Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

Obstacles to Finding Your Natural Hair Routine

By January 27th, 202121 Comments

Ashley writes:

I’ve been natural for about 3 years now, but I am just now putting away the flat iron (heat damage!) and embracing my curls. At first I didn’t know what to do about my hair because I used a string of products that just did not work for me: Tigi Moisture Maniac, Garnier Triple Nutrition, Yes to Carrots, and CJ Curl Assurance. These products tangled my hair & left it so stiff and miserable. For a while I really was at a loss for what to do. Eventually I realized that not ALL products left my hair raggedy & I wondered if there was a common ingredient in those other products that left my hair a mess. I compared the no-no products & saw that they all have Behentrimonium Chloride/Methosulfate in the ingredients list. Once I knew what the issue was I consciously used products without this ingredient. So although I won’t be using the new Hello Hydration (boo hiss boo) and a whole bunch of other products, I now know what works for my hair.

What obstacles did you have to finding out what works for your hair?

What things must you avoid like the plague, and what are you knowingly doing for the health of your hair?


  • Brodie says:

    I just wanted to comment on the image here. This is actually what I would call my beauty reference. Great skin, figure, and the hair (I already have going). I'm going to print this and use it as my inspiration for during this weight loss journey. Looking to take off 80 lbs or be a size 6 one year from now-which ever comes first. Thank you:)

  • Blinky kinks says:

    Keeping the hair moisturised is so challenging at times, I have to visit my hair diary as much as possible. Also Kimmaytube take on PH is really informative would recommend peeps take a look if alterantives dont rock ur boat!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    The woman in that photo is a knock out.

  • purplgirl48 says:

    @ Alaina & diademydo — Thanks ladies

  • diademydo says:

    @ LaToya you may be experiencing product build up. If you use many products and don't clarify, ypu may lose shine. It happened to me and I found that when I started using less products my hair had more shine. I clarify with Giovanni Triple Treat Tea Tree and have found that I can use the same product to twist and dc or maybe the same product to co-wash and leave in. It really helps.

  • Anonymous says:

    You should try Morrocanoil moisture repair shampoo and moisture repair conditioner. Both products contain no phosphates, sulphates, or parabens. Check out thier products at As far as I know their products can't be purchased online but I find them at higher end beauty supply stores in abundance. The shampoo and conditioner are both around $18 but a little goes a long way. Also, to wet set my hair I use Carol's daughter black vanilla leave-in conditioner (it says that it can be used daily to mist onto the hair but I only use to wet set because when I have used it daily it makes my hair feel coarse and it becomes a bit tanlged which is a complete nightmare for a transitioner like me 🙂 Good luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    I used to have the worst problems with henna. My hair would be dry and brittle, after several co-washes and even deep condish treatment. It would be a couple of weeks before it felt soft and moisturized. At the suggestion of a friend, who does Aphoghee treatments, said I should try the Balance Remoisturizer after henna. Then for deep conditioning, try the Silk Elements Moisturising Treatment. So next henna treatment, I tried the BR and OMG, at first touch of it to my hair, was like magic. My hair was instantly supple and moist. It was quite unbelievable. The first time in my year of doing henna treatments was my hair in such fabulous shape. My wet curls were plump with moisture. Then I tried the SE, again another magical experience. The consistancy of it is just right, not too thick or thin, smells great and does a bang up job. Makes detangling virtually not needed, but I still use the Tangle Teezer for smoothing and removing shedded hair. Lastly, I use a mixture of Suave's Shea and Almond condish (dime size for each section) with S-Curl activator (4 squirts per section), twist it up and seal with castor oil. My hair is thriving. While it's grown significantly in the 5 years I've been natural, this is the first time it's so easy to manage and isn't dry and brittle.

  • Alaina says:

    @ LaToya some hair is just not going to have shine. cottony textured hair doesn't reflect light as much. i know oyin's burnt sugar pomade has given many curlies shine, and you could try patting a little olive oil (or wichever oil) on your hair after you style, but you can't crate shine where there is none. and there's nothing wrong with that!

    @bkkinksncurls i'm having that problem right now 🙁 the super dry hair and scalp came out of nowhere. now i don't know what to do. none of my old moisturizers are enough. i hope qhemet's are the miracles everyone says they are…

  • Bird says:

    Anonymous @5:29 girl.. we all up in the same boat minus the henna. I was/am having horrid problems with moisture. I swapped to a cone-free conditioner for a little experiment and huntee.. there's a change happening and I think I'm liking it! Try not to change so many things at once. It makes it super hard to tell what your hair likes and doesn't like. That's what I'm learning now… the problem is my patience lol but it's getting better. HTH!

  • purplgirl48 says:

    I'm hoping some of you natural sisters can help me. Last week I showed my husband the CN meet up in Raleigh/Durham. He commented on how shiny the ladies hair was. And then proceeded to let me know that mine is not shiny. I think I've got it down as far as making my hair feel soft, but am clueless when it comes to shine. So here is a bit about me and my routine.

    Me: 8 months post relaxer with between 1-2 inches of new growth, and 5-6 inches of permed ends. 4a/b

    -Pre-poo with EVOO (Just bought some coconut oil and plan to use at next session)
    -Co-Wash with Hollywood Beauty Olive Chloesterol creme
    -DC with HE hello hydration
    -Leave In- Proclaim Tee Tree leave in with a mix of Proclaim Natural 7 oil
    -Let air dry via banding
    -Flat twist while still a tad bit damp. I use shea butter/proclaim oil mix to coat and seal ends
    – Once dry, I untwist, fluff and style.

    My ends and long strands have some shine and are soft, but my 'new growth' at my roots is soft and cottony with no shine.

