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Silicone and Sulfate Free: The Best Drugstore Products for Curly Hair

Today I walked into Walmart, and my jaw nearly hit the floor. Dominating the hair care aisle in all its glory was Shea Moisture. This is a big deal for me – ever since I started my hair care journey after years of dyeing and straightening, drug stores have always had slim pickings for products silicone and sulfate free. Who wants to pay and arm and a leg for a decent shampoo? Not me.

What’s the Deal on Silicones and Sulfates?

Silicones are most commonly found in conditioners and leave-in treatments. They give you the “slip” required to detangle hair and make it feel soft. The problem with some of these heavier silicones such as Dimethicone is that they tend to build up in your hair over time.

The only compromise with silicones would be in heat protectants because they are the only thing that creates a barrier between your hair and the heat.

Sulfates, on the other hand, give you the lathering effect of shampoos, but sometimes they can be too effective in cleansing. For people with curly hair, this can be problematic since our hair is already dry. Stripping our hair of natural oils can make our hair frizzy and lack moisture.

It is good to note that not all sulfates are “bad” – sometimes this lather effect is needed for a good clean! However, if you are noticing that your hair is suffering from your shampoo, maybe it’s time to change it up and find one with a less harsh sulfate or no sulfate at all.

The Products

Maui Moisture

This line is my current shampoo/conditioner combo. The smell is awesome, the shampoo doesn’t make my hair feel like wet noodles and the conditioner is the perfect level of moisturizing for my dry, wavy hair. As well, the first ingredient on the list of Maui Moisture is always aloe leaf juice.

I picked up Maui Moisture from a local Walmart for $8 each – who says hair care needs to be expensive?

Shea Moisture

I have heard lovely things about every single line in this brand, it’s nearly overwhelming with all the things you can choose from. This brand carries build up blasters, detanglers, volumizers — everything your curly hair could ever need.

Yes To Carrots

This is another sulfate-free option for shampoos if you are suffering from dry hair and scalp. You can pick this up at Shoppers or Walmart, and try it out for yourself!


So… What Do I Need To Look Out For?

There are lots of brands out there that market as being organic or for “curly hair”,  but contain not-so-good ingredients in their products (*Cough Cough* Love, Beauty, Planet). This video is another great source for products that are good for curly hair, as well, with a list of ingredients you should watch out for.

Image Credit: BiancaReneeToday

Image Credit: BiancaReneeToday

The effects of going silicone and sulfate free are subjective based on your hair type, so it’s important to do your own research before buying any products. For me, combined with a good deep conditioning routine and a washing schedule, being aware of the ingredients in my products have saved my dry, damaged hair.


Happy Washing!


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