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Ingredients to avoid in the CG-method

When you start the CG-method, it’s important to avoid certain ingredients that hinder curl restoration. Think of silicones, sulfates, parabens, certain types of alcohol, wax and mineral oil. In this article we’ll explain what these ingredients are, why you should avoid them and how to recognize them on the ingredient list. This way you can be sure that the products you use are CG-friendly!

Also read: Curly Girl Method: your ultimate guide 2021

In this article:

In this article:

Avoid silicones

Silicones are perhaps the best-known ingredients that you want to avoid within the CG Method. They are added to hair products such as shampoo, care products and styling sprays to make the hair shine. 

It provides shiny and frizz-free hair, which makes it look like products containing silicones are good for your hair and nourish it. But actually the opposite happens. 

Silicones are like plastic. They coat your hair, which means they cover your hair with a thin layer. 

Good hair products – that do care for your hair – cannot get through here. Most silicones are very difficult to wash out of your hair, creating a build up in your hair. 

Eventually your hair can no longer breathe and nutrients can no longer penetrate. That results in heavy and lifeless hair, which dries out slowly and becomes brittle.

You can recognize silicones on the ingredients list by the words ending in ‘-cone’, ‘conol’, ‘-xane’ and ‘-col’:

  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxane

It’s good to know that there are also water-soluble silicones, which have many of the desirable properties of non-soluble silicones, such as shiny hair and no frizz. 

However, you can easily wash water-soluble silicone from your hair with water. So they don’t provide a build up. Water-soluble silicones are therefore fine to use. 

You recognize them as ingredients that start with PPG or PEG.

Also read: The truth about silicones


Avoid sulfates

Sulfates are found in hand soap, dishwashing products, detergents, but also often in shampoo. They are ingredients that cleanse. 

Sulfates ensure that your shampoo starts to foam when it comes into contact with water. That foaming effect doesn’t only feel nice, it has a function too. 

It helps in removing dirt, oil and dead skin from your scalp and hair. But that cleansing effect is actually too intense for your scalp and hair. 

They don’t only clean your hair, but also strip it of its natural oils. And these oils provide hydration to the curls! 

As a result, you can get an irritated scalp, hair that quickly becomes greasy, dry and frizzy.

You can usually recognize sulfates by words ending in “-ate”:

  • SLS = Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / SDS = Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
  • SLES = Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate / Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • ALS = Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
  • ALES = Ammonium Laureth Sulfate

Also read: The truth about sulfates

Avoid parabens

Parabens is a collective name for a number of chemical substances. They are used in cosmetics due to their ability to limit the amount of bacteria growth, mold, and yeast in products. 

Parabens therefore ensure that cosmetics have a longer shelf life. Usually a product contains several parabens, the amount depends on the product. 

For example, a bottle with a spray cap contains less parabens than a jar. This is because a bottle is much more hygienic than a jar, where you take the product out with your hands.

So why avoid parabens? They have a similar effect to sulfates for your curls, although they are slightly less aggressive. 

However, they can cause dry, frizzy hair, irritation and itching. That’s why parabens are not recommended within the CG-method.

To check whether cosmetics such as hair products contain parabens, it’s best to take a look at the ingredients list.

You can usually recognize parabens easily, because they end in ‘-parabens’. These are the most common ones:

  • Butylparabens
  • Ethylparabens
  • Methylparabens
  • Propylparabens

Also read: The truth about parabens

Avoid dehydrating alcohols

There are good (fatty) and bad (drying or short chain) types of alcohol. Since curly hair is naturally dry to begin with, it’s important to check which types of alcohol your hair products contain. 

Drying alcohols do what they imply: they dry out your hair when used frequently. They simply suck the moisture out of strands and your hair will end up dry and frizzy.

You’ll find drying alcohols often in products like hair sprays. You can recognize them on the ingredient list as follows:

  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol Denat
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Ethanol
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • (Iso)propanol

Fortunately, not all types of alcohol are bad for your hair. Some are even good for it, and moisturize it! 

The alcohols that don’t irritate the skin and hair are called ‘fatty alcohols’, because they come from fat (from coconut and palm), and retain moisture. 

They act as an emulsifier, allowing water and oil to be mixed. For example, these types of alcohol also ensure that conditioner makes the hair soft and easy to comb. 

They coat the hair, which prevents the loss of moisture.

Also read: Alcohol for your curls: the good, the fat and the drying

Avoid mineral oil and wax

There are many different types of oils, each with their own effect. As an ingredient, we can distinguish between mineral and natural oil. 

Natural oil penetrates the hair strands, nourishes the hair and scalp with important vitamins. Mineral oil, on the other hand, doesn’t penetrate the hair shaft. 

It coats the hair, without providing extra nutrients. This makes your hair feel smooth and soft, but makes it harder for moisture to enter the hair. 

And similar to silicones, it’s hard to wash out of your hair, causing build-up and weighing down your hair. Therefore, its use within the CG-method is not recommended. 

The same goes for wax. They are non hydrous, which means they won’t get washed out by simply water or co-washing. 

There are CG-proof wax for sale, but in these products no real wax is used.

You can recognize these ingredients as:

  • Lanolin oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Paraffin wax
  • Petrolatum
  • Wax

Also read: Oil for your curls: do they moisturize or seal your hair?

Vermijd deze ingrediënten als je de CG Methode volgt

Do you have any questions about any of these ingredients? Let us know in the comments!

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