It’s time we take a deep breath and accept the fact that curly hair is a bit more high maintenance than other hair textures. The belief that no one will notice the unwashed, unkempt hair under all the coils doesn’t really hold true. So it needs to be pampered with the correct products. Unfortunately, keeping up-to-date with what’s good for your curly hair may feel like a Herculean task. Honestly, a lot goes into deciding which ingredients should be in your products, regardless of how long you’ve been rocking your natural hair. If you’re still unsure what to use, here is a list of common ingredients used in hair products that every person with curls should stay away from. Read on to know them all.
The word “formaldehyde” certainly conjures thoughts of science class and jars full of preserved specimens. In the cosmetics industry, where shelf life is critical to profitability, formaldehyde’s preservation properties have coincidentally led to its widespread use (1). Even though it increases the product’s life, it is not something you would want to lather on your curls for long. Make sure you stick to natural products that don’t contain chemicals that cause hair loss.
Sulfates have a poor image when it comes to curly hair. Shampoo lathers well, all thanks to sulfates, but it has more than just that quality. The oils and impurities on the scalp will be broken down by the molecules, which may deep cleanse your hair, but they will also be exceedingly drying to the hair and scalp (2). In addition, sulfates have the potential to make coarse hair even drier, which is already a problem for curly hair.
Parabens are present in many cosmetic products, and it has preservative and antibacterial properties (3). Although parabens serve an important role, several studies have shown that they can also cause discomfort. For example, natural curls are more prone to breakage than straight hair. In addition, there is a good probability that hair loss will occur due to the irritation and inflammation that may develop on the scalp. Therefore, you should avoid using any product that includes parabens to keep your hair thick.
Silicones may be deceiving when it comes to the final product. In conditioners, this component is used for its capacity to soften and smooth hair, which is why it’s so common. In addition, silicones will cover your hair shaft, preventing moisture from entering or departing the hair follicle. Silicones are thought to be great for curly hair because they minimize frizz and make your hair feel squeaky clean. However, overuse of this component can lead to your hair feeling heavy due to the buildup of the product. If you have curly hair, you may want to reduce the frequency of using this product.
Cetyl and Cetearyl alcohols are two examples of fatty alcohols found in most hair care products. Alcohols like these are excellent for the health of your hair, and they’ll keep your hair silky and moisturized (4). However, to avoid irritating your scalp and affecting your curl pattern, it is best to avoid drying alcohols. Propanol and other drying alcohols, such as methylisothiazolinone, will leave your hair more vulnerable to damage. Benzyl alcohol is another alcohol to avoid. Even as a preservation ingredient, it can also be harmful to the skin and scalp (5).
Isn’t it obvious that smells play a significant role in making purchasing decisions? If a product smells fantastic, you may be tempted to buy it, but the aroma might harm your hair. In addition, fragrances might irritate and dry out the skin again. So it’s best to stick to natural products that have a natural scent.
7. Salicylic Acid (SA)
If you have used salicylic acid to treat acne, you may be surprised to see it in hair care products. However, despite its ubiquitous use in cosmetic products, salicylic acid is an effective form of therapy for various scalp disorders. Psoriasis, eczema, and even dandruff on the scalp have all benefited from salicylic acid. However, it is best to keep it to cure specific diseases and not use it as an ingredient for regular curly hair treatment.
So, now that you know how to treat your curls effectively, having bouncy and gorgeous curls won’t be a problem anymore. No matter which product you root for, check the ingredient list and reviews before investing in it. Every hair texture demands different hair care routines, and with curly hair, a little pampering and conditioning go a long way. So, do you have any special ingredients that work like magic for your bouncy curls? Share with us in the comments section! Have a good hair day every day!