Ever wondered, “can a white person use Black hair products?”. If there are some Black hair-targeted products that you want to try, here is the answer!
You can easily spot a section labeled as “ethnic” or “natural” while scouring CVS or Target. This section is specifically there for products that cater to textured, natural hair.
But have you ever wondered if it’s ok for a white user to use items the ethnic section sells? Or, can a white person use Black hair products?
Can A White Person Use Black Hair Products?
There’s no reason that white people cannot use hair products marketed towards Black people. Although the label can deter you at first, there’s no need to be concerned as long as you know the ingredients are not harmful to your strands.
Hence, read the label and decide if they speak to your hair types and needs.
Why is there a Black hair product section?
- Black hair needs special care
Afro-textured hair, like any other hair type, has specific needs and requires different hair care. Black hair tends to be dry because the curl patterns pose a barrier for the natural oils to go down towards the end. It means that moisture plays a central role in Black hair care.
Meanwhile, sulfate, one of the main components in ordinary shampoos, gets quite a bad rap when it comes to hair care for Afro hairs, and for good reason. It is a harsh ingredient, which can dry out the hair by stripping it of the natural oils. If the hair lacks in the oils, it can become harder to comb and easy to break.
- Black women prefer products marketed with their needs in mind
Apart from the nature of textured hair, customers’ preferences also pushed manufacturers to target Black people specifically. For quite a long time, Black women have felt unappreciated and underrepresented, although they outpace other consumers in terms of spending on hair care categories.
More and more brands have geared their products towards these consumers by segregating a section for them to compensate for that.
For example, Pantene is a case in point here who launched the Pantene gold series collection for Afro hair and natural hair. Or, black-owned businesses whose products especially are made to address natural hair concerns such as Shea Moisture, Carol’s Daughter, or Miss Jessie’s.
These brands prefer to offer products made explicitly for Black hair characteristics that their customers can see the effectiveness, feel safe, and support while using.
In general, Black hair care products are created partly to cater to the specific needs of Afro, natural strands, and partly as marketing tactics.
Is it ok for white people to use Black hair products?
Short answer, yes.
As I mentioned, the specific Black hair products are created partly as marketing tactics. Therefore, there are almost no differences in products’ ingredients between those.
The fact is that Afro hair notably shares several common needs with Caucasian hair despite different backgrounds. That leads us to an important point – products marketed towards Black hair can have ingredients to meet the needs of other hair types.
If your strands tend to be dry, you can use a particular shampoo or conditioner that focuses on moisturization, whether marked as “natural” or “ethnic” on the label. It goes the same for long-haired people, whose head natural oils struggle to make it to the ends just like curly, coily hairs.
What Hair Type Suits Black Hair Products The Most?
The fact that hair care products should not be segregated by ethnicity but by hair type and characteristics. Therefore, identifying your hair type is the crucial thing to do before deciding what works best for you.
Type 1: Straight hair
This hair type dries straight from roots to tips without curls or bends. It has a silky soft texture and noticeable shine but with the least amount of volume. Since there are few curls, natural oils find it easier to go along the shaft, making the strands look oilier than any other hair type.
- 1A: the finest, silkiest, and flattest.
- 1B: still straight, but you will notice a few bends and coarse strands as well.
- 1C: coarser and thicker than the two mentioned types, and also more susceptible to heat damage, color treatments, frizz, and dryness.
Due to its abundant oil, the straight hair’s characteristic and treatment is opposite to Black hair’s. Consequently, it’s not a good idea to use Black-haired products for straight hair unless you want to exacerbate your hair conditions.
Straight, oily hair will benefit from hair care products with volumizing features to lift your hair up and reduce contact with the oily roots.
However, these haircare goodies care about moisture, and every hair type needs to stay hydrated. So, if your hair is in desperate need of moisturizing properties, there’s nothing wrong with going for a Black hair product that promotes moisture for your strands.
Type 2: Wavy hair
With wavy hair, there is a loose S shape towards the end. Wavy hair is not overly dry or oily. You will need shampoo or conditioner that can tame the frizz yet maintain the natural wave.
- 2A: finer and flatter than other types 2 with a loose S shape pattern
- 2B: fine or medium in thickness with a bit more defined S-shape waves
- 2C: S-shaped waves with a few loose curls here and there and has a coarse texture.
