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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Growing up, I was always taught to love my hair. But at the young age of 10, I found it hard to love something that was so different compared to everything and everyone around me. I mean, I had dolls with straight hair, friends with straight hair, and even my favorite Disney characters had straight hair. This infatuation with straight hair led me to beg my mom to straighten my hair every day, from middle school all the way to my first year of high school. 

From countless years of relaxers and heat damage, my curls honestly looked like burnt ramen noodles, and I was so embarrassed by them. So I decided to make a change. I learned about my hair type, my curl pattern, and what would be needed to reverse the damage done to my hair. It took a very long time but I was eventually able to strengthen my hair and get it back to its natural curly state without doing the dreaded “big chop”. I wanted to share the products I used to achieve this because I know that there are tons of girls who experienced the same things I did and would like to take the steps to go natural but don’t know where to start. So for those of you who have found this article, I want you to be proud of how far you’ve come in your natural hair journey, and that regardless of how straight, curly, or damaged your hair is, it is still beautiful.

Now, I’d like to preface that everyone’s hair is different, whether it be high, medium, or low porosity or having a different type of hair pattern (e.g. types 1-4, patterns A-C). These factors will affect how your hair will come out and how much work you have to do to get the desired look. But for reference I have high porosity, type 3C/4A  hair, meaning that my hair takes in a lot of water yet tends to be on the dryer side, and my curl pattern falls in between curly and coily hair. 

With that being said, here are my secrets to revitalizing my damaged curly hair.

Hair Masks

TGIN Miracle RepairX CPR Treatment – $15.99

TGIN Miracle RepairX Deep Hydrating Mask  – $18.99

I use these together to help keep hydration deep in my hair. These products are made with black castor oil and biotin to promote hair growth and repair in the individual strands of hair. If you’re first starting out your natural hair journey, I would suggest using this every other wash day to slowly introduce it to your hair.

Hair Oils

TGIN Miracle RepairX Anti-Breakage Serum  – $14.99

This hair oil also works as a treatment and helped me grow my hair over 8 inches within a year of me using it. The owner of  TGIN, Chris-Tia Donaldson, created this product to help with the strength of the hair by using biotin and black castor oil. 

Heat Protectants

BIOSILK Silk Therapy Original – $14.40 (price subject to change) 

This was what I used during the iconic “silk press season” during the winter to make sure that all the hard work I put into recuperating my hair didn’t go to waste. I also use this to protect my hair from heat from the blow dryer. This heat protectant is also paraben free and also works as a hair oil that keeps your hair looking shiny and youthful.  

Shampoos & Conditioners

Aussie Miracle Wave Shampoo  & Aussie Miracle Wave Conditioner  – $2.99 each (12 oz)

Monday Smooth Shampoo & Monday Smooth Conditioner  – $7.99 – $14.99

Both of these sets of conditioners are probably my favorite to use. I tend to use the Monday line more during the winter as it helps with clarifying my scalp and hair during protective styles and using the Aussie line during the summer to give my hair a healthy glow. Both products are paraben free and as an added plus, the Monday line is SLS-free. 

Curling Custards, Gels & Leave-In Conditioners

TGIN Miracle RepairX Curl Food  – $15.99

TGIN Miracle RepairX Protective Leave In Conditioner  –  $15.99 – $32.99

Miss Jessie’s MultiCultural Clear Liquid Gel  – $14

Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding –  $16

These products helped me with locking in the moisture before putting in my hair oils, as well as fully defining my curls. I usually reapply them every 3 days since I really like products that help me achieve a low-maintenance hairstyle. From my experience, these products work best on damp or half-dried hair.

I love anything makeup, hair, and fashion and I love meeting new people!