Re the bold: WHOA. You are SO RIGHT.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
@Dayjoy I’ve been back on a salon brand only regimen for about a month and a half and my shine is back! Before my hair was so dull and lackluster. I thought it was because I was not using a black rinse anymore. Now my hair looks so healthy that I don’t even want to rinse it.

I switched to salon DCs over a year ago, but recently I changed everything in my regimen (except my prepoo, which is just Olive oil and peppermint eo). My hair looks and feels better than it has in years.
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
@Dayjoy I’ve been back on a salon brand only regimen for about a month and a half and my shine is back! Before my hair was so dull and lackluster. I thought it was because I was not using a black rinse anymore. Now my hair looks so healthy that I don’t even want to rinse it.

I switched to salon DCs over a year ago, but recently I changed everything in my regimen (except my prepoo, which is just Olive oil and peppermint eo). My hair looks and feels better than it has in years.
I love hearing this! I’d love to see my hair shiny again. I’ve been slowly letting go of some products and replacing them with Aveda, my favorite salon brand. I love their scents and remember really liking how the products worked in my hair.
 

nyeredzi

Well-Known Member
What is a salon product? Anything not natural, or pricey stuff used on salons? What is, for example, Aussie Moisture stuff? What is Trader Joe's stuff?

There's a place for everything. These days I don't even know the line between natural and not. The big companies make natural-ish stuff too and sometimes I don't know the difference. The natural stuff seems the best for moisturizing leave ins. But the non natural stuff seems to do a better job at strengthening/protein treatments. I also prefer non natural shampoo.
 

waff

Well-Known Member
I realized that the OGs on this site (2000's) used to use a lot of Salon products: Joico, Kenra, Redken, etc. I find that the longer I go on, I realize that Salon brands provide better results. Especially if you are dealing with specific issues like targeting protein-moisture balance, or strengthening the hair shaft.

A lot of the "natural" products rely too much on exotical trendy ingredients. For example, so many brands are suddenly coming out with black rice lines. Where salon products target performance and science based ingredients. Joico for example has Human Keratin in their K pak line which does an amazing job in strengthening the hair. Olaplex is another Salon brand that uses cutting edge hair science to treat cuticle damage. Aphogee is not a "natural" brand, and they do a great job with providing many products for strengthening the hair. A lot of the natural brands don't use silicones which I find great for my hair.

Like other posters said before me, Salon brands give more consistent results.
 

Mapleoats

Well-Known Member
I realized that the OGs on this site (2000's) used to use a lot of Salon products: Joico, Kenra, Redken, etc. I find that the longer I go on, I realize that Salon brands provide better results. Especially if you are dealing with specific issues like targeting protein-moisture balance, or strengthening the hair shaft.

A lot of the "natural" products rely too much on exotical trendy ingredients. For example, so many brands are suddenly coming out with black rice lines. Where salon products target performance and science based ingredients. Joico for example has Human Keratin in their K pak line which does an amazing job in strengthening the hair. Olaplex is another Salon brand that uses cutting edge hair science to treat cuticle damage. Aphogee is not a "natural" brand, and they do a great job with providing many products for strengthening the hair. A lot of the natural brands don't use silicones which I find great for my hair.

Like other posters said before me, Salon brands give more consistent results.
I agree with everything you’ve said! No doubt there are tons of great natural products and brands out there, but I think a lot of them just piggy back on YT trends. Coming out with tons and tons of product lines but they are essentially all the same Except for the addition of a small amount of some fancy sounding ingredient that the line is then named after. Lol.

I recently “discovered” salon products because I was looking for something with silicones and those virtually don’t exist in natural hair brands. Salon brands works really well for my hair when wearing it straight / rollerset. Natural brands work well when I’m wearing twists/twists outs
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
@waff and @Mapleoats made some great points, especially about salon products seeming to be based more on science, and “natural” products following internet trends. @nyeredzi , they named brands I think of as salon products, like Joico, Kenra, Redken, brands we might find at Ulta that aren’t “drugstore.” Nexxus was also popular when I first came to this site. Aveda is a favorite of mine. I think of Aussie and Trader Joe’s as drugstore, but I feel like they also have more consistent and reliable results than “natural” products.

I also agree that salon brands seem to work better for straight styling and protein. I wear my hair natural and am moving back towards salon products. I think some “natural” products mixed with more salon products may give me better results than I’ve been getting.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
Don’t sleep on salon brands for providing moisture as well. That’s what lead me back to them in the first place. I found a lot of natural conditioners and leave-ins just wouldn’t penetrate my hair. My hair just drinks up more chemical based formulations, that don’t contain a ton of oils and butters. I think a lot of natural brands (not all) just throw different popular ingredients into the product without any consideration of the molecule size, and whatever else is necessary to actually get into the hair shaft.
 
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