I know only too well the pain we go through to have soft, silky, run your fingers through it hair. My heritage is Jamaican and Irish, so I was born with rather curly and wild hair. In my twenty three years there hasn't been a day gone by where my mane doesn't fight with the comb/brush, or whatever other tool I have used to tend and tame my tightly curled locks.
I have been doing research into the effects of a more natural approach to hair care and found a number of oils which actually work at limiting the damage done by heat, encourage hair growth, and which soften and make the daily brush an easier task.
Almond oil is a mild nut and carrier oil and an excellent moisturiser for dry and curly hair - it softens without weighing down hair because it is such a light and gentle oil.
I tend to use almond oil once I've straightened my hair because it seems to 'sit' better in my hair, and makes it very soft, 'flippy', and throw over my shoulder soft.
Make sure you buy cold pressed almond oil; when an oil is extracted from the nut/seed it retains its natural properties, but when heat is used to extract the oil, the natural benefits diminish..
Coconut oil is fantastic for hair, truly. It makes your hair smell amazing, and is the perfect heat protector when straightening your hair. It is also the best oil to use when using a hair dryer or straighteners because it does not lose its nutritional properties, and seems to 'wrap' the hair in protective oils.
You only need to use a pea sized amount of coconut oil per hair section, because it spreads so well. It is a true investment when you're using natural oils on your hair, and you'll use it time and time again.
Shea butter. I usually use shea butter on my skin, but it is a fantastic deep-conditioning oil, especially for dry hair types, like afro and curly.
Shea butter is more like an emolient and because it is a thicker, hard butter (just like the stuff you cook with), it is excellent at locking in moisture and softening hair at the same time. Once a week I will use shea butter on my scalp, leave overnight, and in the morning my roots are soft, silky, and brushing my hair truly becomes a normal daily occurrence, as opposed to a dreaded ardous task.
Making the transition to more natural hair care products can be hard; you must try the oils to see which works best for your hair, but natural products don't carry the risk of irritation or allergic reactions, so give them a go. It's always fun trying something new, so why not see how your curls react to the butters and oils I use on a daily basis? No harm will come to your hair, I assure you.