“White” Products Are Great On “Black” Hair

Shampoos conditioners brushes
I’m sure I’m not the first person to have the race conversation. You know, the one where a family member or close friend asks what you’ve been using on your hair because it’s looking great! Once you start mentioning Herbal Essence or Aussie Moist, the conversation comes to a grinding halt. “You use those white folks products on your hair?!” I’ve had to stifle an eye roll and politely respond that hair is hair. Period.

I know as well as anyone that race truly matters and is not, by any means, a dead issue. One place it does not play a legitimate role, however, is in the hair care aisle. Apart from Oriental Black and Heather Gray rinses, “black hair products” and “white hair products ” are simply marketing constructs.

As we know, all hair is comprised of the same basic parts: the cortex, medulla and cuticle. All hair needs moisture, proper conditioning and cleansing. This is not to say that every hair type will use the same products but purchasing a product based on your skin color as opposed to your hair’s needs is a sure-fire way to stunt progress.

Ladies with tighter curl patterns often battle drier hair because sebum can’t make it all the way down the hair strand. This translates into frizziness or even brittle strand for curlies of all races. It’s no wonder then that when we see “black” products that claim to impart moisture, it’s understandable that we leap at the chance. So, why is it that “our” moisturizers are lanolin and petrolatum laden without a stitch of moisturizing agents to them? It’s almost as if these products that are marketed towards us were created to do the extreme opposite of what they claim!

For instance, Blue Magic Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner seems to be a staple at beauty supply stores across the nation. I’m sure many a hair care newbie has been lured into the product’s claim that it’s “made with all natural coconut oil” and, thusly, is perfect for our hair. A review of the label, however, reveals that coconut oil is second to petrolatum. In and of itself, petrolatum isn’t horrible and actually makes an excellent sealant. The issue is that this product claims to condition and prevent dryness, but doesn’t have a stitch of moisture!

One of my favorite conditioners is Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. While you may not see this product in your local BSS or women of color all over their ads, it contains quality ingredients. It provides slip, imparts moisture and doesn’t weigh my hair down. I can’t remember the last black woman I saw in an Herbal Essence commercial but that doesn’t discourage me from using their products because my hair benefits from it.

This article isn’t to imply that companies aren’t creating amazing products that cater to our specific needs because Shea Moisture, Shea Radiance and Giovanni definitely measure up. Treat this as more of a cautionary tale not to be fooled into buying sub-par products simply because a face like yours is shown on the packaging.

About Ms. Tai Nycole

I’ve always admired women with the, what I thought, good fortune to have long, healthy hair. Now that I’ve embarked on a healthy hair journey of my own, I’m excited to share my successes and setbacks. Between long stretches, protective styling, and consistent cleansing and conditioning stretches, I've attained a fair amount of length. I’m currently relaxed but don’t subscribe to the natural versus relaxed division; I’m a proud member of Team Healthy Hair!

About Ms. Tai Nycole

I’ve always admired women with the, what I thought, good fortune to have long, healthy hair. Now that I’ve embarked on a healthy hair journey of my own, I’m excited to share my successes and setbacks. Between long stretches, protective styling, and consistent cleansing and conditioning stretches, I've attained a fair amount of length. I’m currently relaxed but don’t subscribe to the natural versus relaxed division; I’m a proud member of Team Healthy Hair!


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Jestina CampbellShawnta ColemanAsha JamiaHannah OkoraforJennifer Price Recent comment authors
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D.c. Price

Some have much too much alcohol. Read the label and avoid them.

Amberell Sa'lone Butler

I like dove and pentene

Felicia Estrella


Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

Some not all.

Gloria Anderson


MiSonia Moore

I love herbal essences and dove hair products…Some work better for my hair than products that are made for black women’s hair


love Herbal Essence long term relationship…did big chop 2 yrs ago, hair now back to shoulder…my theory, take tips from people who have long healthy hair

Benita M Wood

For sure!

Jessica Chiyangi

I disagree

Cooley High

I do too! Her Most women on here hair isn’t longer than a roman noodle and want choose to down their own sellers before whites that don’t even notice they exist. Some of these black women just need to put dip themselves into white paint. It’s appalling that our people are this colored struct.

