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Curly Nikki

The Anti-Curly Girl- Natural Hair Routines

By January 27th, 202157 Comments

The Anti-Curly Girl- Natural Hair Routines

Joy writes:

I’m a broke college student and can’t afford the organic, boutique natural hair brands. Also, the few organic products I’ve tried, really didn’t do much for me. I think my hair actually does better with the ‘bad’ ingredients (stays moisturized longer, is shinier, and I get fewer splits).

For those of you that don’t subscribe to the Curly Girl technique of frequent co-washing, and freely use products that contain silicones, mineral oil, and other no-no ingredients, (1) what are your favorite products, (2) do you have issues with build-up, and (3) what made you try this non-traditional routine in the first place?

Finally, how long have you been engaging in the routine, and how would you rate the health of your hair?

57 Comments

  • mkc says:

    I have pcos (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and a lot of the "bad products" specifically phlates (they are usually used to make brittle plastic soft and pliable) in hair care products didn't make my hair look particularly bad, BUT they are endocrine disrupters, meaning they mess with your normal hormone flow and can cause mayhem on anyone with a reproductive disorder. women of african decent are VERY disproportionately predisposed to endocrine disorders, reproductive disorders (over 50% of black women will develop PCOS in their lifetime, or have one or more ovarian cysts), and we are more likely to suffer auto immune disease, I'm sure there are a lot of factors that cause this but I'm sure the extremely toxic things we absorb through or roots have something to do it it, i wouldn't worsen my chances.

    i use shea moisture line all ranging at around 9.99/bottle at walgreens but i buy four of their products, thats pretty much all i use and thats 40/a month. also i buy double when the store has a sale and they are 6/7/8 a bottle. the price beats a 75$ dollar relaxer every six weeks! and i make a lot of my own hair care products by buying shea butter and vegetable glycerin in bulk at soap making shops!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have done cheap CG for 2 weeks now after 10 years of straightening my hair. My hair stayed greasy before due to all the silicones and the cycles with the sulfate shampoos. I am an infrequent washer though, so that saved me from having any worse damage than I did. I use Suave Naturals ($1.79) or Garnier Pure Clean conditioner ($2.99) for my co-wash. Garnier Body Boost cond is my rinse-out ($2.99). Garnier Pure Clean smoothing cream is my leave-in cond ($2.99), and I use their Pure Clean gel, same price. Garnier cond are 13 oz, the leave-in 5 oz and gel 8 oz. So it is very easy to maintain Curly Girl status on a budget, at least now in 2012!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a broke college student too and just recently went CG, and admittingly, my hair looked worse before it looked better. It was more frizzy around the crown for about 2 weeks, but afterwards, I have very minimal frizz and get asked what I'm doing different all the time.
    I use Bert's Bees, which is much less expensive than many other brands, and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted gel. The texture of my hair has improved and its much shinier.
    In addition, it is much healthier. Some of the products used in shampoos are very harsh and have repercussions relating to increasing the risk of cancer.

  • Anonymous says:

    Admittedly I am a CG and I like it b/c it makes my life simple. Before CG i spent way too much trying to figure out what to do with my hair, now it's easy (and Cheaper):

    Organix sulfate free conditioner- $6
    or
    Aussie Moist conditioner- $3
    and
    Suave Sculpting gel- $3
    and if I could afford it
    Kinkycurly custard- $17

    I know the complaint is cost but I want to try Burt Bee's Super Shiny conditioner- $8

    good luck ladies 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I've tried the CG method twice now (the second time I perservered for just over a month). At first my hair felt okay, but as time went on, instead of feeling better, it just got worse – lank and greasy or dry and fluffy with different products I was using. The bottom line is, I've decided to quit and go back to the 'cones, 'phates etc. because my hair felt much better before. This is my last day of CG and my hair feels horrible at the moment. I know that once I wash it with shampoo and do my old favourite tried and tested routine, it will be back to it's former glory. It really depends on the individual as to how the CG method works – some people swear by it, but it doesn't work for everybody and I'm testimony to that.

  • Anonymous says:

    For my 4b-cnapp coily haired sisters –

    1. Right now I'm feeling Shea Moisture shampoo

    2. I develop pimples and dermatitis if I DON'T SHAMPOO at least once weekly. For this reason, Curlygirl has NOT worked for me. I happened to put the Aussie and HEHH on hiatus due to detangling and flatiron damage I'm trying to repair with Nexxus Emergencee and Headress.

    3. MISS JESSIES BABY BUTTERCREME has brought the moisture back to my hair – can I get a WOOT WOOT? I'm no longer ashamed of anyone touching my hair.

    Is it a coincidence the dryness resolved when I put the 'cones on hold?

    We'll find out

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm in the same boat! thanks for the suggestions!

