Best Products For Styling Natural Hair


Confessions Of A Nouveau Natural Woman

"Don't Sweat the Technique" by Dre Brown

I was head over curls in love with my new natural hair after biting the bullet and shaving off my relaxed tresses. I watched and soon the fuzz grew into supple coils, now long enough to pull like springs as I daydreamed at the office or on the bus ride home (oftentimes nearly missing my stop, LOL). Love-struck, my virgin locks had become my new favorite things . . . and the time had come to take our relationship to the next level!

To spice things up, I sought to assemble a bag of tricks sure to bring the fire out of my beloved curls. So I did what any lovesick newly-natural woman would do—I headed for the nearest beauty supply store, on a mission to buy any- and everything I could find to fancy my new 'do.

There I stood in the ethnic hair care aisle surrounded by rows of bronze jars and tropically adorned bottles of kinky-this and curly-that—each concoction promising a deeper love affair with my hair. But what would be a sure thing?

As my natural hair grew in, I'd learned that it was prone to dryness, so the allure of oils—coconut, jojoba, shea, and olive—first drew my attention. My eyes got the best of me here, as I selected the most attractive containers of each oil-infused variety. (Sue me! I’m a sucker for a pretty face). But, what about the “conscious” products—those touting “all natural” and “organic" labels? They had to be better choices, right? Every product suggestion I’d gathered from friends, the web, and television started swirling through my head all at once—each driving me to chuck yet another bottle into my basket.

I rushed home with a truckload of new creams, custards, and curly cocktails—determined to try each of them. What started as a night of experimentation turned into weeks of product auditioning. Some sent my hair to the moon, while others barely got it off the ground. In the process, I learned that every product with “oil” in the name didn’t soothe my curls’ dry spells. To my surprise, some of the lesser-known brands proved to be as effective as the big names.

With each new product I twisted and scrunched into my curls, I found truth in what I’d heard so many times from veteran naturals—Don’t sweat the technique, because with natural hair styling, it’s all in the product!

So I heeded their warning. And, after careful selection, my big bag of tricks soon found itself containing only a few tried and true potions—each with my new love’s stamp of approval . . .

1 Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream

This shea butter cream works better than any of the oils. I use it daily to fight dryness and provide additional leave-in conditioning after 'co-washing.'

2 Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner

Instead of using traditional shampoo, I 'co-wash' with a rich, sulfate-free conditioner to rid my hair of dirt and product build-up.

3 Kinky-Curly “Knot Today” Leave-in/Detangler

I keep the kinks I want and comb through the ones I don't with this detangler.

Check back next week for Part 3 in Dre Brown's Nouveau Natural saga: "From 'Cutie' to 'Queen'"

Did you miss Part 1? "The Bold, The Bald, and The Beautiful"

Driven to infuse each encounter with joy-inducing laughter, Dre Brown (before and after her run-in with the clippers, left) seeks to offer those she reaches both something for the eye and for the soul. Based out of New York City, Dre splits her time between makeup artistry, hair styling, strategic marketing, writing and entrepreneurship. Follow her exploits on her blog: a Dre in The Life