Product List By Category

Updated: May 2024

This list has been created to help guide you in choosing products by features they should have, based on key ingredients. This is meant to give you an idea how functional ingredients translate into products you can buy. I try to keep it updated, but formulas change all the time, so please read ingredient lists on the bottle carefully before you buy - especially if you need to avoid allergenic or irritating ingredients.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, I may receive a small commission when you click the link.

The lists (below) include: 

  • Conditioners for hair that needs lubrication and detangling - heavier for dry or porous hair
  • Conditioners and mild-detergent shampoos with protein
  • Mild-detergent shampoos
  • Conditioners that may cause less build-up for those who get conditioner build-up easily
  • Conditioners that may add volume
  • Products emphasizing film-forming humectants
  • Heat-Protectants with lab-proven ingredients
  • LINK OUT TO: Humidity-resisting products💧

Conditioners for hair that needs slip (lubrication, detangling) &  conditioners for dry, porous, coarse or kinking hair - These can help hair feel softer and more flexible.

Protein Free 
  • Aussie Moist Conditioner (one amino acid for hydration) (contains bis-aminopropyl dimethicone, a charge-modified silicone)
With Protein

Conditioners (and mild shampoos) with Protein. Hydrolyzed protein source in pink print.
Which proteins may be best for your hair? See this post (click here). And also this post.

Lighter-Weight products (oil-free or little oil)
Richer products and deep conditioners (with protein)

More-Intense Protein Treatments / Masks
Medium Weight/Moisture Products

Mild Shampoos: 
These contain detergents which are not strong de-greasers. The shampoo itself may not be mild to your hair right out of the bottle, sometimes even mild shampoos need diluting. Proteins are listed in parentheses, ingredients with build-up potential are indicated with asterisks - see the end of the list for an explanation. Build-up potential is nothing to be concerned about unless you notice a problem. In fact - those same ingredients can protect your hair from being overly "stripped" of oil!

Cationic Conditioner-free
With Cationic Conditioners
* See this post for more information about Polyquaternium ingredients.

For people who get conditioner build-up easily (potentially lower build-up conditioners) The indented list at end are "intermediates" - they contain more than one conditioning ingredient and they may leave hair heavy based on the ingredients in the conditioner

May add volume for fine hair:

Products Emphasizing Film-Forming Ingredients (humectants): 
Film-forming humectants are good for keeping hair hydrated regardless of the weather. Need information about what these ingredients are good for? Read more here.
Danger - styling products ahead. What people want from styling products is incredibly varied. This is based purely on the content of "film forming humectants." The ingredients following the product in blue are the film-formers in the product, roughly in the order of inclusion in the product. Some of these are gels and some are cream products or leave-in conditioners or curl enhancers.
Conditioners with film-forming humectants 
  • Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner: aloe, silk amino acids (also contains glycerin)
  • Alikay Naturals Caribbean Coconut Milk Conditioner: aloe, nettle extract (also contains glycerin)
  • As I Am Naturally Leave-In Conditioner Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root
  • Camille Rose Moisture Milk (leave-in): Slippery elm extract
  • Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner: Aloe, Panthenol, blue green algae (extract?)
  • Camille Rose Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard: Aloe, nettle
  • Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Conditioner  Aloe
  • DevaCurl One Condition Delight: Flax, hydrolyzed protein
  • Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat conditioner: Aloe, nettle
  • Giovanni 50:50 Balanced, Hydrating-Calming Conditoner: Panthenol, aloe, mallow extract
  • Not Your Mothers Naturals Royal Honey and Kalahari Desert Melon Repair and Protect conditioner Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey
  • Soultanicals Curl Supreme Conditioning Cream: Panthenol, Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey
  • Soultanicals Kiddietanicals Brownie Pearls and Bubblegum Curls Funditioner: Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, Aloe
Heat Protection
Products containing lab-proven heat protectants for use with curling or straightening irons and high-heat blow drying. Active heat-protecting ingredients listed in green - there are several different ones.


  1. Thanks so much.
    This is very informative.

  2. OMG so much info. I need it this is a home work/education assignment

  3. Thanks for the listing. I should read this before buying hair products

  4. Choosing right product is good for hair bcz if we trying so much experiments with our hairs that is also the cause of hair fall .

  5. Thanks for sharing this information!

  6. Can I ask you a shampoo conditioning that I can use on everyday bases because I am going to the gym everyday. co-wash doesn't work for me

    1. Nassie, the "Mild shampoos" from the list above might be a good place to start - or at least look at the ingredients and how those shampoos market themselves to find one that is conditioning enough, but still good cleansing. Shampoos for colored (dyed) hair are usually a good bet because they tend to be milder and contain conditioning ingredients to help reduce loss of dye from hair during washing.

    2. thank you very munch I'll start with sheamoisture shampoo coconut and hibiscus, I'll buy as well the smoothie and the milk as well. for deep conditioner I'll try Shea Moisture Noni & Monoi Smoothing and Repair Masque once a week on Sunday. for the others days when I shampoo my hair did I need a conditioner after? or I can follow with leave in conditioner? I used so fare Alba botanica and Kinky curly on my hair but it's so much effect... I need help please

    3. thank you can ask you which kind of shampoos I can used as clarifying shampoos because the alba one doesn't exist in UK please

    4. I re-read your first comment. So the Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo didn't work? That shampoo should be good for product build-up, but not hard water build-up. Kinky Curly's Knot Today leave-in conditioner is a good detangler, but the simple formula is mostly good for detangling and softening.

