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When I first went natural over 20 years ago, there weren’t a lot of hair products catering to our hair in its natural state. With lots of trial and error, I developed an arsenal of products that kept my hair moisturized and manageable.
Some of those products were so good that I still use them today. My criteria for this roundup is that I have been using a product for at least five years, but I have been using some of them for much longer. Read on to find out which natural hair products have stood the test of time.
Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo
Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo has served me well for years. It’s a concentrated formula, so I like to dilute it in an applicator bottle.
For my thick, shoulder-ish length hair, I use about a tablespoon in eight ounces of warm water.
I shake it well, apply to my scalp, then part through my hair in small sections and massage my scalp with my fingertips. Rinse well, then condition.
Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner
For cowashing, I still like this old-school favorite. Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner is one of the first products I used when I first went natural.
It’s a simple cheap conditioner that you can use a lot of without worrying about running through the whole bottle in one wash day. It cleans my hair well, leaves it soft, and helps with detangling – the end!
Sometimes simple is best.
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask
Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask is the best deep conditioner I have ever used, period. I tried this conditioner several years ago and was hooked from the first use.
It makes my hair softer than any other conditioner I’ve used thus far. Unfortunately, I use half a jar of this product for one wash since the container isn’t that big, and it’s impossible to find in stores in my area.
Alas, my search for the perfect accessible deep conditioner continues.
Kinky Curly Knot Today & Curling Custard
Back then, curl definition wasn’t the panacea it has become today, so it actually felt a little odd at first to have my coils defined as opposed to being twisted or picked out. I had a bit of white residue, and founder Shelly Davis quickly helped me to determine the fix.
As outlined on their website, the hair needs to be dripping wet in order to properly distribute the products throughout the hair. I recently tried the products again, shingling them through dripping wet hair in the shower, and had no white residue after drying.
I like using Kinky Curly Knot Today as a base in my Kimmaytube leave-in conditioner, or for a wash and go with the Curling Custard.
Oyin Handmade Greg Juice & Whipped Pudding
I started using Greg Juice around the time that Oyin Handmade first started in 2001. I wore locs 2001 – 2005, and Greg Juice kept my locs soft and as the name says, juicy. I loved the herbal scent and continued to use this moisturizing spray after cutting my locs and growing my afro out yet again.
Greg Juice definitely kept my coils soft, moist, and showed off my natural texture in the process.
This moisturizing spray works well for wash and gos, twists, braids, and locs. It can be used on twist outs and braid outs, however, it does contain glycerin which draws moisture to your hair. This may cause your hair to swell and lose definition, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what look you’re going for. High shrinkage hair can also be prone to shrink with humectants such as glycerin. It will be shrunken, soft and juicy though so again this may not be a bad thing. When to best use this product really depends on your style goals.
I absolutely love the subtle chocolatey smell of Oyin’s Whipped Pudding. I’m not big on strong scents, especially florals, so if you’re like me you might enjoy this product.
I often use Whipped Pudding to seal damp hair on wash day. I apply this after my leave-in conditioner, twist or braid and allow to dry. I then take the twists or braids down and style.
I also sometimes use this product on my edges and brush with a wet brush, which results in waves that can rival any 90’s Ceasar cut.
Finally, I love using Whipped Pudding on my hands. It’s so easy to apply versus raw shea butter, and makes my skin soft and smell good. I often do this right before bed.
Jane Carter Solutions Nourish & Shine and Wrap & Roll
Jane Carter Solutions Nourish & Shine pomade has been a go-to sealer for me for several years. I use it on freshly washed hair, over my leave in conditioner.
This is a thick buttery pomade and works well to keep my high porosity type 4 hair soft and pliable for a few days. This product also gives my hair a nice shine.
It’s also great for skin. My mom and elder cousins call it their “botox,” and it really does make dry skin glow.
The citrusy scent is a bit strong for my sensitive nose, but it dissipates in a day or so and the benefits outweigh this minor quibble.
I also like Jane Carter Solutions Wrap & Roll setting foam. This foam provides soft, humidity resistant hold when setting my dry twists on rollers. I even used it to set my curly twists for my late July wedding, knowing my curls would hold up all day.
Wild Growth Oil
I rarely blow my hair out anymore (my last blowout was in 2015), but if I do, I’m reaching for Wild Growth Oil.
This was another product I used at the very beginning of my natural hair journey. At that time, I was basically using the same routine I did when I had a relaxer: I washed, conditioned, and blow dried my hair out on the hottest setting I could stand every two weeks.
While I wouldn’t blow dry my hair so frequently today or on such a hot setting, I can say that my Wild Growth Oil blowouts created the softest, fluffiest cloud of a ‘fro imaginable.
As you may have heard, the smell of this oil takes some getting used to, but again, the benefits outweigh this imperfection.
There are so many natural hair products out there, and I love to experiment, but these are the ones I keep coming back to even after all these years. The consistent results speak for themselves!