Beeswax is a common ingredient in many hair products and can often leave a gunky residue

Drying alcohols

Hairsprays and some regular gels contain drying alcohols. These may be listed as SD Alcohol-40B or alcohol denat (which stands for denatured) and are usually one of the first ingredients in the list.

Drying alcohols prevent hairsprays from wetting and flattening hair and allow hair to dry more quickly. However, as the alcohol evaporates from your hair, it robs your curls of the moisture they need to form frizz-free curls. Overuse of drying alcohols can instigate a need for more hairspray to control unruly, dry frizz and more gel to keep curls from wilting or breaking up when their moisture level is lacking.

Using hairspray primarily for special occasions or only on wet hair can reduce the negative, drying effects. Similarly, treating your hair to a daily leave-in, frequent deep moisture treatments, and limited shampooing with gentle, sulfate-free formulas can also reverse some of the drying damage.

What ingredients to expect

There is something to be said for knowing what belongs in a formulation and what is unique. This knowledge can help cut through the marketing and hype and reveal a truly innovative product.

By knowing what ingredients are commonplace in a product type, similarities can be found. For example, most serums contain very similar ingredients. Therefore, if you know your curls were frizzy when you used Frizz Ease serum, you’ll know other cyclopentasiloxane-based serums will yield comparable results. When you read the ingredients on Tigi S-Factor One Curl at a Time Curl Serum, you’ll recognize a serum with no silicones and instead a polyquaterium, glycerin, aloe and castor oil as a base. Your results with this product would be very different from the cyclopentasiloxane-based serum.

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