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Ingredients to avoid in curly hair routine & why


“Silicone is almost like rubber and/or plastic. It is used as a sealant against water and even air. It is not a natural ingredient, and its side effects are bad for our hair. It gives the hair the illusion of shine, but it is not the shine we want—it is a fake shine from the plastic. The shine we want is when the cuticle layer is sealed and light reflects off the hair. This only happens when hair is properly hydrated and kept as healthy as possible.

Silicone will weigh the hair down, making it limp, lifeless, and, with time, very dull. It prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft and becomes like a magnet for dirt and other ingredients. So in essence, we get a good shine for a couple of days, but over time it will attract more buildup on the hair. With time it will dry the hair out because it won’t allow in the conditioner and it ends up sitting on the surface. Due to lack of moisture, the hair will become very brittle and could lead to frizz and breakage.” —Shai Amiel, Celebrity Hairstylist & Owner, CAPELLA Salon

Avoid products with ingredients lists containing the word "Silcone" or any words ending with "CONE", "CONOL" or "ZANE".

Here are some examples:

  • Dimethicone

  • Dimethiconol

  • Siloxane

  • Silicone Resin Spheres

  • Trimethylsiloxysilicate

  • Silcone Quaternium 16/18/22

  • Polysilicone-18 Cetyl Phosphate

  • Phenylpropyldimethylsiloxysilicate

  • Aminopropyl Triethoxysilane

  • Di-Isostearoyl Trimethylolpropane Siloxysilicate

Some people choose to use  "Evaporate" (Cyclo) and "Water Soluble" (aka PPG/ PEG8 or higher) in their CG Journey

however the Creator of the CG Method, Lorraine Massey believes that there is no silicone good for Curls.

If you choose to use any of the PPG/PEG-8 Silcones or Amodethicone you will need to "Low Poo" to remove them from your hair to avoid build up.


Sulphates (aka Surfuctants) are cheap, artificial cleansing agents found in anything from dish washing liquid to skin & hair care products. They are known to cause skin issues and dryness, hence why we avoid them for our hair. The primary ingredient used to make Sulphates is Petroleum..... enough said!

Please try to use a Sulphate Free Shampoo (Low poo) only when needed to get the best results from your hair. All of our Shampoos on This Little Curl are Sulphate Free.

** Please note that behentrimonium methosulfate isn't actually a Sulphate , it's a conditioning agent that gives hair "slip" meaning it's a desired ingredient, despite sounding like a sulphate.

Sulphates we avoid:

  • Alkylbenzene Sulfonate

  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate

  • Ammonium Laurill Sulfate

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

  • Ammonium Xylenesulfonate

  • C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate

  • Dioctyl Sodium Sulfoccinate

  • Disodium  Laureth Sulfosuccinate

  • Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate

  • Potassium Lauryl Sulfate

  • Sodium Alkylbenzene Sulfonate

  • Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate

  • Sodium Carboxylate

  • Sodium Coco Sulfate

  • Sodium Cocyl Sarcosinate

  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate

  • Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate

  • Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate

  • Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate

  • Sodium Myreth Sulfate

  • Sodium Stearate

  • Sodium Xylenesulfonate

  • Tea Lauryl Sulfate

  • Tea- Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate

Drying Alcohols

It's important to understand that "Alcohol" isn't a single ingredient but a family of ingredients. There are short chain alcohols (Drying) and Long Chain Alcohols (Fatty Alcohols).


Here are some alcohols it's best to avoid in your hair.

  • Denatured Alcohol

  • Ethanol

  • Isopropanol 

  • Isopropyl Alcohol

  • Propanol

  • Propyl Alcohol

  • Sd Alcohol

  • Sd Alcohol 40

  • Witch Hazel 

The following alcohols are good alcohols:

  • Lauryl alcohol

  • Cetyl alcohol

  • Myristyl alcohol

  • Stearyl alcohol

  • Cetearyl alcohol

  • Behenyl alcohol

Artificial Oils and Waxes

Artificial oils and waxes (also natural waxes) can easily build up on the hair shaft. This build up often stops water and nourishing ingredients from being able to penetrate the hair and properly hydrate and feed it. They can also make the hair appear limp, greasy and lackluster. 

Some of the artificial oils and waxes we avoid are

  • Mineral Oil

  • Parraffinum Liquidum

  • Parrafin

  • Petroleum/ Petrolatum

  • Beeswax

  • Most other waxes

Please note: Emulsifying wax is safe to use and Lanolin can be fully removed with a low-poo, therefore is OK to use at your discretion.


While we're not a strictly curly-girl approved curl product store, we do appreciate that some choose to keep things 100% Curly Girl. We have added "CG Status" to most product listings to make things easier, or you can check out Curlsbot , which is an automated ingredient list scanner. 

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