The best way to choose ingredients/products is by hair properties. Here's a link to help you with that Curly Hair Basics | Live Curly Live Free Many of us make Flax Seed Gel (FSG), and more recently, okra gel. You can search and find a ton of threads about both of them. Once you determine your hair properties, you can look for others with hair like yours and see what they use. It's the best place to start.

Other then those, my hair prefers the more natural products from the online, boutique type companies. I stay away from a lot of chemicals, especially polyquats.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic; Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix