Curly Girl Method Approved Products

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.

curly-girl-methos-approved-products

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.

Shampoos:

 Conditioners:

Styling:

  • 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.

how-to-curly-girl-hair1

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.

Katy Rose

24 thoughts on “Curly Girl Method Approved Products

  1. Amanda P.

    I use the beach sprays on my hair when I wear it curly, do you know if those would be approved? I’m interested in trying this method as well once my hair gets a little longer. Ever since I had my daughter my hair is so curly! Right now, I am still washing daily (except on weekends) and blowing it dry/styling with a blowdry brush.

    Thanks for posting about this method, I’ve never heard of it before!
    Amanda P. recently posted..Jeanette months 10 & 11

    1. katyrose Post author

      Amanda – I haven’t tried the beach sprays so I’m not sure how they fit in with the Curly Girl Method. Which one are you using?
      Good luck trying this. It takes some getting used to, but it is so worth the effort! Your curls will astound you. – Katy

      1. Melissa spence

        Hello, I’ve found your photos on the curly girl method and feel I need to bring it to your attention that a couple of the products you are recommending are actually not cg friendly.
        Wen contains silicone as does the Marc Anthony curl lotion.

    1. katyrose Post author

      Thanks! I have a couple straight-haired friends who have also been using a modified version of the Curly Girl Method in order to give life back to their dried-out locks. It’s worked wonders for them too. – Katy

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  4. Funkidivagirl

    Great list, but Trader Joe’s Nourish & Spa Conditioner recently added silicone. I just went to buy it last week after seeing it on CG lists, but read the ingredients in store, just in case. And after I got home (empty-handed) I googled and saw that the CG community is all up in arms about the new change. However the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner is still CG friendly.
    Funkidivagirl recently posted..A New Year, A New Look – No More Dreadlocks

    1. katyrose Post author

      Thanks for letting me know. I’ll need to update the list! So frustrating that they would change the ingredients to include something that so many people try to stay away from.

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  10. Terri Irvin

    As a curly haired woman I appreciate this post and I have saved it. I will try some of the products too. Thanks for the info. :.)

  11. Madeline

    The Beyond The Zone Noodle Head leave-in Conditioner contains Dimethicone and therefore is not a Curly Girl approved product. This is a silicone based ingredient.

  12. Jen

    Just sharing something I learned: Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone are both silicones and found in many hair products.

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