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

Dayjoy

Old School 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.
I have found that a lot of natural products have just sat on top of my hair instead of penetrating. Many also are heavy.

One thing I do LOVE about natural products though is that so many are black and/or woman owned. I love that.
 

Mapleoats

Well-Known Member
I have found that a lot of natural products have just sat on top of my hair instead of penetrating. Many also are heavy.

One thing I do LOVE about natural products though is that so many are black and/or woman owned. I love that.
Yeah, the first natural DC that really worked for me was TGIN honey miracle mask, because it is so light and creamy. Now I actively avoid heavy/thick DCs or dilute them if necessary.
 

Neomorph

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.

This is so true...and not just for salon products. I'm not sure anyone would call Nizoral and T-Sal as salon products, but they have been absolute God-sends for me and my scalp. Better than any natural shampoo or no-poo I've tried which rely on trendy scalp relieving ingredients. Now I won't knock those cleansers completely because for some people it does solve their scalp problems, but sometimes the commercial products are better as they actually have clinically back medicated ingredients that can clear the scalp.

For me personally I don't have any salon brands in my arsenal, although I am looking to add Olapex No 3 to my routine for hair strengthening. I have tried plenty of drugstore and natural brands though and I can say the natural brands for me are better for leave-in and styling (Kinky Curly Knot Today and Kinky Curly Curling Custard have been staples for years. Kinky Curly as a natural brand doesn't jump on natural hair bandwagons, and I think that helps keep them as a brand consistent.
 
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Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
This is so true...and not just for salon products. I'm not sure anyone would call Nizoral and T-Sal as salon products, but they have been absolute God-sends for me and my scalp. Better than any natural shampoo or no-poo I've tried which rely on trendy scalp relieving ingredients. Now I won't knock those cleansers completely because for some people it does solve their scalp problems, but sometimes the commercial products are better as they actually have clinically back medicated ingredients that can clear the scalp.

For me personally I don't have any salon brands in my arsenal, although I am looking to add Olapex No 3 to my routine for hair strengthening. I have tried plenty of drugstore and natural brands though and I can say the natural brands for me are better for leave-in and styling (Kinky Curly Knot Today and Kinky Curly Curling Custard have been staples for years. Kinky Curly as a natural brand doesn't jump on natural hair bandwagons, and I think that helps keep them as a brand consistent.

I definitely think this conversation applies to more than just salon brands. I think we’re struggling here to find a term that describes the opposite of being a natural hair product. I would say that “commercial product” is a good term, but these days some natural brands are quite commercial.
 

ChemistryGirl

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.
@Theresamonet
What salon leave-in products do you like? My inner pj is curious.

Several posters have mentioned that LHCF old heads used to use salon products back in the 2000’s, but we have to remember that back then most of us were relaxed and there were very few natural Haircare brands on the market. Natural Haircare brands only became popular when people stopped relaxing and started going natural and found that the salon (and drugstore) brands they were using no longer worked for them. To me, there are a lot of frustrations with dealing with natural Haircare brands, but I see them as a reflection of the evolution taking place in the natural hair community.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
@Theresamonet
What salon leave-in products do you like? My inner pj is curious.

Several posters have mentioned that LHCF old heads used to use salon products back in the 2000’s, but we have to remember that back then most of us were relaxed and there were very few natural Haircare brands on the market. Natural Haircare brands only became popular when people stopped relaxing and started going natural and found that the salon (and drugstore) brands they were using no longer worked for them. To me, there are a lot of frustrations with dealing with natural Haircare brands, but I see them as a reflection of the evolution taking place in the natural hair community.

Paul Mitchell the conditioner
AG fast food leave in
Alfaparf Nutritive leave in
Kerastase Magistral balm
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
I fully agree with the point @Theresamonet made about terminology. I wasn’t sure exactly which terms to use when I started this thread. That’s why I keep putting quotes when I say “natural.” I like her use of “commercial” products. But I still also want to differentiate between “drug store/inexpensive” and “salon/mid/high range”products. Or is there really a difference? :scratchchin:

And @ChemistryGirl made the other point I was considering when the thread started. I was relaxed when using commercial products and now, as a natural have been questioning the effectiveness of “natural” products. Having been natural for quite a while now, I feel like I haven’t had exactly the results I’ve wanted using natural products.

@Theresamonet , I don’t keep up very well. Are you relaxed or natural (I think you’re natural). If natural, are you mostly straightened or do you wear your hair “natural?” (Here we go with the many possible meanings of the word “natural” again.)
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
I fully agree with the point @Theresamonet made about terminology. I wasn’t sure exactly which terms to use when I started this thread. That’s why I keep putting quotes when I say “natural.” I like her use of “commercial” products. But I still also want to differentiate between “drug store/inexpensive” and “salon/mid/high range”products. Or is there really a difference? :scratchchin:

And @ChemistryGirl made the other point I was considering when the thread started. I was relaxed when using commercial products and now, as a natural have been questioning the effectiveness of “natural” products. Having been natural for quite a while now, I feel like I haven’t had exactly the results I’ve wanted using natural products.

@Theresamonet , I don’t keep up very well. Are you relaxed or natural (I think you’re natural). If natural, are you mostly straightened or do you wear your hair “natural?” (Here we go with the many possible meanings of the word “natural” again.)

Im natural. I have mostly worn my hair in its natural state, but I’ve been blowing it out weekly for the past few months.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
I fully agree with the point @Theresamonet made about terminology. I wasn’t sure exactly which terms to use when I started this thread. That’s why I keep putting quotes when I say “natural.” I like her use of “commercial” products. But I still also want to differentiate between “drug store/inexpensive” and “salon/mid/high range”products. Or is there really a difference? :scratchchin:

And @ChemistryGirl made the other point I was considering when the thread started. I was relaxed when using commercial products and now, as a natural have been questioning the effectiveness of “natural” products. Having been natural for quite a while now, I feel like I haven’t had exactly the results I’ve wanted using natural products.

@Theresamonet , I don’t keep up very well. Are you relaxed or natural (I think you’re natural). If natural, are you mostly straightened or do you wear your hair “natural?” (Here we go with the many possible meanings of the word “natural” again.)

Yes, I think the distinction between salon and drugstore products matter as well.

I think back in the day, when everyone was first going natural, it was really drugstore, “ethnic aisle” lower quality ingredient products that people were turning away from. People still used salon products. I personally used Nexxus products well into my natural journey, seeing no difference in performance from when I used the brand as a relaxed head. But then these fun, interesting, sweet smelling products started to crop up like weeds, catering to our specific hair type. It made logical sense to switch over. And if you were going natural for the first time at this time, these would be the products to appeal to you. There wasn’t a time of experimenting with salon products at that point. We’d moved away from that.
 

Dayjoy

Old School Member
I found that salon professional shampoos, protein treatments and DC products work best for my hair. I still support black-owned natural hair businesses and use them for my moisturizers, growth aides, oils and leave-ins.
This sounds like a plan (S.L.A.P.).
 
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