  • Alice says:

    I'm a student too so I DEFINITELY feel you on the "I can't afford THIS?!" feeling. The only thing natural that I still use is my Qhemet Biologics leave in conditioner and I'm thinking of replacing it because shipping is NOT something I want to pay anymore.

    I use shampoo and it's never something fancy. Usually it's some random brand that happened to be on sale (right now I'm using Organix but I'm switching to Renpure (sulfate free) as soon as I finish the bottle) and smelled nice. For conditioner, I really love Tresseme naturals and I like Aussie Moist as a co-wash conditioner (this saved my hair in winter). I make my own deep conditioner by mixing a few conditioners with some castor oil I got from the drug store. Nothing fancy at all.

    Alice
    Alice in Nappyland

  • Anonymous says:

    I love Miss Jessies

  • Lanisha says:

    Just want to say that I LOVE curlynikki.com because there are posts EVERYDAY. That's a rarity in the blog world. ALso, the information I get from reading all the responses is invaluable. This very weekend I googled where to find raw shea butter in the Bay area (just moved from LA) and lo and behold a post came up from CurlyNikki.com. The post was over a year old, but I checked out the spot anyway and came away with REAL Shea! I'm elated! Thanks for everything! Best Blog Ever. I've even taken a hiatus from my MANY celebrity blog favorites because I keep coming hear instead every time I get a free moment.

    BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND…
    I do use shampoo, but it's the Come Clean by Kinky Curly. I dilute it with water in one of those color bottles with the nozzle that you get from the BSS and I apply it directly to my scalp all over my head. I don't do the CG Method mainly because I have yet to find a conditioner that I can co-wash with that won't leave my head with sore, painful breakouts and itching. Basically, co-washing clogs my pores. Also, I think having a lot of hair makes it difficult to want to spend $12 on a bottle of natural/botanical/organic conditioner that is only 8 to 16oz. I can use that up in less than two weeks. As far as maintaining moisture however, I do go natural. Whole Foods and the Vitamin Shoppe STAY getting my money. But for me, it's worth it! My hair looks soooo much better than it ever did using a SLS shampoo followed with cone conditioner and "max hold" gel to style. But once again, that's for MY hair. I don't doubt for one minute that the opposite is true for many others. I know that there are people who retain inches upon INCHES just using a basic shampoo and conditioner and putting Eco Styler in it. For me, I go natural when it comes to certain products becuase of how it's going to affect my hair's moisture and my scalp. If my hair can "take it" it's okay. But if I have to wash, rinse, and repeat 4x just to get products out, then those product have to GO.

  • Cheryl says:

    I started out no CG method, but decided to try the CG method. I have been CG for 2 months. I did not have a problem with the no CG method. In fact, my hair loved silicones. I just had a problem with the silicones not washing out. I don't use shampoo, so that become an issue. I started doing henna treatments and this made my hair tough and course. My ends started fighting each other and then breaking off. I like henna treatments because it makes my hair strong, but I needed something to tame my ends. So I am going back to the no CG method and see if that works with taming my ends. As I said before, my hair loves silicones.

    Favs before CG method.
    HH none of your fizzness – cowash
    Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Creme.
    EOs for sealing
    Going Natural Silky Shea Hair Butter – ($18 pricey)from Going Natural website.
    Nexxus Moisturizing Shampoo – to rid buildup.

    Favs during CG method.
    Curls Coconut Curladda cowash – Target ($10)
    Jessiecurl Weekly Deep Conditioning – Curlmart ($12)
    Giovanni Weightless Direct Leave in – Target ($7)
    EOs for sealing
    Afroveda Curl Define – Moisturizer ($15 pricey), but a main stay.

    I will only incorporate a silicone product for co-washing and shampoo to my regimine to rid build up for now.

    Using CG method is not expensive. It all depends on the products you use CG or not CG.

  • Carla says:

    I am only curly girl in that I DONT use 'cones and mineral oils only because my hair hates them. I do use shampoo, but only shampoos that dont contain harsh sulfates. Sodium Coco-Sulfate works well when the other do not. As long as I moisturize my hair, do deep conditioning treatments (homemade) on a regular basis, pre-poo with oil treatments, etc my hair does well. Its APL and I tried being a little more stingy with how much time I spend on my hair and it suffered with dryness and split ends.

    I realized as your hair gets longer, it will probably need more TLC.

    I only attend college at 1/4 load, but my health care expenses exceed $600/mo (have a chronic illness) so I am careful how much I spend on anything (including my hair).

