September marks my 18th anniversary of having relaxer free hair.  My natural hair journey wasn’t some journey to reclaim my natural texture or to  be free of relaxers. My hair was making me hot. It was the summer of my freshman year in New Brunswick, NJ and 90+ degrees. I remember being on my roller blades skating around campus with sweat dripping down my face. I’m not sure what possessed me to stop, but I ended up in front of a barbershop on George Street.  A few minutes later, I found myself negotiating with the barber who refused to cut my hair. He said most women would pay top dollar for the length I had. I told him to cut it off and sell it to them.  I just wanted it off my head. Eventually he sat me down in his barber chair and I pointed to one his barber photos on the wall. About 20 minutes later, I walked out of the shop practically bald.  Once I got back on campus and entered the dining hall, I walked to the section I occupied on a daily basis, utensils and mouths dropped.  That cut was the first of two big chops I’ve had in the past 18 years.

Currently, my hair is cut into a neck length bob, an impulse move I made last Thanksgiving. It was my first hair cut in about 10 years.  I flip-flop between wearing roller sets and a wash and go. Although I don’t use a relaxer, I do my own coloring.  Experimenting with color is definitely one of my favorite hair pastimes. Right now, I have somewhat of a brown and blonde ombre color that I did with a box of Feria. Eventually, once Fall officially hits, I’m going back to a simple jet black.

My go-to hair products for the past couple of years have been pretty simple. Gone are the days of me being a product junkie. I can’t even begin to calculate how much money I used to spend on products. Every week there was something new I had to try.  Nowadays, you couldn’t pay me to try some of these over priced products that are on the market.  But I do have my favorites that are quite affordable.

Shampoo & Conditioners

Herbal Essence Hello Hydration– not only is it less than $3 a bottle, it leaves my hair soft and smells amazing. I use the conditioner as a co-wash, and shampoo about 2xs a month.

Giovanni Leave In This stuff is a godsend! Whether I’m doing a wash & go, or a blow out/roller set. It’s lightweight and doesn’t weigh my hair down. It runs about $7, sometimes cheaper.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – I use EVCO to cook, on my skin, as my oil pulling agent and on my hair. Coconut Oil prices vary, depending on size and brand. Typically I don’t pay more than $10 and it lasts for months.

Ulta Hair Smoothing Styling Serum Whenever I’m applying any type of heat to my hair, this is a must. It leaves my hair frizz free and smooth.  It’s the Ulta equivalent to the expensive Chi version. Whereas the Chi version is $14+, this is only $8.

 After years of trial and error, I tend to know what products work best on my  hair. Occasionally I may switch up, or raid my sister’s bathroom, but for the past couple of years these are in constant rotation.  I definitely don’t like breaking the bank when it comes to my hair, I’d rather spend money on shoes.

Clutchettes, what are your must have styling products?

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  • MC

    My hair currently is relaxer free. However, I don’t wear my hair curly, I press my hair using a flat iron (Sedu and Babyliss brand flat irons are the best and worth the cost, straightens my thick coarse hair). I use:

    Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Shea Butter Shampoo
    Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Rinse Out Conditioner
    Motions Deep Penetrating Treatment (when I do a deep condition)
    Motions Leave In Conditioner Spray (spray this on and comb through to get the tangles out before blow drying)
    Cantu Daily Oil Moisturizer (apply small amount before flat ironing)
    Cantu Super Shine Silk (apply to hair at night before you wrap it up, will have nice shine in the morning and lightweight)
    Mizani Oil Sheen Spray

    I love Cantu and Motions products because they are inexpensive (less than $10 for each product) and they are sold everywhere. Mizani Oil Sheen costs more than average oil sheen ($10-$12), but I love the way it smells and it doesn’t weigh my hair down. I also have seen that Cantu and Motions have products for curly hairstyles as well now.

    • damn girl you love you some cantu!! i don’t blame you.. i absolutely LOVE the cantu leave in conditioner. it does something to my hair that i simply cannot understand! when i want to do my hair in a braid out i use the leave in conditioner on my damp hair and braid it.. at first the braid it wet… then it gets super hard like the way that the ampro black gel makes your hair… then hours later my hair is phenomenally soft and moist.. yet bounces and moves whenever i walk or move my head! it’s crazy! my braid out also lasts an entire week.

      i love it love it love it!

  • luvlife289

    Relaxed Hair….Dark&Lovely: 6 week Anti-Reversion *Good Stuff*
    Cantu: leave -in conditioning cream *Great for extra conditioning*
    Infusium 23…*enough said*

  • Alexandra

    Neutrogena Triple Moisture Leave-In, Johnson & Johnson No More Tangles, Hair Pouss Plus and Herbal Essences or Aussie conditioners.
    And a wide-tooth comb; I’d be bald without it.

  • LeonieUK

    On the shelve today for the natural grey headed beauty is…
    Jasmine oil, Jojoba oil, Soft N Free curl activator, Wide tooth comb, Paddle brush and tangle teaser, very basic.

  • C

    Terressentials Hair Wash, and before I started using that, I loved Suave Naturals Coconut conditioner.

    My bone detangling comb is also a must.