I recently adopted a new hair care regimen that fits both my budget and my lifestyle. I make the majority of my own products so everything is natural, wholesome and healthy. Depending on the style I’m going for, a couple of things might change here and there, but these are the basics that I use.

African Black Soap is a great way to thoroughly cleanse the scalp without the use of harsh additives and preservatives. It’s made with plant material and palm oil which makes it a cleaner alternative than many commercial products on the shelves today.

Aloe Vera juice is great for added moisture in the hair. In my research, because our skin is actually waterproof and both our skin and hair is made of the same protein (keratin), it didn’t make sense to use water to moisturize hair. I personally have found that aloe not only adds plenty of moisture but can also help soothe an irritated scalp. Sometimes I even add a little lemon juice for some added shine to my strands.

Castor oil is so important for our hair. Unlike many Black women, I don’t like to use Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Thanks to money-hungry companies, if you turn the bottle over you will most likely see that JBCO is a mixture of a number of oils. This marketing tactic stretches the company’s supply so they can charge just as much without actually supplying as much. Instead, I purchase pure castor oil and use it as a moisturizer for my hair.

Many members of the natural hair community have heard of Chebe powder by now. While I don’t like using it in it’s pure form, a woman I know found a way to properly mix it with shea butter and oils to make a creamy seal for the ends of our hair. I use this Chebe Butter to seal in the moisture on the last couple inches of my hair since that’s where I tend to lose moisture the fastest.

While Eco Styler gel is (I believe) the most popular on the market, there’s nothing like having fresh, homemade and natural hair gel. While it’s best to keep it in the fridge or freezer so it doesn’t go bad, a little of this stuff goes a long way. I use it to freeze my hair in place and prevent breakage through the day.