  • Alexis says:

    I'm also a college student, so I understand how our finances may not be up to par…But for my hair I'm willing to splurge when I can. I only use a few products on my hair anyways. I use Giovanni Direct Leave-in, Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and Tresumme No Silicone conditioner…about 40 bucks…this is great compared to spending 90 dollars for perms, or 160 for weaves…

  • Anonymous says:

    It's unfortunate that the cost of so many organic/natural products are prohibitive especially for a college student. As others have mentioned before there are some products like Giovanni, while they are not Suave cheap, are good alternatives to the more pricey products. I have often wondered the same thing about those products we used as children that seem to work fine. What we do have to keep in mind is that in our world we come into contact with so much chemicals in our food, body/beauty products, hair products, etc. that whenever possible we should try to avoid them. An inexpensive product that is laden with unhealthy chemicals may give us the desired results for our hair but the affects of long term exposure to the chemicals should also be of concern.

  • 2011 says:

    ETA
    * For slicking my hair i use Elasta QP glaze it works a treat!

  • 2011 says:

    Heres a handy list of my fave products:

    Shampoo: Elasta QP Creme Con Poo (really cheap n sulfate free)
    Conditioner:Skala Shea Butter Con
    Moisturizer:Sof 'n Free Oil Moisturizer(green bottle)
    Sealer: Coconut Oil (Coconoil)
    Deep Con:Motions Moisture Plus Conditioner and ORS Deep Replen
    Oils:EVOO that i add to my deep con.

    Hope that helps all the products are affordable with the pricey ones being the DC and Coconut Oil.My hair has benefited form all these products as they work!I guess using what works for your hair on a regular basis is key until your hair tells you other wise.

  • Anonymous says:

    There is absolutely no rule that says you HAVE to use expensive, natural, or expensive AND natural hair care lines to care for your hair.

    I'm not a broke college student; I'm a struggling artist (not the same thing as a starving artist, lol)…but even when I was making a lot of money I wasn't spending $$ on hair products. As someone else said upthread, I think people who were natural before CG are more flexible in terms of what they'll use. It can't be said enough: Use what works for you.

    I used to use "grease" on my 'fro back in the day and never had any issues. Recently I reintroduced my hair to mineral oil via Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding and their BOGO sale. What can I say? The stuff works! Plus I use a VERY small amount at a time so I see this jar lasting a really long time. So if you feel you *must* try an expensive product line, try calculating the approximate cost per individual use (cost per "serving").

  • Tomika says:

    Great question…this is a warning: Because this is such a popular site (which I love and it has helped me tremendously throughout my transition) there are many women with many different opinions. You have to try a few things out for yourself to see if they work for you.
    A budget friendly way is to research "staple products ". You will find that evoo is one that you may want to try or teatree oil, or Shea butter. It really depends on your needs.
    Another thing is to look in different places for your items. Target, walmart, rite aid etc. What I am saying is you may find better deals outside of the beauty supply store.
    For me: I do co wash so a cheap moisterizing condish does the trick I use V05 $1, (u can't beat that) because u will use a lot of this.
    I do shampoo too so find a clarifying poo (again V05 $1) but you will also need a moisterizing shampoo (splurge on this because you want to use a little but get a lot) I use cream of nature $5 but it should last a while. You can deep condish with your cheap condish (just sit under the dryer) but finding a dc that works for you is your best choice. I am still searching for mines. And lastly one or two styling products. Depending on what you want it to do.
    I have been transitioning for 9 months and it took me a while to get a routine down that worked for me and my hair but it took trial and error. My hair is healthy, growing and getting thicker bu the day. But these are the things that are most important to me, but what os important to u right now on your hair journey? But stay strong! HTH!

  • Annie L says:

    Hey girl!

    My hair was dry, crunchy and breaking. I worship Anita Grant products but have also loved these super cheap homemade natural beauties on/off for 2 years w/great results:

    EVCO – pre-shampoo
    Baking Soda – shampoo (add lemon to balance PH)
    OR
    Dr. Bronner's Almond Oil (1-2 drops for shampoo)
    OR
    ACV – clarifying shampoo/condish, shine, moisture, softness wondrous!
    Honey Rinse – condish, shine, moisture, softness
    Veg. Glycerin/Water Mix – style aid, hydrator
    Okra – moisturizer, setting lotion, rinse
    Aloe plant – moisturizer, setting lotion

    Lot of great recipes on AG's site and blog, also on abouthealthandbeauty.net

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm also a broke college student but after being a product junkie in my teens i was psyched about being totally curly b/c it should be super easy right?my hair would be natural, no more chemicals so it would blossom into magnificence! 🙂
    it totally did! but i was in for a little shock as how to maintain it
    but i do strive for simplicity
    and to have simplicity you gotta have basics
    caster oil
    olive oil
    sunflower oil
    almond oil
    mayonnaise
    aloe vera
    essential oils
    apple cider vinegar
    honey
    sugar
    shea butter
    pretty much i find where i can get these from good companies and i subsitute them and mix them in to mimic things i find on this website 🙂
    so its uber natural, cheap very simple and i have that alchemist feeling
    latest discovery- using caster oil to seal when i do my hair in single twists, i wet with conditioner and seal with the oil it has great hold
    keep this up with a weekly deep conditioner of honey, mayonnaise or my staple oils mixed with conditioner and i don't have to worry to much about how my hair looks in the morning 😀

  • Anonymous says:

    Not a college student but unemployed and broke and cheap. I've been natural for six months. I've tried some of the organic stuff but have had such miserable results. So since the first of the year, I'm only using cheap conditioner with no cones, parabens or sulfites. For moisturizing, I'm using a combination of water and a spritz bottle and shea butter and organic essential oils leftover from a bath kit (I told you I was cheap).

    I live in OR and it's hard to find a lot of the big name products. Also, I'm just tired of all the chemicals. When I was getting my hair relaxed, my hair dresser encouraged me not to use any other products and my hair grew and grew. Now that I'm natural, I don't want to replace chemicals with more chemicals albeit chemicals that are far less noxious than relaxer. I want to keep my routine simple and my products simple. So far, my fro is looking pretty good.

  • IcyLillies says:

    Hey!
    Also a college student and I started trying to use all natural products, but then I realized that I did not want to be spending $10-15 on shampoo! So I eventually turned back regular products. However, I do still avoid petrolatum, mineral oil, and some kinds of alcohol.
    I've been using TreSemme Naturals and I like them both, but I might go back to Garnier Fruitis Triple moisturizing shampoo- so far my fav, left my hair feeling great!- and stick with either TreSemme's natural conditioner, or V05's conditioner, which is maybe $6 cheaper, if I like it-I just brought.
    Other than that, I use Eco Styler Gel, the Olive Oil kind, and shea butter. The only time I'm willing to spend around $20 or over on a product is when it last me months. Curl biz clarifying shampoo and PrettyDimples shea butter are two examples. I saw find what works for your hair and keep it simple.

  • evelyn says:

    try your local indian store! since it's technically a grocery store the prices are very cheap and you can still get products that are amazing for your hair. Coconut oil, hennas, black soap etc etc. I've never spent over 5-10 bucks on a product at an indian store.

  • smarts says:

    When I was in university i loved the neutrogena conditioners, the body shop and if any of you ladies are in the Uk, the Naked range in Boots is cheap, organic and great for the hair. I didnt like the herbal essences or the pantene range, it didnt moisturise my hair.

    I made sure to clarify every 14 days or so and did an ACV rinse to give my hair the oomph it desired.

    "what made you try this non-traditional routine in the first place?"

    It was hard switching to co-washing and following "the rules" but it worked in my favour. my hair became longer and healthier with time. Henna has also helped my hair so much.

    the only problem is, i became a bit of a pj and loved experimenting with conditioners 🙂

    http://amartianslove.wordpress.com/

  • neosouljunkie says:

    I went to a high school at a boarding school in Ghana where everyone had to keep their hair natural and (super) short, so since I had to keep cutting my hair anyway I never really had to take care of it. I would literally wash it with a regular bar of bathing soap, towel dry apply vaseline, comb it and go. That was literally all I did to my hair everyday for six years but it was so healthy, I honestly don’t remember having issues with breakage or dryness and it grew so much that I would need to get at least one more haircut in the middle of every trimester.
    Anyhoo, my point is that you don't have to use all-natural products for your hair to thrive. Find what works for YOU and stick with it, if your hair is healthy and you are satisfied with what your current products are doing for it, don't let anyone tell you that you need to use something different.
    I personally believe that there is a culture of over-glorification of "experts" in the natural hair community. I am not bashing anyone, we all do it… we see someone on a blog, in a book, on youtube or on the street with longer hair than ours and we want to use what they use and do what they do to their hair. Everyone and everyone’s hair is different, even people with the same hair type/texture get different results from the same product. One can be an expert on one’s OWN hair, not on everyone else’s.

  • JB says:

    YEA im a college student too and the reason why i decided to try out "going natural" in the 1st place WAS because of my insufficient funds lol! So I kinda came up with my own ways to do things like for example, you know those "hair steamers" that cost like $100-$200? Well, i "made" my own hair steamer with my budget in mind lol…..i took that old school humidifier my momz used to put in my room when i was a kid and I use that steam as a DC aid! lolol Dont laugh because it actually works pretty well! lol…my roommate thought my hair was on fire when she saw me with my head bent over the contraption! LOLOL!!! it was soo funny, but it works really!!
    But anyway here are a list of prducts that i use that are inexpensive…
    – Suave Naturals Conditioner {$3}
    – Pantene Pro V Relaxed & Natural (pooh and condish) {$4 each}
    – Shea Moisture (Deep Treatment Masque) {$10}
    – Africa's Best Herbal Oil {$2}

