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Curl Activator Lotion on Natural Hair? Why Yes!

• Jul 15, 2012

By Emelyne of Nubian Tresses

As most of my readers already know, I am a 4b with very thick, shoulder-length (un-stretched) hair and I am a BIG fan of moisture.

I am also a fan of curl activator gels (like Long Aid Curl Activator gel) and alcohol-free holding gels (like Eco Styler). When I was transitioning and hunting for an all-day moisturizing product, I gave the ‘jheri curl juice’ (in the form of Carefree Curl and S-Curl) a try, but it was sticky and gummy in my relaxed hair, so I gave it up. As a new natural, I gave S-Curl another try and this whitish liquid of relatively thick consistency worked pretty well… when sealed with shea butter. But it wasn’t a stand alone product and then (as now), I want to have as few products on my hair as possible (even though I own many, lol!). Last week, I was in a Dollar General and saw Right On Curl Activator Moisturizing Lotion for the low, low price of $1.25, so I decided, almost 3 years since my last unfortunate curl juice experience, to give it a shot. And I am so glad that I did!

First off, the product smells really great! A combination of floral and fruity with a thin-ish consistency and a pinky/orange color. I can apply this to damp hair alone (or as I prefer, under a curl activator gel), bun my hair and have moisturized strands until my next wash 3–5 days later. It hasn’t yet ceased to amaze me how smooth my hair! And it is so soft that it almost seems to be a different texture — but not so soft that it breaks easily. The only downside (for some, not me) is the frizziness that this causes. But I don’t mind fly-aways, I love volume, and I embrace the fuzz. If I need to look put together, I simply spritz my hair and smooth the edges of my bun with L.A. Looks or Eco Styler gel and my semi-retired Denman brush.

My hair has never retained length so effortlessly before and I have 4–6 hours to spare each week from not braiding/twisting. I had always prepared myself for the inevitable fact that as my natural hair got longer it would be more difficult to manage. I am so happy that, with the time saved thanks to my tension-free bun, and my new favorite curl activator lotion, that is not the case. I spend an hour and a half on my hair per week, tops. From wash to condition, to detangle to moisturizing and bunning. That is a fraction of the time I used to spend on washing and styling for twists (6 hours).

Ladies, have you tried curl activator juice or lotion on your natural hair? How did it work out?!

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26 Comments on "Curl Activator Lotion on Natural Hair? Why Yes!"

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Thnx sis for te tip if I had wheels right now would be running out to get me a bottle,lol. However it is on my list and the price is the boss. P.S. Your hair is simple beautiful!!!


Ive thought about using curl activator.…I will definitely try again.
Question: what is bunning?


Bunning means “to put hair into a bun.” 🙂 Search “bunning natural hair” on YouTube.


Yup, been using it on my natural hair for 7 years now. I go between wave nouveau & sofn’free hair lotions — depends on what’s available in my area. Many of us have curls dying 2 be moisturized & activated ? See photo of 1 of my nieces & her crazy Auntie (me)


Awww, such a cute picture!


I have tried the Long Aid Curl Activating Gel and I hate it with a passion. It has too much glycerin in it and my hair is funny when it comes to glycerin. As for other curl activating products, I have not tried any. I scared to try them because they all have way too much glycerin in them. Maybe, one day I might experiment with another brand. In the meantime, I prefer to stick to gels like EcoStyler.


I too had a bad experience with Long Aid. Back in the day I used Sta-Sof-Fro, and for a while I got decent results with S-Curl (in the tube) but for some reason my hair doesn’t respond as well to glycerin as it used to. I’m not sure why. I don’t expect curl activation with these products; I expect moisturizing…but lately they tend to just sit on my hair without doing anything.


w/ glycerin products it is really important to consider your the dew point in your region. B/c glycerin is a humectant it draws moisture to itself. Thats great in places where there i moisture in the air (a dew point of 30–60) but if the dew point is lower than 30 (like in AZ) the glycerin pulls moisture from your hair— drying it out. When its higher than 60 (like in Maine) the glycerin will pull too much water from the air to the hair causing it to break from too much absorbtion.

hope this helps!

