Curly Girls: Are Your Products Natural Hair Approved?

Beginning your natural hair care journey entails more dedication, commitment and patience than we can fathom. From big chops, wash days, protective styles and deep conditioning weekly, maintaining a healthy routine can be challenging. There are so many products out there that work to appeal to our needs, claiming that they are great for enriching our curls and preventing breakage, but what should we be looking for in our products? How do we know that what we’re putting in our hair that’s advertised as being “good” for us isn’t actually causing more damage? Today, there are so many lines of curly hair products coming out to appeal to our growing community, but we should beware of harsh chemicals and ingredients that can possibly do more harm than good. Products with sulfates, silicones, or parabens are ones to stay away from, and I’m here to tell you why.

We find sulfates so often in our shampoos or cleansing products. These products create a lathering effect to remove dirt and oils from your hair. Although they leave your hair feeling squeaky clean, sulfates can strip your hair of natural oils needed to condition your scalp, causing breakage and frizz. They can also strip out color from your color treatments. Rather than suffering through unmanageable dry hair and an irritated scalp, it’s better to do some research and invest in a creamier sulfate-free shampoo that will work better for your curly hair.

Silicones are just as bad or (in my opinion) even worse than sulfates. Silicones are what help create the slip needed for detangling and make the hair feel smooth and conditioned, but after a while, they can create a cast around your hair shaft which limits moisture from penetrating into your hair, leaving it dry. They are often found in heat styling products, leave in treatments and conditioners, which can build up on your hair. A good trick to remember when reading the ingredients in your hair products (which you should always do), if it ends in “-cone” or “-oxane,” it’s likely a silicone. They can build up along the hair cuticle over time like a film and require clarifying shampoos for removal. You want to avoid these at all costs because trying to replenish moisture when the conditioner is being blocked from entering the shaft is a struggle.

The last major ingredient that you’ll want to steer clear of are parabens. They are a class of chemicals that are used as preservatives in many of our skincare and hair care products such as lotions, shampoos, kinds of toothpaste, makeup and more. They’re bad for us because they are “endocrine disruptors,” which disrupt the normal function of hormones and can cause a hormonal imbalance within us that can limit growth and development. So, if you’re looking for healthy growth, you’ll want to stay away from parabens in your products.

With so many chemicals to beware of and avoid, it can be difficult to decipher which products are curly girl safe and which ones aren’t. Sometimes I wish there was a master list of all the safest products that would provide our hair with the moisture it needs to feel soft and smooth without compromising its health. Luckily, after trying various products and figuring out what works best for us during my natural hair journey, I’ve compiled a list of some of the brands that I’ve found that are sulfate, silicone and paraben free.

1. Shea Moisture

Courtesy: Defender Network

This was the first curly girl friendly brand I tried, and I’ve loved it ever since. I am always confident that my curls will feel and look amazing after using their products, and if you’re looking for a cheaper line of hair care to get you started on your natural hair journey, then their products are just right for you. Any line from this brand is sulfate, silicone and paraben free, and all of their products smell amazing!

2. Deva Curl

Courtesy: Deva Curl

Although this brand is a bit higher end, their products are well worth the investment and will have your curls feeling luscious like never before. I highly recommend this brand once you’ve established a good curly hair regime.

3. Cantu hydration cream conditioner

Courtesy: Cantu Beauty

This is another cheaper line of curly hair products that works wonders. I personally love their deep conditioners and trust that my hair will feel and look healthy after wash day.

4. Pacifica pineapple curls shampoo conditioner

Courtesy: Pacifica

I recently tried out this brand and absolutely loved it! The smell of these products is heavenly, and it has now become a favorite of mine. I will definitely be using it in the future.

5. Maui hair care products

Courtesy: Madifluously

I think this brand is very underappreciated. Not only are they cheaper, but they’re also cruelty-free and have many vegan products, making them one of the more ethical hair care brands I’ve seen. I’m currently obsessed with their Papaya butter and coconut oil line for curly hair, and I’m sure that anyone can find a specific line to cater to their hair type without a struggle.

Whether you’re way deep into your natural hair journey, just starting out, or somewhere in between, there are products out there for you that will give you the results you want without compromising your hair’s health. It’s nearly impossible to reverse damaged hair, so doing what you can to take care of it and help prevent breakage will leave you feeling confident and content with your curls.