I started wearing my hair natural instead of chemically straightening it so that I could become even lazier. I thought if I wore my natural curls, I wouldn't have to actually do my hair. I could just wake up and go. That's the perfect world. I never ever have to touch my hair. Unfortunately that's not realistic unless I just completely shave my head and trust me, considering how godly Erykah Badu looks, I'm always tempted to go there.
Now, I at least moisturize it and keep it pinned away 5 to 6 days out of the week. I'm not infactuated with styling, although I see amazing styles by women. I'm not infactuated with color, hair type, length or anything like that. Those things mean nothing. But keeping it healthy, moisturized and clean...that's simple and important to me.
For the last few months I've been intentional about moisturizing my hair. Mostly this just means adding water each day. I've been intentional about cleaning it. One a week I have a whole routine. And with that, my hair has thrived. I style it less, keep it pinned back and hardly let it wild out...but I know each night that its healthy just like my skin and such.
I've been in the market for some organic, natural and perferably homemade products for my hair. Therefore, I've been scouring the internet to find a shampoo, leave in conditioner, deep conditioner, detangling conditioner, and moisturizer.(Eventually I've make my own but I don't have the time right now.)
I found Black Onyx World. More specifically Alikay Naturals Hair Products.
youtube videos.in which you see her using her products and you see the results, I was convinced I should try this. (Note to self, one thing may work for one person and not another.)
This is Black Onyx below. I think she has creative styles and her hair is healthy. My hair will never be styled like that because I don't know how to do that and I'd never pay someone else to do it but my hope is that it would be healthy.
My products arrived last week. I ordered her Black Soap Shampoo. Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner. LemonGrass Deep Conditioner. Shea Yogurt Moisturizer. and Betoninite me Baby Clay. (The clay was just an impulse. I've seen people use it and thought it might work. I haven't tried it yet.)
The presentation was lacking. I know when you purchase products in the store, more often than not you are paying for the pretty little containers more than the product itself. I get that. I sometimes willingly pay more for something because it is packaged attractively. I know its a small thing and has little to do with the product itself but as a consumer and creator, for me presentation plays a significant roll. But the lack in hers was not enough to deter me. I saw it from the website and knew what i was getting myself into. But I wish she'd do a little more to make the presentation and packaging of it better.
The cost. I pay an average of $6 for my shampoo or conditioner. I splurged and paid over $15 for an Aubrey Organics deep conditioner but it is worth it. So cost is really relative. $2 more for her shampoo than my store bought organic one is fine...especially considering its homemade. But if you are on a tight budget maybe some other product is better for you.
Aromatic Qualities. Smell is important to me. I have posted in other blogs about my personal offense at crappy hand soaps in people's bathrooms. I'm snooty like that. I wear Marc Jacobs or Prada perfume and then I come to your house and you want me to wash my hands with Apple Spice scented soap. Oh my goodness. That is just gross to me. Its one of the unreasonably horrible things about my personality but if I don't like a certain scent, it might as well go straight to hell. So....Alikay Natural's. The lemongrass leave in conditioner and the honey and sage deep conditioner gave my nose an orgasm. Seriously. The black soap shampoo didn't really have a smell. The shea butter yogurt moisturizer. It's no fault to her but I do not like the smell of shea butter. I love cocoa butter as a base scent to build off. But most naturals bow their heads before shea butter. So I tried it. And it was hard to keep putting it on my hands and then in my hair...because I really do not like the smell of shea butter. I'm going to assume that her other concoctions have just as much power of seduction with their aromas.
Quality. You know how you feel a product and it feels right.Or something is too chunky. Or too soupy? The shea butter. Along with not liking the smell, I didn't like the texture. I prefer creams in my hair. Butters can go on my skin. The shampoo...I just didn't know what to make of it. I couldn't tell if it was working or not. I think if it had a stronger smell, I'd know if I evenly dispersed it throughout my hair since its so concentrated and so soupy. Maybe i'll have to add my own essential oils to the rest of the bottle.
Quantity. I think the size and proportions relative to the cost are good. I wonder if she has a detangling conditioner. That would be more telling in regards to quantity since I go through a LOT of that.
Effectiveness. That is still pending. I used all the products last night. My initial reactions. I couldn't tell if the shampoo was effective. It needs a stronger smell to reinforce that its in my hair, if that makes sense. The deep conditioner seems effective..although I mixed in another deep conditioner too. My hair is THICK. The leave in conditioner is fine. Although for it to be as effective as my own concoction I need to actually mix it with other things like rosewater, vegetably glycerin, essential oils and water. The shea butter...well, my hair is still pinned up right now. I'll know tonight the effects of it when I take my hair down to twist it tonight. I'm hoping that it works.
(Although I must say, using something once, may not be the best way to judge its effectiveness. I've been using my new regime for a few months and it was only until a few weeks ago that I noticed the huge difference in my hair. I'm going to have to use these products for a few weeks to even begin to know the true effects on my hair.)
Transparency. This was probably the area I had the biggest conflict with. While Alikay Naturals is a homemade natural product line, almost each product I purchased had a "special blend," or "secret blend" of natural ingredients. At this point in my life, I'm uncomfortable NOT knowing what is going in or on my body. I think its important that no matter how big or small the company, you as a consumer have a right to know what you are purchasing. Perhaps there are different rules for people who sell their own products from home, but even still there should be some sort standard. Since I purchased a number of the products, for now, I will continue using them. However, I'm not sure I could buy more of her products knowing that I don't know each ingredient. I'm sure she wants to protect her recipes, but I want to be an informed consumer. However if you don't mind not knowing, this could be the product for you.
I will post photos soon as well as keep you update to date with the effectiveness of this product over the coming weeks.
Would you purchase a product that had "secret ingredients"? Do you have any recommendations for homemade products being sold by entrepenuers? What scents do you love or hate? Do you have a hair care regime?