      I found a few clarifying shampoos - some might only be available online (but from
      Sofn’free Nothing But Clarifying shampoo - good for product build up.
      Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo - better for hard water
      Suave Daily Clarifying - better for hard water
      Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo - just a very simple shampoo for removing excess oils and not leaving any residue behind

      If you are not having luck with most shampoos - you might have a hard water problem.

      For hard water problems, look for a shampoo which contains EDTA (disodium or tetrasodium EDTA).
      For product build-up - not just excess oils, but dull, tacky build-up, look for the detergent C14-16 olefin sulfonate (or just olefin sulfonate).

      Most people need conditioner after shampooing their hair unless it is very short and even then - a leave-in conditioner can help hair stay hydrated and looking nice between washes.

    5. thank you very much I'll try your suggestions of products as leave in I will try the Giovanni to see on my hair. I have a short hairstyle at the moment with the washes it's very quick. I will let you know how if my hair like it. thank you again

  7. I have very fine hair seem to loss a lot of hair when washing. What type if shampoo do you think would help me?

    1. Hello Janet,
      As long as you and your scalp are healthy, then it sounds like you have too much friction in your hair. Look for a mild shampoo (sulfate-free) or a shampoo for color-treated hair, those tend to contain conditioners to lubricate hairs during washing, but aren't necessarily overly heavy. Before you buy: Read online reviews for the shampoo and notice whether people say the shampoo has "slip" or whether people complain that it creates tangles. You want slip!
      Choose a conditioner that helps detangle your hair well also - a good conditioner will have some lasting detangling effects.

      Alternatives are to use an oil treatment before washing. If your hair is dry or highlighted, apply some sunflower or coconut oil and leave it on for 6-8 hours. If your hair is not at all dry, use a few drops of sunflower or olive oil or jojoba (etc). and leave it on for a few hours. This should add some lubrication during washing. You don't need to do that every wash day, not again until it "wears off."
      You can also do a "condition, wash, condition" Wet your hair, apply conditioner, rinse it out briefly, then shampoo and condition again.
      If none of these work, or if your hair is better lubricated but you're still losing a lot, you might have product build-up or hard water build up and need a chelating shampoo like Ion Hard Water shampoo. If you regularly use products that contain hydrolyzed proteins, you might be using protein too often and need to rotate protein-enriched products with protein-free products. Too much protein from hair products can create friction between hairs. If all that fails to reduce shedding, you may have a scalp issue or health issue that needs addressing.
      Good luck!

  8. •V05 Extra Body Conditioner would this be a good conditioner to try, and do I put on dry or wet hair? Thank you for your help.
    I also have TRESemme natural Radiant Volume and Neutrogena Triple Moisture.

    1. Hello Janet, V05 conditioners are quite popular. For some people, they feel very lubricating, but for others they don't. It's a good conditioner to have for a little protein. Tresemme Radiant Volume is lightweight and has good lubrication. The Neutrogena one is thicker, if I'm not mistaken. Usually you put conditioner on wet hair after washing.

      If you're doing a "condition-wash-condition" to help keep your hair extra supple, one usually wets the hair first. You can put conditioner on dry hair if you want to try it (if your hair is very thick, it will help it become wet more quickly).

    2. my hair is fine and last Nov. a lady at the salon buzzed my hair off and that the reason my hair has gone down hill I was wondering how to strengthen my hair. I feel this is why I'm losing so much hair. It seems not to be going very well. Do you have any suggestions? Thank yo

    3. I'm afraid I can't make many suggestions without seeing your hair or knowing more information. Protein is usually good to strengthen fine hair so it does not break - conditioners containing protein, for example (like in the list above). Most hair needs some conditioner to help with detangling. If the ends of your hair have not been cut since having been cut with a razor (clippers), they may need to be trimmed to tidy things up.

    4. Probably set my hair back. My scalp was feeling dirty and itchy so I lightly co washed with Suave Natural's. I said it was getting better but after the co wash took a couple steps back.

  9. Hi went to this link as part of an email you sent as part of my hair analysis you did to find a conditioner with a good amount of protein. Anyone reading this I highly suggest you get an analysis as it was more than I expected, detailed and a plan of action.

    I over conditioned my hair about 8 days ago. Haven't done anything with it except I clarified it once and light co wash with Suave Natural's Tropical Coconut.

    It is getting better. I bought Apoghee 2 step treatment but I'm very apprehensive about doing it because I don't want the opposite to happen to me.

    Although my hair is getting better I notice that my ends are drying faster than usual. Other parts of my hair seem to drying faster but not as fast as my ends. I know I have low po roots, medium mid shaft and ends are tending to be more porous than mid shaft. I'm hoping the drying fast is related to over conditioned hair.

    Anyway since I'm apprehensive about doing the Apoghee 2 step treatment a product that caught my eye is Aubrey GBP conditioner because it seems like it's high in protein.

    What I'm concerned is since my hair is still showing signs of being over conditioned is that Aubrey will be too moisturizing for now for my hair in it's state.

    Any suggestions? I already have the Apoghee but like I said I'm not sure I want to go that route and thinking that the likes of Aubrey GBP condish would gradually fix this.

  10. Hello! I'm having trouble with finding a good deep conditioner. Am I able to use the conditioners for hair that needs slip as a deep conditioner? I workout 5 days a week and I also wanted to know how often I should clarify my hair and do you have any clarifying products that you recommend?

