Ever feel confused about all the different varieties of curly hair products available on the market these days? While the options of the past weren't the best products for curly hair, the choices were simple: gel, mousse, and hairspray. That was about it. (And if you don't remember those days, consider yourself lucky.) Since the technology of curly hair products has improved drastically over time, natural curls are flourishing now more than ever, but the options on the market can get a bit confusing and overwhelming. Let's talk for a moment about a few things to look for in curly hair products so that we can hopefully take a bit of the mental strain out of it!
1. Curly hair products should be free of certain things.
It's pretty standard these days for some chemicals to be flagged as dangerous to the human body, and there are good reasons for this backed up by extensive research. The healthiest products should be free of the main offenders, such as sulfates, parabens, phthalates, DEA (diethanolamine), BHA and BHT, and formaldehydes. Most of these things should be avoided for general health reasons, but some of them are actually bad specifically for your curls as well. In general, the more natural a product's ingredients, the better it is for your hair and for those gorgeous curls of yours!
2. The best curly hair products should mention several benefits for the health and structure of the hair.
When looking over products, you should see listed on the packaging several benefits for curly hair in addition to benefits for the health and structure of the hair. Some of these things would include UV protection, conditioning, strengthening, moisturizing, smoothing, calming, humidity protection, and so on. UV protection (sunblock) is important if your hair is color-treated, and conditioning and moisturizing benefits are essential for curls—as is humidity protection, but we probably didn't need to tell you that! Be sure to check the ingredient list for things like protein (such as soy or wheat), nourishing botanicals (such as jojoba or aloe), and herbs (such as rosemary or lavender) to make sure they back up their claims.
3. The best hair products for curls should list several styling benefits as well.
Not that these things can't happen without being listed on the packaging, but you will want to look for at least a couple of styling benefits when choosing a curly hair product, too. Here are just some of the things you can look for:
- Curl definition, curl retention, curl memory and hold (could be light or strong hold)
- Smoothing, frizz control, detangling, conditioning/moisturizing (dual benefits for curl health and styling!)
- Volume, bounce, shine and hair color enhancement
If you don't see all of these things listed, don't immediately disregard the product! But again, look for ingredients to back up some of these claims (for example, olive oil and cocoa or shea butter are moisturizing and conditioning).
Now that you know some of the things to avoid and some to look for in a product, hopefully your curly hair product shopping experience will be a bit more fun—as it should be! Nothing wrong with getting excited about trying a new curl product (Curl Créme is an excellent one;) and experimenting with it!