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My Descent Down a Slippery Slope

February 2, 2010

So when I was going through the process of actively transitioning, I began to do a lot of research online about what the best products and practices would be for my head of hair.  I am admittedly, to a fault, a sucker for marketing.  So when I landed on the site of a Brooklyn-based salon that starts with an M and ends with -iss Jessie’s, I was dazzled by their retro-cool branding, vault of before and after photos (“ooh!  i wonder if I will look like *that* girl???), chic instructional styling videos, and a product line with names so saccharine sweet that it will give you cavities just by looking at them (Puddings! Buttercremes! Meringues! Oh my!)

I was sold.

So I cut my hair and bought a product or two of theirs.  Also a sucker for sales and the online shopping, when their Buy One Get One Free holiday sale came around I bought a lot more stuff.  A lot.  But it was expensive and expensive stuff must be good for you?  Right?

WRONG.  And I found that out by trying out my cousin’s $3 tub of styling gel from Sally’s that did more for my curls than anything named after a dessert.

This is just an example of what product junkies can do...I could/would never own that many scrunchies

Since then, I my world has slowly devolved into a state of affairs best known as “Product Junkieism”.  What I thought was going to work for me didn’t and now I need to find what does.  I find myself sneaking out of the office on my lunch breaks, not to get food, but to get products.  A new conditioner with “more slip”!  Styling gels!  Leave in conditioners! Spritzes! A tub of “Cocolatte Moisturizer” (why IS all this stuff named after things I want to put into my mouth???)!  I even scooted downstairs to the Bed Bath and Beyond beneath my office to grab a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment.

Normal people “grab a quick coffee”. Me?  “a quick blow dryer”.  See the issue??

But what have I learned?

1.   A hefty price tag doesn’t necessarily buy you a quality product as much as a SUH-WEET website and stellar branding.

2.  Paypal really does make online purchases a breeze.  Maybe too easy?  (no– product junkieism isnt limited to stores and the internet plays a huge role in this addiction).

3.  The universe of products is vast and seemingly endless  (me = also a sucker for options).  And it really does take a lot of effort and time to figure out what works for you in terms of having the healthiest hair (and body and life) possible.  But I’ve realized that it does not have to be all consuming and it certainly does not have to be expensive.

4. Um.  It’s kind of fun.  So for now, I’m going to enjoy it.  But hopefully this too shall pass because I don’t want “New Dresser” to be on my product wishlist.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. name permalink
    February 2, 2010 7:46 am

    hey cass. STOP BUYING SHIT. youll go broke. just a word to the wise.
    love you.

  2. February 2, 2010 7:54 am

    thanks stang….look, at this point it may be a necessary evil, but at least its not a lot of EXPENSIVE ish. fyi—this is the stuff I was online shopping for in MX 🙂

  3. Karen permalink
    February 2, 2010 7:55 am

    If you’re in store, ask for a sample or use the tester … even if there isn’t one on the floor … a good store that stands behinds the brands they carry or create should hook you up. i clean out my products every quarter, good for the hair soul

  4. Foxglove permalink
    February 2, 2010 12:45 pm

    Teach yourself to window shop. Step 1 is just look at the items on the shelf but don’t pick them up. Step 2 is you can even put them in your cart but don’t checkout. If you go one, two, or even 3 weeks and still want it then you can buy it. I guarantee you that whether it’s in your cart or not waiting a few weeks before checking out will convince you not to buy a lot of stuff. I do this with all shopping (stores or online)

  5. Will permalink
    February 3, 2010 1:18 pm

    Cass I’d recommend murray’s hair cream. You get good value for money because one can is a lifetime supply, plus you can turn your hair into a pompadour when you’re feeling like a 50’s street thug.

  6. February 4, 2010 5:33 am

    You and me both!! Last week I went outlet shopping an hour away, not for clothes, but to go to the Cosmetics Company Store to see how much their Bumble and Bumble is! Then, I looked at the ingredients and decided I didn’t want it anyway, lol. I buy more prods at the natural grocery stores than food, and don’t even get me started on things that sound/smell like cookies and cake. I like to rotate my products though, so I pretty much use all of them. If a conditioner doesn’t work for me, I use it on my dog. Who can be mad at that?!

  7. February 9, 2010 6:29 am

    Gurl I was buying Ojon shampoo at SEPHORA, now you KNOW I had a problem! Now that you recognize your weakness, acknowledge it and start SWAPPING! Judging from your stash there, you could easily try out new products every week this year and not pay a dime for them. Curly Nikki, Nappturality, naturally curly, even black Girl with long hair have “swap” forums. Swap something that was “eh” for something else. Also try ebay. I sold a half full container of Kinky Curly on there once for $15! (Oh and for heaven’s sake. STOP using MJ products! I don’t know about that Murray’s either)

    @HB I LOVE that you use the leftover conditioner on your DOG!

  8. February 18, 2010 6:50 am

    I just transitioned from locs to loose hair. I’m trying not to buy loads of products. Thankfully, I’m not working so I’ve been sticking to the little bit of shea butter that I have and the coconut oil my dad made for me.
    But, I’m amazed at so much natural products out there and there are a few that I’d love to try.

    • February 19, 2010 3:15 pm

      @ Als Simmons—- wow! how does your dad make coconut oil???

  9. Michelle Nicole permalink
    March 22, 2010 4:59 pm

    I transitioned my hair without even realizing it! Wore braids for about a year because it was easy. Been out of those for about 9 months. I’m constantly on the search for stuff for my hair. I’ve been using olive oil recently. My hair pretty much does what it wants.
    I love to eat avocado so it’s hard for me to want to use it for my hair. I literally just ordered Miss Jessies 2 days ago, we’ll see how that goes. I have a lot of hair, it sucked through Carol’s Daughter so fast!! I constantly find myself staring at hair products just because I hate the way most of it feels in my hair.
    I was using Dax for awhile because that’s what my great grandmother used to put in my hair…not feeling that at all though!!

    • March 24, 2010 8:24 am

      same here— most of my transition was unintentional because of my year of braids. If you find yourself going through a lot of products, but really dislike how a lot of them feel in your hair, try paying attention more to ingredients. I too have a ton of hair, but its really fine and has low porosity, so a lot of oils and butters just sit on my hair, rather than absorbing in. So I’ve been finding that the simpler the product, the better for me. And lots of conditioner!

      Let me know how Miss Jessies goes for you!

      • Michelle Nicole permalink
        March 31, 2010 11:03 pm

        I love the super sudsy slip shampoo, I don’t like the curly pudding, it gave my hair a crunchy feel!!!
        I also discovered that I’m washing my hair WAY too much, but no one handed me a guide to natural hair, so thank goodness I figured that out!!


  1. Please forgive me, Lola! « natural selection

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