Natural curls are a beautiful thing, but anyone with curly hair will be the first to say the struggle is real. On a good (hair) day, you can feel like a million bucks. If you can’t manage to successfully style or tame it, though, you may be stuck walking around with the puffy hair of a poodle. This usually happens no thanks to wrong haircuts or ineffective washing and styling products. So, we’ve decided to put together a simple curly haired guide that helps make haircare less intimidating.


How Curly Hair Makes Life a Struggle

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of hair differences, harmful ingredients and all natural shampoos that actually work, watch this humorous 90-second video! It will give you a glimpse into the world of your curly-haired friends and what they deal with daily.

Taking Care of Straight Hair Is Different to Curly Hair. But Why?

In the words of English poet Elizabeth Browning, “Let me count the ways!”

  1. Even if you want to brush your hair, you can’t! If you don’t, it gets extremely knotty. If you do, it’s probably going to be painful and get extremely voluminous and just too much to handle.
  2. Unless you trust your hairdresser, get a haircut can be a huge risk! Because curls can vary so greatly, a miscalculated snip can lead to months of fluffy, fly-away hair.
  3. Sleeping on wet hair is a no-no! Ask anyone with curly hair – they’ve probably woken up with more weird and awkward bends than they can count.
  4. Washing your hair is rocket science, which is why is doesn’t happen more than once or twice a week!Unlike straight-haired folk, people with curly hair have the world of wet and dry curl-enhancing shampoos, deep-conditioning hair masks, and a slew of styling products. It’s not like many of these are ‘wants’ either. They’re ‘needs’ to help ensure your hair doesn’t turn frizzy after you shower that just so happen to cost a whopping sum.

Of all the points just mentioned, the fourth is probably the most relatable and talked about. But the world of curly haircare can get quite complicated so we hope the information below helps simplify your life.


Chemicals You Should Avoid Using in Curly Haircare Products

There are three major chemicals everyone should do their best to avoid: sulfates, silicones, and parabens. They each come with their own set of health risks. In short, sulfates are extremely harsh detergents that can damage hair and strip away its natural oils; silicones, the microplastics that coat your hair and give it that sheen can, conveniently, only be removed by sulfates; and parabens, even in tiny amounts, have been found to spur the growth of certain breast cancer cells.

So, next time you have or want to treat yourself to some new, natural, safe curly hair products, keep an eye open for these harmful ingredients to avoid:

Sulfates (and other names)

  • Alkylbenzene Sulfonate
  • Ammonium Laureth or Lauryl Sulfate
  • Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate
  • Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate
  • Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate
  • Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
  • Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
  • Sodium Laureth, Myreth, or Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
  • TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate
  • Cocamidropropyl Betaine
  • Coco Betaine
  • Cocoamphoacetate
  • Cocoamphodipropionate
  • Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate or Cocoamphodipropionate
  • Lauroamphoacetate
  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Silicones (and other names)

  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Cetyl Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone
  • Dimethiconol
  • Stearyl Dimethicone
  • Amodimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Trimethylsilyamodimethicone
  • Behenoxy Dimethicone
  • Stearoxy Dimethicone
  • Dimethicone Copolyol
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane
  • Lauryl Methicone Copolyol

10 of The Best All Natural Shampoos and Conditioners for Curly Hair

Because of the shape of curly hair, it’s really tough to get it fully moisturized and can feel dry or ‘stripped’. On the other hand, the scalp hiding underneath all those curls can produce a lot of natural oils (i.e., sebum). With both extremes, trying to balance curly haircare can become quite tedious. But thanks to some amazing, authentic and health-conscious haircare brands, they’ve carefully crafted products that make managing thick, curly hair easier.

Most (if not all) of these products are free of sulfates, silicones, and parabens, too.

  1. True Nature Botanicals Shampoo and Conditioner (for thick hair)
  2. Yes to Coconut Ultra Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner (for frizzy hair)
  3. Honeydew Natural Daily Shampoo (for super thick and curly hair)
  4. Shae Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Shampoo and Crème Rinse (for curly hair)
  5. Shae Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (for damaged curly hair)
  6. DermaChange Organic Hair Growth Shampoo and Conditioner (prevents shedding and breakage)
  7. Art Naturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner (leaves hair tangle-free)
  8. Maple Holistics Silk 18 Conditioner (helps get rid of static and frizz)
  9. Curly Sexy Hair Shampoo and Conditioner (gently removes dirt, oil, and residue from your scalp)
  10. DevaCurl No-Poo Decadence Zero Lather Ultra Moisturizing Milk Cleanser (strengthens hair)

Other Haircare Tips for Girls with Curly Hair

Keep these tips handy – they will save you time and money, and keep your curls looking gorgeous!

  • Comb your hair from the bottom up to avoid bunching up pre-existing knots and creating more
  • On the topic of tangles, use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush to do the job
  • Avoid split ends by trimming your curls every 6-8 weeks to keep them healthy and bouncy
  • ‘Pineapple’ your hair overnight to get defined curls (i.e., loosely gathering your hair at the top of your head before bed to prevent ruining your curl pattern, then releasing it in the morning)
  • Use the ‘diffuser’ attachment that comes with your blow-dryer – it’ll help even out and define your curl pattern
  • Make a moisturizing homemade coconut oil and castor oil hair mask

*Article originally appeared at Healthy Holistic Living.