Keep your locks soft and light with these alternatives to protein and silicone hair products.

Little girl

Dear Rebecca:

I'm a relatively new wavy hair girl, type 2A/2B, depending on how my hair wants to behave that day. I don't use heat styling tools or any chemical treatments on my hair, so there's no damage. After battling with loss of elasticity and a horrible brittle feeling, I learned that my hair hates protein. Anything with protein in it will leave my hair feeling damaged with little to no bounce. Silicone hair products also make my hair feel slimy or waxy, and they remove most of the wave.

Down to my question: I'd love to have a lightweight creme-type styling product for days when I just let my hair air-dry. Something that will help hold the wave without crunchiness or stiffness, and that will help with frizz. My only difficulty is that every time I find a promising product, it either has proteins, silicones or both. Do you have any product recommendations for me?


Dear Hair Twin:

Don't despair. Many other wavies haven't had much luck with protein or silicone hair products. What you need is a good leave-in conditioner. This, I’m all too familiar with because, seriously, we're hair twins! A good leave-in conditioner will provide moisture to your hair, help eliminate frizz, and add definition to your waves. You’ll instantly be able to tell the difference in your hair when it air dries. I recommend a creamy leave-in conditioner like Design Essentials Hydrate Leave-In Conditioner.

Apply Hydrate after your hair has been cleansed and conditioned. Apply a nickel to quarter size amount, depending on the length of your hair, and gently comb Hydrate through your strands. Allow your hair to air-dry. The result should be soft, silky hair without frizz! If you find you are in need of something lighter, try a spray leave-in conditioner. I heart Design Essentials HCO Leave-In Conditioner. It gives the right amount of weightless moisture to any type of hair. Just lightly mist, comb, and go! I think you will be extremely happy with your hair.

Good luck, twin!



Rebecca Mariolis

It took me forever to find a product that works, but I love A/G: Recoil. Works wonders. I'm more toward the 2B end, though, maybe the person who wrote in is straight to 2A? I can use products with a bit of silicone - like Noodlehead, in small amounts.

DLC I completely agree, a non-biased hair expert who is not attached to any hair care company would be great.

I think this article was written by someone who wants to sell these products

Tressemme Naturals has a line with no silicones (I use the conditioner mixed with with aloe vera juice as a leave in). Burt's Bees and Giovanni's does not have cones. Sold at Target.

I'd like to suggest Wonder Curl's Get Set Hair Jelly and/or Get Slick Hair Smoothie. The Get Set Hair Jelly has no oils or silicons to weigh your hair down and will tame those frizzies. Get Slick Hair Smoothie has oils in it, in case you need extra moisture. Check it out at

!! And one of the recommendations has protein as well ><

Additionally, I was really interested in the answer to this question because it could have been written by me. I've tried leave in conditioners, and though they help with frizz to a certain extent, they lack any hold and my waves just don't form or hold. I end up with a few half-hearted attempts at waves while the majority of my hair falls straight and flat. I find myself disappointed that in an article titled "Silicone products are killing my waves" the recommendations given both have silicones....

Lovely, both product recommendations contain silicones. This is why we wavies have a hard time finding products. Anyone have any counter-recommendations that actually don't have silicone??