    What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions will be appreciated.

  • Anonymous says:

    I avoid…
    -extending shampoo sessions past every 5-6 days
    -letting product touch my scalp
    -combs and brushes
    -letting my hair shrink up completely
    -daily moisture
    -putting oils and butters on the whole strand

    I do…
    -acv rinse after shampooing for a healthy scalp
    -finger detangle 100% of the time
    -keep my hair stretched via twist outs, braid outs, banding, etc
    -moisturize every 5-6 days
    -seal my ends with my shealoe mix

  • Anonymous says:

    I avoid olefin sulfonate like the plague. It leaves my hair fiercely tangled….

  • sarah says:

    hey Anon @5.44p

    sounds like you need to simplify. instead of piling new products and treatments on top of your regimen, try paring it back and getting a rock solid cleanse-moisturize-style regimen. start with three products, one for each step, and then focus on swapping out products one step at a time. that way, you can easily eliminate what doesn't work without convoluting the situation. starting with the "style" or "moisturize" part is the easiest, because you can apply the rules you've learned from one step to the rest. if your hair hates protein, you can find that out quick and then apply that knowledge when you try out products for another step. hope that helps or makes sense.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been natural for a little over a year now and I am still trying to get a good routine down! I am somewhere within the type 4 category and I have also tried a ton of well-known products that consistently leave my hair dry and my wallet frustrated. The last few months I have started going back to the "basics" with ingredients and this has really helped me with maintaining moisture. I now just use water, castor oil, jojoba oil and shea butter.
    When I wash my hair I seal it with castor oil and a little bit of honey while it is soaking wet for my twist outs. However my twist outs usually only last a day or two b/c my hair is so fine. So during the rest of the week I use about a dime size amount of castor oil in my hair and and just rinse that in the shower for my rinse and go, followed by a little bit of jojoba and shea while my hair is soaking wet. This really makes my curls pop and helps them stay moisturized all week. Going back to basics has really worked for me and saved my wallet! Especially when I started to realize that these were the main ingredients that usually attract me to certain products in the first place :). I used to be very leery about using castor oil b/c my hair is so fine but I have noticed that combining castor oil in small amounts with water really works good for my curls.

  • GJones says:

    This post is right on time. I am almost two months natural and I have a routine that has my curls very moisturized. I love Garnier Moisture Works. I fist wet my hair with warm water and apply a liberal amount of olive butter (not shea butter because my hair does NOT like it) then i put a plastic bag on it for the duration of my work out and then co-wash it. I have been doing wash and goes so I then put some leave in conditioner, hair milk and a a light mist of olive oil and water. That is it and my hair loves it. I hope this helps anyone that needs a starting point.

  • Amber says:

    I haven't used some of the things you've tried, but my hair *hates* Garnier products. They always left my hair dry.

    It took me a while, but I learned that a mixture of water and leave in conditioner worked better for keeping my hair moisturized and soft than anything else more expensive.

    Coconut oil has been the discovery of a lifetime for me. It works wonders for my skin and hair. Maybe you need something like that. For some people it's shea butter aloe, or castor oil. The brand stuff is nice, but often times does nothing for me.

    One thing you did that I didn't do for the longest, was read the ingredients in your products. Identify what really works, identify what harms you. If some of those products weren't working, maybe you need something much simpler and basic.

  • Anonymous says:

    i went through the whole split end breaking etc (even though with permed hair i never had that proble). Its still a process, im still finding my staple products that im sticking to to maintain a regimen. My hair liked shea moisture but shea moisture doesnt like alot of my other hair products (its not very friendly) lol. Hey i recently just started a blog by the way, show a fellow curly love and just drop by 🙂 ——->>>> Thanks:)

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm still soooo confused. I just cannot get my hair to feel soft or moisturized idk what I'm doing wrong. I deep condition, I use leave-in, I seal, add moisture whenever it feels like it may need it. I'm stuck! I can't tell if it likes protein or not. I did the henna completely WRONG by not having the right consistency and then getting so frustrated that the henna would not come out after 8 co-washes I just gave up and cried…. idk what to do but I'm tired. Lawd I'm so tired of it all. I love my curls but I just cannot figure out what is wrong. I feel like a mom that just cannot figure out why her baby won't stop crying. You know theres something wrong but what?! I'm not giving up, I know I'll figure it out eventually but cheese wiz and crackers I wish I knew now!

  • Anonymous says:

    I use kinky curley and knot today. I spritz with water once I get somewhere where I can stay a few hours without exposure to the weather. This keeps it moisturized. Once you figure out what your hair hates stay away from it. once you find what it loves, stick with it. be kind and gentle with your hair. I once read that you should treat your hair like old lace or fine paper. it will thank you for being kind and grow.

  • sarah says:

    my hair is pretty resilient, but it gets sick of the same routine all the time, so i have to throw in a curveball every two months or so (like using my summer products in the winter, just once).

    also, learning the difference between curl definers vs. curl enhancers was a game changer for me.

  • bkKinksnCurls says:

    I have serious moisture issues..and that goes for my hair, scalp, and skin! I have to avoid harsh detergents like the plague. I'm still on the quest to finding a shampoo or no poo that doesn't make my scalp flake.

    One thing my hair LOVES is leaving in conditioner. I've been following the TightlyCurly method of not washing out conditioner and my hair is thanking me in spades! Shiny, moisturized, perfectly tangle-free, soft, bouncy, and no product build up. Now I just use Aussie Moist to condition and style my hair into twists while I transition. My hair and wallet are much happier now that I stopped buying the higher end products that didn't work for me.

Leave a Reply