Diva on a Dime

Sporting my hair in its naturally curly state is liberating, empowering, and just plain fun. One thing it’s not, however, is cheap. Yes, it’s probably less expensive than going to a salon every other week to get my hair fried, dyed and laid to the side, as my mom would say, but all those Carol’s Daughter and Kinky Curly products can really add up. So I decided to pull together a list of 5 products, each under $10, that I sometimes use to tame my mane. Perhaps you can turn to these when you need be a diva on a dime. These products aren’t completely plant-based as most of us naturalistas prefer, but in my experience I haven’t found them to be damaging to my hair and they work. 

Aussie Sydney Smooth Conditioner

Specifically designed to help fight frizz, this recent addition to the Aussie collection is just what we curly girls need. Perfect for co-washing, the Sydney Smooth conditioner seems to leave my hair even more moisturized than Aussie Moist Conditioner, which used to be a staple in my hair care arsenal. Some natural ingredients used to make this product include jasmine, silk extract, and jojoba oil. This conditioner can be found at drug stores, grocery stores and places like Target and Wal-Mart. 

Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioner

After co-washing my hair I usually comb this product through my wet tresses to lock in moisture. It costs less than $5 at grocery, drug, and big box stores and it works like a charm. 

Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk

Not to seem like a Garnier Fructis spokesperson, but I’ve found this product to be especially good at helping my hair fight frizz on rainy days. So sometimes I’ll use the smoothing milk instead of the leave-in conditioner, especially on days the weatherman (or weatherwoman) tells me I’m going to need an umbrella. 

Umberto Beverly Hills Curl Enhancing Lotion

In addition to a product that will keep my hair from getting too dry, I also need one that will keep it from getting too wild. Typically my go-to product for curl definition is Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Lite, but when the funds are low I turn to Umberto Beverly Hills Curl Enhancing Lotion, which is available at Target. It doesn’t smell as great as the more plant-based products I typically use, but it’s just as effective. Be careful not to apply to much of the product to your hair, however, or your curls might get crunchy. 

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme

This product should only be applied to dried hair, therefore, I use it only when I need something to refresh and revitalize my second-day hair. 



  1. I don’t have natural hair, but I love, love, love Shea Moisture products…and they’re high quality & affordable. http://www.sheamoisture.com/

    (Available online, some Targets, target online, and online at Walgreens, which has the best “free delivery” deal!)

  2. Thanks for posting this! Great to know what products are good and won’t break the bank!

  3. Tracy, I’ve been trying to buy some Shea Moisture products for quite some time but the Walgreens stores in my area are always out of the product I’m looking for and the Target stores don’t carry it. But I actually have a friend bringing it to me this weekend from another city, so expect a review of it soon!

    Arnita, I’m glad this was helpful.

  4. I’d be glad to pick you up some things Javacia. The Target near my home has Shea Moisture. Just let me know what you’d like to try. I’ve already purchased some and debating if I’ll use it. May try it this weekend.

  5. Thanks for the offer, Keisa. Which Target do you live near? I’ll just make a trip out there when I get a chance.

  6. Thanks for listing these product options, there is so much to try out there. Some of the garnier products worked well for me. But a must have fave of mine is Redken rewind 06 styling paste it’s great of two strand twist the curls last for days and to refresh curls it can be reapplied, without build up or drying out your hair. It can also be applied to wet or dry hair and washes out easily, the price is mid range $16 retail. Can be purchased for less on sites like amazon and ebay, it’s good stuff.

  7. JA, thanks for the tip. I’ll try to check that out.

  8. Javacia, I live near the Target in the McCalla/Bessemer area…near McAdory High School. They’ve got GREAT stuff for natural hair divas!!! I like standing in there and just looking…lol:)
    Great tip from J.A. on Redken too. I have a favorite for re-twisting my hair at night…it’s called Sweet Hair Pudding by OHM…www.goingOHM.com. Smells great and adds plenty-o-moisture for my hair!

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