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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Throughout the 21st century so far, the “natural hair movement” has been a big topic amongst Black women. Natural hair YouTubers specifically have influenced so many trends and regimens within our community as well. While there were definitely many gems from that time, we have to realize now, in 2022, that a ton of that methods were actively harming our hair, no matter how good we thought it looked. Many licensed natural hair specialists have gained traction in the past couple of years for calling out all the products and fads we subscribed to in that 2012 to 2018 youtube era. While I could probably write a 10-page dissertation of everything I have learned from these specialists, I have trimmed my thoughts down to my top four must-haves for natural hair.

The most important products for natural hair are quality shampoo and conditioner. My personal favorites are Design Essentials Almond and Avocado shampoo and conditioner. The owner of Frohaus, @JenniferRoseNYC, claims we should be washing our hair at least once every seven to 10 days. Now if you remember what the YouTube girlies used to preach to us, washing your hair that often was a recipe for disaster, breakage and dryness. Thinking of how many elements we come into contact with over the week, in addition to how much we sweat, washing our hair thoroughly with shampoo is key for a healthy scalp. Once I consistently washed my hair weekly with the Design Essentials duo, I saw a ton of progress with my hair when it came to wash time, detangling, dryness and manageability.

Getting into actual styling products, most professionals recommend a styling foam for twist outs and braid outs, and a botanical gel for wash and gos. I am team twist out all the way, so my top product would have to be The Doux Texture Foam. Not only does this foam have a good bit of moisture on its own, but the hold is absolutely amazing. I would recommend a very, very light layer of spray leave-in conditioner when first trying this product to see if the moisture is enough for your hair. When using a quality salon-grade shampoo and conditioner consistently, you should not need butter, curl cream or oils for your hair to be moisturized and hold a style.

Go ahead and throw the wide tooth combs away, because once you try this next tool, I promise you will never go back. To detangle and style my hair, I use the EZ Brush. Now, this is a knockoff of the famous Felicia Leatherwood brush, but it is cheaper and can be found at most beauty supply stores. This brush helps me get all the tangles and knots of my hair completely and quickly.

All of the products and tools I have mentioned will do nothing for you if you do not purchase this last item. A hooded dryer is the holy grail of natural hair. The key to setting your wash and gos and twist-outs is letting them completely dry with the heat of a hooded dryer. If you are someone worried about heat damage, don’t fret, hooded dryers are indirect heat, so using them weekly will not harm your hair.

Madison Traylor is a Business Marketing student at VCU! She is a new writer a HCVCU, and her interests are music, film, and self care.
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