10 Ingredients to Sidestep if You Have Curly Hair

February 13, 2022
10 Ingredients to Sidestep if You Have Curly Hair

Discover the 10 ingredients present in your hair products to absolutely banish if you have curly hair! Your hair will thank you.

Having curly hair is no small feat. This type of hair is very fragile and requires the greatest care, otherwise beware of dry hair, poorly defined curls, and volume that is either too XXL or completely flat! 

Unfortunately, learning how to take care of it can sometimes take months or even years, especially if you don’t know what products to use. 

Between products that are too aggressive and harmful, here is a list of 10 ingredients to boycott if you have curly hair.


Silicones, usually used in cosmetics and especially in hair care, are ingredients that will give the impression that your hair is smooth and soft, by facilitating its detangling. 

In reality, these ingredients suffocate the hair fiber and make the hair impossible to discipline. 

In addition, they are extremely polluting for rivers and oceans because they cannot be recycled.

It is found: in shampoos, conditioners, and detangling sprays.

Under what name: they often end with -Icone / -Iconol / -siloxane (Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol…).


Sulfates allow your products to lather and act as surfactants, helping to neutralize impurities on your scalp, leaving your hair feeling clean. 

In reality, these agents are extremely aggressive and will dry out your curly hair, which is already naturally more prone to dryness.

It is found: in shampoos mainly.

Under what name: ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate.

Please note: some sulfates, if used without abuse, are not as harmful as conventional sulfates. They are often found under the name of Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate & Lauryl glucoside, Coco glucoside, Sodium Glutamate, etc.

Also Read: Should You Wash Your Hair After Every Workout


Present in most hair care products, parabens are used for their preservative properties. 

Unfortunately, they can lead to allergic dermatitis. 

Curly hair, which tends to be naturally fragile, will become all the weaker. 

This is because preservatives will irritate and inflame the scalp, causing hair loss. 

In addition, they are formidable endocrine disruptors, which increase the risk of cancer, especially in women.

It is found: in most hair care products.

Under what name: butyl-, phenyl-, methyl, propyl- (phenoxyethanol, methylisothiazolinone).

Curly Hair Products on Amazon:

The alcohol

Most alcohols used in hair products, as preservatives, can make curly hair dry, brittle, and sensitive. In addition, they are irritating to the scalp. These are called desiccant alcohols.

It is found: in scented care products.

Under what name: benzyl alcohol or propanol most of the time.

Please note: some alcohols are said to be “fatty” and are contained in most hair products. Unlike drying alcohols, they are good for the hair because they moisturize your strands! They are often referred to as cetyl or Cetearyl alcohol.

The perfume

The perfume, without great surprise, allows your products to have a pleasant smell and often plays on your choice during your shopping! 

However, who says good smell does not always say good product! Artificial fragrances can irritate your skin, are carcinogenic, can itch your scalp, and make your hair dry.

It is found: in shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams…

Under what name: perfume (fragrance), phthalate…

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is not only used in acne products, but also hair care! Indeed, for people suffering from psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff, it can be very useful. 

Unfortunately, it does not go well with curly hair because it dries them out. 

If you suffer from any of the problems mentioned below but have curly hair, see a dermatologist for other options.

We find care products for the scalp.

Under what name: salicylic acid.

Methanal or Formaldehyde

Like parabens, methanol (or formaldehyde) is an ingredient renowned for its preservative power. 

However, it is an allergenic and irritating ingredient, dreadful for sensitive skin, which can cause hair loss. 

In addition, it is also a carcinogenic active ingredient.

They damage curls by making the hair shaft weak and brittle.

It is found: in hair care such as chemical straightening products.

Under what name: Methanediol, glyoxylic acid.

Quaternary Ammoniums

These ingredients have lubricating and detangling actions for your hair and give it a sheathing effect on the curls. 

Often used in so-called “silicone-free” products, they are sometimes more harmful than silicones. 

They are detergents and aggressive for your hair.

They are found: in shampoos and conditioners

Under what name: Quaternim (followed by a number, methosulfate), BTMS, Polyquaternium (followed by a number methosulfate), DSDMAC, CTAC…


These assets are used because they are humectants and emulsifiers and emollients. 

However, they weaken the curls and make the skin permeable by letting harmful ingredients into the blood. In addition, they are very polluting.

It is found: in shampoos and moisturizers for the hair.

Under what name: polyethylene-glycol and poly-propylene-glycol.

Mineral Oils

They make your hair feel soft and hydrated. They form an occlusive film around the hair, completely suffocating it and preventing the penetration of moisturizers and water into the hair. 

In addition, they are completely synthetic and do not provide any benefit to curls, which need hydration.

We find shampoos, gels, moisturizers…

Under what name: Paraffinum Liquidum, petrolatum, mineral oil…

Photo: Pexels/ José Luis

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

All Comments

  • I’m using the salicylic acid, mineral oils, these ingridients are amazing!!!

    Christine Gallet February 24, 2022 1:03 pm