Earlier this month I talked about how I use the Curly Girl Method to care for my curls. Technique is great but what about the products? What the heck are Curly Girl Method approved products? Where can I buy them?
If you are launching into the Curly Girl Method I highly recommend getting the book: Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey. The book talks about the basics of the method and also has specific instruction for different types of curls.
Don’t have time to read the book…. In brief, the Curly Girl Method means throwing out all the shampoo bottles and using conditioner to both cleanse and condition your hair. It isn’t just removing shampoo from your routine. It is a matter of removing a number of harmful chemicals and such that make their way into our hair products. It also means changing the way you dry and style your hair as well.
The removal of shampoos and conditioners that contain sulfates is critical.
Products to Use/Avoid:
For Shampoos: You want to avoid products that contain the following items in the ingredient list: sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate.
For Conditioners: You want to avoid products that contain the following items in the ingredient list: silicone. Look instead for conditioners with emollients (shea butter, a number of natural oils, wheat germ), humectants (panthenol, vegetable glycerine and sorbitol), and moisturizers (amino acids, aloe vera, etc…)
For Styling: You want to stay away from products that include: silicone, parabens, and phthalates.
- Deva Curl, No-Poo
- RenPure Originals, Moisture Rich Shampoo
- Curl Junkie, Curl Assurance, Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
- Pureology Precious Oil Shampoo
- Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate Shampoo
- Wen by Chaz Dean (Sweet Almond Mint smells amazing!)
- Beyond the Zone, Noodle Head, Cleanse Your Curls
- Shea Moisture, Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser, Coconut & Hibiscus
- Herbal Essences Naked, Cleansing Conditioner
- Deva Curl, One Condition
- White Rain Conditioners – Coconut is my favorite
- Trader Joe Nourish Conditioner
- Tresemme Naturals Conditioner
- Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Conditioner
- Burts Bees Hair Repair Deep Conditioner Shea & Grapefruit
- Pureology Precious Oil Softening Conditioner
- Suave Naturals Conditioners – I like the green apple scent.
- Bumble & Bumble Seaweed Conditioner
- Beyond the Zone, Noodle Head, Condition Your Curls (leave-in)
- Shea Moisture Conditioning Curl Milk (leave-in)
- Ion Curl Solutions, Conditioning Curl Whip
- Marc Anthony, Strictly Curls, Curl Defining Lotion
- Deva Curl, Light Defining Gel OR Styling Cream
- Aussie, Instant Freeze
- Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Gel
- Kinky Curly Curling Custard
- Jane Carter, Wrap and Roll
- Curl Junkie, Curls in a Bottle
- Tigi Catwalk, Curls Rock
This is in no means an exhaustive list. There are SOOO many products out there that it is difficult to list them all. Plus companies are often tweaking ingredients so things change from time to time.
Also, be aware that sometimes companies might make a Curly Girl approved conditioner or styling product but the rest of the line is not CG-approved. I made that mistake a couple times so I now read the back of all bottles before purchasing.
Here’s my take on those Curly Girl Products listed above that I have tried:
Beyond The Zone Noodle Head 2 in 1 Curl Cleansing Creme – I haven’t loved this cleansing conditioner as much as I hoped to. For me, it feels like it doesn’t cleanse as much as I would like. My hair often feels greasy after using it as both a cleanser and then a conditioner.
Tigi Catwalk Curls Rock Curl Amplifier – One of my ultimate favorite styling serums. A little goes a long way so the small bottle actually lasts longer than you might expect. Love the way it makes my curls look.
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser – I pretty much LOVE all the products in this line. They work really well, make my hair unbelievably soft and they smell great too. In addition to this Co-Wash I also use the leave-in conditioner from this line.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Lotion – So far, hands down, this is my favorite styling item. It allows curls to form beautifully without making them look crunchy.
Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner – I like this product as a conditioner but I don’t find that it works really well as a cleanser. Bonus of this one is that it is easy to find at most places you usually shop for hair products.
Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Hair Gel – Inexpensive styling gel. It leaves hair looking crispy when it dries, but nothing a couple good scrunches won’t alleviate.
DevaCurl No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser Shampoo – Probably my favorite no-poo product. No, it won’t lather up in your hair like a usual shampoo but it will get the cleansing job done.
Beyond the Zone Noodle Head Leave-in Conditioner – Second favorite leave-in conditioner. I apply it just after the shower and then add my styling gel in right after.
Renpure Argan Oil Moisture Rich Shampoo – If you want something that feels a little more like a shampoo than some of the no-poo options this is the way to go. The whole line is pretty great, actually.
Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll – I tried this years ago when I wasn’t even working on the Curly Girl Method and I loved it even then. A little goes a long way.