When I first started my Curly Girl journey, I found it quite overwhelming at times. I didn’t know which products to use or where to buy them and I certainly didn’t understand which ingredients to avoid. I, therefore, compiled a list of approved UK products so that you can make easier decisions when finding products to use for the Curly Girl Method.
So, does the UK have many Curly Girl friendly products to choose from? Absolutely!
There are many UK products that can be used on the Curly Girl Method. These range from budget conditioners and gels from drugstores such as Boots and Superdrug and more luxurious products from brands such as Umberto Giannini and Cantu.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to follow the Curly Girl Method and in my personal opinion, your goal should be to only use 2 or 3 products.
Wrong products or even too many products can cause your hair to turn dry, frizzy or even damage it further.
That is why I recommend trying a few at a time and focus more on the method rather than the products you use.
Please also note that when I say ‘approved’ I obviously mean Curly Girl ‘friendly’. All of these products are made by different brands and with different ingredients, but none of them are officially approved as there is no such thing.
‘Approved’ or ‘Curly Girl friendly’ simply means that these products do not contain any of the ‘bad’ ingredients listed by Lorraine Massey in her book, Curly Girl – The handbook and that they are completely safe to use.
If you need further information on how to follow the Curly Girl Method, I have created an easy to follow step by step guide which will take you through it.
Ingredients To Avoid
The chemicals we want to avoid on the CG method are:
- Sulphates (SLS’s)
- Drying alcohols
These chemicals can be found in most shampoos and conditioners and can actively contribute towards damaging your hair.
Sulphates is the lathering agent in shampoo which causes the product to create bubble and gives you that squeaky clean feel. Sulphates strip your hair of its essential oils, causing your hair to become dry and frizzy. Furthermore, the lack of oils encourages your scalp to produce even more oil, contributing to building up and greasy hair.
Silicone can be found in some shampoos but mainly in regular conditioners. The silicone acts as a film around each hair strand and embalms the follicles. This prevents moisture from penetrating your hair, causing dehydrating which in turn causes frizz. Silicone is also not water-soluble and is only removed with, you guessed it, sulphates! A regular shampoo and conditioner routine can, therefore, in the long run, prove to be quite damaging to curly hair.
Waxes are heavy and will weigh down your hair. Like silicone, they also coat the hair strands and will prevent moisture from entering and thus cause your hair to become dry.
Drying alcohols will dry out your hair. Simple as that. There are some non-drying alcohols such as aminomethyl propanol, Cetearyl alcohol and benzyl alcohol which are safe to use.
If you are ever in doubt about the ingredients of a specific product, I would recommend you use curlsbot.com to identify them.
Curly Girl Method Approved UK Products
I have divided the products into the following categories:
Other Curly Girl Method Approved Products
Below you will find a few of my personal favourites, as well as a list of all the UK, approved Curly Gurl Method products I have been able to find.
Please note the list below is not exhaustive as I am constantly adding to it, but this is a great selection of the best and most popular choices. The list includes cheap supermarket brands as well as high-end products and my aim is to make this product list as comprehensive as possible.
CONDITIONERS – Curly Girl Method UK Products
When choosing a conditioner product to use on the Curly Girl Method, the first thing you want to consider is whether your hair is protein sensitive, balanced or over moisturised:
If you have protein sensitive hair, you’ll want to go for products which do not contain protein or coconut. Coconut is a protein mimic and will, therefore, clog your follicles and prevent moisture from penetrating your hair.
Many brands add protein to their hair products and you can quickly experience protein overload if you are not careful. Hair needs both protein and water to become balanced and too much of either will damage the structure of your hair.
Protein Overload Symptoms
- Dry and brittle hair
- Hair breaks easily
- Curls don’t stretch
- Hair feels like straw
- Curls won’t clump together
For protein sensitive hair, I recommend the following conditioners:
I would also highly recommend doing an apple cider vinegar rinse once a month as it has completely transformed my hair.
If you have balanced hair, you won’t need to worry too much about protein or moisture overload.
Your hair is healthy and is exposed to the right amount of protein and water.
However, this doesn’t mean that every product will work with your hair and you may need to experiment. But if you have healthy, bouncy curls, I would try to use products which are very similar to what you are used to.
For balanced hair, I recommend the following conditioners:
Moisture Overload/ Hygral Fatigue
If your hair feels limp, soft, stretchy and your curls have stopped forming, you may be suffering from moisture overload also known as hygral fatigue.