    1. Hello DeAndrea, sorry for the delay! You can use the conditioners from the list for hair that needs slip as deep conditioners. Add a little oil and leave them on for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes with some gentle heat for the most intense result. The oil and heat help make the conditioner more "intense." Clarifying shampoos are best for removing lots of product build-up, lots of dirt or "grime" or for hard water residue. How often to clarify: If your hair is acting strangely (dull, tangly, limp, stiff, too heavy) and nothing you might usually do works (deep condition, oil treatments, protein) - then you probably need to "re-boot" with clarifying shampoo. If you have hard water, Ion Hard Water Shampoo is a good choice. If you have product build-up, Pure & Basic Natural Clarifying Shampoo (Citrus) is a good product. Both contain detergents that are good at removing product build-up and will do a good job on sweat and excess sebum or other oils too. Neither one is offensively pricey. I hope that helps!

  11. This product listing has been so helpful to me, thank you so much! I chose the Alba Botanica Hawaian Shampoo recently. I was wondering about the 3rd ingredient listed. It sounds like a it curlygirl friendly?
    Aqua (Water), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract(1), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract(1), Laminaria Digitata Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract(1), Yeast Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract(1), Ascorbic Acid, Babassu Oil Polyglyceryl-4 Esters, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Seedcake, Linolenic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sodium Sulfate, Tocopherol, Alcohol(1), Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum).

    (1) Certified Organic Ingredient

    1. Hello kwise1700,
      Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is not a "sulfate" detergent - it is neither Sodium Lauryl Sulfate nor Sodium Laureth Sulfate. It is considered a milder detergent to the skin and hair, especially when combined with other detergents like Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Lauryl Glucoside. When you combine detergents, they interfere with each other's ability to make a strongly de-greasing foam which might strip the hair of oils too much.

  12. Where does Elucence moisture balance fit here? It didnt work for me but in retrospect it may have been due to my previous cationic anionic buildup

    1. Ingredients: Panax Ginseng root extract, cetraria islandia (Irish Moss) extract, saccharomyces cerevisiea (Brewer's Yeast) extract, Gingko Biloba extract, pimpinella anisum (Anise) fruit extract, prunis persica (Peach) extract in purified water, hexadecanol, stearakonium chloride, certimonium bromide, Squalane (olive oil lipid), Capric Caprillic Triglycerides (coconut fatty acids), Panthenol (pro-vitamin USP), Biotin (USP), imisazolidinyl urea, methylparaben (USP), fragrance
      I don't think I would put it in any particular category for conditioning (low build up nor lots of lubrication) but I like that it has film-forming humectnats (Irish Moss). The combination of Stearakonium chloride, Certimonium bromide is a good one for lower build-up, but the inclusion of Caprylic Triglycerides, Squalane might cause some deposits to stay behind. For some hair and some water (soft or hard and depending on pH) it might be spectacular for lubrication without a lot of build-up. I love Cetrimonimum bromide as a conditioner, but it needs to be in the right formula or it's terrible for providing slip.

    2. I liked Elucence for the first uses but the fragrance became irrtating soon after

  13. What relaxer product would you recommend for low porosity hair?

    My hair is not manageable in its natural state given my professional commitments.

    Is lye better than "no lye"

    I am thinking of ORS lye or Affirm fiber guard.

    Need help ASAP

    1. I can only find a good ingredient list for ORS "Olive Oil Built-In Protection No-Lye Hair Relaxer System." Affirm seems to have several different products and the ingredients are difficult to locate.
      No-lye and lye-based relaxers both have a high pH - around 11. If they didn't have a high pH, they would not break the bonds in your hair necessary to re-form it in the shape you want. Some people have a preference for lye or non-lye in terms of results, though. You can leave no-lye relaxers on a little bit longer than lye relaxers, something that might be helpful if you are worried about not being able to get everything done quickly enough. The ORS relaxer I have ingredients for includes 2 things I would want to have in a relaxer - a conditioning type of wheat protein and mineral oil. Those ingredients can act as a buffer so the alkaline (high pH) ingredients don't act too quickly or aggressively on your hair.
      Whenever doing chemical processes on hair, you should prepare your hair well. If your hair typically does well with protein, use a protein-rich product before relaxing. Use a coconut oil or sunflower oil pre-wash (prepoo) treatment before relaxing (not necessarily immediately before - but as close as possible to relaxing) too. Proteins and oil treatments with those 2 oils can help protect any damaged areas or more-porous areas in your hair from excessive damage during relaxing.
      Things like relaxers, perms, highlights also tend to increase hair's need for protein and conditioners afterwards - so if you haven't been relaxing your hair, be sure to expect that it will need more of those things.
      I strongly encourage you to do a "strand test" first so you can find the right amount of time and technique to use the relaxer to get the result you want. You can do that on shed hairs for the lowest-risk. Or on a strand of hair someplace that is easy to see and assess and keep out of the way when doing the rest of your hair.
      Because I regularly work with high pH solutions, I know how easy it is to get burned - be sure to protect your eyes so the product won't run in during rinsing, make sure there is plenty of ventilation so you don't injure the inside of your nose breathing the "fumes" and protect your skin from contacting the product as much as possible.