    and BAM thats it!! lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I buy all of my hair products at the grocery store or at Target. I wash my hair with Jason no sulfate shampoo 1x a week, co-wash with V05 conditioners, and use Aussie Moist or Tresemme Flawless Curls conditioner as a leave-in. That's it for me! I don't use any other products in my hair. My hair is still at the TWA phase, so I mostly do wash-n-gos for now. To add additional shine to my hair I use SheaMoisture Hold & Shine Mist, which I love. I'm trying to keep my routine very simple, so I will not become a complete product junkie. I don't think I want to spend a fortune on my hair products anymore. It's not worth it, especially when I can find great products at my local drugstore. My hair is growing pretty quickly, so I'm definitely not complaining. Also, my hair love silicone products. When I did try organic products, my hair looked dry and bland, but when I use a product with silicone, my hair has a ton of sheen and no frizz. I love to buy organic when I can, but my hair likes the non-organic stuff. I guess everyone's hair is different.

  • Bianca says:

    I'm not a college student either…just frugal.
    I'm not CG. I use shampoo and hair oil(just not petroleum based).
    If you keep your eyes open you can find some good deals like Whole Foods Everyday Shea Shampoo and Conditioner (32 ounces for 9.99), and shampoo bars are usually inexpensive…

    However mostly I like to make as much as I can make…You can buy Shea Butter and Cocoa butter from Arab or African Stores…You can get Coconut oil and Ayurvedic powders from Southeast Asian or Indian stores..You can get Argan Oil and Olive oil from Arab or Mediterranean stores.
    It will be cheaper if you buy these ingredients from the cultures that use them always…
    You can make your own hair and skin cream, body oil,conditioner,hair ointment…etcetera

  • Anonymous says:

    Ditto to Anonymous at 4:00. I am not a college student but I kind of felt overwhelmed with the whole product controversy. I got sick of looking for a holy grail. After 1 & 1/2 years I don't think all silicones or non organic products are bad and I don't think all organic products will solve world peace. I think the CG method is amazing and have gone farther by trying the Tightly Curly method – right now I do use cones and I, at the same time, style my hair to work with the curls. I don't have buildup because I do use shampoos with mild sulfates twice a month. I hate "grease". Period. If I look at my products, half are organic and half are not.

    What I would say is mix and match 'til you make your hair happy. $$$ means NOTHING – Your focus could be on what will clean your scalp, what will let you detangle your hair and what will keep it moisturized. I agree you should look into reading Curly Girl, just so you know what it's about. I would recommend other books as well like Grow it and Tightly Curly – not to grow your hair out but just to learn about good hair practices. Most authors don't advocate spending huge amounts of money for products.

    My fav's? Olive oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera juice. With these you can augment drug store brand like Aussie Moist or HEHH. Olive oil is infinitely better than most store leave-ins and you can get it cheap. I am early into the process but I am not planning on bankrupting myself. I don't think I need to. My greatest treasure was a conditioner I used for co-washing that cost $.57 at CVS.

  • Anonymous says:

    Right now I'm using leftover shampoos from my 'cone free' days, but as far as DC I'm using Silk Elements, as a leave-in I use It's a 10 leave-in, and seal with castor oil. My hair feels moisturized for days when I use that leave in, castor oil, and some form of heat (blow dry on low or sit under a dryer for awhile)… don't know how it works, but it does! I've been using this combo for 2 weeks.

  • SweetT says:

    gotta cosign anon 4:23. i think organic lines get a bad wrap. i love giovanni smooth as silk shampoo & conditioner. my local grocery store has it buy one get one free ($6.99). target had them on sale for $5.99 last month. the most expensive thing i use is knot today (11.99) & 1 bottle lasts me 2 months w/the kimmaytube mixture. (aloe gel $7, castor oil $6, & jojoba $9-i've had same bottles for 4 months+) olive oil & honey are good for deep conditioning mixed w/a conditioner like hello hydration & they're cheap too.

    i don't really have build up but i have used suave's clarifying shampoo in the past. i guess since i use shampoo, i'm not cg? i don't know anything about cones & all that either. but my hair is happy & healthy approaching/at bra strap length.

  • S. says:

    (1) what are your favorite products:

    Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo ($1), Suave Professional Sleek Shampoo($1.50), Vatika Olive Enriched Oil ($3 and it has mineral oil), Suave Professional Sleek Conditioner ($1.50) or LeCoupe Sleek and Shine Conditioner ($5).

    (2) do you have issues with build-up?
    I clarify once a week with Suave and shampoo again with the sleek shampoo. This alleviates any build-up for me.

    (3) what made you try this non-traditional routine in the first place?

