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Curly Nikki

Inexpensive Yet Effective- Natural Hair Products

By January 27th, 202157 Comments
Inexpensive Yet Effective- Natural Hair Products
Michelle T. writes:

What inexpensive products have you found to work that you really never thought would have worked?

CurlyNikki says:

Herbal Essence conditioners and Aussie Moist for detangling! My hair is not a fan of the Suaves and Vo5s…. they were never moisturizing or slippery enough. But Totally Twisted and Hello Hydration get the job done right every time… I stray from time to time, but always find myself coming back home 🙂
Also, for you gel users, Herbal Essence Set Me Up Gel has great ingredients and always gave me soft, defined, long lasting wash and gos. It’s super cheap and definitely worth a try!

Other cheapies:
-Shea Butter for sealing and controlling edges
-Aloe Vera Juice or Gel for edges


  • kitka82 says:

    @Anonymous September 9, 2010 9:21 AM :

    I wasn't really impressed with HEHH either, even after two or three co-washes. I use it on my kids' hair, which is much finer than mine… maybe 3a/b. My hair is 4a/b, I suppose.

    Two conditioners I've liked so far are Curls Coconut Curladd (9.99 at Target) and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose (8.99 at Vitamin Shoppe). I have yet to find a cheaper conditioner to co-wash with, that doesn't leave my hair feeling dry. Perhaps I could try adding oil… but the propylene glycol thing does bother me too LOL.

  • Anonymous says:

    Some there have tryed Pantene Pro-V Smooth & Sleek? 🙂
    I've just bought.. And now when i have it i'm wondering.. Will it make my hair flat, cuzz i dont wont that, or what?

  • Anonymous says:

    It's all about Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, Suave Almond & Shea, Cantu Shea Butter Leave in, and one that no one has mentioned yet…

    Herbal Essences None of Your Frizziness – this is the ISH. lol.

    W/ cantu shea butter you really have to give it a chance. I hated it at first but now I'm seeing that it really has made a difference in my hair.

    I also use Hask Placenta… that is a GREAT prepoo treatment.

    Ive heard mixed responses on this but can you use a wash out condish as a leave-in? What if it happens to "work" for your hair, is it still bad?

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm always reading the ingredients on the conditioners at the store. I checked out Hello Hydration and the Suave Coconut conditioners. They both have Propylene Glycol. That is what has deterred me from purchasing them because in my research of things you shouldn't put in your hair, propylene glycol was one. It's interesting to hear that it's not affecting anyone. I already had Pantene conditioner at my house from when I had a perm and tried co-washing with that. Big mistake. My hair dried out so bad…even after adding almond oil, shea butter and Giovanni Direct Leave-In into my hair. Maybe because my hair is in the 4a/4b category…

  • Anonymous says:

    I love Suave Almond and Shea butter conditioner.I use Hello Hydration for deep cond.and I use Suave for more like a everyday curl-booster leave in .I was very surprised how well it worked being so CHEAP.I have tried a lot of the more expensive curlboosters and all but just the $2.98 Suave works best for my hair .I probably would not buy another product that is over 5.oo again.

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't tried the VO5 milks but I am loving the VO5 Split Ends conditioner. On sale at Kroger .77 until September 14th. Not always easy to find so I stocked up. Detangles, softens and no more split ends or frizzies in my 4a/4b hair. I cowash with it, add a little Garnier leave-in conditioner while still dripping wet, EcoStyler Gel w/Olive Oil to define curls and a spritz of Lotta Body in my hand and fingered through my define curls is my current hair cocktail. Everytime it grows a little, I have to change up my routine.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hands down, VO5 Moisture Milks is the best!!! It usually only costs .99! But I caught a sale and bought 2 for .69 each!! You cannot beat the price.. and oh my goodness, when I tell you it moisturizes your hair…. Lord have mercy!!!

    I've used Giovanni (which I really like as well) Organix, Yes to Cucumbers, Kinky Curly… I finally tried VO5 2 weeks ago and it is by far the best in my opinion…

    I do not have to detangle my hair with a comb because it melts the tangles yet leaves the curls defined! I absolutely love this product. If I could get paid to advertise it, I would! LOL!!

