The Ultimate Hair Product Recommendations Post

A few of you lovely readers have written to me asking for product recommendations for everything from hair gels to flat irons. We are all so individual in our needs and our approaches to hair care, that a product that works wonderfully for me may do nothing for your hair.

Ultimate hair product list

Your journey should be an adventure of discovery of your hair’s likes and dislikes and to a certain extent, a journey of self discovery too that lets you bring out qualities that you didn’t even know you possess (a jar of patience anyone?).

That being said, I think there is a fair way to present product recommendations without being biased as to just what works on my own hair and that would be a compilation of top products across all categories based on sales from fellow readers of BHI.

As a general rule products with high re-order rates are usually pretty good. Of course this doesn’t guarantee that they will work for you but it’s a pretty good first point of call when looking for recommendations.

So here are the top products in each category based on popularity.

Updated every 6 months. Last updated July 11 2013

Jump to section:

  1. Shampoos
  2. Conditioners
  3. Moisturizers
  4. Oils
  5. Curl Enhancers
  6. Protein Treatments
  7. Relaxers
  8. Hair Growth
  9. Heat Protectants
  10. Flat Irons
  11. Hair Dryers
  12. Other Products
  13. Popular Brands

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15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair


About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.

  • Kesha

    Hi, I was wondering if I could do another protein treat again. Last one I did was two weeks ago and its the apoghee two step, because I have a lot of breakage and shedding, so is it alright and also do you have any product recommendations for breakage and shedding .

    • Alma

      Oh dear no, don’t do another aphogee so soon after. It will just lead to protein overload. If you are still experiencing breakage after a protein treatment it could be that your hair is in need of just moisture. Try DCing with low protein conditioners for a couple of weeks and baggying every night to see how your hair responds.

      Also I don’t know how far into your hair journey you actually are. If you have just began, some people start from over-processed hair that in all honesty cannot really be saved so if this is you then carry on with your regimen and trim the damaged hair as you go along. Your better looked after hair will be more resilient. Good luck Kesha!

      • Alma

        Yes the 2 minute is fine to use if you feel that your hair needs it, watch out for protein overload though! Moisturize and seal your ends daily too.

  • Kesha

    Thank you, but is the 2 min. resconstuctor by aphogee, safe for me to use now or just continue with the light protein dc. Also as a dc i use the nuetrogena triple moisture weekly ,so my hair shouldn’t be to dry

  • Jenelle

    I love this recommendations list. I wanted to try KeraCare and RedKen products and this just gave me the extra push to check them out. I own the Izunami arrojo s125 flat iron and it is ammmmaaazzziing.

    • Alma

      I use both Redken and Keracare and I love them!

  • Pearls

    I have being using Organic Root Stimulator products for the nearly two years and it has really worked for me ,my hair is actually the longest its ever been, Despite it being its longest, i noticed its shredding alot and becoming thinner (which it is naturally fine and very dry). I usually perm every 4 – 6 weeks and use a deep conditioner (organic root stimulator) every two weeks I also trim about every 2-3 months and use a black rinse by clairol once a month.l hardly use heat on my hair and i sleep with a satin cap so i’m really frustrated because i don’t know whats causing the shredding, ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

  • discolady

    my son is trying to grow his hair out but it is so dry and brittle don’t know what ton use I have diva curl system, honey suckle rose , Shea moister , Garnier shampoo Giovanni which one do I use for his hair think I need to give him a hot oil treatment he was washing his hair with 2 much protein shampoo I washed it for him with olive oil /avocado shampoo still extremely dry what do I do

    • Alma

      Since we have such different hair types that respond differently to different things, you will have a lot of trial and error until you find something that works for his hair. Why not try a hair mask that is mostly moisturizing like herbal essenses hello hydration. It’s cheap and works a treat for my own hair when it’s in need of moisture.

  • xia

    . I had long thick natural black hair, then i got tired it an decided to relax it. At first everything was going well then things went downhill. I braided my hair while relaxed then , when I took off the braid half my hair was gone. My hair is so thin ,dry and dull. Looking at this page gave me a ray of hope of restoring my hair once again.

  • Pearls

    Alma, i,m almost three months into my transaction into natural hair and a week ago i treated my hair with aphogee protein but, i’ve read a article on the site about Hair Regimen and it includes hot oil treatments. What i need to know is what is the required time between a protein treatment and hot oil treatment

    • Alma

      Hi Pearls. There really isn’t a time limit. Protein is the one you have to watch because of the danger of protein overload but with oil treatments, you can do one as soon as you are ready.

  • pearls

    Since i have started my transaction i mostly cowash my hair with ors deep conditioner unless i hot oil treat or protein treat. The reason for this; my hair is really dry so i just rather skip the shampooing. However, i’m reading that i should be rotating between a moisture and protein conditioner…. do really need to use a protein conditioner if i protein treat with aphogee 2step every 4-6 wks. Also, could suggest a cheap sulfate free shampoo

    • Alma

      Oh you really must cleanse your hair every now and again even if your hair is dry. If you allow oils to build up in your hair too much, they just make dry hair worse. Personally I use curls unleashed sulfate free poo. It’s inexpensive enough and works a treat at cleaning my hair without stripping. I hear really good things about aubrey organics shampoos and shea moisture too which are sulfate free so you may want to try one of them.

