Naturalistas I am all about saving that penny! So if you are transitioning or battling some serious dry/damaged hair I’ve got a few options for you to take into consideration below that won’t break the bank :

Budget Friendly Moisturizers For Transitioners & Dry Natural Hair

 Homemade Whipped Shea Butter with Oils
WHAT’S IN IT: Many DIY naturals with dry, thick hair (i.e.: ME!!) tend to find thicker butters and oils more appealing to add to our hair regimens. So grab some raw shea butter from the beauty supply and mix 2-3 tablespoons of your essential oil of choice. I tend to use coconut oil, castor oil, or olive oil but any essential oil will do the trick. Depending on the consistency of the butter that you are going for you want to make sure your oil is no more than 20-40 percent of the mixture. Go easy on a larger amount as you dont want to over saturate or clog your pores. Me personally I don’t want a load of oil dripping down my face. You know its going to drip anyway but … don’t add insult to injury!

PROS OF DIY WHIPPED BUTTER: This homemade mixture can work well for dry, thick hair because the combination is genuinely a super heavy/ thick consistency with moisturizing and sealing products due to the presence of the oils. Don’t be too heavy handed with products like this whether you buy them or make them because it can back fire and wind up weighing your hair down. Positive outlook about all DIY hair products is whipping up your own mixture allows you to directly control the ingredients that go onto your hair.

LOCATION: You can find all of these ingredients in your local beauty supply store and it won’t break the bank!! (essential oils tend to be a bit pricy… but I find that buying them at health food stores or the supermarket can save you a few dollars sometimes … or you can go the online Amazon route)

Cantu Coconut Curling Cream

WHATS IN IT: Okay… I love love love me some Cantu natural hair products. They were the first line I used when I started transitioning and they are still part of my hair regimen in different forms. However the ingredients in Cantu’s line are not curly girl friendly if you follow that regimen, and they do have some ingredients that I often turn the other cheek to because I love how they make my hair look and feel.  Their first ingredient however is Water which is important to always see as a first ingredient when looking for a good moisturizer. Here is a list of what is listed as the ingredients on the Coconut Curling Cream

Water (Aqua) , Canola Oil , Glycerin , Ceteareth 20 , Fragrance , Cetearyl Alcohol , Ceteth-20 , Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea) , Glycol Stearate , Petrolatum , Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice , Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut) , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil , Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado) , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond) , Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter , Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive) , Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil (Macadamia) , Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem) , Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot) , Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Argan) , Silk Amino Acids , Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle) , Laminara Cloustoni Extract (Sea Kelp) , Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract , Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape) , Urtica Dioica Extract (Nettle) , PEG 75 , Polyquaternium-10 , Phenoxyethanol , Ethylhexylglycerin

PROS OF CANTU COCONUT CURLING CREAM: The first ingredient is water and it does possess many “good for your hair” ingredients such as : coconut oil,  shea butter, almond oil, and argan oil. However these ingredients aren’t in their pure unadulterated essential oil form and are pretty far down on the ingredient list. You get some bang for your buck as this product only costs about 5-6 dollars and smells like absolute heaven!

LOCATION: Just about everywhere!!! I love that I can find Cantu just about anywhere I go. Most drug stores sell it, as well as Family Dollars, and of course your local beauty supply store.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream

WHAT’S IN IT: Same feelings when it comes to the leave in conditioner that I swear by. I have been also using this product since I decided to go natural and it has NEVER ever let me down!  However it does contain water as the first ingredient so that is always a plus in my book when looking for a good moisturizer I can afford. The ingredients are as follows:

Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Glycine Soja OilSoybean , Propylene Glycol , Polyquaternium 37 , Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate , PPG 1 Trideceth 6 , Cetearyl Alcohol , Glycerin , Stearalkonium Chloride , Trimethylsilylamodimethicone , Panthenol , PPG 1 PEG 9 Lauryl Glycol Ether , Lanolin Oil , Cinnamidopropyl Trimonium Chloride , Hydrolyzed Collagen , Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer , Hydrolyzed Soy Protein , Benzophenone 3 , BHA , BHT , Zea Mays (Corn) OilCorn , Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate , DMDM Hydantoin , Phenoxyethanol , Fragrance (Parfum)

PROS OF CANTU LEAVE IN CONDITIONER: Coming in about 6 bucks for 16fl oz I can’t get enough of this product even though it may not be the purest/most natural when it comes to the natural hair movement. It smells like heaven and has an amazing thick consistency providing for some great slip when you apply. And ladies… a little goes along way therefore I only need to use this product 2-3 times a week max to keep my hair fully moisturized. I’ve only purchased this product three times and I have been natural for 2 years so that should help you calculate how long it will last you.