    When I return to my natural hair in '09 I thought that what I did growing up was the wrong thing to do. I became an out of control product junkie and my hair wasn't as healthy as it was when I was growing up. Once I kept it simple, cleansed my scalp weekly, conditioned it and kept styling products to a minimum, my hair thrived. I follow this routine as does my 2 natural hair daughters ages 22 and 17.

    I tried the CG method in '09. I had more dry scalp issues and stunted growth than I've ever experienced in my life. Just my experience.

  • Tamar-Charmaine says:

    i'm college student too and totally understand you…to save money and get great results…i'm not gonna lie i use cooking oil lol..most vegetable oil is pure soybean oil now in supermarkets..i pre poo my hair with it and after im done washing my hair i put the oil in my hair, I also as a deep conditioner mix eggs, mayonaise, honey and oil in my hair for 30 minutes..then i rinse it out ..for gel i buy eco styler it works better on my hair than miss jesses and its 90% cheaper

  • Anonymous says:

    Not a college student but if I had to be on a budget, I would buy
    Trader Joe's Shampoo and conditioner or conditioner(3.99ea),
    g99.5(glycerin and water by Long-aid(3.99, hawaiaan silky 14 n1(4.99)
    and castor oil(3.99)
    and that would be all I need to survive!
    With a little more money I would buy the new roots of nature curl and coil line with reviving spray that is advertised to revival MJ and Devacurl.

    0

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm not a college student but I am somewhat frugal and skeptical of alot of those high dollar products. Waste money on a jar of Kinky Curly Custard and I said never again. Some of my fave cheap products are:

    Suave Naturals Shea & Almond Conditioner (this product is fabulous)
    Suave Clarifying Shampoo
    Pantene Dry to Moisturized for Curly Hair
    Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner
    Olive Oil
    Castor Oil (been using this for two weeks, my hair is loving it)
    Taliah Wajjid Curly Creme
    Jane Carter Nourish & Shine (A little pricey, $18 at the Vitamin Shoppe, great product and can be used on the skin)

  • Anonymous says:

    I spent a lot of money that I didn't have on trying to adhere to the curly girl method.( I too am on a budget and in college) However, after realizing that my hair just needs shampoo and that cones and parabens don't bother it much at all. I just started using what I knew was good for my hair. I did have to try a little bit of things first. Which I cleverly convinced my mother to buy as a present lol I found what worked for my hair. Some natural and organic and some not. Most have scones and honey and glycerin and all that stuff that people say you should use unless it's this temp and humidity and all that tech stuff. I use my routine year around and that also saves money. You don't have winter and summer products. You just have what works well for you and your hair and what makes it grow, be healthy and feel the best.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've read Lorraine Massey's book. Nowhere in the book does it say by following the curly girl method that you must use natural and/or organic products. It is about not using shampoo which dries out your hair and avoiding silicones. Again, the curly girl method does not say anything about using all natural/organic products. You can be CG and use drugstore brands and stay on a budget, if you chose to follow that haircare method. MahoganyCurls did just that in her natural journey and she was/is CG. Check out the book if you're interested….go straight to the source.

  • Bree says:

    As a fellow broke college student I hear ya but then again I live in Target…lol. When I first started my journey I was shocked at the sticker price of a lot of products that other swear by and use to spend a fortune because I thought my hair would never grow or thrive if I didn't buy them. But now I do a mixture of high and low as well as a mixture of CG and non CG products. I think at the end of the day it comes down to finding the right products for your hair period.

    As others mention, say yes to Carrots, VO5 conditioners, Suave, KCC, ORS, I personally still use grease, oils, etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a fellow college student. I don't use the "organic, boutique" natural hair products AND I don't use sulfates, mineral oil or cones.

    The following are my staple products which are natural (and affordable):
    -Cleansers: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shampoo, Apple Cider Vinegar
    -Leave-In/Styler: Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque
    -Others: Shea Butter, Aloe Vera Gel, Honey, Tea Tree EO, Eucalyptus EO

    The aforementioned are economical and effective. They keep my hair well-moisturized and my scalp happy.

    You don't have to use mineral oil, sulfates or cones just because you have to save money. You don't have to buy boutique brands or use natural products to have healthy hair. It may take some research but you can find products that work for you and vibe with your haircare wants/needs.

  • Anonymous says:

    Giovanni, Yes to Cucumbers/Tomatoes/Carrots, Avalon Organics and Nature's Gate products are pretty affordable and they're organic so don't think that you can't go CG if you want to. They usually have their own little section in Wal-Mart if you're interested in them.

