Why you should look for sulfate free within the curly girl method

If you follow the curly girl method then you probably heard that you should avoid shampoos with sulfates. But, why and how do they work?

Why do we avoid sulfates in the curly girl method?

Sulfates are found in cleaning products for your house and body, for example, as well as your shampoo. This combination probably makes you think, because surely you don't want to clean your hair with an ingredient that you also clean your kitchen with? And that is exactly why we want to avoid them.
Sulfates cause your hair to be stripped. That means that in addition to the dirt you want to remove from your scalp, they also remove the naturally produced skin oils (sebum). Sebum protects your skin from drying out; it keeps your skin and hair supple.
So your scalp produces oil to protect your scalp. And so by washing your hair with a sulfate shampoo every time, your hair dries out. Dry hair is often weak and more brittle. In addition, your hair will not be able to grow as well.

How do you recognize sulfates on the ingredient list?

Often sulfates end in: sulfate, sulfonate, sulphate.
  • Alkyl benzene sulfonate
  • Ammonium, laureth sulfate
  • Sodium cetearyl sulfate
  • Tea lauryl sulfate


There are a few more exceptions, this one being methosulfate. This sounds like, but you may just use this ingredient. In addition, some cleansers contain ingredients similar to a sulfate. For example: Sodium c14-18 olefin sulfonate or Sodium c16-19 olefin sulfonate. In the international world of the CG Method, these cleansers are often categorized under clarifying shampoos. You use these from time to time and therefore can do no harm. Are you really a die hard CG'er? Then you want to avoid these alternatives as well. We recommend that you find out for yourself what you like best. It is ultimately best to find out for yourself whether or not it is better for your curls.
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