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Great Moisturizer Products for Black Hair

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The moisturizers on this list work for straightened or natural hair, and are oil-based. They're not ideal for creating perfectly-formed curls, but they're just what you need when your hair needs a boost of moisture. Add a dab or dollop when styling your hair for the day, and pay extra attention to the ends. These products range in price, so even the most budget-conscious can find something that works for them.

1. Shea Butter

shea butter
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen, licensed to About.com, Inc.
On its own, shea butter isn't the easiest ingredient to use, but with a little bit of work, you can take raw shea butter and transform it into a product that works head to toe. Mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba, and it becomes a spreadable butter that melts into hair and skin. Because it's such a good moisturizer, it's commonly found in other commercial products as one of the main ingredients. However, you can purchase it on its own and concoct a mixture in your kitchen, including only ingredients you like in the mix. When ready to apply it, warm it between your palms and it melts instantly, making it absorb especially well into hair of all textures.

2. Carol's Daughter Hair Milk

carols daughter hair milk
Photo © D. Sandeen
A well-known brand, Carol's Daughter has been providing a range of great products for all different hair textures for years. The Hair Milk remains a perennial favorite. It's lightweight, but a little goes a long way. Work a small amount into your ends daily and you won't have to worry about this section of your tresses becoming dried out and brittle. It's a little on the oily side, so anyone who doesn't like that feeling may not be a fan. However, even a dime-size dab provides some sheen and works on flyaway hair if that's what you're after. One other issue that some people have is the smell. It's a natural smell since the ingredients are mostly natural, but since scent is such a personal preference, not everyone loves it. It's on the strong side, but without the cloying heaviness that some commercial products have.

3. Shea Radiance Nourishing Hair Repair Cream

shea radiance nourishing hair cream
Photo © PriceGrabber
This moisturizer works wonderfully for women who don't want their tresses weighed down. Full of yummy stuff like shea butter, avocado oil and softening humectants, smooth it over your hair while damp or dry. It adds just the right amount of weight for taming natural curls while still allowing them to bounce freely. Smooth this over a ponytail, dabbing a bit extra on the ends, and your hair remains soft and moisturized all day.

4. Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer

elasta qp olive oil mango butter moisturizer
Photo © PriceGrabber
It smells good, is inexpensive and easy to find. While some women find that it seems to work better on straightened hair instead of natural curls, you can experiment to see how well it works for you. At such an affordable price point, it may be worth trying it out. Touted for thermal styling, this is a good product whether you use a flat/curling iron or not.

5. ORS Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion

ors olive oil hair lotion
Photo © PriceGrabber
Inexpensive and available everywhere from beauty supply stores to discount retailers, this product gets raves for being perfect for budget-conscious product junkies. Great ingredients in it include coconut, safflower, castor and olive oils. Yes, it does contain petrolatum, which is usually on a list of no-no's for black hair. If petrolatum is a deal-breaker for you, then avoid this one, but fans of this product generally don't get the buildup so common to other petroleum-containing lotions. Also on the plus side is the light fragrance.
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