    These are the products that I consider staples:

    Shampoo: Suave Daily Clarifying
    Conditioner: Suave Almond and Shea butter
    DC: Silk Elements Megasilk Moisturizing Treatment
    Leave-in/Moisturizer: Silk Elements Leave-in Creme
    Styler: ORS Smooth n Hold Pudding
    Others: Aphogee Keratin 2 minute reconstructor, African Pride Olive Miracle Braid spray, coconut oil, Eco styler gel

  • Anonymous says:

    i use Pink products (shampoo, conditioner and the infamous lotion) because they're cheap and work very well on my hair. where i live (senegal),some natural products are too expensive and those i've tried were ineffective.
    the pink shampoo contains sulfates and the lotion has mineral oil, petrolatum, lanolin. But, surprisingly, they don't have silicones.

  • Anonymous says:

    It seems as if two issues are getting mixed up here. Sorta confusing.
    Is it about the high cost of products, as in organic or boutique brands when you're on a limited tight budget?
    Or is it about silicones, mineral oil and sulfate-based products etc? Products with these ingredients can be expensive, too, depending on the brand and where you shop for them. I will refrain from calling out the long list of companies who use these ingredients and charge and an arm and a leg for them. There are a lot of expensive salon brands with the "bad" ingredients.
    It's very possible to go Curly Girl, if you're interested in that, on a limited or tight budget and it's possible to spend a lot on a non-Curly Girl regimen.
    What's the real or dominant issue here when designing your routine? The question doesn't seem to be to Curly Girl or not to Curly Girl.

  • Elle says:

    I love Garnier DC masks (mineral oil) and Mixed chicks shampoo and leave in (parabens…sulfates and cones!!!)

    *shrug My hair looves it..so I love it too!!

  • modest-goddess says:

    I wasted a lot of money trying to find a shampoo that didn't strip my hair but got my scalp clean from the coconut oil and shea butter my hair loves. Finally tried baking soda diluted in water with a little cheap conditioner (Suave) mixed in. Worked like a charm! Got my scalp clean, was cheap and didn't strip the moisture from my hair.

  • Jeannette says:

    The, "Anti-Curly Girl Natural Hair Routine" LOL Too funny. I know that you are looking for products with cones & minerals etc but I don't use any of them. However, I use the Ayurvedic Hair Care Regimen and it is fantastic and very affordable, even for a college student.

  • Anonymous says:

    Products I used that worked really well all $10 or under:
    -grapeseed oil: GNC
    -almond oil: GNC
    -SHEA BUTTER: local beauty supply store
    -aloe vera gel: trader joe, GNC
    -TRESemmé conditioners: beauty supply store
    – aussie moist conditioner: beauty supply store
    -shea moisture line: target
    -ORS replenishing conditioner: beauty supply store

  • Anonymous says:

    i'm a college student as well. here is what i use and has worked well for me…

    Creme of Nature Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo
    Suave Naturals Conditioners
    V05 Conditioners
    Garnier Fructis sleek and shine leave in
    IC Fantasia Gel with Olive Oil
    Long Aid Curl Activator Gel (blue label)
    unrefined shea butter
    Suave Humectant Conditioner
    Africa's Best Herbal Oil
    Lustrasilk Cholesterols

  • Anonymous says:

    Not a broke college student but I love relaxed and natural wrap lotion. since i'm transitioning it hold well and doesn't dry out, Also I like Dr. miracle leave in conditioner. most of the natural leave-ins are sprays and and my hair hates them, and the creams are expensive. and I just like it.

  • Unknown says:

    I was once a product junkie, I tried everything under the sun and went broke paying for it, but as many of the above posters have stated, less is probably more. I scaled back my products tremendously, but it did take some trial and error with all the products I'd bought.

    Now I'm uuber simple. I use shampoo bars (or all natural vegetable based soap, no glycerin), followed by pantene pro-v curly series condish. I then spritz my hair with rosewater and start sectioning my hair for twists. Before twisting each section, I add aloe vera to the section, I then use shea butter to seal my ends. In the morning, when I twist-out, I coat my hands with a sweet almond essential oil mix.

    True, my products are all natural (with the exception of my condish) and buying them all at once will run you about $40, but they last for several months.

    Tub of Shea: $8
    Aloe Vera Gelly: $9
    Rosewater: $9
    Shampoo Bar: $5-9/bar
    Pantene Pro-V for Curls condish: $8
    Sweet Almond Oil: $12
    E.O.'s: prices range according to the oil.

    I buy everything but the conditioner at whole foods, on the ground, no shipping!

    Hope this Helps!

  • Courtney says:

    I think the MAJORITY of black women that have been natural most or all of there lives were not "curly girl" and organic and all that jazz. Whatever works for your hair do it. I do use cones and sulfates. I love Herbal Essence's Tottally Twisted & Long Term Relation ship condish. I shampoo 2x a month . I dilute the shampoo and apply it using an applicator bottle. one part shampoo the rest being water. I think as long as your are taking care of your hair then you shouldn't have a problem growing it out.