    ::muah:: ::muah:: <—–Vo5

    FOlks, don't sleep on VO5 Moisture Milks!! It only costs a buck!!! Try it at least once!!!!

    Side note, has anyone tried it with their henna treatment? It does contain soy milk protein. I really wanna try henna but refuse to give up my vo5 to do so.. 🙂

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    Suave Naturals Coconut Shampoo (yes it has sulfates…yes I still love it!)

    Aussie Moist

    EcoStyler Gel w/ Olive Oil

    The Suave professionals Line (way better the cheap Suave naturals line on type 4 hair)

  • Anonymous says:

    This 4a/b/c girlie really loves Henna-n-Placenta!!! I have used the green pack and the orange (super) and my hair is still percolating from the deliciousness! I will be using this for a while. I use it as a prepoo (with a little EVOO), but will try as a deep condish.

    I also loooooooved the HE Set me up gel. Fantastic curls. Which is funny, becuz my hair does not love the TT, HH, or Hydralicious very much. I use them, but don't love them. I do really like the Trader Joe's Nourish Spa and TTT, but again, i don't LOVE them. Still looking for a good, cheap LOVE…

  • Tiffany says:

    Just by perusing the comments I think I've used just about everything mentioned here (which is sad because that $$ adds up! haha). My favorites, however would have to be the Aussie Moist or HH Hello Hydration for cowashing. I use Pantene Pro-V as a deep conditioner and I keep tresemme naturals for curly hair on standby…my hair seems to love that the most, my pockets, not so much.

    @ Ladyhart I buy my ecostyler from CVS.

  • ladyhart says:

    I have been using Renpure "my pretty hair is parched" shampoo and conditioner. I am transitioning and right now I love it. The conditiner works great as a leave in conditioner. I bought it in CVS for 6.99 (it was a buy one and get one free) and I also use cantu shea butter (it think it was like $5 at walmart) and olive oil. I want to branch out and try other products but I don't want to become a pj-y so I'm sticking to basics. I would like to try the ecco style gel, can someone tell me where I can buy it?

  • Anonymous says:

    How do you use the s curl activator? On wet or dry hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm in love with Tresemme Natural's, and for my gel I've returned to my old love IC gel- I cheated with Eco-styler Olive oil gel and paid the price.

  • SHEREE says:



  • LBell says:

    The only difference between Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted is the type of "herbal essences" used. HH has coconut and vanilla extracts, while TT has lavender and jade extracts. HH has been my stand-by conditioner for years, but only recently (probably through this site) did I learn that TT works much better for me as a leave-in.

    Here are two cheap products that I've been pleasantly surprised by since my most recent BC:

    – Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine leave-in
    – S-Curl Wave Jel Activator

  • MoOn says:

    I'm going to have to agree with you on the Herbal Essence conditioners and gels. I knew you were using Hello Hydration so I ran out to buy it. Worked great. When you tried the Hydralicious Reconditioning, I ran to buy that too, worked even better!

    I discovered the gels while looking for HH and I couldn't pass it up because it was so cheap. I typically use a good amount of Totally Twisted to help with frizz and hold, and then I add a dab of Set Me Up for better definition and to lay down my edges. They both worked much better than a more expensive product (which is great so I'm not going to say the name), I had been using. All that is to say, I am so glad you approve of the gels. I was slightly worried because I don't know as much about ingredients as you do. So yippie!

  • Anonymous says:

    I live by:
    Cantu Shea butter leave in
    Tresemme Naturals shampoo and conditioner
    Ic Fantasia Gel

    I just started using HRHH by I love tresemme naturals much more!

  • Kea::Curls says:

    my cheap gel for twists: organic root stimulator lock & twist gel. very light, dries for soft curls with a slight hold (non-crunchy!) NOT only for twists 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    My cheapie is Suave Naturals coconut conditioner as a co-wash(Herbal Essence contains silicones). My gel (not a cheapie) is KCCC. EcoStyler containes PVP-derived from mineral oil. I love KCCC for my braidouts.