Vicky Kast

I found this very useful, my daughter is mix race and I have been reading up so much about what I should or should not use on her hair.

Janice Smilemkr Morrison

There’s a product line in Walmart/Target called Mixed Chics that’s good for her luscious hair- yay you for being a mom that researched the likes…

Bine Dupoux

True. I read the label first but l’oreal n deep conditioners from organix work well for me

Carla Sexcee Yvonne Parrish

I would agree they work and often are cheaper.

Essence Wilcox

They make “my” hair “too clean” to where it feels dry

Missy Julien-Thelemarque
Missy Julien-Thelemarque

That’s because off the harshful chemicals that our hair cannot handle. Most of their products will dry out your hair which will equal to breakage.

Tonya Harris Slaymon

Organix is good too, I like the coconut milk shampoo and conditioner.

Diamonic LovinMe Williams

Tresemme does wonders for my natural hair.

Morgan Nimmz

YES! I just recently fell in love with them!

Jeleisa Black

where is your store?

Marquita Jackson

Patene is NOT good for our hair either is Dove…. WoWoWoW! ! !

Candy Starkes

How do u know that every1 has different hair

Shanice Goodridge-Flemming

A lot of companies that market black products aren’t owned by black people. So in terms of institutions you know who you can blame for some hair problems over the years

Cooley High

@Shanice Goodridge-Flemming, we know this and that wasn’t the point. Do your rear he bc majority of black own sellers were bought out. They still exist an making a comeback. Support your own.

Missy Julien-Thelemarque
Missy Julien-Thelemarque

They do have pentene specifically for our hair type.

Shawna HasfavorofGod

YES!!!! Dove, Herbal Essence, & Garnier Fructis are the BEST!!!! Also, when I WAS dying my hair, John Freida worked best as far as pigments. The color took better and lasted longer.

Shawnta Coleman

I agree, I love Organix products, and Loreal advanced haircare product. Products don’t know your race, nor know if you are relaxed or natural. Use what works best for you.

Ricardo Cadet

Actually they’re not

Latoria Reynolds

I love the Suave shampoo & conditioner with the Keratin in it.

Shawnta Coleman

Some of my Caucasian friends use typical products African Americans use

Ebonie Moorer

I like Garnier fructis. Their leave in is the truth!

LaGayla McGahee

that is one of my favorite leave-ins!

Sherry Lynn

V05. works the best for me. Pantine does good too. Suave does not

Shawna HasfavorofGod

Oh, can’t forget TRESemmè!!! 😉

Akilah Smith

Just because it does not work for one doesn’t mean it won’t work for another. Everyone’s hair is different so Pantene works wonders for my hair and it’s thick and still growing better than when I use ALL natural products. You can’t compare your hair to others people. Actually some natural hair products that are supposedly made for black hair totally ruined my hair smh so USE WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR OWN HAIR!!!!!!!!

Gabrielle Moore

I like garnier frutis

She Natural

I totally agree, I’ve been saying this for the longest. In my honest opinion there are no ” Black or White ” hair products. There are only hair care products that do or do not work for a specific person’s hair type. I love the ” so called ” white products as well. Kudo’s for a great article. I’m sharing this on my personal and community pages both !!! Love It !

MiSonia Moore

How can some of you say which products aren’t good for someone else’s hair? Everyone’s hair isn’t the same. Just b/c it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for others.

Shondra Giles

Everything but their products for “black” hair

Josefina Amador

TRESemmé works for me, and i think Pantene is good too.

Sherry Lynn

The conditioners for curl, that are made for African American hair do wonders with my hair. I am multi racial, including African American. So as long as I can get some hair products that are used by mixed race people, I am happy with the results.

Shaketta Shannel Singleton

There is no such thing as a white or black product. ..products are made for hair types not skin colors and there are various hair types in all races.
I have clients that are white and have a more course head of hair than any black person I have ever serviced and i use mizani and keracare or design essentials on them.
You must know your hair and the texture of it to make a proper decision on what product to use in your hair.
Im black but I only use Redken and paul Mitchell in my hair I dont like what products such as mizani or design essentials does to my hair.
Products are made for hair types not skin colors its simply making the right choice within the product line for your hair.