  • luvmyboys says:

    I am a mom of two boys ages 7 and 4 and my husband was laid off a year ago. So expensive products are a no go for me. I set a maxium of $20 for a product unless I know for sure it is worth it.
    I use raw shea butter/olive oil/almond oil/grapeseed oil/coconut oil. for moisture.
    L'Oreal Sulfate Free Moisturizing Shampoo runs like $5 dollars
    Silicon Mix Deep Conditioner runs$8
    Hello Hydration Coniditioner $4
    For styling I LOVE Taliah Wajjid Kinky Wavy or Curly Curl Cream $ 6-$8. My hair is thick and loves moisture. If my scalp gets really dry I love the castor oil hair grease(white and green jar) $3.

  • Fuzzypuff says:

    Oh! I went this route because when I was young my hair grew just fine using these products. Why stop? Also I notice no build up, but then again I've always used a clarifying shampoo every month. I do like to experiment with products but I find myself going back to the old faithfuls…..good luck!

  • Fuzzypuff says:

    Hi Joy,
    I'm not a broke college student (lol) but I use whatever I want on my hair that provides the best results. That seems to be the"bad" stuff. I tried doing all natural, blah blah blah but my hair didn't respond well. Nor did my wallet. I use drugstore brands (pantene and aussie) for my shampoo and conditioner, and oils found in the supermarket (olive, coconut, almond). My hair is moisturized, thick and growing. Don't feel like you have to go organic because that's what everyone else is doing. Do what's best for your hair, and your budget. I've been doing this for 7 years with no issue.

  • KeepItMovingDotCom says:

    To keep things under budget (my husband keeps me on one!) I use:
    Suave Naturals Conditioner
    Herbal Essences HH Shampoo
    Coconut Oil
    ORS Olive Oil Smooth N Hold Pudding

    My product total is around $16.95.

    I do co-wash but I have to use shampoo at least once a week. Silicones and sulfates don't seem to bother my hair at all. I use an afro pick regularly and I don't have an unusual amount of breakage or split ends. I know I should sleep in a bonnet or use a satin pillow case but I forget! Nevertheless, so far so good!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey, I'm on the same boat as you (broke college student), therefore, organic products are out of the question. I also haven't done the Curly Girl routine. Recently, after a bad choice in shampoos, I messed my hair up. BIG TIME DRYNESS.

    1) So, what I've been using right now is Pantene Pro V's Curly Series Dry to Moisturized shampoo and conditioner. I also use Pearl Collection Cholesterol conditioning cream when I wash my hair. Before I do wash my hair I mix mayonnaise and avocado and put that sandwhich smelling concotion into my hair for a few hours.

    After the wash, I put Garnier Fructis Style Sleek and Shine Smoothing Milk. I just started using Urban Therapy's Twisted Sista Curl Activator and 30 Second Curl Spray. So far, my hair's been responding to it well.

    2)I haven't had issues with build up for these products [as of yet]. The Smoothing Milk not at all (I've been using that for a while now).

    3) I recently found out about this site, so I wasn't aware of all the other options available to me (it's been hard finding good products, changing them up and around since the summer of 2007). So, this has been what works, and I'm broke so this has also been the best option for me.

    I've been on this kind of routine for about 4 years now. However, I would sometimes blow out/iron my hair out, so my hair is recooperating from heat damage and my own lack of care…so for a fairly abusive treatment, I'll have to say my hair is okay. It's important to keep it conditioned = moisture = happy hair.

    I hope this helps!

  • KeepItMovingDotCom says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • MyZtiPHIed says:

    I still have a problem with dryness in my opinion, but i get compliments all the time. I too am broke. My advise, keep it simple. Right now I use the Sheamoisture which is $10 at Target (there are a few ….I tried the smoothie and curl milk I believe). These both last a while…. After Co-washing with HEHH or HE LTR ($3), I put a lil (SheaMoisture) on each piece I may twist Making sure I am using very little product… the smoothie doesn't go on as smooth for me. I also used to just leave a lil HH in my hair and after my twists dried fluffed them with a shea mixture that I made which was really inexpensive.
    To smooth rough edges, I sometimes use EcoStyler or IC Aloe Gel which are pretty inexpensive to. but watch for flaking. There is a 100% Aloe Gel that I can only find at Rite Aid in the Sun Tan area is slightly a little more but No flaking.

    I think the key to it all is really keeping it simple and realize which products are a necesity for you. Try styles that you normally do, with one less product and see what happens… you would be surprised on what we think we need sometimes. I have a closet, Bathroom cupboard, and shower FULL of things I THOUGHT was a necesity and come to find out…. they didnt make a difference.

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