Hair care practices around the world vary from culture to culture and within that, individual to individual. Every head of hair needs its own well-formulated products suited to its own needs to promote overall health, growth and manageability. With that said, there are definitely common cultural hair woes that we can all relate to! We’ve rounded up the top 10 must-have ethnic hair products from around the globe to combat specific hair issues that may plague women of Asian, Indian and African-American descent.
Ranging from strong hold styling gels, to coveted hair oils and specially formulated volume enhancing shampoos, these products are guaranteed to keep your hair on point. Whether you have ultra thick, lustrous strands or a fluffy, light-as-air afro, our best hair product picks have one thing in common—their major cult following!
Best hair products for Indian hair
NOW Solutions 100% Pure Neem Oil
Native to India and Southeast Asia, neem oil is extracted from the ancient neem tree and has been used in Ayurvedic practices for centuries as one of the best hair products for Indian hair. Thanks to its nourishing fatty acids, this oil is known to promote healthy tresses, a clean scalp and even reduce itchy dandruff. A popular way to apply this natural oil is diluting just a few drops into coconut oil for a lightweight rinse-off hair mask that will leave thick hair feeling smooth and strong.
Rainbow Research Henna Hair Color & Conditioner
Did you know the benefits of applying henna to your hair, for colour or strength, are endless? Rainbow Research Hair Color & Conditioner is a 100% natural plant-based solution that won’t permanently change the hue of your strands but offers tons of healthy hair goodness. The ground henna powder binds to your hair’s shaft and creates an irresistibly smooth, fortified feel with a rich, deep shine. For those who are looking for a natural way to manage ultra thick, sometimes coarse hair, here’s your answer!Purchase from Amazon here.
Dabur Amla Hair Oil
Extracted from Indian Gooseberry, amla oil is loved for its ability to add a deep, lustrous shine to your strands. Some even claim that over time, this rich oil deepens your natural hair colour. If you’re dealing with thick hair that is sometimes coarse, try Dabur’s Amla Hair Oil that offers a glossy finish and promotes healthy hair growth.
Pro Tip: Use amla hair oil as a deep conditioning treatment by applying a generous amount to freshly washed hair and leaving on overnight. Protect your pillowcases by tucking oil-soaked hair into a bag. In the AM, thoroughly rinse out with warm water and enjoy softened, glossy locks.Purchase from Amazon here.
Best hair products for Asian hair
Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Shampoo
World renowned beauty brand Shu Uemura knows a thing or two about catering to the specific needs of its clientele with its range of ethnic hair products. It’s Art of Hair muroto volume line is specially crafted for fine hair to gently re-balance hair oils and fortify hair fibers. Touted as one of the best hair products for Asian hair, try the Volume Shampoo and matching Conditioner for a weightless finish with long-lasting hair volume.Purchase from Amazon here.
Living Proof PHD Dry Shampoo
Oily hair happens when the naturally produced sebum from your scalp travels from your roots down through your strands. With the straight hair that so often characterizes Asian women and men, oily strands can happen more often than wanted. To counteract this, without completely stripping hair of natural oils, opt for a spray on dry shampoo in between your washes. Cult favorite Living Proof Perfect Day Hair Hair (PHD) Dry Shampoo is a go-to for fine-haired friends worldwide. PHD contains super absorbent powders that adhere to your strands and quickly wick away sweat and moisture. You can then easily brush any leftover residue out your hair with a bristled brush.Purchase from Amazon here.
Luxy Hair Volume Bundle hair extensions
Pin straight hair can often mean lower hair density and lack of overall volume. If you’re in the mood to amp up your look, using clip in hair extensions can easily add seamless, natural va-va-voom to your tresses. Clip in hair extensions are a great styling option as they don’t cause prolonged tension on your strands and can easily be adjusted or removed. Plus, it’s easier than ever to find your color with over 31 blend-able options available.
Best Hair Products for Natural African-American Hair
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler
Breakage caused by knots and tangles is a common hair woe when managing curly or afro-textured hair. It can be frustrating to go through section by section of your hair as you attempt to detangle causing the least amount of damage possible. Enter the best natural hair product for detangling: Kinky-Curly’s Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler. Formulated with organic mango extract, slippery elm, marshmallow root and lemongrass, its slippery formulation is the perfect base to easily get rid of single strand knots and breakage for good. Just work a small amount through sectioned, clean, slightly damp hair as you detangle. Voila!
Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges Extra Hold
In case you were not in the loop, edges are the hairs (short or long) that frame the perimeter of your face from ear to ear. For those with afro textured hair, laying down your edges is a sleek way to finish off a variety of styles. The Creme of Nature Perfect Edges Extra Hold is an affordable, favorite natural hair product that has been used and loved for years. Its thick, waxy consistency is perfect for keeping small hairs in place from day to night while providing a subtle glossy sheen.
Pro tip: for an even sharper finish, apply a small amount of edge control on the sections hair at the base of your parts. This can help the sleek look of braided styles like cornrows or box braids to last a few days longer!
Eco Style Olive Oil Styling Gel
Frizz is a common issue for those with a natural afro hair texture, especially when trying to achieve a sleek look. The absolute best natural hair product that fights flyaways is Eco Style’s Olive Oil Styling Gel. Formulated with moisturizing pure olive oil, this versatile gel can slick your hair back into a polished bun or be smoothed over curls for frizz-free definition. Thanks to its lightweight texture, you don’t have to worry about that dreaded gunky feeling when reapplying throughout the week to redefine your style. A staple product in any natural’s hair styling arsenal.Purchase from Amazon here.
For all hair types
Indian Healing Clay Mask
Dealing with dull, lackluster strands? You may be due for a cleansing hair mask. Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay a.k.a a jar of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay is an all-in-one, head-to-toe beauty workhorse. All it takes is a quick YouTube search to show that women from all backgrounds have tested this as a hair (and face) mask to truly exceptional results.
To create a cleansing hair mask, combine equal parts of clay, which comes in a powdered form, with organic apple cider vinegar. Make sure you mix enough to thoroughly coat your strands and feel free to dilute the mixture with room temperature water. Next, evenly distribute the mask from root to tip on completely dry hair and leave in for 15-30 minutes. At this point the mask should be hardened and you can easily rinse out with warm water. Applying a deeply moisturizing leave-in or conditioner and watch as the benefits of the clay mask shine through. Thanks to the fact that this mask removes buildup, your hair will be extra lustrous and shiny.