16 Natural Hair Products Under $12 That Actually Work
Your curls may be your crowning glory, but they can cost a pretty penny to maintain when you're slathering your strands in the best of the best. Fortunately, not all grade-A, curl-friendly products cost an arm an a leg. Plenty of worthy natural hair must-haves run for just under 10 buckaroos, keeping a naturalistas tresses going strong without breaking the bank.
A common misconception in the black hair community is that going natural can be more expensive than maintaining a relaxer. While it's true that organic and all-natural products often have steeper price tags, quality ingredients don't always require a major investment. Some of the best curl enhancers, frizz fighters, and hair masks for naturalistas are super affordable, proving that expensive products aren't always superior. If that's your M.O., definitely ball out and pamper your mane with luxe haircare. Just know there are amazing brands that make slaying on a budget an option available, too.
Every girl deserves to splurge on her fro every now and then without totally going broke. So try any of these 18 natural hair products you can buy for a too-good-to-be-true steal of $12 or less, and you'll grow at ease with becoming a product junkie. Getting salon quality hair care at drugstore prices makes the natural hair movement all the more rewarding. Thanks to such all-star brands that give penny pinching a good name, achieving your hair goals has never seemed so easy.
1. A Reconstructor That Reduces Breakage And Adds Body
A one-step strengthening treatment formulated with keratin protein and green tea antioxidants, this reconstructor reduces breakage and adds body to lifeless hair. Active ingredients allow it to bond with the hair shaft to restore your heat-damaged tresses to their former curliscious glory. It also helps with split ends. With a 4.3 rating, it's a customer-approved favorite. "Its been 4months I use it once a week on every wash day and my 3c natural hair has completely transformed. Its never been healthier and sheds wayyy less when styling," one fan raves.
2. The Cult-Classic Treatment That Fights Dandruff And Flakes
An over-processed and heat-damaged mane could use some TLC. Use Queen Helene's Jojoba Hot Oil treatment to do just that to relieve a dandruff-ridden and flakey scalp, heal brittle strands, and repair split ends. With lanolin and amino acids, it's a tried-and-true favorite. Customers even say it does a great job pre-poo and on the ends before styling.
3. A Moisturizing Mask With Argan Oil And Keratin
Known for reviving dry and damaged hair, argan oil is the key ingredient in One 'n Only's Restorative Mask. Made to penetrate the cuticle to rebuild strength and restore elasticity, this intensive treatment is a must-have for type 4 naturals. There's also shea butter and keratin to up the moisturizing effects. With more than 100 five-star reviews, fans have say things like, "Nothing that I have tried works this well on my hair."
4. A 100% Pure Monoi Oil At A Great Price
Give your strands the moisture it craves with hydration from SheaMoisture's monoi oil. The pump makes it an easy way to dispense product, and feel free to use it all over your body, too, for deep moisture on dry hair and skin. The brand also offers pure shea, shea, flax seed, and Jamaican black castor oils at affordable prices.
5. This Curl Creme That "Works Perfectly"
Free of parabens, drying alcohol, and mineral oil, this curl cream nourishes and elongates the kinkiest coils. It's perfect for creating defined twist outs, finger coils, and other curly 'dos. With moisturizing shea butter and honey, it conditions deeply. "I have 3b curls, it works perfectly," one reviewer reports. Another says: "Love love love this brand. Brings my curls to LIFE!"
6. A Strong Hold Jelly With Aloe Vera
A little goes a long way with this strong hold curl jelly. With certified organic mango seed butter, aloe vera juice, shea butter, and plumeria alba flower extract packed into a bottle, it truly lives up to its "botanical" name. "Honestly my favorite gel for my 3A hair. It’s a good amount of hold but not too much. Comparable to much more expensive products," one fan says.
7. A Frizz-Fighting Creme With Coconut And Olive Oil
"This product does a great job moisturizing my hair and scalp. My hair tends to be a bit dry, so this product is great for my natural 4b/c hair," one fan writes. Beautiful Textures's Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Creme loves your coils just as much as you do. Enriched with aloe vera, coconut oil, and olive oil, it provides maximum hydration and tames frizzies.
