To begin the Curly Girl Method a curlie needs to buy the right products as specified by the method. For someone who's new to the method this can be rather confusing, but this page will help with that. It is recommended that you write down the no-no ingredients and a few products you are interested in trying. This makes it easy when going to the store. You also might want to start out with less expensive products so you can get a feel for what your hair needs, before buying more expensive lines.
Compiled List Edit
This kind blogger hasgirl products. Look on the left hand side of Girl with Curl.
Ingredients to Avoid Edit
Even if you think a product is CG, it is a good idea to scan the ingredients before buying.
Before beginning the method you will need to clarify with a sulfate poo that has no cones (such as Suave Clarifying Shampoo). Past that you should avoid the sulfates if you are looking for an occasional shampoo for use after swimming in chlorinated water or for removing buildup/grease.
Harsh sulfates to avoid:
Ammonium laureth or lauryl sulfate
Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate
Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
Sodium laureth, myreth, or lauryl sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Ethyl PEG-15 cocamine sulfate
Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate
Disodium cocoamphodiacetate or cocoamphodipropionate
Sodium cocoyl isethionate
Once you no longer have harsh sulfates in your hair care routine, you need to cut out the silicones (also called "cones"). Most of the highly commercialized lines of hair products (Pantene, Herbal Essence, Garnier Fructis, Aussie, Tresseme, Sunsilk, etc.) contain silicones. These are ingredients that generally end in -cone, -conol, or -xane. If at all possible, avoid silicones in your hair products.
In the short term, silicones will make hair look sleeker and less frizzy, but in the long run they will coat the hair shaft of porous curly hair and seal out moisture, causing the hair to become straw-like, less defined, and frizzy. Hence, silicones make quick fixes for frizz, but over time, they are truly damaging your hair. Sulfates get rid of silicones, but at the expense of completely stripping your hair of all of its natural oils!
The solution to these problems is to eliminate both sulfates (in your shampoos) and silicones (in your conditioners and styling products). An exception to this rule: if a silicone has "PEG" in front of it, it is water-soluble and will not cause product build up.
Silicones that are not soluble in water and build up on the hair:
Amodimethicone (and) Trideceth-12 (and) Cetrimonium Chloride
- Note: Trideceth-12 and Cetrimonium Chloride are only considered a silcone when both are combined with Amodimethicone.
Silicones that are slightly soluble in water and will build up on most types of curly hair:
Silicones that are soluble in water and safe to use (these are not listed with PEG in front of them):
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane
Lauryl methicone copolyol.
You've probably heard a little hype about proteins at this point. If you're just starting CG, your hair needs protein to recover from damage and build healthy hair. If you are not just beginning and your hair is in good condition too many proteins can result in dry, stiff hair--protein build up. Every curlie needs some protein in their routine, but some are more sensitive than others.
Common proteins found in hair ingredients:
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed casein
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed collagen, Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed hair keratin
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed rice protein
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed silk
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl silk amino acids
Cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin
Hydrolyzed oat flour
Hydrolyzed silk protein
Hydrolyzed soy protein
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein
General Tips Edit
- Check out your local health food or organic specialty store for natural hair products. A lot of the shampoos are sulfate free and products often don't contain silicones. Some good brands include Aubrey Organics, Desert Essences, Nature's Gate, TJ Nourish, Giovanni, Kinky Curly, and Jane Carter.
- Gentle sufate-free shampoos include DevaCurl No-Poo, Giovanni Tea Treat Shampoo, and Cream of Nature Shampoo. These should only be used at most once a week, because they are still drying to the hair.
- Some good gels include the Herbal Essences gels, LA Looks gels, Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee, and Devacurl Angell or Arcangell, IC Fantasia Gel, and Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper.
- Some good leave-in creams are L'Oreal Out of Bed Weightless Texturizer, Jessicurl Confident Curls Styling Solution, Boots Essentials Curling Cream, Joico Joiwhip Moose, MOP-C curl cream, Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in COnditioner, and Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner.
- A good moisturizing conditioner is essential. Some suggestions are Jessicurl Too Shea, Devacurl One Condition, Activate Hydrating Conditioner, Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner, and L'Oreal Vive Pro Hydra Gloss for dry hair, or Nutri Gloss for hair that's curly/wavy conditioner. You can use a cheaper, silicone-free conditioner, like Suave Naturals or Vo5, to scrub your scalp during co-washes.