A few weeks ago I was at home visiting my parents and my mom had gotten some Argan Oil conditioner from a friend for her birthday (Argan Oil is such a trend right now, I’m seeing it everywhere). She was hesitant to use it, so I gave the ingredients on the back a good once-over and tried it myself. Afterwards my hair felt so shiny, sleek, and soft, and smelled so darn good. But I had a few questions about some of the ingredients, so I went downstairs to try Googling them. I always check the ingredients on every product I buy, even if it’s being sold at a credible salon by my favorite hairstylist who promises nothing but “the finest” ingredients.
There are a lot of things to know. Sulfates are bad as a rule, as most of us know (this is the ingredient that creates lather in a cleanser) and alcohol high-up on the list of ingredients can make a product very drying. Conditioners should be chock-full of glycerin, aloe, essential oils, and other natural moisturizing agents that help your hair hold on to moisture (thereby reducing frizz). Gel should have as few harmful ingredients as possible also, since this the last thing you put on and it stays in your hair until your next wash.
I found another Argan Oil conditioner brand at Target recently and read the back. It had everything I wanted in a conditioner, but toward the bottom I saw things like “behentrimonium methosulfate” and a few chlorides. Now here’s where it gets really complicated — these aren’t all bad. This particular sulfate, for example, is also a “surfactant” and is commonly used as a de-tangler. It is not harmful and is not one of the “bad sulfates.”
My suggestion is to always Google any ingredient on the back of a product if you’re not sure about it. You will find tons of hits on blogs, forums, science web sites, and various credible sources that will help you make a decision. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when you’re committing to trying something new! Also–the shorter the ingredient list the better, as a rule. It will have less preservatives and will be less drying. As curly girls it is very important that we pick moisture-rich conditioners, and we can’t glean that kind of information about a product by simply reading the fancy words on the front of the bottle!