Curly Girl Friendly Ingredient Shopping List*

Curly Girl Friendly Ingredient Shopping List*


Print this list use it to take shopping with you, or sort the products you already have.  It’s time to keep only what is good for your curls…

Avoid sulfates in your shampoos. Sulfates are harsh foaming detergents that are found in many commercial shampoos and dish detergents. They can be extremely drying for curly hair, so choose sulfate free shampoos. Sulfates contain “sulfate” somewhere in the ingredient name (usually). Also keep in mind that there are some cleansers that are as harsh as sulfates but are not sulfates. If you decide to use a shampoo, avoiding sulfates is best. Sulfates are also difficult to remove off the scalp, so remember you need to scrub to clean your scalp, but also scrub while rinsing your hair to help remove them fully from the hair. Just rinsing out your shampoo isn’t enough.

Here is a list of sulfates to avoid:

Alkylbenzene sulfonates                                                     Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate

Ammonium laureth sulfate                                                 Ammonium lauryl sulfate

Ammonium Xylenesulfonate                                               Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate

Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate                                                 Sodium laureth sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate                                                         Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate

Sodium myreth sulfate                                                       Sodium Xylenesulfonate

TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate                                            Ethyl PEG-15 cocamine sulfate

Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate

Here is a list of gentle cleansers to look for:

Cocamidopropyl betaine                                                     Coco betaine

Cocoamphoacetate                                                            Cocoamphodipropionate

Disodium cocoamphodiacetate                                            Disodium cocoamphodipropionate

Lauroamphoacetate                                                           Sodium cocoyl isethionate

behentrimonium methosulfate                                            disodium lautreth sulfosuccinate

babassuamidopropyl betaine

Avoid silicones, waxes, non-natural oils, or any other non-soluble ingredients in your conditioners and any styling products. This is key to making sure your products do not build up on your hair. Without shampoo, many of the following ingredients will build up in your hair over time. Remember that a silicone is any ingredient that ends with the suffixes -one, -conol, or -xane. Waxes are easily identified because they have “wax” in the ingredient name (usually).  They act as a barrier to water, or a repellent of sorts.  Water is our moisture, so if your hair is feeling dry then likely water is having a hard time getting into the hair and it could be due to some of these ingredients in your haircare product.

Here is a list of silicones to avoid:

Dimethicone                                                                        Bisaminopropyl dimethicone

Cetearyl methicone                                                              Cetyl Dimethicone

Cyclopentasiloxane                                                              Stearoxy Dimethicone

Stearyl Dimethicone                                                             Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Amodimethicone Dimethicone

Dimethiconol Behenoxy                                                         Phenyl trimethicone

Here is a list of waxes and non-natural oils to avoid:

Castor oil                                                                            Mineral oil (parrifidium liquidium)

Petrolatum                                                                          Waxes: bees wax, candelia wax, etc.

Here’s a list of ingredients that look like silicones, or are water soluble silicones. These are exceptions that are OK:

Lauryl methicone copolyol (water soluble) Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane (water soluble)

Dimethicone Copolyol (water soluble)

PEG-Dimethicone, or any other ‘cone with “PEG-” suffix (water soluble)

Emulsifying Wax PEG-Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Natural oils: Avocado oil, Olive oil, Coconut oil, etc.

Benzophenone-2, ( or 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) – sunscreen

Methychloroisothiazolinone – preservative

Methylisothiazolinone – preservative

Avoid drying alcohols, if at all possible, in your conditioners and stylers. Drying alcohols are commonly found in conditioners, leave in conditioners, gels, mousses, and hairsprays as fillers. For products that you are going to rinse out, this is not as big of a deal, but for products that are going to sit in your hair all day, or for several days, they should not contain drying alcohols. There are also moisturizing or fatty alcohols however, that sound similar, so be sure not to confuse those with drying alcohols.

Here is a list of drying alcohols to avoid:

Denatured alcohol SD alcohol 40

Witch hazel Isopropanol

Ethanol SD alcohol

Propanol Propyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol

Here is a list of moisturizing alcohols to look for:

Behenyl alcohol                                                               Cetearyl alcohol

Cetyl alcohol                                                                   Isocetyl alcohol

Isostearyl alcohol                                                            Lauryl alcohol

Myristyl alcohol                                                               Stearyl alcohol

C30-50 Alcohols                                                              Lanolin alcohol

Consider the effect proteins in your hair products may have on your hair. Most hair needs some amount of protein in its diet, especially damaged hair. However, normal hair, or protein sensitive hair does not need large doses of protein all the time. If your hair feels stiff, frizzy, and dry, then your hair is getting to much protein.

Here is a list of proteins that you can avoid or look for, depending on your hair type:

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 keratin Hydrolyzed oat flour

Hydrolyzed silk Hydrolyzed silk protein

Hydrolyzed soy protein Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Hydrolyzed wheat protein Keratin

Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen

TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein

Print off this list to help you find curly girl approved products and keep it with you when you go hair product shopping. Remember, sulfates are ingredients that contain “sulfate” or “sulfonate”; silicones end in -one, -conol, or -xane but PEG modified silicones are acceptable but still build up on the hair over time.  I suggest using a Clarifying Shampoo about once a month as a curl boost just incase!  Also, a reminder that waxes contain the word “wax”; and drying alcohols often contain propyl, prop, eth, or denatured in the name. Have fun shopping!  Remember, some shelters will take opened products so donate when you can!

*Credit for this detailed list goes to many. I have had this information stored on my computer for so long that I can’t remember exactly where I pulled all the details from.  If you know the original author(s), please let me know so I can credit them for their hard work.  I would rather share these details then sit on them any longer; I have also added to the text my two cents and will update this blog when I have more info.  I am in no way a scientist so I cannot answer any further on this information shared, but I do know how important ingredients in products can either help or harm your hair. My goal for you is healthy hair and this is a great place to start.

xo Krista