Transitioning Hair: 12 Must-Have Natural Hair Products
By Jacqueline Samaroo
When it comes to transitioning to your natural hair, there are usually two ways to go about it: big chop or grow it out. While there are definite big chop benefits, many “returning naturals” decide to take the grow-it-out route. It allows you to retain length and offers more styling options.
However, taking care of hair that is both natural (at the roots) and chemically treated (at the ends) requires some help from the right transitioning hair products. You will need them to:
- Care for your new growth of natural hair.
- Care for your chemically-treated ends.
- Encourage hair growth.
- Help with styling your hair.
For more on caring for your transitioning curly hair, read:
- 10 Ways to Make Transitioning to Natural Hair Easier
- Natural Hair Care: 11 Tips to Regrow Your Hairline
- 7 Tips For Growing Out Your Natural Hair While Rocking a Protective Hair Style
The Best Transitioning Hair Care Products
Here are 12 products designed to make a big difference to your transitioning hair care routine.
- SheaMoisture Make It Last Wash N’ Go Shampoo and Conditioner Set
- Miss Jessie’s Co-Wash
- Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-in Conditioner
- Briogeo B. Well Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Skin & Scalp Oil
- Taliah Waajid Protective Styles Hairline Help
- SheaMoisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter Braid Conditioning Gel
- As I Am Double Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer
- EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Pudding Soufflé
- Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream
- Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner
- Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque
- Curlsmith Double Cream Deep Quencher
Bonus product! Curlsmith Curl Transitioning Kit
Ready? Let’s take a close look at each one.
Get the benefits of coconut oil, kokum butter, coconut milk, and plant peptides for your transitioning hair. The sulfate-free shampoo gently cleanses while the conditioner aids in detangling and minimizing frizz.
Want to find out about kokum butter and its goodness for natural hair growth? Read Is Butter Good for Hair? 3 Healthy Hair Butters for Natural Hair – Cocoa, Ucuuba, and Kokum.
This no-lather co-wash is specifically designed for tightly curly to kinky hair that’s transitioning from chemically processed to natural. It can be used daily or whenever you feel your hair needs a refresh between wash days.
Find more great-for-curly-hair cleansing conditioners, here!
Alikay Naturals and lovers of this leave-in conditioner refer to it as “Liquid Gold!” It has lemongrass to strengthen your curls, plus aloe vera and glycerine to provide a boost of moisture. These three key ingredients also help to leave your tresses silky, smooth, and shiny – Liquid Gold, indeed!
All hair types and textures can benefit from this powerful antimicrobial scalp oil. It is formulated with tea tree leaf oil, well-known as a treatment for clogged pores and dry skin (including a dry scalp).
Protective styling is a popular option for many curlies who opt to grow out their chemically processed hair. But quite often, the protective styles natural hair transitioners depend on prove to be challenging for our hairline.
Give your edges some extra TLC with this bamboo and biotin edge gel. It’s designed to repair a thinning hairline by strengthening your baby hairs and encouraging growth.
The SheaMoisture brand is a favorite of many naturalistas, so it comes as no surprise that SheaMoisture has got transitioners covered, too!
This conditioning gel is formulated for use as you detangle your curls and prepare it for braiding – one of the protective styles natural hair gets put up in most often.
The Braid-up Conditioning Gel provides your strands with the anti-inflammatory and vitamin-rich benefits of jojoba oil. Plus, its other star ingredient, ucuuba butter, is noted for being an antioxidant with powerful moisturizing effects – just what transitioning curly hair needs!
This Double Butter Cream Rich Daily Moisturizer has the decadent kind of pampering required for chemically-treated hair that’s transitioning to natural hair. Use it for curl definition in loose hair or when doing your twist-out and Bantu knot-out styles.
Its impressive list of butters and oils includes shea butter, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and castor oil. It’s also formulated with panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) to help nourish and strengthen your strands.
This pudding soufflé from Eden BodyWorks is as yummy for your transitioning hair as it sounds! It provides curl definition and a soft hold – great for light sculpting of wavy to loosely curly hair.
Apart from its coconut oil and shea butter, there’s also some avocado oil and aloe vera in the mix. All good stuff for nourishing and strengthening your hair as you transition it to its natural glory!
Read all about the difference and similarities of gels and mousses, here!
Curly hair has a tendency to be on the dry side and chemical treatments are notorious for their added drying effects. Combat dryness with intense hydration from this anti-static, frizz-fighting styling cream. It’s built around argan oil‘s fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidant benefits for scalp health and natural hair growth.
Very often chemically-treated hair = damaged hair. It’s why the best transitioning natural hair products often focus on repairing that damage. It’s made with monoi oil (a blend of coconut oil and Tahitian gardenia flower extract) and pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol) to strengthen all hair types.
Rosemary, mentha (mint), oil, honey, and coconut oil all contribute to the benefits your transitioning hair will reap from this hair mask. It is especially suited for nourishing and hydrating dry hair of all types and textures.
Deep conditioning is always an important part of natural hair care. It is also extremely important when transitioning to naturally curly hair. That’s true whether or not you opt for one of the many protective styles natural hair transitioners often wear.
This deep conditioner is a rich mix of shea butter, resurrection flower (aka Rose of Jericho), andiroba, avocado, apricot kernel, and sunflower oil, along with aloe, sage, rosemary, pepper, and basil extracts.
Transitioning Hair Care Kit
Want to stick to just one brand? Several of the brands showcased in this article carry other great products for transitioning hair. A really good example is this kit from the folks over at Curlsmith.
- Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash (co-wash)
- Double Cream Deep Quencher (deep conditioner)
- Hold Me Softly Style Balm (styling cream)
- In-Shower Style Fixer (styling gel)
Pudding soufflés, creams, gels, mousses, leave-ins, co-washes, and so much more! It can all seem like a lot to wrap your head around while you navigate the damage-control-intensive waters of transitioning hair. Relax, you can make transitioning to naturally curly hair less stressful if you remember THIS:
Much of it (especially in the beginning) has to do with experimenting and finding the right products for YOUR hair.
Have you transitioned to natural curly hair? Share any tips you have!