      The "mineral softeners" like New Options are less likely to burn scalp and over-process hair. They are non-lye, usually made from sodium carbonate, which is not as strong an alkaline solution and does not break bonds in the hair. That is another option if you are not trying to straighten your hair completely, but rather to loosen or elongate curls. It's not damage-free, but it is less caustic. Good luck!

  14. After searching high and low budget wise, the only conditioner that gives exceptional moisture to my low porosity hair is "Curl Harmony" deep repair. Have you tried it? What do you think?

    1. Hello Shell, I have never used Curl Harmony products. These are the ingredients (I think) for the product you mentioned, what the ingredients DO is in parentheses: Ingredients: Aqua (water- dilutes other ingredients), Behentrimonium Methosulphate (cationic conditioner), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient thickener), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Butter) (emollient), Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter) (emollient), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil (emollient) , Hydrolysed Wheat protein (strengthens, hydrates), Cetyl Alcohol (emollient thickener), Panthenol (hydrates), Glycerine (hydrates), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Lactic Acid (co-preservative, pH adjustor), Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool (fragrances)-------------
      A good balance of ingredients to soften hair and keep it flexible and hydrated (or moisturized - whichever word works for you). None of those ingredients are out of the ordinary, but the combination of the cationic conditioner and all the oils and butters makes it a more-intense conditioner. The inclusion of protein and panthenol and glycerin helps your hair stay hydrated longer than a product without those ingredients would. The fact that it's very thick (that's what they said on the website) means there is plenty of cationic conditioner and those "emollient thickeners" and that often gives you a very different result than you would get from a less-concentrated conditioner. If I were to use that - I would probably use a spoon to scoop it out of the tub. If we stick our fingers into products - or if water gets into them - they can go off more quickly. I think it looks like a great product. :)

  15. Great post! Just wanted to mention KCNT for products that emphasize film forming humectants :)

  16. in search for a amazing deep conditioning treamtnet for my curly thick bleached then color treated hair, i have noticed some breakage. I use Deva Curl no poo as my wash and the deva curl one condition as the conditioner. when i feel i need a deep clean i mix some dr. bronners in with the no poo. I was debating between the biogeno dont despair repair or the heaven in hair. I do not use chemicals , sulfates or parabens in my products. or even possibly curl junkie i have read , in sights or recommendations.

    1. Hello unknown,
      One inexpensive way to make a deep conditioner is to add some oil to a rinse-out conditioner, and whatever humectant your hair gets along well with - that could be honey or aloe vera. Adding oil to a conditioner increases the amount of conditioner that will bond with your hair for more softness and lubrication. Leaving a conditioner on your hair for more time (5 to 30 minutes) will increase the "intensity" of the conditioning and using heat will also increase the intensity of the conditioning.
      If your hair does well with protein, you might add a little pinch of hydrolyzed collagen powder, which you can buy as a dietary supplement - the kind that will NOT gel and dissolves in room-temperature water. Dissolve it in water first - protein is good for bleached and dyed hair. Fine and medium or slightly coarse hair usually tolerates the most protein, but even coarse hair can sometimes use small amounts of protein when it is color-treated. I suggested collagen powder because that is natural, no preservatives. If you prefer a vegetarian protein, mix in some flat beer. Good luck!

  17. I absolutely love this blog. Can you please write more articles? I feel like I've read each existing article multiple times - I can't get enough of all of the info! What would you recommend in terms of growing long hair out? I want to strengthen and soften. I have a problem with split ends and breakage, yet I do not use heat or dye my hair and when I condition it is very soft afterwards.

    1. Hello Kristen, I've been busy lately, but I do have some research for blog posts done. For long hair, you want good lubrication - oil pre-wash treatments (especially on your ends) with hair-penetrating oils, slippery conditioners, avoiding rough fabrics or trims on collars, using a satin or silk pillowcase will all help reduce friction between hairs and between your hair and the world around it.
      Some people's hair needs hydrolyzed protein to stay strong and hydrated. There is a post here about "Protein 101" for how to begin using protein if you're not familiar with that and whose hair needs it.
      Deep conditioning softens hair and keeps it hydrated also - this is part II of my deep conditioning post:

      Growing hair long means you need to take especially good care of it because you're not going to be cutting off the oldest parts regularly. If your hair does well with protein, a hair care routine might be to use oil pre-wash treatments every 2-4 weeks with sunflower or coconut oil (every week lightly on the ends), deep condition every 2-4 weeks and use protein every 1-4 weeks depending on your hair's response to protein.
      Between washes, use something to keep your hair hydrated and lubricated - for example homemade flaxseed gel is good for hydration, a leave-in conditioner that helps your hair stay tangle-free is good for lubrication.

      In general, repeat a treatment when the benefits of the previous one have faded. If you get the same good result - your timing was right. Good luck!

  18. Hi,
    this is the best I have found on Internet. I am very thankful for this. It had to be a hard work, really.

  19. Hi WS,

    I'm Monica. I sing in whit google, but don't know why it still says 'unknown' so sorry for that.

    Thank you for providing this information to all of us.

    I have a few questions:(my hair is natural and curly)
    - Heat damaged hair, can I do a protein treatment with advocado, eggs, mayo and honey? will it restore it? Not all my hear is damaged and the most of the ends are not, so I can't cut all of it if only parts are damaged. Or do I need to use the Aphogee intensive 2 minute keratin reconstructure? What treatment do you recommend?
    - Thank you for the list of products above. In your opinion, which one of the heat protectants in the list above, protects better against heating tools? based on which ingredient can we choose the best?
    - Can I use Organix conditioners as a deep conditioner if I put the penetrating oils you list in an order post?
    - Are you familiar with the hair product of Avanti? they sell an Silicon Mix deep conditioner. Can you tell if it's a good one?

