I think becoming more aware of product ingredients and how my hair reacts to them has been key for my natural journey. I know in 4a we talk to newbies a lot about keeping journals to track the ingredients of products that do and don't work for you to see what the commonalities are. I didn't even attempt CG until I was two years natural. I loved how easy silicones make detangling. But I always had dryness problems and a coated feeling that never seemed to go away until I shampooed. Since then I have gone back to the dark side many times thinking maybe my hair can handle it now. And every time my hair has made me pay for it. Dimethicone is not my friend whether it's the first ingredient or the last. Thank God for clarifying shampoos.
That said, formulation does matter. my hair likes aloe mixed with other ingredients but not alone. I think we all have to experiment and learn to listen to our hair and go with that.