  • Anonymous says:

    In response to the post by Anonymous at July 30, 2010 4:37 PM — My hair does not like any of these conditioners either! They made my natural hair so tangled and dry no matter what I did. I really wanted them to work…

  • Anonymous says:

    Ecostyler Olive Oil Gel

  • Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted. They are two of my faves.

  • Anonymous says:

    ^^^ my experience with HEHH was somewhat the same. i'm trying to do the long term transitioning, so when i used HH my natural hair felt awesome but my relaxed hair was blah. it didn't make detangling relaxed hair easier. it was just ok. maybe adding more water may help. However, i did notice it does leave a good amount of moisture in my hair. Vo5 and Suave are awesome. I'm currently Vo5 for my co-washing.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wanted to like the HE Hello Hydration and the V05..not really. However, I like the HE LTR Leave in. My go to cheapies are Aussie Moist, Suave Shea Butter and Almond.

  • Anonymous says:

    I tried Hello Hydration on my transitioning hair and it did not work well at all. And that was my first time ever having tangles! My natural hair felt weird and my relaxed hair just seemed to mat up. I was so MAD! I had to get back into the shower and wash/condition my hair with the Design Essentials products. My hair softened back up, thank goodness. I have not yet found the "cheap" conditioner that I love. Maybe it will change when I'm totally natural?

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG, Hello Hydration and Totally twist are my Hair Husbands.. I cannot live without them. (Hugging my bottles)

  • Anonymous says:

    Being the PJ that I am, I always go back to Hello Hydration. Second on my list is Yes to Cucumbers.

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't seen anyone speak about IC Fantasia sparkle lites (clear) gel yet. It's my go-to product right now. It's heavy but really smooth, and it's just what my 4b hair needs to clump the coils. I feel it goes on more smoothly than EcoStyler.

    I'm gonna have to try that HE Set-me-up gel if the 4b ladies give it a thumbs up!


  • Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one not liking Hello Hydrations. Aussie Moist and VO5? Hmmm, that fickle hair of mine. But I love Tresemme, and Trader Joes.

  • meniko says:

    The HE condish didn't do much for my hair….my hair doesn't like a lot of cones! My fav cheap condish are TJ's TTT and Nourishing Spa, OMG! Detangles my hair easily and leaves it so soft with a great amount of slip!! Also like Aloe vera gel (also from Trader Joe's) and Elasta QP's Feels like Silk. The Elasta product isn't natural but has some good ingredients (olive oil, coconut oil, AV and no cones)! A little goes a long way….don't care for the scent that much but love the way it makes my curls pop and my hair very soft, moisturized and unfrizzy

  • modest-goddess says:

    Cantu Shea Butter Leave In
    Herbal Essence Hello Hydration

  • Noelle says:

    I just saw this short clip today on bglh and thought it would be a fitting post on this thread. I frequent both and CN.

    Check out the link!!

  • Beverly says:

    I forgot to mention my cheap styling products too Cantu Shea Butter Leave In & Eco Styler gel… both leave amazing results the former for twist outs and the latter for wash n go

  • Star says:

    I really like Suaves products (there professionals line). There shea & almond conditioner (knock off version of Aveda) is great,the Damage Care in the blue bottle for 86% less breakage is good (knock of version of Redken)& there Sleek conditioner in the orange bottle for 5x smoother hair (knock off version of Matrix) is also great. These are all great for co washing and even a dc sometimes. I also looovvve the garnier fructis sleek & shine leave in conditioner & curl shaping spray gel. The leave in does have alil cones in it, but it combats humidity wonderfully but the spray gel has no cones or alcohol & the 1st ingredient is water. Omg this stuff TRULY defines your curls (I mean seriously make em pop)& gives great hold without the crunch & hardness!

