Whether you’re natural or relaxed, hair products are a common staple in your bathroom cabinets. There are the ones you consider your ‘holy grail’ and then the ones that you immediately trash after the first use.  But what about the products that have completely messed up your hair?

When a product messes up your hair, it could be for a few reasons. From allergic reactions, chemical reactions or just plain misuse.

In my case, 20 years ago when I did my big chop, I was obsessed with growing my hair out.  Once I got my fro where I wanted it to be, I then became a product junkie. There was one product I came across that I fell in love with immediately.  But it was short lived.  A few weeks into using the product, I noticed drastic shedding. Literally clumps of my hair were falling out.  I decided to head to an allergist and I had my products in tow.  Then he did a skin patch test and found out I was allergic to lemongrass, the main ingredient in my new hair product. I immediately trashed it.

It took months for my hair to recover from that product. Even til this day, I’ll head to Sephora and see it on the shelves, and I fight the urge to knock them to the floor.  As of now, I tend to make my own hair products, and I know what works best for my hair.

Clutchettes, have you had any product nightmares?

  • Aria Wilson

    Brown gel.

    In middle school, when the 90′s “SWV fingerwave” trend was in full swing…I should have bought stock in the Ampro Gel company. lol

    Mama tried to warn me, but I loved my little fingerwave and french roll style (with the strand of decorative pearls pinned in it forming by first initial *cringe*) . I would put my gel on and after it hardened, would wrap my scarf around it at night and wear the style for a week or two.

    Needless to say, my hair wasn’t happy and decided to break off and run away.

    Never again.

  • Mmmgood

    Perms effed up my hair and it took me over a year to grow out the damage. I did all of the maintenance Do’s and avoided all the Dont’s.

  • http://www.samanthalwillis.com WordsByWillis

    Any and all Dr. Miracle’s products. They have just never worked for me and leave my hair super brittle and dull. The whole tingly feeling thing is pretty awful, too.

  • G

    I had hair just pass my shoulder blades . . . I dyed it with a non-drip permanent color foam product (contains some form of peroxide, which i didn’t find out until later). Needless to say within 6 months, I had to cut many inches of my then beautiful hair! To say I was unhappy would’ve been an understatement.

    At this time, I’m giving my hair a much needed rest by returning to my weave. I can say, it is growing quickly and is healthy again.

    I will never use another non-drip foam permanent color product again!

  • MimiLuvs

    Luckily, there has been only a few hair products that had left me with a traumatic experience: two perms (one was a mild “Dark & Lovely” relaxer and the other was a mild “Just 4 Me” relaxer) and the other product was a Clairol hair dye.

  • noirlily

    One word: Rio.

    I left the relaxers alone after that.

  • I feel you…………..

    “I’ll head to Sephora and see it on the shelves, and I fight the urge to knock them to the floor.”

    ROTFLMBO, that was too funny :-)

    Oh, mine is Shea Butter, and Coconut Oil on their own, they weigh my hair down and make it hard (even if I use a conditioner first). Although i can use them in other products if they are lower on the list of ingredient.

  • cosmicsistren

    I tried hennas as a natural way to dye my hair. All it did was make my hair extremely dry….never again.

  • Aria Wilson

    I have always wondered about those products….

    Thanks for that.

  • vintage3000

    Not so much a product but a process-micro braids. It took me and my Filipino roommate 3 days to get those things out of my hair. At one point I complained about my scalp feeling sore and he said ‘oooh child i didn’t know you was tender headed’. I cried tears of frustration, laughed and hit him all at the same time.

    btw Clutch what did ya’ll do, google effed up natural hair stock photos?

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Knotty Natural

    Prior to going to college, my hair was taken care of by a professional…it was relaxed and colored and thriving! After my first year of college, being away from my hair stylist and having no idea how to care for my hair, it all fell out! I’d say color was the product that killed it but ignorance of hair maintenance put the nail in the coffin.

