Caring for your hair and staying informed on what is good or bad for your curls may feel like an impossible task. Whether you’ve been loving your natural hair for years or have just started to rock your curls, there’s always a lot to take into consideration when it comes to which ingredients should be in the products you use. Some products will always be harmful to the curl pattern and health of your hair, whilst others can cause damage with overuse. And while it may be overwhelming to distinguish what you should and shouldn’t use, keep reading to find the top five ingredients you should avoid to maintain healthy curls.
When it comes to curly hair, sulfates will always get a bad reputation. Sulfates are the ingredient that makes your shampoo lather. They work as surfactants and will break down the oils and impurities on the scalp, which will give your hair a deep cleanse, but they will in turn be extremely drying to the hair and scalp. Given that curly hair is more coarse and dry than other hair types, sulfates have the high potential to make coarse hair even drier.
Parabens can be found in many cosmetic products. They act as a preservative and provide antibacterial properties. Whilst the actual purpose of parabens is essential, it has been found that they have the potential to lead to irritation. Curly hair generally is more fragile than other hair types. Given the irritation and inflammation that can occur to the scalp, there is a high chance that this can lead to hair loss. It’s best to avoid excess use or use of any product that contains parabens to help maintain your thickness.
Silicones can be rather misleading in terms of the end result. This ingredient is often found in conditioners, primarily for its ability to soften and smooth hair. Silicones will form a coating around your hair which will prevent any moisture from entering or exiting the hair shaft. For curly hair, silicones will initially prevent frizz and leave your hair feeling extra silky. However, this is one of those ingredients, that with excess use will make your hair heavier and cause massive buildup. For those with curly hair, you may look to eliminate this ingredient completely or only use one silicone-containing product and moderate the frequency of use.
Most haircare products contain alcohols, which can be classified as fatty alcohols which include cetyl and cetearyl alcohols. These alcohols are great for your hair and will effectively work to keep your locks soft and moisturized. On the other hand, there are alcohols, known as drying alcohols, which have the potential to irritate your scalp and affect your curl pattern. Drying alcohols like propanol, will make your hair even more brittle and exposed to damage. Another alcohol to avoid is benzyl alcohol. Although used as a preservative, it also can be damaging to the skin and scalp.
When it comes to buying products, there’s no question that the scent plays a big role in whether or not you use the product. A great smelling fragrance may entice you to buy a product, but the truth is, that fragrance could actually potentially harm your curls. Fragrances can again cause irritation and lead to dryness.
Find below our favorite products for curly hair
Smack That Scrub, Refresh that Scalp Cowash
Locken, Shower Me With Love Shampoo
Braes, Revitalizing Conditioner
Everyoung, Honey & Avocado Curl Defining Shampoo
Raw African, Maya Hair Mask