Have you ever stood in the hair care aisle of a store frantically reading ingredient lists trying to find the perfect product for your hair?! Or wondered why a product that seems like it should be great for your hair seems not-so-great?? Our scientists have read and analyzed hundreds of ingredient lists to help solve these mysteries!
Step One: Choose your product types!
Product types: The first section lets you choose what kind of products you want to search through. Product types are listed in alphabetical order. Please know, we’ve only included products that we feel are “Curly Girl Method Approved”.
Step Two: Choose your filters!
After you choose your product type(s) you can start filtering based off of ingredients you want IN your products. When looking for products WITHOUT certain ingredients it will be listed as FREE from that ingredient.
Film-forming humectants: These will be products that have primarily film-forming humectants such as pectin, xantham gum, marshmallow root, and many plant extracts. (They may also have other humectants in much lower concentrations.) Using products, especially styling products, with film-forming humectants is a great way to keep especially humid, or especially dry, air from affecting your style.
Humectants: In general, humectants are a great way to moisturize your hair.
Small hydrolyzed proteins: Hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that are broken down into smaller pieces. These are great for people who have low porosity hair. Proteins, in general, help give hair more structure and retain moisture.
Large hydrolyzed proteins: Within the category of hydrolyzed proteins, there is a wide range of sizes. This group is for products that contain hydrolyzed proteins that are larger and less able to penetrate low porosity hair. They better compliment, normal to high porosity hair.
Unhydrolyzed/unknown proteins: These products contain proteins that are whole (unhydrolyzed) or simply unspecified. Whole proteins help fill in the gaps on the surface of the hair to help the hair retain moisture and add shine. Proteins this size best compliment high porosity hair.
Butters: These ingredients are great for softening hair and providing definition but they are solid at room temperature and can, therefore, be heavy for some hair types. Depending on your hair type, they may work well in rinse-off products but not as well for leave-in products.
Moisturizing Oils: These ingredients are able to penetrate the cuticle layer for most people. They are more flexible since they have lower melting points than butters or waxes.
Sealing Oils: These ingredients do not penetrate the cuticle layer significantly but can be a great finishing touch when styling to prevent moisture loss throughout your day/week.
Aloe Free: While some hair types seem to love aloe others seem to hate it.
Coconut Free: Coconut can be heavy for some and can mimic protein in other instances. Because coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees it can make hair stiff in some weather.
Glycerin Free: These are products that have NO glycerin (or its nearest cousins). While most people do no need to entirely avoid these, especially in rinse-off products like shampoo and conditioner, we are frequently asked about these types of products since they can cause frizz by reaching out for moisture in the air.
Common Irritants Free: These are products that have common irritants such as Methylisothiazolinone and Diazolidinyl Urea. Some people find these ingredients cause itchiness, redness or bumps. If you are using some of these products and they are not bothering you, then feel free to continue using them!
UV Protectants: These are products that contain UV protection.
Use this form to leave us feedback: Feedback Form.