Like most people who go natural for the first time, I became a product junkie. I would try any product marketed for natural hair as long as it promised to define my curls, give me super moisturized strands, or help my hair grow faster and longer. Soon my bathroom was full of various conditioners, gels, oils, and shampoos that I only used once or twice, then never again.
Eventually, I found the products that worked best for my hair. It is important to know that the products I have listed below have given me the best results, but they may not work for you. These may be good starting points, but you should definitely try something else if what I am sharing doesn’t work for your strands. I hope this is helpful to you! If you try anything that I suggest, leave a comment below and let me know how it worked for you.
I shampoo once a week to get rid of product build up. Some naturals only shampoo once a month! It all depends on your hair needs and how often you have to cleanse your hair. Find the right timing that works for you. I would also recommend that if you are natural, use a super moisturizing product that has reduced or no sulfates.
~ TRESemme, TRESemme Naturals Shampoo, nourishing moisture, found at most grocery stores for around $4.00 for a 25oz bottle.
~ Herbal Essence, Hello Hydration Shampoo, found at most grocery stores for around $3.00 for a 10oz bottle.
After shampooing, it is important that you re-moisturize your hair with a rinse out conditioner (my leave-in conditioner is below). The purpose of shampoo is to strip your hair of everything including your natural hair oils. The conditioner helps to add the moisture back into your hair. I always use the conditioner that matches my shampoo so the formulas complement each other. You can try to use a different conditioner if it gives you great results.
~ TRESemme, TRESemme Naturals Conditioner, nourishing moisture, found at most grocery stores for around $4.00 for a 25oz bottle.
~ Herbal Essence, Hello Hydration Conditioner, found at most grocery stores for around $3.00 for a 10oz bottle.
I deep condition every other week to give my hair some extra nourishment. I apply the deep conditioner to my hair, put a plastic cap on, and sit under my hooded dryer for 30 minutes then rinse it out. I’ve experimented with a ton of deep conditioners since most didn’t leave my hair feeling silky and smooth. I finally found the right one after attending a natural hair meet-up and received a gift bag with samples. I tried all of them and they were all amazing! Try any of the products listed below, they are my favorites.
~ Koils by Nature, Ultra Moisturizing Coco Aloe Deep Conditioner, $18.00 for 12oz.
~ Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair, Deep Treatment Masque, found at most grocery stores for around $5.00 for 12oz.
~ Wen, Re-moist Intensive Hair Treatment, Sweet Almond Mint. See website for pricing.
Hot Oil Treatment:
Just like my deep conditioner, I do this every other week rotating between deep conditioning and hot oil treatments. That way, I’m giving my hair extra moisture each week. Honestly, hot oil treatments are not my favorite thing to do because it can get messy. I always end up with oil everywhere! The plus side is that I just use the excess oil on my hands, elbows, and knees (those extra ashy areasJ). I make my own oil combination with organic oils I buy at Whole Foods (you can find organic oils at most grocery stores also). I mix them together in a plastic bottle with an easy to use applicator. I apply the oil mixture to my hair, put a plastic cap on, and sit under my hooded dryer for 30 minutes then rinse it out.
~ Oil mixture: ½ a cup of olive oil, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 3 tbsp jojoba oil, 3 tbsp castor oil, and 1 tbsp tea tree oil.
~ Applicator bottles can be found at any Sally’s store for around $3.00.
I love leave-in conditioners! That sounds cheesy but for real, a good leave-in can do wonders for your hair. I always make sure to use a leave-in conditioner after deep conditioning/hot oil treatments, throughout the week before restyling my hair, and to keep my hair moisturized whenever it needs it.
~ Cantu Shea Butter, Leave-in Conditioner, found at most grocery stores for around $6.00 for 16oz.
~ Karen’s Body Beautiful, Leave-in Conditioner, Sweet Ambrosia, carried by some Target stores or online $8.00 for 17oz.
My go-to styling product is 100% all-natural African Shea Butter whipped with organic oils. I put the shea butter in a bowl, add in my hot oil treatment mixture (above) then mix it together to create a soft whipped texture. I buy my raw shea butter at various beauty supply stores who carry it. It can be hard to find so you might have to shop around. It is worth the search since raw shea butter is one of the best natural moisturizers and styling aids you can use. It is also VERY affordable and has a long shelf life.
~ Kuza 100% African Shea Butter, beauty supply stores, $5.00 for 10oz.
~ Carol’s Daughter, Loc Butter, at Macy’s or online, $17.00 for 8oz. (I only use this if I’m out of my 100% shea butter to make it last longer).
I don’t usually use gels in my hair since most have harsh alcohols and other ingredients that leave my hair feeling hard and dry. The only time I use a gel in my hair is during the summer months when I want to rock my signature twist-out without it losing definition in the humidity. My gel of choice is a product that provides good hold without the hard crunch that most leave you with. It also has added olive oil to give a little extra moisture. This brand also has one with argan oil added. I recommend that you try both and see which one you like better.
~ Eco Styler Gel with Olive Oil, most beauty supply stores, $2.00 for 8oz.
When I wear a puff or any other style that really shows my edges, I like to use a product that is firm and thick. My hair is hard to control any products only last a few minutes before my hair starts to curl up again. This is the only edge control product that works for my natural hair!
~ Straight Edges by Silk Elements, Sally’s Beauty Supply Store.
One step I would always forget when I first went natural was to apply an oil to seal in all the moisture I put in my hair with my deep conditioners, leave-ins, and butters. If you have porous hair, you definitely want to seal in the moisture with an oil. This is the same combination of products I use for my hot oil treatments (see above). Just take a quarter sized amount of oil in your hand and work it throughout your hair or on each t-strand twist after styling it.
I try to massage my scalp every night to promote hair growth. I use my oil mixture or the product below which also creates heat to promote blood flow. It is also very relaxing at the end of a long day…
~ Dr. Miracles, Hot Gro Hair and Scalp treatment, most grocery stores or beauty supply stores, $5.00 for 4oz.
~ My homemade oil mixture
I hope this is helpful to you! Don’t forget to leave a comment below.