What ingredients are damaging to our natural curly hair?

I am curious to know what ingredients in hair products that I should watch out for that would be damaging? I am learning so much from this site and I am very excited to start on my new path of more healthy stronger shinnier hair. Any advice would be much appreciated!!

Thank You
Lovin My Curls!!
hair type : 3c/4a
Other than the obvious sulfate cleansers and silicones, I'd say non-fatty alcohols would be the top of the list, though some can use them without problems.
3b/c. Fine, med-high porosity, normal elasticity. Hair loves oils in summer, protein in winter. Constantly battling the hard water monster.

CJ Curl Theory, Curl Rehab, Smoothing, Curl Fix, Daily Fix, CCCC, CIAB, CQ, SSCC, MC shampoo, Inecto Pure Coconut Oil, CP luscious curl creme (summer), DB Pumpkin Seed (summer), FD/MT, JCWDT, JCTS

American literature PhD student in the UK...
One I learned of recently from Struttswife that I didn't know about before is Alcohol Denat. It's probably what Oddity means by non-fatty alcohols. It's in most hair-sprays and spray gels and it is very drying. My hair has started to look even better since I cut it out.
2c/3a SL med/fine
Started CG in 6/08 Fell off the wagon 10/08, Back on since 7/09
Co-Wash- VO5 Vanilla Mint
Low Poo once/week- KCCC
R/O and L/I Tigi Moisture Maniac
Gels-BRHG and LA Looks Curl (also like Aquage)
Experimenting with GVP K-Pac, and loving it
Location-Tampa/Orlando corridor
Learning to love my curls one day at time
Oh, yeah, alcohol denat really dried out my hair. Also magnesium sulphate causes a lot of frizz for some curlies.
3b-med texture-med porosity
CG from 21-05-09 2nd try!
Conditioners: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Aubrey Organics GPB Protein
Gel: Lavera Organic


There's confusion about drying alcohols such as

denatured alcohol -
ethanol, grain alcohol, fermentation alcohol, alcohol, methylcarbinol, absolute alcohol, absolute ethanol, anhydrous alcohol, alcohol dehydrated, algrain, anhydrol, Cologne spirit, duplicating fluid 100C, ethyl hydrate, ethyl hydroxide, jaysol, jaysol s, molasses alcohol, potato alcohol, sekundasprit, spirits of wine, spirit, synasol, tecsol)
SD alcohol 40 -
  • .alpha.-Hydroxytoluene
  • .alpha.-Toluenol
  • Alcohol bencilico [INN-Spanish]
  • Alcoholum benzylicum [INN-Latin]
  • Alcool benzilico [DCIT]
  • Alcool benzylique
  • Alcool benzylique [INN-French]
  • alpha-Hydroxytoluene
  • alpha-Toluenol
  • Aromatic primary alcohol
  • Benzal alcohol
  • Benzenecarbinol
  • Benzenemethanol
  • Benzoyl alcohol
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Benzyl alcohol (JP14/NF)
  • Benzyl alcohol (natural)
  • Benzyl alcohol [USAN:INN:JAN]
  • Benzylicum
  • C00556
  • c0278
  • C03485
  • D00077
  • Euxyl K 100
  • hydroxymethylbenzene
  • Itch-X
  • LS-307
  • Phenolcarbinol
  • Phenylcarbinol
  • Phenylcarbinolum
  • Phenylmethanol
  • Phenylmethyl alcohol
rubbing alcohol -
Isopropyl Alcohol; Dimethylcarbinol;
sec-Propyl alcohol; Rubbing alcohol; Petrohol; 1-Methylethanol; 1-Methylethyl alcohol; 2-Hydroxypropane; 2-Propyl alcohol; Isopropyl alcohol; Propan-2-ol; IPA; 2-Propanol; Alcool Isopropilico (Italian); Alcool Isopropylique (French); I-Propanol (German); I-Propylalkohol (German); Iso-Propylalkohol (German);
and moisturizing alcohols such as

Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol and Behenyl Alcohol are white, waxy solids. Isostearyl Alcohol is a clear liquid. Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol are the two major components of Cetearyl Alcohol. These ingredients are all fatty alcohols and that are widely used in cosmetics and personal care products, especially in skin lotions and creams.

Fatty alcohols are used as emollients in numerous types of cosmetics. They are valuable as co-emulsifiers and are employed to increase the viscosity of emulsions, shampoos and other products.
WOW,so these are all alcohol ingredients to avoid?
Lovin My Curls!!
hair type : 3c/4a
I stick with sulfate free products, I don't use anything with silicones, mineral oil or petrolum, or drying alcohols. Products that contain any of those things make my hair just go nuts.

I have to say becoming a CG'er was the best thing that I've ever done for my hair. My hair has never been softer, shiner, or more healthy looking since I was a kid! Another thing I found is that going CG saves me a decent amount of money monthly.

Here's a good link that a lot of beginners find helpful:

Congrats on looking to have healthy hair! I wish you the best of success!!!
WOW,so these are all alcohol ingredients to avoid?
Originally Posted by Starsinthesky21
No, the fatty alcohols in the last group are OK, good, in fact, for the most part for most people.

I agree about mineral oil, petrolatum and any other petroleum products.

Some people avoid polyquaterniums, but I can't tell they cause me any problem.

Even many who use protein don't like wheat protein.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!


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