Alright! I kicked off this week with the makeup edition of this post, now on to the brilliant bargain beauty buys for my afrobellas — natural hair needs love too! And it ain’t always affordable to find the products your hair needs.

When it comes to products that rock for natural bellas, there’s high end — Miss Jessie’s, Curls, Oyin, Carol’s Daughter, Devacurl — and the affordable end. That would be the stand-bys you find in the quote-unquote ethnic section of your drugstore or Target, where typically a jar of Blue Magic and a box of S-Curl can be found.

The good news is, you can find products that work great for afro-textured hair in your neighborhood stores. The bad news is, sometimes those products are laden with bad-for-you additives to make those products affordable. Mineral oil, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens.

But if you live near a Trader Joe’s, consider yourself lucky. Not only can you expect great food and friendly service, but their Balanced Moisturizing Nourish Spa Conditioner is just beyond. And it’s super affordable!

If you don’t believe me, check out Makeup Alley. It is a rare and beautiful thing to find a conditioner with such healthy hair ingredients available at such an affordable price. It costs less than $3, and fab beauty blogger Clumps of Mascara rhapsodizes in her details of the ingredients:

“Ingredients: Purified water, organic rosemary oil, organic Valencia orange citrus, organic mango, organic lemongrass, organic ginko biloba…..and it goes on and on listing organic EVERYTHING. No wonder my hair loved this. No wonder I didn’t get that limp and stiff feeling I get from a lot of other conditions. No wonder my hair soaked in the moisture.”

Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa conditioner (NOT to be mixed up with the citrus scented one, although it’s aight), is insanely wonderful.

Bellas who’d say they need a little more moisture than this conditioner offers, I recommend adding a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil to the bottle. Then you can use it as a great co-wash or a treatment, leave it in for 5-10 minutes and rinse. Let me know how that works out for ya. And if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s (like me), fret not – these products are totally on Ebay!

One of my Twitter friends recently mentioned their love of bioInfusion Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion — I can’t give you a personal review yet, but it costs $7.99, and has some great reviews on the Walgreens website. I’m gonna have to stop by Walgreens, y’all.

One drugstore line I can tell you all about is Cantu. This shea butter based line of hair products is available at Drugstore.com, and every item costs less than $10. I can’t say I’ve tried everything, but my hair really loved the Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment, and the shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream. It really did keep my hair soft and moisturized and fluffy all day long. Note to self, buy more Cantu.

I know many bellas who still swear by Queen Helene’s cholesterol products, I’ve definitely had that big ol’ tub in my life throughout the years. It never did me wrong, whether I was relaxed or natural.

Another such product line is African Pride. I said a while back I can’t honestly say that their “Magical Gro” made my hair grow at all, but they’ve got some new formulations that I actually like. For some mysterious reason aren’t even featured on their official website, Amazon’s got it on lock, apparently — new
African Pride Herbal Healing Shampoo
is good stuff. And I’m diggin’ the Leave-In Conditioner!

They claim it noticeably reduces breakage, improves manageability and heals damaged, distraught hair. I haven’t been using it long enough to notice healing, but I do love how moist it leaves my hair when I use it fresh out of the shower. This leave in makes my hair super shiny and soft to the touch. I like it, I really do.

All natural ingredient watching bellas I will be straight with you — yes, this is a product with parabens, petrolatum, and cones in it (they come way, way down the ingredient list). I am by no means an obsessive ingredient watcher, I think as Afrobella it’s my job to try everything (except straightening products and harsh texture altering chemicals, obvs). If you’re a bella on a budget wondering if this new reformulated African Pride Herbal Healing stuff is the biz or not, here’s your chance!

Leave a comment telling me why you’d like to give African Pride a try. I’ll close these comments next Wednesday morning, and choose TEN lucky winners to get a set of shampoo and leave in conditioner of their own, courtesy of African Pride.

I love a Friday giveaway! Happy weekend, bellas, and good luck!!

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