Hygral fatigue happens when the cuticles of your hair become swollen due to water retention and then deflate once water is removed from the hair. Your hair then becomes weak and stretches more easily which leads to breakage.
Hygral fatigue or moisture overload can be caused by not using enough protein-rich products or washing your hair every day.
If you suffer from moisture overload, I would recommend these products:
All of these products contain either protein or coconut and are Curly Girl favourites. The XHC’s conditioners are a bargain at £1 from Savers and the Banana Hair Food can often be found on offer in Boots or Superdrug.
The Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner contains Hydrolyzed Soy Protein which will help restore your curls. It can be bought from lookfantastic.com or Amazon.
I suggest not washing your hair more than twice a week if you suffer from moisture overload.
Complete list of UK Curly Girl Method Conditioner Products
|Noughty To the Rescue Moisture Boost Conditioner|
|Noughty Tough Cookie Strengthening Conditioner|
|PROVOKE Touch of Silver Colour Care Conditioner|
|Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Conditioner|
|Bouclème Curl Conditioner|
|Organic shop Raspberry & Acai Conditioner|
|Organic shop Revival Hair Conditioner Moroccan Princess|
|Organic shop Avocado & Honey Conditioner|
|Organic shop Glowing Colour Hair Conditioner Golden Orchid|
|Organic shop Gentle Care Hair Conditioner Grape Honey|
|Organic shop Beautiful Volume Hair Conditioner Treasure of Sri Lanka|
|Organic shop Argan & Amla Conditioner|
|Organic shop Pomegranate & Patchouli Conditioner|
|Organic shop Coconut & Shea Conditioner|
|Faith in nature fragrance free conditioner|
|Faith in nature coconut conditioner|
|Faith in nature lavender & geranium conditioner|
|Faith in nature rose & neroli nourish & repair|
|Faith in nature aloe vera conditioner|
|Faith in nature grapefruit & orange conditioner|
|Faith in nature jojoba conditioner|
|Faith in nature tea tree conditioner|
|Garnier Almond Crush daily nourishing conditioner|
|Bodyshop Banana Truly Nourishing Conditioner|
|Ethique The Guardian Conditioner Bar For Dry Hair|
|Ethique Wonderbar Conditioner Bar For Oily to Normal Hair|
|Superdrug Fruity Cherry & Almond Conditioner|
|Superdrug Fruity Coconut Conditioner|
|Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Conditioner|
|Noughty Rise & Shine Hydrate & Shine Conditioner|
|Sainsbury’s Apple Conditioner|
|ASDA Apple Conditioner|
|Garnier Ultimate Blends Argan Oil and Cranberry Coloured Hair Conditioner|
|Garnier Hair Food Banana|
|Garnier Hair Food Papaya|
|Garnier Hair Food Coconut|
|Garnier Hair Food Aloe Vera|
|XHC Banana Conditioner|
|XHC Ginger Conditioner|
|XHC Green Tea Conditioner|
|XHC Strawberry Conditioner|
|Novex Mystic Black Conditioner|
|Only Curls All Curl Conditioner|
|TRESemme Perfectly Undone Weightless Silicone-Free Conditioner|
|Shea Moisture Superfruit Conditioner|
|Yes to Blueberries Smooth and Shine Conditioner for frizzy hair|
|Yes To Cucumbers Volumising Conditioner|
|Yes to Carrots scalp relief conditioner|
|Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner|
|Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner|
|Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner|
|Giovanni 2Chic Frizz Be Gone Conditioner|
|Giovanni Ultra-Sleek Conditioner|
|Syoss Full Hair 5 Conditioner|
Deep Conditioners – Curly Girl Method UK Products
Deep conditioners are important when your hair needs a bit of extra care.
Personally, I like to deep condition once a week for a good half hour and then I carry on with my regular routine.
You can essentially use any conditioner as a deep conditioning product, but if you require significant moisture or protein boost, I suggest you choose wisely.