⇒ Wavy hair is neither fine and oil as straight hair, nor dry and coarse as curly or kinky hair. However, it tends to be drier than straight hair, so you can use Blackhair products with moisturizing properties alongside curl-defining products to strike the right balance between definition and hydration.
Type 3: Curly hair
Curly hair straightens when it’s wet and curls once it’s dry. This hair type is on the dryer spectrum, so there’s no need to wash it daily.
However, it’s the most complicated of all types because there are big loose curls and tightly coily springs and anything in between, not to mention that each strand has its own curl.
For this type of hair, you need to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, which help to retain oils and moisture for shiny, bouncy curls.
- 3A: mostly loose curls mixed with some few waves and incredibly sensitive to humidity and dryness.
- 3B: Forms curls that is large enough to surround a marker and more likely to break or dry
- 3C: Tighter curls that are approximately the size of a pencil and most prone to frizz and dryness.
⇒ Black hair typically falls into 2 categories: type 3 and type 4, which means that Black-haired products are specifically formulated with these hair types in mind.
Type 4: Kinky hair
Kinky hair is one of the driest types and has incredibly well-defined S or Z patterns. As rough and coarse as it might appear, it’s pretty prone to damage and breakage (check out this to know if your hair is damaged) if not carefully taken care of.
You need to find a hydration-oriented product for this hair type.
- 4A: Small, tight coil that is enough to only wrap around a crochet needle.
- 4B: Forms a zigzag pattern and is easier to dry and break than type 4A
- 4C: Bend in tighter zigzag patterns with the least cuticle layers than any other hair type. It means that 4C hair is in significant need of moisture.
⇒ With this hair type, you should choose gentle, moisturizing shampoos and include conditioners in each wash. Because the stands are significantly lacking oil and moisture, sulfate shampoos are a big no if you don’t want to risk drying out your hair.
Deep conditioning once and twice a month is essential to supplement the moisture in addition to regular conditioning in each wash. Jojoba oil, shea butter or shea butter oil, emu oil are some of the ingredients that work wonders for your strands.
5 Recommended Black-Owned Brands for White person use
If you’re interested in Black hair products, here are the top brands for your consideration. It’s worth mentioning that everyone’s strands have different needs and concerns, so make sure you read the label first before committing to anything.
TGIN is renowned for its moisture-rich products that use only natural and organic ingredients. Besides, they do not contain parabens or phthalates, so there’s no need to worry about any hair damage.
Founded by the Havard grad Chris-Tia Donaldson, the brand is committed to providing products for healthy hair at a reasonable price.
Not long after natural strands became a choice of many people, Kinky Curly was among the first to launch Black hair products in 2003.
Their best seller, Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner, emphasizing detangling knotty strands, has been all the rage over the Internet. This product is specially made to address the perennial problem of curly, wavy and thick hair.
It removes the knots and tangles, smoothes out the cuticles, promotes the curl definite with minimal frizz, which works well on extremely damaged hair.
Girl + Hair
Girl + Hair’s product line ranges from cleanser, leave-in, and hydrating milk. The best thing about the brand is it is specifically made for natural hair underneath a protective style.
One of their best-selling products – GIRL+HAIR Natural Moisturizing & Detangling Leave-In Conditioner is lightweight with botanical ingredients, and labeled for hair types from 2B to 4C.
This deep conditioning treatment aims to nourish and protect your strands while also working wonders for hair growth and scalp health.
EDEN Bodyworks started with a mission to fix damaged hairs and has grown big with a broader range of products, from shampoo, styling products, and moisturizers.
Their signature, Coconut Shea Curl Defining Creme, is a hit among the natural-haired community. This curl-defining creme works for anyone with curly hair.
Infused with shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and aloe, Coconut Shea Curl Defining Creme provides the much-needed moisture for your strands while also holding the curls in place and keeping them defined.
Miss Jessie’s was established by the two hairstylists, sisters, Miko and the late Titi Branch. The brand is aimed to provide effective solutions for kinky, curly, and coily hair that the market at that time was lacking.
Miss Jessie’s is a safe bet for those working out what suits their hair type best from moisturizers, styling creams, conditioners.
The Bottom Line
Generally, a white person can use Black hair products. Frankly, instead of race, choosing a shampoo, conditioner, or styling product following your hair type is highly recommendable. Therefore, a product labeled for Black women can work just as magically with white women and vice versa.
All it takes is knowing your hair type, what your strands are asking for, and a bit of experimenting to figure out your best haircare buddies.