There are certain ingredients that all curlies need to avoid in any hair care product to keep their tresses looking their best. Always read the label! Don’t use products that have any of these:
Sulphates - Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is an industrial detergent used in car wash soap and to degrease car engines. Found in 90% of conventional shampoos, it is way too harsh for curly hair as it strips the hair of natural oil causing dryness and frizziness.
It is essential to use a sulphate-free cleanser as part of your curly hair care routine. Alternatively, try a cleansing conditioner: a method that has become a way of life for many curly girls. A far more gentle way to cleanse and perfect if your hair takes a few days to settle down following conventional shampoos or if you have particularly dry or coarse curls.
Watch out for: Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate and Ammonium Laureth Sulphate.
Mineral Oil – Mineral Oil is a by-product of crude oil and is typically found in products aimed at kinky hair type. Used as a cheap alternative to natural oils it coats the hair preventing moisture from getting into the hair shaft and causing dryness. It can also clog pores on the scalp, inhibiting hair growth.
Check the label for: Mineral Oil, Paraffin Liquidum and Petrolatum.
Silicones - Silicones are synthetic emollients that coat the hair shaft giving it a glossy appearance. Silicones are not compatible with cleansing conditioner routine as they can build up on the hair shaft leaving it dull and lank.
Avoid all ingredients ending in “cone”.
Sodium Hydroxide – Sodium Hydroxide (also called lye or caustic soda) is the straightening ingredient found in many relaxers. It works by swelling the hair shaft and breaking the strong disulphide bonds that give the hair its texture. Once these bonds are broken the hair can be reset straight. The process is irreversible.
The downside of this process is a loss of elasticity, strength and flexibility, leaving the hair much more susceptible to damage. Relaxers by their very nature are caustic which can cause burning or irritation of the scalp. Don’t be fooled by “no-lye” relaxers, they will still contain a similar strong chemical that works in the same way as sodium hydroxide.