UPDATED September 2023 – When it comes to products for fine natural hair, it’s easy to get bogged down with the many offerings on the market. Oh, but when you discover what works for your hair and more importantly WHY it works, then you can start working on your hair goals.
What are staple hair products?
Simply put, your staple hair care products are the products your hair can’t do without. It’s those hair product you would NEVER want to give up. Not ever. It’s your cleansers, conditioners, treatments, oils and stylers.
Some would call these your holy grail products. Others say there’s no such thing as holy grail products.
I say when you know what your hair loves so much that you don’t ever want to be without these products, call them what you want.
I’ve tried many products for fine natural hair. Some were sold by mass manufacturers. Some were sold by small businesses. Then, there’s the DIY recipes I’ve found on the web using ingredients right in the kitchen or straight from nature.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I KNOW what my fine natural hair likes, loves and hates.
For the products that don’t have links, please bookmark this page. I update regularly!
This page will continue to evolve as I add and remove products from this list. Sometimes the manufacturers of hair products change their formularies and I no longer love those products. That’s what has happened in the past.
Below I’ve shared sharing specific products that my fine natural hair loves and that I’m currently using. They are categorized by type
Ominira Naturals Shampoo Herbal Infusion Hair Growth Shampoo – Tingly but not too much so, this shampoo is one of my recent loves. However, I have been using it for over two years. My scalp always feels so clean and my hair never stripped.
Henna Sooq’s Cleansing Conditioning Co-washes – I started using Henna Sooq’s cleansing conditioners in early 2019. I was quickly hooked. I love herbal and natural products. These are made with such love and care with ingredients such as Sage and Lemon. I used all three of the available cleansers, switching them up every so often: Sweet Orange; Rosemary, Tangerine & Clary Sage; and Peppermint.
Henna Sooq’s Hair Washes – Similar to the co-washes, their hair washes are superb. When not using one of the co-washes, I will use the Zizyphus Hair wash or the Cassia and Neem Hair Wash. I seasonally rotate using Henna Sooq’s co-washes and hair washes with my shampoo.
TGIN Miracle Honey Hair Mask – This hair mask is very moisturizing and my hair always feels amazing after using it. Honey is a humectant so this deep conditioner is designed to pull moisture into the hair.
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Hair Masque – This is one of my staple hair products for one reason. I can’t find a deep conditioner sans protein that really moisturizes my hair. So, I use this and I like to sometimes add cassia or henna to it.
Fine Hair Protein & Strengthening Treatments
Ominira Naturals Silk Herbal Infusion Ultimate Strength Conditioning Mask – balanced with strength and moisture. This is my favorite protein treatment.
DIY Goat’s Milk Treatment Conditioner – Smooth cuticles, stronger hair, poppin’ curls. This DIY recipe delivers a serious dose of strength and moisture. I use sporadically throughout the year when I don’t feel like using henna.
Henna – Full strength, gloss and Henna tea spray. I’ve done it all! All natural organic henna is all I will ever use. Monthly treatments worked in conjunction with my DIY goat’s milk treatment to keep my fine hair nice and strong. I attribute a lot of my fine hair’s health to henna.
However, I’m no longer using full strength henna treatments because my hair is graying and I don’t want to color it. I still use Henna (1-2 tablespoons in my deep conditioner) as a gloss. This doesn’t change he color of my hair.
Leave in Conditioners
Kinky Curly Knot Today – Always my favorite leave in from the time I first tried it. It’s lightweight and smells amazing but more importantly, it helps keep my hair hydrated for a very long time. I use it solo and I also use it to make my Kimmaytube leave in recipe.
Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave in Conditioner – I use this whenever I use CRN products on wash day. It has great slip, is very moisturizing and it will forever be in my rotation.
Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Softening Leave in Conditioner – Baby when I tell you he name doesn’t betray itself…. this has rapidly become my fave! I not only use it as a leave in but I also use it to finger detangle. The slip is amazing and the peppermint essential oil is so refreshing to my scalp!
Ominira Naturals Tangle Slayer – This is the best darn detangling conditioner around. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it contains silicones to give it all that slip. However, it doesn’t. It’s activated with water and works best under the shower stream but can also be used on damp hair outside of the shower.