    Thank you so much for your time.

    1. Hello Monica, sorry for the late response. Mayo, avocado and honey will provide your hair with wonderful oils (emollients) and humectants (honey) to soften and hydrate and make your hair feel nice and maybe a little more "substantial." It's not going to be quite the same as using a product that contains hydrolyzed proteins, though. If your hair has responded well to protein in the past, you might use the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor - for no longer than 2 minutes on the first try. If you're uncertain about protein, try a conditioner that contains protein that isn't specifically a "reconstructor" type treatment and leave it on for 3 to 5 minutes with some gentle heat.

      All the heat protectants listed above prevent cracking in cuticles - the conditions tested were blow-drying hair at different temperatures. Cracking in cuticles ultimately leads to broken-off cuticles and higher porosity. If you're using a flat iron or a hot blow dryer, I think it's best to have a product with one of those heat-protecting ingredients, as well as a good leave-in conditioner and a little oil. The conditioner and oil add an extra level of water-retention and lubrication. If one is using a flat iron, one wants it to move smoothly. Oils can help disperse direct heat too.
      Organix conditioners + oil would be a good deep conditioner.
      I am familiar with Avanti Silicon Mix. It has conditioners (one may penetrate the hair) and emollient-thickeners, mineral oil for serious lubrication, glycerin for a humectant, as well as what may be a water-soluble silicone, an "evaporating silicone" (used to spread the product, but eventually evaporates after application) and a little keratin and ceramide. Ceramide is great for heat-damaged hair, but there's not a lot here. I think it looks like a very interesting deep conditioner. It gets some great reviews for helping hair feel silky-soft and easy to handle. If your hair is okay with mineral oil - you might like this product.
      Best wishes - W

  20. I have a question about two products I've been looking into. By looking at the ingredients, what do you think of the Alikay lemongrass leave in conditioner and the TGIN moisture rich shampoo?

    1. Hello Felisha,
      Alikay lemongrass leave-in looks good to me, as long as your hair does well with glycerin - it has aloe, glycerin and silk amino adics for hydration, 2 conditioning ingredients and sweet almond oil for softness and flexibility and lubrication. TGIN moisture rich shampoo has a blend of mild detergents and 1 strong one (C14-16 olefin sulfonate). Blending them usually makes the strongest ones act milder. It has plenty of humectants. The oils should make it milder and add some lubrication. Good luck! WS

  21. I am so happy I found out about this blog!!! Thank you so much!!! On to my question. I have short curly hair. I am Hispanic. I think I have low porosity hair. I've been using Trader Joe's tea tree tingle shampoo and conditioner then shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie topped off with Camille Rose Naturals curl maker gel. My wash and go looks amazing BUT at the end of the day my hair is DRYYYYY like the Sahara!!! I have to wet my hair daily just to get some type of moisture! I usually just do conditioner and all the styling products I mentioned in between washes!! Please help me I just want to find a good shampoo conditioner deep conditioner and styling product that will leave my hair hydrated!!! And with minimal build up! I'm getting very frustrated and don't want to go back to blow drying my hair but this natural thing is sooooo hard!!!!! Help!!!

    1. Mello Mis729,

      The Shampoo you're using may be too drying for your hair, in which case diluting it with water - more water than shampoo - might help.
      But I'm thinking that your problem might be related to the styling products. Shea Moisture Smoothie has glycerin, coconut oil and shea butter that can make some hair feel "crusty" or inflexible and dry. A different product under the Camille Rose Curl Maker might work better. Maybe Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel instead?

  22. So much info I love this site!!!

  23. Hello, thank you very much for this informative site! I recently learned that my hair is protein sensitive. I have very very coare and dry 4c hair that tangles and matts like crazy. A while ago I used the aphogee protein treatment and boy did I suffer.....I'm lucky to have hair that is as stubborn as I am so i still have a good bit left a tee that ordeal. Anywhooo, I'm. On the hunt for protein free products and stumbled here. I just wonder though about products that contain coconut such as the dessert essence coconut conditioner and hello hydration conditioner you mentioned as protein free. I figured it was a given that anything with coconut in it couldn't possibly be protein free. Do I misunderstand? Blessings!

    1. Hello,
      The whole protein-and-coconut confusion comes from an article that showed that using coconut oil pre-shampoo hair treatments helped prevent *loss of protein* from the inside of hair. But what they really meant was that using coconut oil on hair before shampooing prevented (normal to porous) hair from swelling too much and too quickly in plain water. When hair swells too much, water moves in under the cuticles and washes out some of the amino acids (small protein fragments) that are there to keep the hair hydrated. Losing those proteins = dehydration. We want to prevent hair from swelling and losing those hydration-preserving animo acids.
      If your hair is okay with coconut oil, it's probably fine with coconut oil in products. I think there's precious little coconut in Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner - but that's a different issue entirely.
      Some people genuinely do have a bad reaction to coconut oil - their hair becomes brittle, breaks easily, feels crunchy or rigid and very strange. That's probably a result of the chemical composition of coconut oil not being compatible with that person's hair. Best wishes! W

  24. Hello,

    First of all, thank you for your blog. I have the impression to be in a huge shop with a lots of exciting items to try and get. Last night, I just read it and I have learned so much. You are incredible.

