Stay away from silicones and sulfates

Use products without silicones and sulfates – this is called the Curly Girl Method and was invented by Lorraine Massey from DevaCurl.

When I stopped using products with sulfates and silicones that don’t wash out it took my curls about two weeks to look healthier and to even start shining. So be aware that if you switch to the Curly Girl Method the results won’t be visible immediately – you’ll need to be a bit patient.


This is how my curls used to look like before I started the Curly Girl Method:


curls pre-CG


Why stop using silicones and sulfates?


Curly hair unfortunately always is dry hair and sulfates will dry out your hair even more as they’re really harsh. As you’ve probably experienced you’ll need to use lots and lots of conditioner to make your hair look less dry and frizzy. But if you’re using a conditioner with silicones you also need to use a shampoo with sulfates to wash out the silicones from your conditioner – if you don’t the silicones will “sit” on your hair and prevent moisture from getting to it – which in turn leads to drier hair. What’s going to happen is that by using sulfates and silicones your hair will become drier until it either looks like straw or it’s totally frizzy.


The Curly Girl Method can help you avoid both of these problems – you’re only three steps away:


  1. The first step of changing to the Curly Girl Method is to wash your hair with a shampoo with sulfates in it (this is important as you still have some silicones in your hair, which will only wash out with sulfates). Then use a silicone free conditioner and styler.
  2. As your hair will be quite dry from previous use of sulfates, make sure you give your curls enough moisture by using a good amount of conditioner I also suggest you use a deep conditioner.
  3. Start experimenting with different sulfate and silicone free products to find the products that are perfect for your type of hair.
  • jozefien
    August 18, 2014

    I just can’t find the right method for my curls! Maybe shampoo without sulfates will help. Thanks for the tip!

    • Sandra
      August 18, 2014

      You should absolutely try using no sulfates and no silicones! Ever since I’ve stopped using them I haven’t had a real bad day. Just don’t be disappointed if your curls take some time to get used to it. I wish you luck

  • Kirsten
    September 18, 2014

    I’m having a hard time finding whether my current conditioner has silicones. It seems to have mostly organic/natural ingredients (it’s by Burts Bees) but it doesn’t say directly on the bottle – it just says: No parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals – would that include silicones? Does silicone have a fancy chemical name? Anyways, my current shampoo clearly states No Silicones on the bottle, so I need to know if I should use a regular shampoo for a bit to get rid of the silicones from my conditioner, right? (in order to follow the Curly Girl Method)
    Hope this wasn’t confusing! Thanks~

  • Sandra
    September 18, 2014

    Hi Kristen! Most silicones end with a -cone, but there are silicone which are water soluble and it’s perfectly fine to use them (they don’t need to be washed out with sulfates).

    To know whether your conditioner has silicones in it you can either check the site (I’m not sure if they sell Burt’s Bees) or I’ve found a really good list here:

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