8 Ingredients To Avoid In Hair Products For Curly Hair

Going through the list of ingredients on the container of a hair product can be overwhelming. And as overwhelming as this may seem to you, it is not as stressful as looking through the list and finding it difficult to differentiate the good ingredients from the bad ones, just because the names look unfamiliar.

Almost, if not all girls with curls have had the experience of shopping for new hair products and picking a brand that looks reliable, only to try it and realize that they have made a terrible choice. Have you ever had the same experience? Then this article is meant for you.

In many cases different brands make their ingredient list in a tricky form, and this makes it difficult for you to differentiate the good products from the bad ones.

Sometimes your silicone-free products are not free of silicone; many of them contain other ingredients such as Phenyltrimethicone which is another form of silicone. 

To help you make a better decision while choosing hair products, it is important to familiarize yourself with some key ingredients and the different forms they can appear.

The most important rule that should guide you while choosing products for curly hair is that it must be free of toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals are not only dangerous to your hair; they are equally dangerous to your health as well. You are probably about to ask how that is possible. Well, whenever we wash our hair, we also inhale these chemicals into the body and these can be harmful to our health.

1. Silicones

Silicone is one of the ingredients you should run away from if you have curly hair. You may wonder why almost all hair care products contain silicone or related ingredient, this is because, it is added to provide shine and slip to the hair, but instead of doing this it coats the hair cuticles and prevents nutrients and moisture penetration which leads to the hair’s malnourishment. 

Of course! you don’t expect brands to boldly list silicone as one of their product’s ingredients, instead of silicone, you see ingredients that end with “xane”,  “cone”, or “col. Examples are Stearyl dimethicone, Cetearyl Methicon, and Dimethicone which is the most common silicone found in most conditioners, anti-frizz serums, shampoos, and many other hair care products.

2. Certain Alcohols

Some alcohols are fantastic when it comes to hair nourishment and moisturizing, an example of these alcohols are fatty acid alcohols. But apart from these alcohols, many bad alcohols cause curly hair to become dehydrated. At this point, I won’t want to get you confused. 

Yes! I will admit that it can be tricky to differentiate these alcohols. That is why I have provided a list of some bad alcohols that you should avoid while shopping for new hair products for your curls. Here are some of the bad alcohols;

  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Propanol alcohol
  • Isopropanol alcohol
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Ethanol alcohol

3. Parabens

the chemical structure of parabens
The chemical structure of Paraben

Many hair care products contain parabens, but mostly as preservatives. Considered to be curly hair kryptonite, parabens cause frizz and dryness to curly hair, and also known to cause cancer. Knowing this, it is advisable to stay away from products that contain parabens.

4. Propylene Glycol

When it comes to solving the problem of frizz, propylene is one of the major ingredients; it is also recognized by the FDA as a safe ingredient provided it is used in a moderate concentration. But when present in hair care products to be used for curly hair, it is not advisable. 

This is because it does not easily evaporate from the hair and so can cause several issues such as dehydration and also aids the absorption of other harmful ingredients by the scalp. Apart from these problems, Propylene Glycol can cause respiratory and neurological issues.

5. Mineral Oil 

It is surprising that many curl care products commonly contain this ingredient. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum that was commonly used for smoothing and conditioning in the past. This ingredient is also known as grease and is always difficult to rinse out. 

It stands a big chance of having loads of toxins and prevents the penetration of moisture and other hair nutrients. This is why it is advised to avoid mineral oil while shopping for your curly hair.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium laureth sulfate SLES

You might have noticed that many of your favorite shampoos contain this ingredient. This is because it is a common and cheap foaming agent. This ingredient is very essential for straight hair because it helps to remove dirt and grease, but not so good when it comes to curly hair. This is because Sodium lauryl sulfate strips curly hair strands of its natural oils and moisture. This results in breakage and hair dryness.

For other sulfates to avoid, Sara from MyMerryMessyLife.com has a huge list on her blog.

7. Fragrance

Yes! Everybody wants a shampoo or conditioner that smells lovely. It is not bad to want that, but what if is at the expense of your healthy state? Instead of making use of natural fragrance from essential oils, many brands result in using chemically created scents, which is bad for both your hair and your health. 

Synthetic fragrance is known to be an endoctrine disruptor. It can affect your health in the sense that, when you wash your hair or apply a product, you also inhale them and this can cause several issues. It can affect your reproductive, neurological and respiratory system.

8. Formaldehyde

Beauty and hair care products such as Brazilian blowout products and Keratin smoothing treatments are found to contain formaldehyde. This is another ingredient to be avoided while shopping for products for your curly hair. It is not uncommon that some companies sneak in the FDA restricted formaldehyde into their hair care products.

The chemicals listed above will cause your hair to dry out and face breakages, it also distorts the natural pattern of your curls.

Many of our favorite hair care products contain these harmful chemicals and in many cases, we do not notice how bad they are until they cause major harm to our hair or body. Therefore, when in a store, care should be taken in studying the product ingredients before making a purchase.

It is also important that you learn to make your homemade hair care products, to prevent your hair from getting damaged.

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Last Updated: December 20, 2019

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