    I have a few questions about my hair.

    I think, as I am not sure I have a 3C/4A types hair, I am not sure cause I think my water is hard, my hair is a balance with too much protein (I let the Aphogee 2 minutes on my hair for 15 minutes 3/4 weeks ago), and 2 weeks ago I tried the MHM method with only the part 1 with baking soda and yoghurt).

    My hair is quite hard and a bit brittle, above all my bang part, but the shea moisture low porosity leave in conditioner helped me keep a bit of moisture.

    What do you think about Shea Moisture low porosity range for my hair problem?

    Do you think, it is possible to safely blow dry and straighten hair without heat damaged?

    And last question, what type of products can help me elongating my 4a hair? It tends to be very curly and appears way shorter than it really is.

    I am really grateful for your blog.

    1. Hello Lilaa,
      I'm not sure I can be of too much assistance over the internet. Shea Moisture is a very popular brand of products. It's ideal for hair that does well with shea butter and coconut oil - many of their products do contain coconut oil. Sometimes hair has a reaction to coconut oil that creates brittleness - but not everybody's hair will do that.
      Everybody's hair gets dehydrated with blow-dry straightening. Some people's hair is more dehydrated during that process than others. And if one has hair that requires a lot of tension to straighten, it's more likely to accumulate damage from the tension. Using a good lubricant (oil, a slippery leave-in conditioner) helps with that somewhat. Using heat-protectants can help reduce damage also.

      Products that can help hair have some extra "grip" so it stays elongated are things like clay (used mixed in water before or after conditioning), shea butter in products or alone, thick, jelly-textured "curl enhancer" or "curl definer" type products. These won't necessarily add length, but they can add weight or "grip" or increase definition. To actually change curl pattern to a more elongated state, the longest-lasting method is to set the hair in that position while wet and let it dry. It will stay in the new curl pattern until it gets wet again (or high humidity hits your hair).
      I hope that helps!

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  26. I don't know where to put my comment but I put it in this category that I love and consult the most. Before the end of this year, I wanted to say this blog is the best that I have consulted in 2016 and the years before of course in terms of hair care. If I could give a prize you will get it. Thank you so much for your great work, now I will be able to grow lovely and strong hair with all my new knowledge. I wish you the best.

  27. Brilliant blog.
    I notice that Shea Moisture products do not have No Silicones listed within their other "No's". Does this mean that some of their products do contain silicone?

    1. Hello Pretty Jen,
      It means I haven't had time to add that to the lists. Most of the Shea Moisture products I've looked at ingredients lists for do NOT contains silicone ingredients.

  28. Yes it helps a lot. Thank you very much. I have started a new routine thanks to all your great advice and I am very happy with my hair. You are amazing.

  29. Thanks so much for my hair analysis which arrived today. I'm still digesting all the information. My go-to Suave Coconut Conditioner is on this list as proving volume (NOT my problem). I love it because it's cheap and slippery, but is it not a good product for my coarse, inflexible and well-supported hair?

    1. Hello Julie,
      I respond more quickly to e-mails than blog comments sometimes. My apologies. Suave Coconut Conditioner is just fine as a conditioner. It provides lubrication and helps with flexibility. It contains some humectants,(lactic acid, silk amino acids, propylene glycol, honey and herbal extracts). It could be made into an intense or deep conditioner by adding some oil and extra humectants.
      The reason it's on the list for providing volume is that the conditioning ingredient, Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, is an ingredient that tends to not leave *dry hair* quite as slick as some ingredients. Ingredients that make hair extra-slippery when it is dry tends to decrease volume. What's good about ingredients like that one for curly hair is that they might help hair retain the grip it needs to keep curls grouped together. So - all is good with the Suave, price and everything. Best wishes! W

  30. These lists are fantastic! Thanks so much. Do the Shea Moisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free products (there's a conditioner and a leave-in conditioner) qualify for the "For people who get conditioner build-up easily" list? I'm not in the US and am struggling to find any of the products currently on the list. Thanks so much.

    1. Hello Heather,
      I would not include products with shea butter in a list of products for people who are trying to avoid build-up in their hair. For products that don't build up too much, look for those which do not contain butters. And look for the ingredients Cetrimonium chloride or Decetyldimonium chloride or Stearylkonium chloride as conditioning ingredients. Behentrimonium chloride and Behentrimonium methosulfate are heavier and a little more likely to weigh hair down. If they're not in the first 4-5 ingredients, the product may be lighter. Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine is not supposed to be as likely to create build-up, it can be pretty heavy in a conditioner.
      And for any conditioner - diluting it with water when you use it will make it less likely to leave your hair feeling weighed down or like it has a residue in it.
      Glycerin and Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride are 2 ingredients that sometimes make hair look dull or feel matted or dry, so those can be a problem too - but don't over-anticipate that. It's just something to be aware of in case you experience problems. Good luck in product searching!

  31. This list is amazing. Thank you so much! My young sister (20 years old) has been losing a lot of hair recently and she's tried every product she can but it hasn't helped so now my mom and I have stepped in. Your blog has been amazingly helpful and insightful.