These are some great protein-free deep conditioners:
If you have balanced hair, give one of these popular deep conditioners a go:
For protein rich conditioners, try one of the following:
Complete list of UK Curly Girl Method Deep Conditioner Products
|Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner|
|Noughty Care Taker Scalp Soothing Conditioner|
|Garnier Hair Food Banana|
|Garnier Hair Food Papaya|
|Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Masque|
|Novex Mystic Black Masque|
|Garnier Ultimate Blends Almond Crush Yogurt Mask|
|Garnier Ultimate Blends Argan Oil & Almond Cream Mask|
|Garnier Ultimate Blends Argan Oil Coloured Hair Conditioner|
|Garnier Ultimate Blends Blonde Illuminator Conditioner|
|AS I AM Naturally Hydration Elation Conditioner|
|Boucleme Intensive Moisture Treatment|
|Vatika Egg Protein Hair Masque|
|Vatika Blackseed Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Avocado & Honey Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Pomegranate & Patchouli Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Argan & Amla Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Raspberry & Acai Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Coconut & Shea Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Indian Jasmine Hair Mask|
|Organic Shop Greek Fig Hair Mask|
|Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner|
|Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner|
Cleansers – Curly Girl Method UK Products
If you follow the Curl Girl Method, you’ll know that the use of shampoo is not recommended. This is because most shampoos contain sulphates which strip your hair of its essential oils.
To get around this, a lot of brands promote sulphate free shampoos, otherwise known as low poo shampoos. These are also not recommended as manufacturers add additional chemicals, some which may be even more harmful to your hair. I wrote an entire article about why you shouldn’t use low poo shampoo if you’re following the Curly Girl Method.
The best way to clean your hair from build-up and pollution is to use a sulphate free cleanser which doesn’t lather, meaning it doesn’t create bubbles.
Most cleansers will work for any hair type, but if you are protein sensitive I would recommend that you choose a cleanser without coconut or coconut oil.
Protein/coconut free cleansers:
The Pantene Hair Biology Cleanse and Reconstruct Conditioner is my absolute favourite. I can’t even remember how I discovered it, all I know is that it was on sale and I snapped it up.
It is super light, doesn’t contain protein and smells amazing! Definitely give this a go if you’re looking for a lightweight sulphate free cleanser.
The Only Curls All Curl Cleanser is a bit pricier and comes in at £16 for 300ml. It’s a real winner though as it’s cruelty-free, contains no parabens and the bottles are fully recyclable. If you’re looking for an ethical brand, this is it.
The Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Conditioner is for dry to normal hair and is incredibly light and hydrating. A bit more expensive than your average cleanser, it is best used once or twice a week before a proper co-wash.
Complete list of UK Curly Girl Method Cleanser Products
|As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner|
|Pantene Hair Biology Cleanse and Reconstruct Conditioner|
|Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser|
|Bouclème Curl Cleanser|
|Eden Bodyworks All Natural Coconut Shea Cleansing Co-Wash|
|Grow Gorgeous Curl Defining Cleansing Conditioner|
|Only Curls All Curl Cleanser|
|Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Conditioner|
Gels – Curly Girl Method UK Products
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Finding the right gel on the Curly Girl Method is like finding the holy grail. It is the product which will decide the fate of your day/night/refresh/curls aka basically life.
I can really only give a few recommendations as I haven’t tried every gel on this list. It’s a long list!
I don’t think you need to worry too much about protein and imbalance when it comes to gels but you can get protein-free gels.
Start out by finding the right one for you depending on your budget and how strong a hold you want and remember, you’ll always need more than you think.
Here Are Some Personal Favourites:
The first get I ever used on the Curly Girl Method was the Eco Style Olive Oil Gel. This worked really well for me and provided a strong hold for my curls. The only reason I started experimenting with other gels was to see if there was a cheaper brand which would work just as well.
And there was! The Boots Essentials Extra Firm Hold Gel worked just as well and I would highly recommend this gel if you’re on a budget or if your method includes double gelling. By double gelling I’m referring to the method of adding gel on soaking wet hair, then dry with a t-shirt or microfiber towel, and then add gel again.
Doing the method this way can be a bit wasteful if you’re not careful as a lot of the gel will rub off on the towel. I use a good handful of gel at every wash so I want something cheap and durable.
Twisted Sista Amazing Dream Curl Gel is great for tight curl patterns and offers a lightweight feel with a strong hold. I like to layer this gel with other products or even another gel as it doesn’t go flaky.
The Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Vegan Scrunching Jelly is a Curly Girl favourite. Although on the pricier side, this gel is recommended over and over again for its quality, hold and texture. If you’re having issues with your current gel or simply fancy trying out a more high-end brand, this one is for you. Do be careful to not purchase other UG products as only a handful of them are actually Curly Girl friendly.
