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Curly Nikki

Product Selection- Question of the Day!

By January 27th, 20217 Comments
Product Selection- Question of the Day!Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

There are many factors to consider when it comes to product selection, such as consumer recommendation, accessibility and of course, price point. In addition to those criteria, these are things I TRY to adhere to when deciding which products to purchase. The reason I say “try” is there are always exceptions. For example, there are some “non natural” products that my hair loves so I use them, however, I also take extra steps after use (such as more deep conditioning). There are SO many products on the market geared toward natural hair care, which makes it really difficult to choose. Especially when you are like me and want to try everything!!

Below, you’ll find my guide- things I look for as well as things I try to avoid when selecting products. Remember that no two heads are a like!

Oils (Jojoba, Coconut, Olive, Almond, Tea Tree, Argan)
Flax Seed
Sodium PCA (humectants)
Peppermint, Lavender and Rosemary (growth stimulation)
Shea Butter (moisturizer)

Mineral oil
Synthetic ingredients
Sulfates (ex: sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate)
Isopropyl alcohol (drying agent)
Cetearyl alcohol

*disclaimer – this is a general guide. There may or may not be exceptions to either list.

A few tips

• Do not try more than two new products at a time
If you want to be able to determine if the product and your hair are a good match, this is a good rule of thumb. It is more difficult to discern if you are simultaneously trying multiple new products.

• Order of Ingredients
The further down on the ingredient list, the smaller the percentage of the ingredient in the product, which of course means the smaller effect it will have on your hair.

Styling products are extremely important because they stay in your hair longer than any other product. Those that contain synthetic ingredients can build up and dry out your hair over time causing breakage. Ingredients such as petroleum and mineral oil have been known to coat the hair shaft and seal out moisture. They are also believed to attract dust and dirt particles, causing the hair to look dull.

What are some of things you look for when it comes to product selection?

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.


  • Hilary B. says:

    I look for products that are water based. I love anything with aloe vera juice, glycerin, jojoba oil, amla oil, and avocado oil. I'm wary of protein 'cause I suspect my hair is sensitive to it. I try to avoid sulfates and alcohol.

  • Samantha Nneamaka says:

    Because its SUMMER and HUMIDITY:

    The only products i look for:
    *ALL NATURAL products with water as first ingredient
    *aloe vera gel/juice
    *seed oils

    I say no to:
    *paraben, any silicone, any sulfate, alcohol (except for fatty alcohols)
    *protein RICH products (excluding pt)
    *mineral oil

    I beleive that every product you use has an effect on your hair. If your cleanser/shampoo isnt effective your other products wont be able to be effective either. If your in need of a dt and yours adequate then it doesnt matter about anything else youve done because your hair is still dry and prone to breakage. When you create a system, like you have done for your hair, and find products that fit in it and work its awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't necessarily agree with the further down the less effect. There are some potent natural and non natural products (think peppermint or any other essential oil) where only a little is needed to be effective. Some stabilizers are used in very small quantities to balance the ph of a product but they are so potent they are at the far end of the list.

  • Annie L. says:

    When checking ingredient lists I SAY YES to:

    Aloe (humectant)
    Mallows and other mucilage herbs, BTMS (slip)
    Amla, shikakai, hibiscus (cleanse/conditioning)
    Safflower, sunflower, grapeseed oils (ceramides)
    Avocado, berry oils (fatty acids, vitamin E!)

    Shea (emollient)
    cetyl alcohol (emulsifier)
    citric acid (preservative)
    glycerin, honey, honeyquat (humectant)

    I'm UNEASY ABOUT though use:
    Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
    Beeswax (emulsifier, thickener)

    I SAY NO to:
    Mineral oil
    Flax (find it drying)

    There are complaints about Phenoxyethanol being an irritant and a possible carcinogen. Beeswax blocks yet locks in moisture *sigh* and I love the texture and like honey and glycerin, I'm very uneasy about ethical sourcing. Shea causes me BUILD-UP but works like a dream!

  • Anonymous says:

    It is an emusifier but its man made so some people shy away from it.b

  • Anonymous says:

    That is more of a natural vs not natural preference.

  • Anonymous says:

    what is your objection to ceteraryl alcohol? I thought it was just a fatty alcohol that is used as a thickeneremulifier? Or is it you just noticed it wasn't an ingredient your hair just didn't like?

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