  32. Hi there, do you have or know of a list of anti-humectant products that are still curly girl friendly?

    1. Hello, I don't have a list of anti-humectants. Any ingredient which is an emollient (oils, conditioning ingredients) has the potential to act as an anti-humectant. There is no chemical definition for an anti-humectant, I think it applies to any product or ingredient that lubricates hair and adds a bit of weight to discourage friction and frizzing.
      I do have a list of products which contain ingredient which resist "hold failure" in humidity - though some do contain things like glycerin.

  33. Hi Wendy

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. I’m looking forward to when your next round of hair analysis becomes available in a couple of weeks!

    In the meantime, I’d like to get my 4b/4c hair into better shape prior to analysis (and just because it’s starting to get really weird on me) and have a few questions about shampoo bars.

    I’ve been using the first bar listed below for most of 2017 and it was great at first but doesn’t seem to be having the same effect. I have a hunch that I should be doing more conditioning – ones with protein (i've had success with ORS olive oil in the past and based on your reccos here, will also try VO5 Extra Body and adding the Neutral Protein filler to ...tbd.) – so that is a change I’ll be making to the best of my ability. (I have an almost 2 year old so I’ve been neglecting my hair. Typically, I’ll wash it every 4 days – usually with the shampoo bar and finish with a leave in like Kinky Curly Knot Today. I maybe deep conditioned my hair 3x in 2017. Welp, I know.)

    My assumption was that these bars are mild but perhaps I am wrong. A few questions:
    -Are they indeed as mild as the ones currently on your Mild Cleansers list?
    -If they are harsher than that, should they only be reserved for days when I can deep condition after?
    -Are such shampoo bars mild enough for a toddler’s hair?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback you can share.

    Butter bar conditioning shampoo
    (used for several months and it was great for detangling. Lately hasn’t been as great as a detangler and my hair seems much drier than when i first started using it.)

    All Ingredients:
    Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Virgin Shea Butter, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Babassu Oil, Water, Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Mango Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Canola Oil, Organic Castor Bean Oil, Organic Rosemary Oil Extract (ROE)

    Olive & Babassu
    (haven’t used yet, considering because it is coconut oil free. Since reading this blog I’ve paid more attention to my hair when I put coconut oil in it and it seems to make my hair feel hard, especially when compared to when I’ve used olive oil.)

    All Ingredients:
    Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Babassu Oil, Water, Organic Virgin Shea Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Castor Bean Oil, Organic Rosemary Oil Extract (ROE)

    1. Hello Chrystal,
      Soap/shampoo bars are not always gentle to hair because the soap always retains a high pH. Some people's hair will swell and become temporarily porous in the soap/shampoo bar and over time, this can make hair more porous. If you use conditioner before washing or oil treatments before washing, then your hair is protected somewhat. If your hair is lower porosity, it is probably more resilient in soap bar lather. But as a general rule - soap is harsher than a "pH balanced shampoo" with mild detergents. In the "pros" for soap you have the wonderful slip of soap (nothing like it!) and the oils to lubricate. But in the "cons" for soap is the high pH and potential to leave soap scum if you have hard water. Soap bars also tend to leave a little "grip" in hair for traction and some of us like that, so that's either pro or con, depending on your preference.

      One problem with shampoo/soap bars is the oil content - which you pointed out. If your hair does well with all the oils in the soap - then you're in good shape. But if your hair doesn't so well with coconut oil or shea butter or castor oil (or whatever oil, you suggested coconut) - then over time your hair is likely to become "weird" or behave differently over time.

      Using the coconut-free bar is a great experiment. Deep conditioning on shampoo-bar days is a good plan - or doing an oil treatment first, especially on the ends if your hair is longer.
      As a blogger, I can't in good conscience tell people "Shampoo bars are fine" because I've seen hair damaged by such things. I have to issue all the necessary warnings so I don't lead somebody down the wrong path. But as a person with low-porosity hair who likes things simple, I would gladly use soap bars in my hair if I found one my picky skin could deal with. Our great-grandmothers (or great-great-grandmothers) washed their hair with soap, washed their toddler's hair with soap, didn't have any other options and didn't think twice about it. My grandmother used water from the rain barrel because our water is extremely hard. Soap cleans, there are no bottles to mess with, no preservatives to be itchy, fewer fragrances and all those things we don't need more of on our skin or going down the drain. Soap has a lot going for it! You definitely want to keep it out of toddler eyes because soap can sting.
      If time is a barrier to you for deep conditioning - keep in mind that adding heat doubles the effectiveness of conditioning. And conditioning with a conditioner which has Cetyl alcohol or Cetearyl alcohol and oils will also make conditioning more effective. That means you can do shorter treatments. It better to do a quick deep conditioning of 3-5 minutes when that's all the time you have - than not do it at all.
      Good luck with the shampoo bars and ORS and V05 conditioners! -Wendy

  34. I have really gained a lot from your website/blog and am so thankful for the wonderful information. I had tried home made flax seed gel in the past but did not like the results and gave up on it. Your recipes gave me motivation to try again and I am liking the results of my new all in one product. Still trying different add-ins to see what works best. I have notice that you do not have any Jane Carter products on your lists. Is that because you do not reccomend them or because you just havent had time to explore them? At another website on low porosity hair their revitalizing spray is recommended. Also you have an article on lining a winter hat. Is silk best or does polyester satin work for lining a scraf and as a pillow case to sleep on. Is there a difference? and what is it? Thanks so much again for all your wonderful information.

