Are sulfates and silicones always bad?
I was happy with my curly hair routine for years, but it stopped working when I was pregnant, and I have been frustrated for the last five years. I recently started looking into what I needed to do and found:
Avoid shampoos with sulfates.
Avoid conditioners and styling products with silicones.
So, I bought my products, and there is some improvement, though I am hoping for better. One day, I notice that my conditioner contains SLS! I had missed it because I was so focused on looking for silicones, which it does not have. Are sulfates a problem in conditioners? I have been looking and continue to see warnings about them in shampoos, but nothing is said of conditioners.
The same applies to the other way around. I have found that some non-sulfate shampoos contain silicones. Are they okay in shampoos but not in conditioners and styling products?
Help me please, as I need to buy more product soon!
Sulfates are what makes shampoo/soap lather so it gives your hair that "clean" feeling, when in reality your stripping hair of all oils (bad). Conditioner isn't supposed to make your hair feel clean, so you don't have to look out for sulfates I conditioner. However, some shampoo companies want you to think that your hair is clean and soft, so you do have to look out for silicones in shampoo. Also, keep in mind that some shampoo/conditioners claim they're "organic" or "sulfate free," but they're just as bad as normal shampoo. Watch out for Organix, L'Oreal Everpure sulfate free line, Down Under Naturals (they're shampoo has sulfates, but their conditioner is silicone free), Aveeno, etc. etc.
There is a LONG list of sulfate and silicone-free shampoo, but some if them are Burt's Bees, Nature's Gate, Alba Botanica, etc. (every matching conditioner is silicone free)
Some more silicone free conditioners include Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition, Garnier Sleek n' Shine, Tresemme Naturals conditioner line, and so on.
My all time favorite for co-washing is the Tresemme Naturals conditioners, but that's just my opinion! You may have different hair! Either way, I strongly recommend it. It makes your hair smell AMAZING, it makes your hair feel super clean, and co-washing in general makes your hair feel softer and healthier.
Hope this was helpful!!
Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition and Sleek and Shine were both reformulated earlier this years and are no-longer silicone-free.
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Also, from my understanding, the reason to avoid silicones is because in order to remove the silicones from your hair so it doesn't build-up, you need to use those harsh sulfate shampoos because most silicones are not water-soluble.
Although strictly avoiding sulfates and silicones is not for everyone, I would recommend all curlies at least give it a try and see how your hair responds. The problem with silicones is that many (but not all) can build up in your hair if they are not removed regularly with either sulfate or coco-betaine shampoo. Build-up can lead to frizz and dampen your curls, and regular use of sulfates can be damaging to your hair. So I'd recommend trying to use products without either and see how your hair responds.
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