Kali B.

Good info jasminicole! explains why my long aid c.a. gel works for me in NY, but my hair stayed wet and broke off when i lived in Puerto Rico.


I’ve tried curl activators and they always dry hard! I’ve also been trying to be on a “if I need a degree in Chemistry to understand the Wikipedia for this substance then it is a no.” kick with ingredients because I want to keep it simple, so I’ve shied away from the “ethnic hair care” (actual label!) section in my local drug store. Maybe when the weather dries I’ll venture over there again.


Haven’t tried this but it’s old school and lots of those products are good for natural hair. I however, love the Carefree Curl instant moisturizer another old school classic!!


I have also used S-Curl and Wave Noveau finishing lotion with much success. Haven’t heard of Right On, but willing to try that too.

I am so torn! i used wave nouveau finishing lotion at the beginning of my journey to armpit length natural hair (yippy!) and my hair DID love it! it really made my curlz pop. however the ingredients, the parabens, and cones…i’m worried about my health and what I have read these things can do to your body. but for real tho— my hair never loooked so good! the curls popped like whoa and i thought i had some kind of curl pattern. now with shea moisture products. which are my holy grail now, i see little to no curl definition.… Read more »
Brijon Patter

Have always used WN products on my natural hair — experimented with many others in between, but always came back to WN finishing mist, moisture lotion and humectant for the best results.


Me too! I’ve been natural for 15 years and I have tried everything including all the popular brands for natural hair. WN is a miracle! NOTHING else works for my hair but WN. I was frustrated for over a decade. My hair laughed at all the products, shea butter etc. Only WN finally gave me softness and moisture and the sheen/shine is amazing! And it’s non greasy!


smh because I just recently gave my bottle to my little sister ): I had no idea that this was good for natural hair !

Wow. A search brought me here. I was considering going back to a care free curl. I have been natural for 2 years 11 months. Next month May is my 3 year anniversary, but I am not happy with the length of my hair. It is 8 or 9 inches — it should be 12!! London is too cold! Anyhow I remember in the 90s I had such long care free curl hair so did my sister! When I switched to relaxers it stayed at neck length! Anyway the point you guys made me see, is this. I was using… Read more »

I used that product before I got a perm (age 13) Worst decision I EVER made! I had a perm for only a year and it thinned out my thick hair. But I continued to flat iron my hair.
Now I am 17 and have outgrown the straight look. Curly hair is just gorgeous!


Who on earth told you to use that on PERMED hair girl? That’s for natural hair or curly hair. Hope you give it a try again on your natural hair.


Apparently you did not read her post!!! She stated that she used the product BEFORE she got a perm!!

Miss K
Oh I see I read it as if she used it on he permed hair as well; but it appears what she is saying is that she used it on her natural hair before she decided to perm her hair…which was the worst decision of her life and after a year she went back to being natural. You go girl. We all experience with our hair that is how we find out what is the best fit for our life style; hair style and so on. Glad you decided on natural hair again. I just went natural with the Big… Read more »
I am 5 months post big chop, so I guess I could say that I have a mini fro now. Well, anyway, my 4a/4b, thick, dense, low porosity hair loooves SCurl No Drip Activator in the blue and white bottle. I live in hot and humid Florida, and it does wonders to my hair. It instantly moisturizes and softens my hair, and it makes my curls pop. I have spent my hard earned money on Miss Jessies products, and they did not work on my hair. I now only use Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, the Raw… Read more »

SCurl No Drip Activator in the blue and white bottle contains no parabens or mineral oil which is a general requirement of mine, it keeps my hair soft and moisturized. I encourage it.

angie pangie

I use hawaiian silky 14 in 1 and Proclaim curl activator and L.A. Looks. When I first tried the curl activator I couldn’t believe how well it worked on my 4b hair.


Can you use the carefree curl moisturizer as part of the loc or lco method


Yes. I use care free care gold bottle. The regular is too sticky. I’ll try right on. I tried a few others but cfcg does my right.

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