  • CNG

    YES!!! I was just about to say Dr. Miracles products.
    My scalp never tingled it always burned to me.

  • http://gravatar.com/hipster4hire $0.02

    I feel like there’s a product overload for kinky hair. I always had a head full of hair, as a kid I used Blue Magic grease, now if you go to any blog for my hair texture they give you endless product lists and food/oil concoctions. Some of the expensive products get good reviews, but not everyone’s hair is the same, so making extravagant purchases on conditioners and “puddings” are a gamble. I had cornrows that were really tight and pulled a part of my hairline. Luckily it isn’t extreme but still I do feel the need to pencil in the area if I think it looks exposed.

  • velociraptor

    Dr. Miracle’s was the last relaxer I used on my hair about four years ago. NEVER AGAIN!!! All my hair in the back broke off and I had to cut my hair into a pixie right before graduating college. I guess that was the wake up call to not relax my hair anymore.

  • http://parentingbytheseatofmypants.wordpress.com greendoondoon

    KeraCare Natural Curl Custard. I tried it for a wash and go and the curls did look good. However, the stuff dried up and started to flake. It looked as if I had an obscene substance in my hair! I just use oil, a leave in conditioner and I rock a free-form fro.

  • Somebody

    I’m dying at the woman in that picture!

    When I used relaxers, I used a box-kit that left my hair super-stringy and life-lifeless. The evidence is proudly displayed in my senior year pictures. Post-2004, after I stopped using relaxers, I made one of those homemade conditioners that involved eggs and bananas and the recipe didn’t specify “egg yolk only”. The egg white hardened in my hair and it was a b.i.t.c.h. to rinse out.

  • Aria Wilson

    Dead and buried @ “if I had an obscene substance in my hair!”


  • LemonNLime

    Shea Moisture… My hair hated it so much I thought it lost its will to live.

    Avocados. I had heard they make a great hair mask but I didn’t know they could be stringy inside. Cut to me an hour after wearing this stuff in my hair, trying to rinse it out only to realized that I have an endless amount avocado fibers stuck in my curly hair. I was shedding avocado fibers for days. Never. Again.

  • Phillygurl

    LOL, I had the same experience with someone telling me that eggs are an excellent protein conditioner. They also didn’t specify yolk only. I can relate.

  • http://blackmothering.wordpress.com yardyspice

    Mixed chicks leave-in back when I was all happy to use anything geared towards black women in my hair. Then Pantene “Relaxed n Natural” did the same thing. Now I stick to products that 4a/b vloggers use and I try to not jump on bandwaggons.

  • Mmmgood

    Dr. Miracles oils are ok, but they were so strong, and they would get in my baby’s eyes when I’d hold her, and mine too. I stopped using it quick. That junk would irritate my eyes so bad…and it stunk.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Knotty Natural

    You have to rinse w/ cold water when using eggs, otherwise the heat from the hot water cooks the egg.

    You can always use greek yogurt in place of egg for protein!

  • Yas

    Let me tell you….PLEASE SIS. Please. please. PLEASE DON’T put baking soda in your hair. You will regret that. Thank God I am not bald, but it has taken months of rehab just to reacquire my previous length and my texture has not been the same since.

  • Phillygurl

    Thanks! I will try it. Maybe that is my problem, I love trying home remedies and concoctions.

  • Phillygurl

    Oh Lawd, not Rio! I was begging my mom to get it when I saw that infomercial.

  • MommieDearest

    Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding.


    Never. Again.

  • GlowBelle

    “I’ll head to Sephora and see it on the shelves, and I fight the urge to knock them to the floor.”

    ….I’m going to take a wild guess and ask if those products were Carol’s Daughter? Lol! Because if so, I feel you. I didn’t have a problem with their hair lotions, they weren’t the best but it was the Rosemary Mint Shampoo that screwed my hair up. I didn’t even order it, they had ran out of the one I usually got, and they substituted it. I wish they hadn’t been so kind because it wouldn’t wash out…for TWO days. And it looked like I put glue in my hair as my hair was stuck together and sticky. I had to use some cheap dandruff to get it all out, that was how sticky my hair was. Of course I had a brittle hair for a good couple of weeks after that, and the moisture finally came back to it. I avoid their products like the plague now.

