In the curly/kinky hair community, there are two streams of thought - big chop and transitioning.
Those who just want to do away with their damaged, relaxed, or heat damaged hair opt for the big chop and learn to care for their natural hair as it grows. Transitioners on the other hand, coddle along two textures of hair (natural and damaged), to retain length, or have their natural hair grow out to a length they feel comfortable with before cutting the rest. I am a long term transitioner - I've been transitioning from heat damage for 20 months (almost 21 - woo hoo!) because honestly, I've never had short hair and I think my head is too big to rock a TWA (teeny weeny afro). In the nearly 2 years that I've been transitioning, I've gone through tons of products; some failures, and some successes. In spite of all the products I've tried, loved, and hated, one thing remained constant - the need to moisturize effectively.
Effective moisturizing for transitioners can be tricky.
Sometimes the natural texture is more thirsty than the relaxed or straightened ends. If your moisturizer is too heavy, your natural growth feels lovely, but the ends begin looking like wet noodles. On the other hand if your moisturizer is too light, your ends feel perfectly nourished while the natural hair looks parched. And at the same time, all transitioners are worried about preventing breakage at the line of demarcation between newly grown hair and old damaged or relaxed ends.
What's a transitioner to do?
Check out these moisturizers that are great for transitioning hair of all types. Even the heaviest ones are light enough for transitioning tresses! Added bonus: aside from all the wonderful herbs, extracts, butters, and oils, all of these products are water-based so they are able to hydrate, nourish, and protect all at the same time.
Based in Olive Oil and water infused with haircare herbs like Burdock Root, Nettle and Oatstraw, this thick and creamy moisturizer is perfect for drier textures of newly grown natural hair. The entire Qhemet Biologics line is designed for super dry hair, but this gem in particular is lighter than the famed Alma and Olive Heavy Cream - making it perfect for transitioners trying to balance and moisturize two textures. The herbal infusions help strengthen hair, prevent breakage, impart shine, and improve elasticity - all things transitioners need!
A popular brand loved by many, Shea Moisture has tons of natural product offerings for all hair types. Where curly holy grails like the Curl Enhancing Smoothie can be a little too thick or heavy for some transitioners, the Yucca and Aloe Thickening Growth Milk based in shea butter, coconut oil, and mango seed butter is just the right consistency for transitioners with thirsty hair that need nourishment, shine, elasticity, and anti-breakage help.
Fluffalicious Curl Nutricious is a lightweight, fluffy whip that packs a moisturizing punch. Although seemingly less dense than other moisturizers, it packs a nourishing punch thanks to aloe vera juice, rice bran oil, avocado oils, and water infused with botanical extracts like blue malva and calendula that help strengthen, improve elasticity, and impart shine to the hair. Fluffalicious is great for all types of hair, but works especially well for fine natural and transitioning strands that tend to be weighed down by heavier oils and butters.
Along the same lines as Fluffalicious, Curls Whipped Cream is an incredibly light, whipped cream (hence the name) that also moisturizes incredibly well. The sweet smelling whip is based in certified organic goodies like aloe vera juice, soybean, coconut, and sunflower oils - all of which help hydrate, nourish, balance, and improve the elasticity of the hair. Whipped cream's blend of essential oils, extracts, and more make it ideal for any hair type.
TGIN's creamy moisturizer is really great for most textures of natural and transitioning hair. It may be a tad too heavy for super fine textures, but the shea and cocoa butters, olive, coconut, and sweet almond oils make this moisturizer an ideal hydrator and nourisher by imparting shine, improving elasticity, and softening the hair. It is a great moisturizer that can also seal without weighing transitioner hair down! For a lighter touch, TGIN's Twist and Define Cream is a great option as well.
A fan favorite, Eden BodyWorks knows just how to help transitioners get over the moisturizing hump with their all-natural pudding soufflé. Blending coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera, this pudding is light, creamy, and works perfectly for moderately dry transitioning and natural hair by moisturizing, lightly sealing, improving elasticity and shine, while helping to balance pH. For thirstier tresses, the Coconut Shea Curl Defining Crème is a great option from the Eden BodyWorks line.
7. Hairitage Hydration Cocoaloe Hair Hydrator Lotion
This super blend of aloe vera gel, olive butter, and coconut oil is perfect for parched tresses and transitioning hair that needs TLC without being weighed down. Anything aloe based is bound to be light, moisturizing, and pH-balancing - and this lotion is no exception!
Fresh Curl will nourish any texture of hair, but it works especially well for those with thin/fine strands that need love without weighing transitioning or newly natural hair down. The castor and avocado oil blend is great for moisture, light sealing, and improving elasticity while the hydrolyzed protein gives transitioning hair a boost by locking in to chipped and damaged cuticles.
Shea Butter, coconut, and jojoba oils bring this product to life, making it great for transitioning tresses. It moisturizes effectively, seals lightly, and helps impart shine, improve elasticity, and nourish the hair. It is on the thicker side and ideal for drier hair textures. But it can also be used for finer hair as a styling product to create definition. Talk about 2 for 1!