Brittanica Jabareen

I agree.

Jamillah Davis

which is why the words “white” and “black” are in quotations.

Cooley High

Skaketta, you’re delusional. Marketers are not that dumb, but it seems like black women are. White products strip the natural oils from black women’s hair.

Cooley High

@Sathiyyah Tai, you do have treading comprehension as Maria and others so eloquently said. You down the ingredients in black hair products as if white products are not same in misleading chemicals. This make you ignorant and all I saw was some in that informed you if what you didn’t know. The irony is you not me or black products. I would be worried about the correct spelling in your name instead of my petty typos. You want to know whatnot matters? The black dollar matters! You spend you last penny making white folks and Korean wealthy and don’t support your own. It’s always an excuse with your type.

Cooley High

@Nadia Shelton, define racist? I love myself and people, that’s doesn’t make me racist bc I won’t support a non-black hair product. That’s prejudice, not racist. Everyone has they right. Learn the difference, child. Don’t come for me, you hair hat hooligan.

Cooley High

Lol @Chantel Monique for thinking “white hair products” are quality products. If you refer to fruity shampoos that are filled with chemicals and strips your natural oils “quality,” you’ve been misinformed. You sound ignorant. Your kinky-natural hair doesn’t look like “quality.” They lied to you. Comments like yours are a niche and monkey ranch when it come to supporting our own. I’m
Talking about the all black own products.

Dominae' Hinton

who cares.. its their hair. let them put whatever they want in it whether its a weave or “white man” hair care products

Panama M America

well written.

Sathiyyah Tai Nichols

@ Cooley High Once again you’ve proven that you cannot read to comprehend. If you did, you would know that we are on the same page in many ways. You’re accusing me of things I did not do or say. How the hell do you know how or where I spend my money? I spend my money on black products in more areas than just hair. I don’t need to prove that to you, Ms. Lady (or not). If I were you, I would be concerned about typos, as they don’t help sway me to believe your fallacies (that means a mistaken belief). Come talk to me when you learn how to spread your fallacies…oops…knowledge without tearing others down. I’ve already wasted too much energy on someone who wants to talk smack with no proof of anything (i.e. no profile picture of his/herself). I’ll let you continue your bullying without me. P.S. They aren’t typos if you’re consistently using the wrong words, spelling incorrectly, and acting as if punctuation doesn’t exist.

Coretta Gallagher


Sathiyyah Tai Nichols

I could see if you had a profile picture with your long, healthy, luxurious hair…but you don’t. So to me, you’re just some troll hiding behind a Mac and some MAC.

Cooley High

Cherry picking, Sathiyyah? Smh. Not lady like and grow up.

Caprel Patterson

Most black hair products are owned by different races. I personally love organix products. Like she said you have to do what is best for your hair type.

Olivia R. Johnson

MiSonia Moore Because everything theyre naming has a bunch of chemicals and alcohol… which aren’t good for your hair no matter how u look at it white, black products whatever.. but I digress….

MiSonia Moore

And a lot of “natural” products for black hair contain sulfate and lye, so what is the difference? Some people may say it is bad for your hair, but if it keeps your hair strong and healthy, why switch to a product that won’t give you the same results. Like I said, just b/c it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for others…A lot of naturalist say that protein is good for your hair and doing a protein treatment at least once a month keeps hair healthy, but some people actually experience severe breakage after protein treatments. Every “black” product doesn’t work for every black person, every “white” product doesn’t work for every white person, and every “mixed” product doesn’t work for every mixed person.

Cooley High

You’re just stupid.^ your hair ain’t no longer than a noodle and you want to credit white hair products. Talk about self hatred.

Cooley High

MiSonia hair isn’t longer than a roman noodle and want choose to down their own sellers before whites that don’t even notice they exist. She also wears a hair hat. Weave! Some of these black women just need to put dip themselves into white paint. It’s appalling that our people are this colored struct.