    Also Motions and anything by Dr. Miracle does nothing for me. I stick to coconut oil/olive oil, non-alcohol based products, or anything with argan oil in it nowadays as those oils brought my hair back to life after years of abusing them with terrible products.

  • http://twitter.com/RaeyolaTheRebel The Rebel (@RaeyolaTheRebel)

    Beeswax!! Of course back in the day when everybody was doing the “swoops” I wanted some so one of my homegirls decided to do my hair for me……it took me almost a week to get it out of my hair! ….and yea I’ve tried Dr. Miracle’s too and it feel like hot pop rocks on my scalp smh

  • Starla

    Glycerin and coconut oil does nothing for my hair. Both of these leave my hair feeling crispy and hard. I have visited and revisited, and they just leave my hair a hot ass mess.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    First, the obvious: Relaxers. Bad enough for me period, but there was extra injury due to the fact that my mother and almost every licensed hair dresser who did my hair shared the belief held by many; that highly textured hair (aka really coily/nappy) = coarse hair. And so, coarse formulations were always used on my hair. The problem is that my hair is actually VERY fine.Combine that with too-long processing times, and there you have me with relaxed hair never progressing past chin length. But pre-relaxer, I had enough hair to compete with Rudy Huxtable. I mean, lets do the math, people, LOL By the end of high school and early college years, me “going natural” had nothing to do with some kind of awakening and connecting back to my roots. Naw. Perms just weren’t for me and I wasn’t gonna keep wasting my time and hair.

    Side note: most pros are trained in and more interested in styling your hair rather than caring for it and understanding basic chemistry and science.

    The second product was Jamaican Mango and Lime loc gel. Ugh. Had all kinds of nasty buildup in my locs.

    The third offender? *looks at left hand column of the site* that damn Kinky Curly Knot Today.

  • SVB

    Probably because it has a lot of protein in it. That happens to my fine hair. Did you try adding oil to the henna mixture?

  • SVB

    I tried bananas in my hair. Chile, getting those tiny seeds out of my hair took HOURS.

  • angel

    Girl!!!!!!!!you must be the same age as me!!! Lololol. Girl girl girl tell the truth!!! Thank u do sharing u just made my night!!!

  • Mari

    LMAO @ that picture, why Clutch, why?!

  • cosmicsistren

    @SVB – I didn’t add anything. I just followed the directions on the bottle.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    I would say coconut oil. It seems like everyone’s holy grail these days but it does nothing for my hair. I don’t have to much to say on products mainly because when I find a product that works I stop searching. I am too cheap for that product junkie and DIY life plus I rather eat some of the things people recommend you put in your hair (raw honey, oils, fruits, etc….have you seen the prices?) then make a product out of it…lol. I remember going to the store with my mom and spending upwards to $50 on oils alone. But I will say some techniques have been killer on my hair. For example, finger combing my kinky coily hair…my hair laughs at me and begs for a wide tooth comb detangling. Another one, leaving a deep conditioner in overnight…yeah my scalp HATED me and that was literally one of the worst sleeps I ever had. The No heat commandment…I notice my hair likes a little heat for stretching and I avoid a lot of single strand notes and tangles.

  • Nic

    My mom decided to try shea butter since everyone was always talking about it and it didn’t damage her hair but she found out she was allergic to it b/c she got awful rashes from it.

  • http://gravatar.com/designdiva40 paintgurl40

    I made the mistake by listening to my older sister and used Garnier Fructis gel and mousse in my hair. My hair was SO dry it took me two weeks of apologizing to my hair and conditioning to get her back to the way it was. Through trial and error, I realize that my hair looks and feels better with oils and conditioners. My sister and I may share the same DNA, but NOT the same type of hair. Curls Unleashed and any brand of shampoo makes my hair super dry.

