One of the key elements of success when following the Curly Girl Method is to find the right conditioner that works with your hair type and texture. If you’re anything like me when I started, you’re suddenly finding yourself reading ingredients lists to figure out which products are safe but it’s a nightmare as there is so much conflicting information out there. Don’t worry! We’ve done all the research for you and have found seven incredible conditioners which you can buy in the UK and which are curly girl friendly and approved.
The CG Method recommends that you wash your hair with conditioner only. It is vital that you find the right UK curly girl friendly conditioners to produce optimal results. The use of products containing silicone, sulphates and drying alcohols are not allowed.
What is the curly girl method
The Curly Girl Method was created by Lorraine Massey, the author of the book Curly Girl, the Handbook. The method It is also sometimes known as CG or just Curly Girl.
The aim of the method is to restore your hair’s natural health and curls by using naturally derived ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals which damage your hair.
The chemicals we want to avoid on the Curly Girl Method are:
- No Sulphates (SLS’s)
- No Silicone
- No Waxes
- No Drying alcohols
You must also follow these rules:
- No heat styling
- No Brushing
- No use of regular towels
I know this sounds complicated but it’s much easier than you think!
A simpler way to define the method would be like this:
- Use a conditioner without harsh ingredients to wash your hair
- Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair
- Use a T-shirt or a microfibre towel
- Style your curls with gel or mousse
- Air dry or use cold or medium heat using a diffuser
Now that doesn’t sound so complicated does it?
If you’re still in doubt, I have also written a Complete Step By Step Guide to help you on your way.
Why can’t I use shampoo?
Shampoo contains sulphates which is a cleansing agent. Sulphate is very damaging to your hair as it strips your scalp of its natural oils.
Furthermore, regular conditioner contains silicone. Silicone coats your hair and is hard to wash out.
If you follow a regular shampoo/conditioner routine, you are essentially stripping your hair of oils and then ‘replacing’ these oils with silicone and waxes from the conditioner.
This is why your hair will always feel coarse and dry after shampooing and soft and shiny after conditioning. It’s a never-ending circle that can easily lead to damaged hair.
And get this. If you also use a heat styler like a hair straightener, you are essentially sealing the silicone into your hair-strands which causes extreme damage.
This is why the Curly Girl Method promotes the use of non-harsh chemicals and suggests that you do not use heat to dry your hair. Using curly girl friendly and UK approved conditioners only will help improve the general health of your hair and encourage beautiful curls to form.
What kind of UK Curly Girl Friendly conditioners should I use
In general, I would recommend buying three different kinds of conditioners.
A conditioner for co-washing
A conditioner for regular conditioning
A deep-conditioning product for weekly treatments
Of course, no one is stopping you from using the same conditioner for all three steps but I find that mixing and matching produces a far better result.
You don’t want to overload your hair with one specific product as your hair may soon become desensitised to it.
Also, you can purchase more expensive curly girl friendly conditioners in the UK for deep treatments and a budget-friendly product for co-washing.
When choosing a conditioner to use on the Curly Girl Method, there are a couple of things I’d recommend you take into consideration:
In order for your hair to achieve optimal health, you need a good balance of both protein and moisture.
Protein makes up the majority of your hair and if your hair feels limp and soft, it could be a good sign that you need a protein treatment.
This could potentially be caused by hygral fatigue which is essentially moisture overload.
It is caused by your hair cuticles expanding by consistently swelling and deflating as moisture penetrates the hair strands. This causes your hair to stretch, become limp and floppy and break very easily.
If you suspect you may be suffering from hygral fatigue, you should focus on adding protein to your routine.
Coconut is a protein mimicker and it can sometimes be hit and miss with protein products.
Some curl types absolutely love coconut whilst others find it to cause frizz and dry hair.
The best way is always to experiment and try different products to see if coconut is for you. It can be a huge benefit if you are in fact lacking protein.
A study showed that coconut oil is actually the only oil that is capable of penetrating the hair and can help rebuild the cortex, the inner part, of your hair. Try Cantu products if you think you’re in need if a coconut boost.
As mentioned above, a balance of protein and moisture is the key to healthy hair.
If you think you are lacking moisture you should try using a weekly deep conditioner. Symptoms could include dry and brittle hair, your curls don’t stretch and your hair feels like straw.
Some people can also be protein sensitive and this means that they should avoid protein and focus on nourishing deep conditioning treatments instead.
Read this article about protein vs deep conditioning treatments to figure out exactly what your hair needs.
If you have already started your Curly Girl journey, you’ll know that you should co-wash (conditioner wash) as well as condition your hair.
A co-wash should, in my opinion, be done with a lightweight conditioner product as it is easier to remove build-up and grease. I always use a conditioner that is thinner in consistency for my co-wash and a thicker, creamier conditioner for conditioning.
You may read about using low-poo shampoos on the CG method but this is absolutely not recommended and I’d recommend you read about why low-poo shampoos should be avoided.
It is essential to keep your hair hydrated if you want bouncy glossy curls. Moisture is key and I would, therefore, recommend you purchase a deep conditioning product for weekly treatments.
Incorporate it as part of your routine and you should see great results soon enough.
7 Must-try UK curly girl friendly conditioners
1 Banana Hair Food by Garnier Ultimate Blends
Popular. The Banana Hair Food from Garnier is undoubtedly one of the most popular conditioners. It is lightweight, even for a hair mask and so much in fact that I use it for regular conditioning.
Even though I struggle with protein sometimes, this product, which does contain coconut, has done wonders for my hair. If I’m abroad and can’t find a good conditioner, this is the one I go for! It is absolutely one of the best UK Curly Girl friendly conditioners.
2 Pantene Hair Biology Cleanse & Reconstruct Conditioner
Co-Washing. This co-washing conditioner is such a favourite of mine! The Pantene Hair Biology Cleanse & Reconstruct Conditioner is light-weight, soft and it smells divine. Perfect to use as a cleansing co-wash and I would use this conditioner every day of the week! These are often on sale in Superdrug or Boots at 2 for 1.
3 Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Conditioner
Protein Free. This protein-free conditioner from Shea Moisture is a Godsend. It is able to penetrate low porosity hair and provides balanced and nourished hydration where hair needs it most. If you suffer from protein overload, this is the conditioner for you.
4 AS I AM Naturally Hydration Elation Conditioner
Rich in protein. The Naturally Hydration Elation Conditioner from AS I AM is a nourishing conditioner which contains coconut extract for those lacking a protein boost.
it is a rich conditioner which can help rebuild damaged hair and produce strong, soft and bouncy curls. Other natural ingredients include green tea, apple and lemon and Vitamin E.
5 Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Conditioner
Hydrating. The Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Conditioner is a hydrating conditioner which is made with naturally derived ingredients. It contains 100% natural fragrance and aloe vera which provides optimal nourishment of your hair.
6 Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner
Deep Conditioner. If you need a creamy leave-in conditioner for your weekly deep conditioning treatment, try the Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner. This is one of their most popular products and it is also well priced.
7 Superdrug Fruity Cherry & Almond Conditioner
Budget-friendly. You don’t need to spend a fortune on UK Curly Girl friendly conditioners. This Superdrug Fruity Cherry & Almond Conditioner is a very popular product amongst the Curly Girl community. It’s lightweight, smells amazing and would work brilliantly as either a co-wash or regular conditioner. And at £1.13, what do you have to lose?