8. An Argan-Packed Mask That Is The "Key To Moisture"
Give your mane five-star spa day treatment with Pantene's Gold Series argan oil-infused repair mask. It deeply penetrates even the driest, lackluster strands. "I got a lot of compliments saying how moisturized my hair looked and how this is the best its ever looked (I’ve been natural for 4 months)," one buyer says. "This mask is the key to moisture!"
9. A Holy Grail CoWash
Get rid of product buildup and hydrate your mane with this holy-grail gentle cleanser. It may cost about $7, but its ability to enhance unruly coils is priceless. The formula is packed with moisturizing coconut and castor seed oils as well as citrus extracts. With more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, its fans are legion. "This co wash is the best co wash I ever used," says one reviewer with 4C hair. "My hair stays moisturized, soft and it doesn't strip my hair!"
10. This Detangler That Works Miracles
Tangles are no match for Kinky-Curly's Knot Today. Watch it perform miracles when you make it your go-to product for detangling strands after removing braids, extensions, and other protective styles. Packed with naturally moisturizing ingredients like organic marshmallow root, mango extract, and slippery elm, it adds definition without drying hair out. "I actually get the curl definition I want and very minimal frizz. My hair is extremely dry and even on the second day my hair still feels moisturized," a shopper says.
11. A Light Mousse That Keeps Frizzies At Bay
Wavy, curly, and kinky naturalistas can benefit from this SheaMoisture silk protein-infused mousse. It keeps frizzies at bay while enhancing your texture without the crunchy feel that often comes along with using curl definers. This product packed with moisturizing coconut has reviewers saying: "Not what I expected in a mousse. It is even better! Your hair stays in place, but it doesn't get crunchy like other hair mousses. It is easy to worth with, and since it is natural products, you don't have to wash your hair every time you use it! It has clean ingredients so when you fix your hair edges, you don't break out on your forehead. Great product!"
12. A Paste That Promotes Hair Growth With Botanicals
Slick those edges into formation with Curls's control paste. A member of the Blueberry Bliss line of products, it promotes healthy growth as it lays and slays your flyaways with killer ingredients like organic blueberry extract and argan oil, as well as mango and shea butters. Plus, this product is free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, artificial oils, colors, or fragrances.
13. A Definer That Hydrates With Coconut And Aloe
This definer has certainly earned its good rep. Formulated with coconut oil, aloe vera juice, and shea butter, it packs a hydrating boost that defines coils without leaving heavy buildup. Jojoba oil and rice extract add to its powerful blend of ingredients that have shoppers saying "one of the best products I've tried." A little goes a long way with this one.
14. A Leave-In Milk That Gives Gorgeous Shine
Easily my all-time favorite leave-in, Creme of Nature's argan oil hair milk controls frizz and gives strands a gorgeous shine. Use it daily to revitalize curls with ultra buttery nourishment. The formula even includes other hero ingredients like moisturizing shea butter, glycerin, and coconut oil. "This is the ONLY product I've found in 4 years of trying to polish a moisturized, healthy, stylish look for my natural. It leaves my hair soft, moisturized, easy to manage, detangle and it lasts," another fan says.
15. A Cult-Favorite Edge Control And Curl Definer Gel
Slick the unruliest strands with Eco Styler Gel, a cult-favorite natural hair edge control and curl definer. For a heaping dose of product at such a low price point, this kind of deal should be illegal. Fans love the moisturizing olive oil and most of all, the results. "I went natural, so I often struggle with styling my hair. But OMG this gel works magic. Lays down edges like nobody's business, and holds the curls," say one happy customer.
16. A Great-Smelling Curl Cream That Doesn't Weigh Hair Down
A creamy miracle worker that transforms dry, brittle hair into a soft and manageable dream, this cream deserves a spot in every curly Q's arsenal. With a 4.5-star overall rating, fans on Amazon love this product for adding moisture without weighing hair down. "I have natural curly hair and this brings out the best in my curls! I put on damp hair and scrunch with my diffuser. Curls are defined and not frizzy. I also put on my dry curls the day after to revitalize my curls. Oh, and the smell is heavenly," one fan says.
This post was originally published on May 14, 2017. It was updated on June 21, 2017.
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