      In regards to your question about protein. Really it depends. If you are not getting excessive breakage then carry on as you are. Everyone’s hair is different so only experimentation and noting results of different routines will tell you exactly what your hair needs. Some people never do Aphogee treatments but use protein conditioners weekly. It’s all relative!

  • pearls

    In my transitioning,i noticed that as the roots grow out,its becoming more and more difficult to manage the hair, the i learned that i will have to do a big chop. Is this true, would i really have to have a chop or is there another way to get the two texture work. I really need help with this as i was not prepared to cut

    • Alma

      Yes Pearls. You have to do a big chop eventually to get rid of the straight hair. It is a whole lot easier to look after one texture which is why some people prefer to big chop early and start off with a tiny afro. You certainly don’t have to do that. You can just carry on managing the two textures until your new growth is long enough and you are comfortable cutting the relaxed ends off. I transitioned for 18 months myself so it’s personal choice really.

      • Amana B.

        At your 18 months, how long was your hair?

        • Alma

          I remember that perfectly because that is when I big chopped! I had 6 inches of hair at 18 months.

  • EbonyCPrincess

    This is a really great compilation and I love how you can “jump” to a section of your interest. I am thrilled to see Kerapro on the list…we’ve been in an affair for a while! lol

  • emma

    why is my hair so long in the front but on the back its really short .I have relaxed hair.can anyone help me

    • Alma

      Hi Emma. For most of us the hair in our nape area tends to be softer and less coarse and as such much more fragile. Having breakage at the back is usually a sign of over processing. Have you ever done strand tests? If you are processing all your hair for the same amount of time, this may be a mistake because clearly the hair at the back needs a much shorter processing time.

      You may want to stretch your relaxer for a while until you have at least 1 inch of new growth then test the nape area alone checking the hair in 5 minute increments until you get your desired results. I say this from experience because my relaxed hair used to be the same way. I later found out that a mild texturizer applied on my nape for 5 minutes straightened my hair completely!

  • sharleney

    hi, please could you tell me a few moisture deep conditioners and protein deep conditioners as im a little unsure and need to purchase one of each very soon

    • Alma

      Hi Sharleney. Well based on the list above, these are some protein ones:

      Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Hair Conditioner
      Joico K-Pak Conditioner
      Mizani – Kerafuse Intensive Protein Treatment

      And here are some moisturizing ones

      Nexxus humectress
      Deep Conditioner from Mixed Chicks
      Keracare Humecto Creme Conditioner
      Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment

      You just have to read the ingredients.

  • Dasheen

    The Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer isn’t a moisturiser! It’s a moisturising conditioner! I stupidly went ahead and purchased it online because it’s not available in UK stores, and I’ve wasted my money :/

    • Alma

      So sorry Dasheen, I had it in the wrong category! Please contact me via our contact form and I will sort something out for you. :)

  • atm

    hello! can I do the aphogee two-step protein treatment without going under a dryer. this site is so informative! thank you so much!

    • Alma

      You are very welcome!

      • Alma

        But no, you do need to go under the dryer with the 2 step. The heat is what fixes the treatment onto your hair. If you haven’t got one you can always use a hand held dryer blown all over your hair until it goes dry and hard (don’t touch your hair while it dries).

        • atm

          Oh okay. Thank you. I’ll use the hand dryer.

  • Guest

    The Aveeno cleansing product is for skin care, not hair. I know that for a fact because I used it before. Just a precaution.

    • Alma

      Thanks good catch, I’ve changed it now. It was categorized wrong before!

  • Ladywagner

    Hi, where can I find a garlic conditioner or treatment for shedding hair???

    • Alma

      I don’t think it’s the kind of thing you can pick up at the store but you could try a health food store. Otherwise online is the best bet.

  • Amana B.

    I’m trying to figure out exactly how much to spend on a hooded dryer. I don’t want a cheap one even if if the price is cheaper, but I also don’t want to buy a $200 one. Please help!!

    • Alma

      You can buy a soft bonnet dryer. They range from $30-$50 and I feel that they are really good because mine has lasted 5 years so far. I would only recommend them if you are planing to use them for deep conditioning and not rollersets because they will drive you mad with their long drying times.

      If you want a stand dryer you can’t go wrong with a pebco for circa $100. Personally I’m not a big fan of tabletop dryers. IMO you may as well get a stand one but that’s just my opinion.

  • Mayada Saad

    Hi. What’s Indigo Powder?

    • Alma

      It’s an ayurvedic powder which when used along with henna dyes your hair black. Basically natural hair color.

  • http://website khen
  • savana

    hey alma. i wanted to add the wild growth hair oil in my regimen and especially when i do my GHE. is it bad?

    • Alma

      Whatever oil you choose should be fine Savana :)

  • Savanah

    hey Alma! someone to recommand me where to get Aphogee either two step and balancing n Kingston Upon Hull. Thx!!

  • Marie

    I was wondering when the updated List of products are going to be posted. I read that you update this list every six months and the last update was July 2013. It is now November 2014 and it seems like it’s the same products up there.

  • Shara Gaieta

    Dear Alma,

    A question: Do need to see a health care practitioner before I use Hairfinity vitamins? Have anyone experienced side effects after using it? Please help!!! Warm Regards

  • http://BlackHairInformation Lyrik Ben

    After you deep condition do you wash the conditioner out then comb or leave it in then comb