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Best Curly Hair Product Ingredients?

Curly Hair Updo - Photo by Bruno Lial Curly Hair Updo - Photo by Bruno Lial

Question - Best Curly Hair Product Ingredients

Dear Karen,

I have naturally curly hair which consists of the loose loopy curly type. I am constantly searching for products for my hair which are best.  Sometimes I'll find a great shampoo or conditioner which works great at first but then starts to lose it's oomph.

I always read the labels on all shampoo and conditioners I buy to make sure there are no ingredients I know my hair doesn't respond well to.

However, is there a basic list of secret ingredients which work really well for naturally curly hair? If so, could you give me a list?



Answer - Best Curly Hair Product Ingredients

Dear Carmen,

Thanks for your email and for visiting As you may know, no two heads of hair are ever the same. In fact, hair can change due to age, illness, environment, seasons and hormonal changes due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause

or other life changes. Stress may or may not impact your hair including the texture.

Long Naturally Curly Hair - Bravo/Shear Genius Long Naturally Curly Hair - Bravo/Shear Genius

Is there a secret list of basic ingredients which always work for naturally curly hair?  No.

Although there are certain ingredients hair chemists known work well for many people with curly hair, there is no go-to list guaranteed to work for all people with natural texture like yours.

Actually there's no absolute go-to list for any hair type, texture or condition since all hair is different. This of course explains why some hair care lines work wonders for some people and not at all for others.

I have compiled a very general list of the key ingredients which are considered beneficial for curly hair which has unique needs compared to other hair types or textures.

Keep in mind that based on the cuticle shape of naturally curly hair, hydration is often an important component of naturally curly products. Also, because natural curls tend to be more parched then other types of hair, custom cleansing techniques should be incorporated to include diluted shampoo formulas, low poo, no poo or conditioner only wash (CO Wash).

Detailed List Of Best Curly Hair Product Ingredients

Listed below are some of the most popular ingredients in naturally curl products:

Giacomo Naturally Curly Hair - Bravo - Shear Genius Giacomo Naturally Curly Hair - Bravo - Shear Genius

1. Magnesium Sulfate - Tightens natural or chemically treated curls and adds bounce, movement and spring. Magnesium sulfate is thought to strengthen curls, leaving them full of life.

2. Kukui Nut Lipids - This is also known as Aleurites Moluccana. Known to rebuild and strengthen natural textured hair with linolenic and linoleic fatty acids. Kukui nut lipids is basically an oil which is process from the the kukui nut.

Kukui nut lipids are native to plants in Hawaii. It has a molecular structure which allows the protein and lipids to penetrate deeply into the cuticle of the hair imparting the beneficial properties of the botanicals directly into the hair shaft to replenish moisture, adding luster and elasticity.

Note: Some people with nut allergies may not be able to tolerate the kukui nut oil ingredient. Keep this in mind if you have known nut sensitivities. Other oils which may be used in addition to or instead of Kukui Nut Oil includes jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), avocado oil and/or castor seed oil.

All oils will act differently depending on their concentration in the products. Jojoba and avocado oil tends to be lighter than EVOO or castor seed oil.

3. Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein - Helps to strengthen the hair from the inside out.

4. Panthenol - This ingredient is known to add volume and body to natural texture which may tend to flatten into a triangle in some cases.

Coconut Coconut

5. Tocopheryl Acetate - This is basically a form of Vitamin E which helps protect hair against free radical damage. It moistures the hair and scalp.

6. Oat Kernel Extract - Known for its conditioning properties, oat kernal extract also help improve overall manageability in textured hair.

7. Coconut oil and/or coconut oil extract - This adds hydration as well as overall shine. Some products designed specifically for naturally textured hair may substitute honey and/or shea butter for coconut oil.

Honey offers the same hydration properties although it may work better on some types of hair than others.

Shea butter is also a key hydration ingredient in products for naturally curly hair although a product may not include all three hydrating ingredients in one formula since it may be too hydrating or heavy.

Note: Naturally curly hair which is fine or thin may not respond as well to coconut oil, honey or shea butter ingredients as curls which are medium to thick.

Honey Honey

8. Aloe Vera - Known for its moisturizing properties it may be included in a hair product formula for naturally textured hair. Aloe vera may be included in a variety of delivery methods such as a gel or a liquid.

Of course there are an endless list of ingredients you can evaluate but some of the most popular and best for naturally curly hair are listed above.

For a very comprehensive list of ingredients and information on caring for curly hair check out the following books:

1.  {{asin=047053642X,text=Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong}} by Teri LaFlesh.

2. {{asin=076115678X,text=Curly Girl: The Handbook}} by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender.

3. {{asin=0517881519,text=Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became Too Ruff}} by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner.

Ultimately it's up to you to become an expert on the ingredients which work best for your hair type, texture and special needs.  Keep an ingredient notebook and list those ingredients which stand the test of time with your natural curls without losing that special oomph you require.

Please let us know how your ingredient testing goes. Thanks again for visiting.

Good luck to you.

Best wishes,


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