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?!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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

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

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.


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.

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 »

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!!

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 »

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

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. What should… 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!


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’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.


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.


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)
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Awww, such a cute pic­ture!


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.


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!!!