  • Beverly says:

    I have 3 cheap favorites. Herbal Essences Totally Twisted, Suave Almond & Shea Butter & Assuie Moist…All conditioners of course. Herbal Essences was especially amazing on my sisters 4a-4b hair! I never thought it'd be so east to detangle her hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am not a fan of Hello Hydration, but I love VO5 and Tresemme Naturals

  • mizz says:

    i use aussie moist. i keep saying i'm switching to all natural products but i got the a liter for 5 bucks in a pump bottle! (so i buy them 2 at a time)

  • newlykinky! says:

    I haven't tried totally twisted but hello hydration is working famously on my hair. The only thing is is that it has propylene glycol listed as an ingredient. What do you all think?

  • Anonymous says:

    I love Hello Hydration and Yes to cucumbers is also very high on my must have list

  • AusetAbena says:

    Herbal Essences and the Suave Almond and Shea Butter conditioners. Also, olive oil and coconut oil. Back to Basics

  • Thomasine says:

    I just started this journey, but I'm loving the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration – my made my hair sooooo soft!!!!

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    Aussie Moist is second to Hello Hydration.

    VO5 Moisture Milks conditioner for co-washing and cleansing after henna and/or indigo.

    Pantene's Relaxed and Naturals conditioner (old formula) works great for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Vo5 moisture milks works for me. I have 4type hair and Vo5 provides a soft and slippery touch to my natural tresses after I co-wash. Also Tresemme Naturals works for my deep conditions.

  • honeybrown1976 says:

    Definitely VO5 Moisture Milks and Suave Humectant/Almond and Shea Butter!!! I wouldn't call shea butter inexpensive for me (shipping costs).

  • Unknown says:

    My PJism ended with Hello Hydration. It was a pleasant surprise given that it was a Herbal Essence product. The only other conditioner that has remained in my arsenal for co-washing is Trader Joes.

  • Anonymous says:

    although i am not a fan of hello hydration, i really like totally twisted. also, Aussie Moist saved my hair this summer! and eco styler gel does wonders when i'm trying to spare my KCCC.

  • goombagirl says:

    I swear by shea butter!

  • Anonymous says:

    Besides the scent and color is there a difference between Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted? The ingredients lists look the same.

  • Efe says:

    I love Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter conditioner. I use it to detangle, make my Kimmaytube Leave-in and as a DC (mixed with honey and castor oil).

    I love honey. I pre-poo with it, use it in my DC mixes and add it to my spritz(along with Aloe Vera Gel and Water).

  • Grenada Soul Adventurer says:

    I just used Hello Hydration for the first time as a leave in ( I read on that it can be used as a combing conditioner too)I mixed it with some EVOO and used it for my two stand twist bantu knot out. I have to say I am loving the results. My hair is really soft and the curls a very defined. I hope I can get second day hair out of it. I have also been using Herbal essences long term relationship leave in conditioner mixed with EVOO…results are just as great. EVOO is by far my favourite secret weapon though, it really helps my hair remain soft and shiny and it is really inexpensive.

  • Imani says:

    I'm a new fan of Suave Naturals Almond & Shea Butter Conditioner. I'm on my second bottle and I am in love. It doesn't have Herbal Essence slip but it has some nice ingredients and is super inexpensive. Under $3 for a 32 oz bottle!

    I always thought Suave would be terrible because it's so cheap. I was wrong.

  • npmoore04 says:

    Vo5 Moisture Milks when i saw it in he 99 cent store and for 79 cents at the grocery store I believed that it wouldn't work for detangling because it was so cheap. But it works great on my hair for detangling and cowashing. I also love the ECOstyler Gel!

  • Anonymous says:

    I had a twa for more than a decade when I grew my hair back it got into the most unbelievable tangle, and I was just about to cut it all off again. Herbal Essence Hello Hydration literally melted all the knots away and saved my hair from an unnecessary big chop.

  • My Natural Reality says:

    I too love Herbal Essence…I remember using them back in high school and I just started using Hello Hydration! I love the soft feeling it gave my hair!

  • Freeatlast41 says:

    I love, love, love, love Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted.

  • BeautifullyMehh says:

    I Love Herbal Essence Hello Hydration! Its one of my MUST HAVES;

  • LaNeshe says:

    I'll definitely be checking out herbal essences on my next product run.

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