  • Pseudonym

    hahaha! I was thinking the same thing. What do you search to get THAT stock photo?

  • SayWhat

    Naptural85 on youtube did a video on bananas and avocado, the trick is to strain the mixture first, you can use a cheese cloth or strainer, you will never have that problem again.

  • Gell0h0h

    I’ve learned that my natural as a loc’ed person is not similar to a natural person who does not have locs. The products and particular regimens I have as a loc person will vary drastically compared to someone who does not have locs. Shea butter and I do not get along. I had so much buildup in my locs, I had to do two ACV baking powder rinses before it finally came out. Leave in conditioners and any types of creams are a no go as they just sit on top of my head. Water, oil, and moisturizing spritz are my friend. I absolutely love the Komaza care line products- especially the deep conditioner and Vita spray. When I was a loose natural, I tried Cantu products and Elasta QP. Biggest mistake ever. I washed out the products the day after. And don’t get me started on ECO styler gel. My hair was harder and dryer than corn flakes. No ma’am.

  • Life of an AA

    the same thing happened to me with avocados. I broke out in a huge rash and hives

  • dirtychai

    Mizani Relaxer. I don’t know if it was the relaxer itself or just the stylist wouldn’t rinse it out before it “took” completely. All I know is that I was left with a second-degree burn that took weeks to heal and three years for the hair to grow back. As for natural products, shea butter and I are not friends at all.

  • Cheryl

    ORS Aloe Shampoo, carrot oil, Cantu shampoo (if used sparingly, their shea butter creme is nice) Pantene Relaxed and Natural, Motions shampoo. Eww yuck…dry, flaky memories.

  • student

    The in-styler. First it didn’t work and I nearly sent it back. Then I gave it a second chance and it worked like crap. I gave it a third chance and I burned my hair at the root. It’s taken a few months but my hair is growing back at it’s normal thickness. I’m not going to have any decent length for a year.

  • cris

    Shea moisture deep treatment masque. horrible.

  • Treece

    Phyto! It is a fancy-shmancy line of products I got as a sample from Nordstroms. The shampoo dried my hair out and tangled it so bad I had to glob on conditioner and it took almost an hour after shampooing to detangle. Never again!

  • Gell0h0h

    *Meant to say baking soda.

  • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

    Just For Me…the kiddie perm. Effed my hair up as a child.

    In life, i’ve had waaaay more issues with the people putting the product on my hair than actual product itself. I’m still trying to grow out damage from stylists and shampoo girls who don’t know how to wash relaxer out of your hair.

  • http://darkanddusky.tumblr.com KissOfDanger

    Pink Oil Moisturizer, and Cantu are the WORST!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Relaxers and the after effect of not maintaing them by getting re-touches. That messed my hair up and I just didn’t like the whole process of putting one in my hair.

  • LC

    I tried Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner when I was Jr. High School. It cause so much breakage that I had to cut my hair really short in the back. I’ve since realized that my hair is protein sensitive so products with protein (keratin) in them are not good from my hair. Who knew!

  • TrevLove

    Oh that stuff is a mess! And the smell…at first it smells yummy and cute and then it gives me a headache because it’s too fruity and overpowering. Not to mention it left my hair crunchy. Yuck!

  • TrevLove

    Yes, what the heck is in that stuff. I never see any ingredients on their bottles. What is up with THAT?

  • Jaslene

    What happened with Kinky Curly?

  • Jaslene

    yeah i have some of that left. i really don’t like it i think its the texture and it doesn’t ever seem like its doing its job.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    it made my hair dry and dusty, LOL

  • Fox

    Me too. Doesn’t make my hair feel any better. Damn Buy one Get One half off at Walgreens got me. Love the curling smoothie though.

  • Fox

    I put a Dark n Lovely box dye in my natural hair. I think it’s breaking off now. Well, if so I guess I’ll have it cut for summer. Smh.

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