Victoria Clemmons

I use a combination of mainstream (“white”) and specialty (“black”) hair products on my hair, mainly because I have more than one hair texture (as I found out when I big-chopped nine years ago). Use what works for you.

Shanell Laneice

Wow! What a stupid headline.

Monique D Wilkerson

Hair is hair! No such thing as black hair or white hair! All races have different texture

Monique Pettus

Yep I use Vo5, herbal essence and Pantene and I have healthy mid back length hair…when all these natural products it was messing my hair up so I went back to what worked for me…everyone’s hair is different

Monique D Wilkerson

Hi5 Shaketta Shannel Singleton

Mrizz Veronica CupCup Smith

Some are good like the ones for color treated hair bc they have some moisture and can b used on all hair. Pantene, Suave, n others are not so good have wax n them n can lead to build up.

Dakita Love Jones

We also have to remember that many products are a marketing scheme as well… I went from spending 20 minutes checking products in the natural chick aisle now til 2 hours! Everything wants to throw the word “natural” on it. That is why we educate ourselves and learn to listen to our hair. #DontBelieveTheHype Use whatever product works for your mane! #mytwocents 🙂

Mrizz Veronica CupCup Smith

If your gonna to use them should use professional products like Redkin and nexus has an awesome conditioner! Paul Mitchell is also a good one to use professional products only Is what I would use jmo

Patrice Kearney Martin

My wish is that black “natural” haircare products didn’t have to cost and arm and a kidney. You splurge to try it out to see if it does what it says. Then you get lackluster results and your $6-12 (if you’ve only bought one product and not a 2-3 bottle set to get maximum benefit) is down the drain and you now have to buy another product to try. This quick to label everything “natural” is a big money craze for corporations. Everyone has a curl product now, more expensive than the next.

Naydine Ycart-Raphael

Tresemme is the Bomb.com

Mrizz Veronica CupCup Smith

@ Mi Sonia Moore your right everything doesn’t work for everyone but there actually is no such thing as black hair products or white products! That is a gimmick to get us to buy. Protein treatments are to be used only if needed not as a regular schedule

MiSonia Moore

I know there isn’t any such thing as a black product or a white product which is why I used quotations to emphasize my sarcasm. I also know that protein treatments should only be used on an as needed basis, but I was simply saying just b/c someone says that it’s healthy it doesn’t always means that it is.

Cooley High

@MiSonia, your hair isn’t longer than a roman noodle and want choose to down their own sellers before whites that don’t even notice they exist. Some of these black women just need to put dip themselves into white paint. It’s appalling that our people are this colored struct.

Tashi Patton

White people???? Forget THAT!! i wash and condition with horse shampoo..

Anitra MzGlam Phifer

As a hairstylist for over 15 years hair is like a piece of fabric u must know which product is best for your hair type some work and some don’t but whether u are black, white , Hispanic, etc u can use all u just have to know what’s going to work best for your hair….I know a lot of my black clients love pureology products and matrix Biolage, Aveda is a good one as well as too as Bumble and Bumble…..just do your research and find out what works best for your hair type…..that’s my opinion….Have a Happy Glam Hair Day

Jessica Flanigan

V05 is good as far as conditioner goes.

Nitablaquebeauty Russell

I love John Frieda! Especially the root awakening and frizz-ease lines.

Nitablaquebeauty Russell

Oh and suave conditioner is the truth. Leaves hair soft and manageable

Olivia R. Johnson

MiSonia Moore I never made a specific comparison.. if someone would have commented about a “natural” product that contained a chemical or other harsh substance I would have a rebuttal as well… chemicals coat your hair to give it a healthy look, just because it looks healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy from the inside out.. and that’s with any product with chemicals

MiSonia Moore

So, if my hair grows, retains length, doesn’t break, no split ends, isn’t dry and brittle, and my scalp is healthy as well after using products with all of these “bad chemicals” for years, my hair may not actually be healthy, b/c the chemicals makes it “appear” that way?….O

Cooley High

Your hair isn’t long as a noodle and you’re wearing a ridiculous hair hat (weave). Just stop. You need to educate yourself about hair care and natural products.

Terry Norman

I HATE Pantene, but treseme???? I love it!!

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