LOCATION: Just like all other Cantu hair products they can be found just about anywhere! All drug stores and beauty supplies usually carry Cantu lines in their entirety so you can dabble in their other products as well when you pick this great product up.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love

WHATS IN IT:  So Karen’s Body Beautiful products are little miracles in a jar! This is for the naturalista that is willing to pay a little more  (about 18.00 bucks… so I buy it sparingly) than they would if they purchased Cantu products, but you are getting the more naturalistic/ holistic approach that many swear by. Most of Karen’s Body Beautiful products are made from natural blends of oils and butters while providing a light coverage that won’t weigh your hair down. I first stumbled onto her products when looking for a new leave in and found the Sweet Ambrosia leave in.  I loved the leave in so much that I decided to give her butter love a shot for some extra moisturizer. Here is what you can expect to find in this product:

Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Jojoba Butter, Aloe Butter, Essential and/or Fragrance Oils, Grapefruit Seed Oil & Vitamin E

PROS OF KAREN’S BODY BEAUTIFUL BUTTER LOVE: Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love and most of her products are made from actual rich thick butters and essential oil without the by product and preservatives found in other cheaply made hair products labeled “for naturals”. This product works best on thick hair while softening and adding shine to your hair that may seem dull or lifeless. The best thing about this butter is that it won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy as I find many “butter” products for natural hair do. *Do follow the directions though and relax on the heavy hand. Product junkies you’ve been warned.

LOCATION: You can purchase any of her products online of course at her website, on Amazon, or at selected Targets near you!!

Hydratherma Naturals Daily Moisturizing Growth Lotion
 Hydratherma Naturals is truly becoming one of my fave go to products because they are all about natural growth promotion and length retention which has become my main focus during my natural hair growth journey lately. First ingredient is water so you know thats a check plus in my book. With a mix of natural butters and essential oils you get all the good stuff without the gunky parabens and sulfates that can often be found in moisturizers also. (always read the ingredients ladies) And this product is Curly Girl friendly!

Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Emu Oil, Hydrogenated Almond Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Fragrance, Germall Plus (PARABEN FREE PRESERVATIVE)

PROS OF DAILY MOISTURIZING GROWTH LOTION: This moisturizer is light enough to be used on a daily basis without causing buildup and residue (if used properly). I’ve never added glycerin to my hair regimen until I started using Hydratherma Naturals products and my hair is loving it and very pleased. So if you don’t want to go out and buy glycerin from the beauty supply store, you will find it directly in this growth lotion listed as the third ingredient (which means it is a large part of the mix). Always realize that the earlier the ingredient is listed the more of is in the product so watch out for products that state they have essential oils and they are listed all the way at the bottom of the ingredient list. Besides being used as a daily moisturizer you can also use this growth lotion as a deep conditioner so you get more bang for your buck! A two for one deal costing you about 14 bucks!

LOCATION: You can find Hydratherma products directly from their website or in various locations across the country.

 Carma Care products have become my little secret in a jar that won’t be so secret anymore. My favorite product in their line is the hair soufflé (though to be fair I haven’t dabbled much in the rest of the line as of yet). What I’ve stated previously in my full review of this product has all ingredients that I can pronounce which makes me feel like I know exactly what is going into my hair and the results are always fabulous.

100% Natural Shea Butters, Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, Olive oil, Castor oil, Vitamin E & Fragrance 

PROS OF CARMA CARE HAIR SOUFFLE: Costing you about 12 bucks you will be using this product for a long time… WHY? Because of the thick consistency from the shea butter blend you DO NOT and I mean DO NOT need to use alot of this product in your styling regimen to see the results. I made that mistake and realized that the purity of this product allows for dime size to be just right! I got the best results I’ve ever had on my twist outs, and flexi rod sets using the hair soufflé and I don’t use the word best lightly because I am super picky with what goes on my hair and how it makes it look post styling.

LOCATION: For right now you can only purchase this product and other Carma Care products from her online store here but ladies it is worth it.

WHATS IN IT: I recently starting using the I love my Fro Shea butter whip for my roller sets to get that nice sheen smooth look without having to pile on loads of gel or other products. I’m trying to simplify my hair regimen and wanted to be able to find a product that would be able to handle many aspects of my hair in one. Shea Butter Whip is water based so I knew it would keep my hair moisturized especially because my ends are a bit rusty right now (I need a trim bad). Shea Butter Whip did just that. It gave me the smooth look (which is great for my ladies that blow dry and add heat to their hair). Besides that what drew me to Shea Butter Whip was it possessed almost EVERYTHING I added into my pre-poo and deep conditioning mixes so I knew my hair would be pleased with this as a styler/ moisturizer as well:

Raw African Shea Butter, Distilled Water, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, *Cetyl Alcohol, **Cream Maker CAT, Aloe Vera Gel, Coconut Emulsifier, Optiphen (Preservative) and Fragrance.

PROS OF SHEA BUTTER WHIP: Uhhh… how about you can use this product for your hair & your skin! Which I have been doing so this two for one deal has been making my skin and hair extremely happy! This product  consists of just about everything I use in my deep condition and pre poo mixes (i.e.: aloe vera gel, olive oil, avocado oil, and jamaican black castor oil) This is what I mean when I said I was going for the all in one product so I wouldn’t have too many extra steps in my styling regimen.

LOCATION: You can find I Love My Fro products on her website and PS ladies: she offers free samples of her products so you can try them to see if they work for your hair!

What moisturizers have you had great luck with? Leave us your comments below!

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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.