You've probably heard of many terms to describe the different types of natural hair care products. The cremes, custards, and puddings that dominate the natural hair product scene sound a lot like desserts, not things you'd apply to your hair. What do they even mean? 

Well, we've got you covered. Today, we're going to explain the meaning of these terms and just what they can do for your natural hair! 

Shampoo and Conditioner  

We all know shampoos are for cleansing the hair, but there are different types of shampoos: cleansing shampoos and low-sulfate (or sulfate-free) shampoos. Many naturals worry that clarifying shampoos will dry out the hair, so many of them use moisturizing shampoos and even cleansing conditioners. Conditioners restore any lost moisture back into the hair and lay down the cuticle, but they can also be clarifying. Deep conditioners help repair damage and strengthen the hair too. 


There are many types of moisturizers, including leave-in/detangler, lotion, hair milk, and more. These products often contain water-grabbing properties and offer lots of slip. Cremes and hair butters help to seal in that moisture. These products tend to be heavier on the hair, which helps prevent moisture loss.

Styling and Frizz Control Products 

Stylers are a blend between moisturizing cremes, hair butters, and gels. They help hold and define curls as well as tame frizz. These products are often called meringues, custards, puddings, and souffles. Gels and pomades provide a stronger hold than cremes and hair butters. They help tame the curls and control edges and frizz. Mousses have similar characteristics to gel, curl definition, and control, but they also act as styling aids to achieve more volume or preserve hairstyles.

Serums and Elixirs 

Serums and elixirs are meant to give your hair an extra boost and provide TLC. They help add shine to the hair, fight humidity, and offer protection from heat styling. If you're new to the natural hair community, some of the terms used for products can be confusing. But hopefully, this guide helps you along your journey.

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