I made a list of all the Curly Girl approved Umberto Giannini products and you can find it here.
Complete List Of UK Curly Girl Method Gel Products
|Eco Style Olive Oil Gel|
|Eco Style Moroccan Argan Oil Gel|
|Eco Styler Curl and Wave Styling Gel|
|Eco Style Black Castor and Flax Seed Oil|
|Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Vegan Scrunching|
|Umberto Giannini Boho Beach Jelly Coconut Oil Vegan Scrunching Jelly|
|DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel|
|Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Max Green|
|Boucleme Curl Defining Gel|
|As I Am Curling Jelly Coil and Curl Definer|
|Shockwaves Tuff Stuff Gel|
|Twisted Sista Amazing Dream Curl Gel|
|Boots Essentials Extra Firm Hold Gel|
|Tesco Essentials Gel|
|Tesco Styling Gel Extra Control|
|Kinky Curly Custard Gel|
|Only Curls Enhancing Curl Gel|
|Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Frizz Defense Gel Cream|
|Cantu for Natural Hair Twist & Lock Gel|
|VO5 Firm hold Styling Gel|
|VO5 Wet Look Styling Gel|
|Vo5 Mega Hold Styling Gel|
|Cantu Define and Shine Custard|
Other Curly Girl Method Approved UK Products
There’s plenty of other Curly Girl products you can buy in the UK and they range from mousses to sprays and creams.
For a while, I experimented with cleanser, conditioner and mousse only but my curls did not hold. I now switch between mousse and gel and find this to be a winning combo.
Mousse can help firm your curls and give them bounce but it won’t seal in moisture the same way as gel will. I also found it to dry out my curls a bit, but with gel, it seems to work. I also found it beneficial for combating frizz.
There are a couple of CGM approved sprays which can help you style and moisturise your curls at the same time.
The Noughty Thirst Aid Conditioning & Detangling Spray helps separate your curls after you have washed your hair. A few sprays on wet hair before you scrunch your hair with gel will give you much smoother curls and help detangle any stubborn clumps.
If you suffer from frizz, the Schwarzkopf got2b Twisted Styling Spray can help you manage it.
Best used on damp hair and applied using the praying method (rub the product between your palms and coat each curly as you move down from scalp to ends). This is great to use on a refresh day as well.
If you want to use a curl cream for additional definition you have a couple of options.
The Cantu Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream is hugely popular within the Curly Girl community, especially since you only need to use a pea-sized amount. For best use, rub between hands with a little bit of water after co-washing and scrunch your curls. Then gel and diffuse as per usual.
One thing to note is that this curl activator cream does contain coconut oil so if you’re protein sensitive, I would stay clear as it could cause your hair to go dry and become frizzy.
For a coconut and protein-free product, use the Noughty Wave Hello Curl Taming Cream instead. Rub a small amount between your palms before applying gel or use as a refresh product on next day curls.
Complete List Of Other UK Curly Girl Method Products
|Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Leave-In Conditioning Mist|
|Cantu Natural Hair Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream|
|Pantene Pro-V Defined Curls Mousse Level 5|
|Shea Moisture Shea Detangler|
|Cantu Comeback Curl Next Day Curl Revitalizer|
|Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coconut Oil Shine & Hold Mist|
|Noughty Thirst Aid Conditioning & Detangling Spray|
|Noughty Hello Curls Define & Reshape Curl Primer|
|Noughty Wave Hello Curl Taming Cream|
|Noughty Rise & Shine Hydrate & Shine Serum|
|Cantu Define and Shine Custard|
|Superdrug Mousse Extra Firm|
|Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Wave Whip Curling Mousse|
|Tesco Standard Firm Hold Mousse|
|Tesco Standard Max Hold Mousse|
|L’Oreal Elnett Satin Strong Hold Volume Mousse|
|L’Oreal Elnett Satin Strong Curl Creme Mousse|
|Schwarzkopf got2b Twisted Styling Spray|
|Giovanni Natural Mousse|
|Giovanni GNV 2chic U-Volume Styling Mousse|
|Shockwaves Ultra Strong Mousse|
And that’s it!
I hope you have found this post informational. If you have found any additional UK products which are Curly Girl friendly, then please do leave a comment below or email me via the contact form.