Before we go into my history, let’s go over what I want to accomplish.

1) A simple / semi-simple hair routine that I can keep doing in Japan. This is paramount.

1a) I don’t need 1,001 products. I don’t WANT 1,001 products. I can’t take all of that with me anyway! I just need a Shampoo, Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler, Deep Conditioner, and a Styling Cream. That’s four products. (And probably identifying four back-up products, in case those get discontinued or the ingredients change, and they don’t work on my hair the way they used to.)

1b) Once those products are identified- I need to figure out how to get them to Japan. I hope I can order them and have them shipped, but if not- I need a reliable local source where I can buy a ton and put it in my checked luggage. And by a ton- I mean a year’s worth. Which means I also have to identify what I mean by a year’s worth. That’s probably 3 or 4 Shampoo bottles, but that’s easily 6 leave-in conditioner, and 6 styling cream bottles. EACH. Probably more. That’s a lot of luggage real estate.

2) I would like to grow my HEALTHY, CURLED hair to shoulder-length all the way around. This is not vitally important, but it is a want. And I absolutely don’t need or want waist-length hair. But I think shoulder length is doable. But if I don’t get to this step- that is fine, too. I am good with my hair at it’s current length. I just want it to be healthy.

What I am looking for in hair products:

Shampoo
No idea. I haven’t had a shampoo that I love. Every shampoo I’ve EVER had (and I’ve picked up pretty much all of the cheap brands, and a fair amount of the mid-priced brands) has just been okay. A few of them have stripped my hair, but I have learned to stay away from those. I’ve never had a shampoo WOW me, so I don’t know what that would be like. And yes- I’ve tried several Aveda products (my best friend is an Aveda junkie), but none really seemed to work for me.

To be honest- I think this happens to a LOT of people- they just never say anything. You find a product that works reasonably well – not GREAT mind you, just reasonably well, and you stick with it. Well I want to find something that works GREAT. This way I can brag about it.

Conditioner
Something fantastic. When I had relaxed hair- I used to use Infusium 23 and another scientific-type conditioner (don’t remember the brand, but I can’t find it now, so it may have gone out of business), which worked very well on relaxed hair. However, when I stopped getting relaxers- Infusium 23 didn’t work the same. My hair chemistry changed, and I was at a loss as to what to do about it. So I am on the hunt for a fantastic conditioner.

Everything else needs to be about hydration and stability. And what I mean by stability, is that I need leave ins, moisturizers, and styling creams to be able to hold the moisture in, but to also not mind my piling on of the product. I’ve had a few styling creams that you could not reapply. They made your hair feel greasy and limp, and a few even flaked if you reapplied over an older application. I’m mostly going to be washing my hair weekly, but there are a few times where you miss that weekend wash day, and you really don’t have time to go through the WHOLE routine during the workweek. So I need products that will take reapplication well.

I’m not sure what my hair type is. I’m fairly certain that I am a combination of most of the type 4s. But my curl pattern is not the issue. I have mutt hair. I call it mutant hair. Mostly not in an affectionate way. So as I figure out what works for my hair – I will be trying out several brands, changing one thing at a time, until I find things I like. As I go, I will be posting honest reviews of each product.