Got Curly Hair? These Hair Care Ingredients Should Be in Your No-No List

According to market research, the natural hair care market – which includes shampoo, conditioner, styling products, and perms – is projected to reach $1.4 billion by 2020. With more and more individuals embracing their curls, market researchers are even expecting that value will continue to increase in the next decade.

With the natural hair movement gaining momentum, it’s not surprising that beauty companies are jumping on the scene. But how do you distinguish the products that actually work (and do not pose any health risks) from those that simply want a slice of the pie?

Here are some ingredients you need to look out for when shopping for curly hair products.

6 Hair Care Ingredients to Look Out For

Ammonium Thioglycolates

Traditionally, perms use ammonia and thioglycolates to create permanent waves. Ammonia swells up the hair, making it permeable. Thioglycolates breaks the disulfide bonds of the strands and eventually alter the shape of the hair. But due to their unpleasant odor and chemical composition, studies have shown that both compounds have been found to cause allergies, dyspnea and asthma. Not to mention, it makes curly hair even more fragile and prone to breakage.

PRO TIP: If you want to get curls but don’t have them naturally, use texturizers that do not contain ammonia and thioglycolates in the ingredients, such as Owave. Instead of Ammonia and Thioglycolates, Owave uses Cysteamine HCL, a less aggressive compound that helps break the disulfide bonds in the hair. What’s more, it doesn’t have that foul smell that common perms have.


Known as the curly hair kryptonite, parabens are often used in beauty products as preservatives. Apart from causing cancer, preservatives have been known to compromise the integrity of the hair and scalp. Curly hair is easily frazzled and dehydrated, and using products with parabens will just make it worse.

Propylene Glycol

Although generally recognized as safe by the FDA when used in minimal concentrations, Propylene Glycol does not evaporate easily and can therefore dehydrate the hair and cause a laundry list of issues. Safe to say, clients with dry hair are advised to regulate or avoid using hair products that contain this ingredient to keep the hair healthy and hydrated.

Bad Alcohol

Not all alcohols are created equal. While fatty alcohols or long-chain alcohols help add moisture to natural hair, bad alcohols have been found to dehydrate curly hair. Some of these bad alcohols are:

  • Ethanol alcohol
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Propanol alcohol
  • Alcohol denat.
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Isopropanol alcohol
  • Benzyl alcohol

Artificial Colorants

Hair care products with synthetic pigments are more likely to damage the hair than natural products. Curly hair tends to dry quickly on its own and adding artificial colorants to the mix will only make it worse.

Synthetic Fragrance

We all love a nice-smelling shampoo and conditioner. But when it causes irritation and all sorts of health issues, it’s better for everyone to avoid this ingredient. Known as an endocrine disruptor, synthetic fragrance can interfere with our body’s normal body functions which can lead to thyroid disease and cancer.


Instead, opt for products that use pure essential oils as fragrance. They are not only natural, but they also carry with them many aromatherapeutic benefits.

PRO TIP: To preserve those curls, send clients home with Oway Curly Hair Bath, Mask, and Potion. These hair care and styling products DO NOT contain Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Colorants, Synthetic Fragrance, and Bad Alcohol so curls and coils remain healthy and defined.

Check out these natural hair care products!