Herbal Essences Hello Hydration – This is by no means a curly girl friendly product due to the silicones in it but I keep coming back to it and it has never left my hair feeling dry. There is no conditioner that I’ve ever tried that could detangle my hair on contact but this one. It’s cheap and my hair always feels butter soft after using it. Yes, I know it’s the silicones but I’ve never had issues using them.
Gels & Stylers
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker – the most moisturizing gel I’ve ever encountered. Expensive and worth every penny. My hair grew to love this…or rather I figured out how to properly use it (for lush twists and a wash and go paired with specific products).
Creme of Nature Pure Honey Curl Activator Cream – I get the best, most defined curls using this styler. What’s even more phenomenal is
Oils & Butters
Coconut -This is a multipurpose oil and my hair loves it for everything but sealing. The link is to a specific brand I love but to nix the shipping costs, I use organic unrefined grocery store brands, including that from Trader Joe’s.
Jojoba or Almond – The lightest of all oils, I love using one of these oils when I want a lightweight sealing oil. While I’m not doing much in the way of DIY Recipes, both are staple oils used to create them.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil (aka JBCO) – I used JBCO for a while but then stopped due to the unbearable itching it caused my scalp. BUT, it’s back on the staples list because I haven’t found an oil thick enough to keep my ends sealed for an extended period. When protective styling, I use it on the full length of my hair. It’s definitely not one of those products created for fine natural hair The link is to the plain JBCO that I was using but I also use Extra Dark.
Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Pure Oil Blend – Just like the leave in, the oil does not disappoint. However, this is one I use sparingly because it’s not available in stores and shipping costs really add up.
Aloe Vera Butter – A great hair butter, this is the smoothest of them all. It’s so creamy and I love it as a heavy sealant in the winter for twists and braids.
Essential oils – Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary and Tea Tree are my staple EOs. I use the first two to scent my products, the remaining essential oils are used to stimulate my scalp. The tea tree oil also serves as a natural preservative along with a little vitamin E when I want to DIY things.
Fresh Aloe Vera Leaf
Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice/Gel – The juice is great for sealing the cuticles after washing. I got this tip from Naptural85 on Youtube. I also purchase the Aloe Vera Gel by this brand. It’s more like a jelly but very soft and literally melts in your hands on contact. I also use pure aloe vera leaf for pre-pooing. (UPDATE: I use whatever brand is on sale now but I still use Aloe Vera)
Henna Sooq Moroccan Hair Tea Rinse – This is such a wonderful multipurpose item. When I joined Henna Sooq’s 6 week hair growth challenge, I was introduced to it. I am using this to create a hair growth (and sealing) oil, hair spritz and the base for mixing my hair masks.
Additionally, I’m using a whole host of herbs in my hair care. You can read about them here. I get my herbs from either Amazon or Henna Sooq.
Lastly, you may notice there are no moisturizers in my list. That’s because there are none any longer. Water is the ultimate moisturizer. I use it in conjunction with my leave in conditioners and oils.
Previous Staple Fine Hair Products
Below you’ll find previous products I considered to be staples. I wanted to share these because I highly recommend them and these are the hair products I’d return to again should something happen with my current staples.
Shea Moisture Strengthen Grow and Restore Leave in Conditioner – I really liked this leave in conditioner but it was just so like Shea Moisture to just change the formula. I don’t care for the change.
Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Co-wash – This is my number favorite co-wash in the category of mass produced products. I’ve tried the As I Am Coconut Co-Wash and a couple of the Shea Moisture Co-washes (one of them used to be a staple). None of beauty supply store co-washes I’ve tried can rival the slip and cleansing action of this one. However, I’m really focusing on herbal hair care products so I’m not using this product right now. I can definitely see revisiting this.
The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Hair Mask – Protein and moisture in one shot. My hair always felt very strong and moisturized after just one treatment. It’s a balanced product that requires no follow up. Yet, I’m minimizing the number of hair products I use and I don’t need this anymore.
The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Split-End Treatment Serum – When my ends really begin to show their age, they tend to split but not break off. I call them incomplete splits. This product helped to greatly protect my ends from splitting. Now, I’m using a wider variety of hair protecting herbs on a regular basis.
Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Penetrating Conditioner – This is an amazing deep conditioner. With the added benefits of coconut, my hair was always left feeling strong and hydrated. I basically love most things from Camille Rose Naturals. I used this for over 4 years. Lastly, I used to always add a tablespoon of henna or cassia to this to boost it further. Currently, I’m not using this because I just love my other deep conditioners more but I wouldn’t hesitate to return to using this one in the future.
The Mane Choice Tropical Moringa Oil & Honey Daily Moisturizer & Sealing Cream & Daily Restorative Spray – Can I just say YES MAM YES!? This duo is the ultimate of moisturizers. Yes, it’s that good. It has all the features needed to properly moisturize fine hair and keep it that way for days. So, why did I discontinue? Again, minimalism. The moisturizers I updated to multitask for me.
Thirsty Roots Apricot Castor Oil – Love this oil. Always will, but I’m cutting down on the number of products I use and I am no longer willing to pay shipping charges to obtain this. I use other oils that works just as well.
CurlPrep Sweet Butta – Rich in goat’s milk and protein, this butta is very moisturizing. The only reason it’s no longer a staple is I’m pairing down the number of products I use and am sticking with lines that can care for my hair from start to finish on wash day.
CurlPrep Around The Way Gel – This was my favorite gel of all time for a long time but things change and I have narrowed down what I’m using. Maybe I’ll revisit some day.
Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil – Almond is oil on its own is a great oil to promote moisture retention. Add in the mint and you have a super oil that helps stimulate growth! Mielle really did the darn thing on this one but I my hair is just fine with simple almond or jojoba oil. I can mix in my own peppermint EO for the same result.
The Mane Choice Biotin Infused Crystal Styling Gel – This gel surprised me. It’s very lightweight and has a consistency similar to Shea Moisture’s Curling Gel Souffle. It defines my hair very well, wet or dry and works REALLY well with the Mane Choice 3 in 1 conditioner. Here’s a link sharing my wash day using this gel. I’ve since paired down my gel to only the two listed above.
Camille Rose Naturals Ginger Cleansing Rinse– This product surprised me from the very beginning. It’s not a shampoo but it performs very much like one with a ton of sudsing but no stripping of the hair whatsoever. I’ve washed my hair with it up for a lengthy period of time and still my hair didn’t feel stripped. What’s best is you only need to use a very small amount to generate a lot of cleansing action. But, it’s all about Henna Sooq for me now.
The Mane Choice 3-in-1 Conditioner – One of the best leave in conditioners I’ve ever tried, I rotated this on wash day and used when I used the other Mane Choice suite of products. It’s an amazing leave in and can also be used solo as a styler, and even a co-wash. This just can’t be a staple because I feel like I have to use a lot of it. So, it’s not cost effective.
TRESEmme Botanique Nourish and Repair Conditioner – Another conditioner from TRESemme that has basically blown Perfectly (un) Done out of the water! Yet, nothing performs like Herbal Essences Hello Hydration so I don’t need it.
Argan Oil – a very rich and expensive oil, it’s also very precious. I use this a lot on my face but started using it on my hair to smooth fly aways and add shine. It also helps add strength to the hair. However, really good quality is expensive so I don’t use this regularly anymore.
Mango Butter – With my lifestyle changes, I don’t much time for DIY projects. Mango butter will always be a love of mine but I need to use products that are already whipped up the way I need them. That’s not to say I’ll never use mango butter again. Life changes. When I have more time, this is my butter of choice for DIYs since it has no scent. Alternatively, when not available I’ll use Shea Butter.
EcoStyler Curl and Wave Gel – This was my favorite gel by EcoStyler. No flaking and no crunchy hold. I used it to lay my edges daily when I didn’t use my edge control product. However, I’m trying to use products that are more natural so I had to put this one down 🙁
As you can see, I’ve gone through a lot of hair products for my fine natural hair. It’s the herbal products and other products infused with herbs that stand the test of time.
Camille Rose Naturals Style Setter – This is a super multipurpose hair product! I use it for my braid outs and twist outs. This It’s really great although it’s a little pricey. Thankfully, a little goes a long way.