    1. Hello Darlene,
      I don't shop for hair products often, so if a product hasn't come to my attention for some reason - it's not on the list. That's kind of haphazard, I know. I get overwhelmed by all the products out there, too. I'll make a note to add Jane Carter products sometime. The Revitalizing Leave-in definitely looks good for aloe and herbal extract-loving hair.

      For hats, silk is ideal if you can get it because it doesn't cause static. Some lightweight, silky, flexible polyesters like decorative scarves are made from would be fine if static isn't a problem. Polyester stain can get a little heavy or stiff, I tried some that was "lining weight" (like the lining for a blazer) and it was too hot and very difficult to hear through. I was disappointed with that one. Best wishes -W

  35. Thanks for the lists!

    Since I've read that the Petal Fresh "Aloe Vera & Citrus" conditioner might have a funky smell, would the "volumnizing Rosemary & Mint", "clarifying Rose & Honeysuckle", "scalp treatment Tea Tree" and "nourishing Lavender" versions be equally good alternatives, or do some of them differ significantly based on ingredients?

    And what are your thoughts on Novex Mystic Black Deep Hair Mask with respect to Shea Moisture to use for deep conditioning? (Novex ingredients:

  36. Hi there! Long-time fan (I've even commented a couple of times before): I really appreciate what you do.

    I have an ingredients question about one of the products on this page. The Unicure you can order by mail has a different formula than the one you mention on this page-- specifically, they replace the silk protein with hydrolyzed egg protein and the cetrimonium bromide with cetylpyridinium bromide. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that until I'd ordered a gallon.

    1. How weighty are the hydrolyzed egg proteins in comparison to silk in daltons?
    2. Will cetylpyridinium bromide be a low-buildup cationic conditioner too? (Also, what does it do to hair? I can find nothing on the subject, but I see a lot about it being an antiseptic used in mouthwash, so I'm kind of weirded out.)


    1. Hello Lishan,
      They have those 2 formulas for conditioners, it's not always clear which is which on their website!
      It looks to me like Hydrolyzed egg protein is on the lower end of "medium weight/size" protein, (I found a reference citing an average molecular weight of 1020 for egg protein) and silk tends to be on the "small" side (400-500 daltons).

      The Conditioning ingredients are very close in carbon chain length and molecular weight, so one might expect it to not be much different regarding build-up.
      I hope your hair does well with it - a gallon is a lot. You can use it for other things, if you bought it from their website, you already know all the wondrous uses for the product. (I'm kidding - it is a little over the top, though. I really need to try that conditioner). Good luck! -Wendy

  37. Very informative content. So glad I came across this. Have been struggling with finding the right conditioners for my hair for a year now. Just recovered from a case of protein overload. Hair felt like straw. No matter what I did to condition, hair would still still feel dry and stiff (even in a wet stat). Question: Camille Rose Moister Milk contains Oryza Rice Milk. I notices that in your Hydrolyzed protein list "Milk" and "Rice" are mentioned as proteins. Does this mean that I should beware of using products that contain Oryza Rice Protein? I use this every weak after washing as my leave in.
    Also: I have read on numerous websites that Aloe Vera (juice or gel) contains protein. However it is not included in your list. Isn't it a protein? If it is, could you shed some light onto its (dalton) weight and size (small, medium, large)? Should I be steering clear of products containing Aloe Vera all together if I have experienced protein sensitivity before. This is a great concern of mine since I use a conditioner and a styling product by Camille Rose that both contain this ingredient in the first five on the ingredients list.

    1. Hello Senta, Rice milk is low in protein as a beverage. But as a cosmetics ingredient, it's not a standard ingredient name. We're left guessing, so my guess is that this ingredient is a rice extract which includes the carbohydrates and any fats and a little bit of protein. My *other* guess is that your hair might be objecting to one or more of the oils in the product - or the combination of oils is not a good match for your hair. That can cause a dry, stiff feel too.
      Aloe vera juice/gel contains about 0.3% protein, depending on the source you use. This is a very low concentration of protein. Aloe in products might be a small percentage of the total product, so the protein content may matter if aloe is the first or second ingredient, but it may not matter much if aloe is near the end of the ingredient list. Aloe *can cause dryness and stiffness* which is unrelated to protein. Aloe is loaded with complex chemicals which can leave a dry feel or a unusual texture in some people's hair. If you have bad results with every single product you have ever used with aloe, then you might be better off avoiding it. But keep in mind that while the more plant-based, natural brands tend to use a lot of aloe in their products, some more "commercial" brands, drugstore brands or salon brands might be just using a tiny bit of aloe so they can include it on the ingredient list. It might not be noticeable. I hope that helps! -W

  38. What Film-Forming would you recommend for low porosity, protein sensitive hair which does NOT like Coconut oil, does NOT like flax gel, and does NOT like aloe vera gel?

    1. Hi Duk3s1to,
      Wow - a challenge. I don't know whether you're thinking about ingredients in products, or things you'd be mixing up on your own or adding to treatments, so I'll throw several things out there. I think some possibilities might be marshmallow root, okra gel, Slippery elm, possibly Irish moss or sea algae extract. Panthenol is usually a good bet. For herbal extracts, it can get tricky, but mints, nettle, hops might be okay.

  39. You have given me the tools to make informed decisions. Thank you so much. Just a note, Shea Moisture has added hydrolyzed silk and soy proteins to their Restorative Conditioner, which you have listed as "Protein Free," as it previously was.