This post was originally posted as a Black Friday in 2017. Check out this post for my 2018 Favourite Curly Girl Products and discount codes. Almost all of the products mentioned are available world-wide, and many are available at Look Fantastic where I buy most of my curly girl approved products. Use code CURLMAVEN for 20% off! They also offer FREE SHIPPING to UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and USA.
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First of all, I want to be completely transparent because there can be some confusion between sponsored content/posts and affiliate links. This post, and many others on this site, contain affiliate links. This means I get paid (a very small) commission on products you purchase through my links. This in no way affects you, the price you pay or the way in which I write about products featured on Curl Maven. My content and opinion is not influenced by these affiliate partnerships. I have purchased, used and loved all the products mentioned in this post. And if you’re a member of some of the curly girl Facebook groups, you’ll know I regularly recommend them.
The As I Am Coconut Co-Wash is hands down my favourite product I’ve found since I started the curly girl method. I’ve tried others, but keep coming back to this and have bought countless tubs. Between me and my two kids, we go through one tub every 6-8 weeks, on average. It’s not a heavy co-wash, but light and leaves your scalp, roots and hair feeling really clean without feeling stripped. It’s also got black castor oil which is great for hair growth! Full review coming soon.
If you are outside the USA, and have heard all the rave reviews about the Trader Joe’s Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo but are gutted you can’t get it because of where you live. Well, the Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo is pretty much the same and well loved by curly girls. I also really like Bouclème’s Curl Cleanser (the green one) – full Bouclème review here.
I also want to mention Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo. No, it’s not curly girl approved, it’s loaded with sulfates. I live in a hard water area and a chelating shampoo is the only way to get lime water build up out of your hair. I use this clarifying, chelating shampoo once a month to get rid of product and mineral build up in my hair and revive my curls. Unlike many chelating shampoos, this one doesn’t contain silicones.
Top Tip: Low porosity hair gets easily weighed down, so clarifying is important. To avoid your hair feeling stripped and like straw, always do a deep conditioning treatment after a clarifying or chelating shampoo!
I’ve tried a few leave in conditioners, but the Giovanni Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner is my favourite. It’s almost got a whipped texture, similar to Deva Curl’s Wave Maker. Not quite the same, but similar. My little girl’s frizzy curls love this stuff! It’s a cult-favourite among curlies and I can see why.
Another favourite leave in conditioner of mine, and great for fine, low porosity hair and a favourite in the curly girl community, is the As I Am Leave In Conditioner.
Top Tip: Look Fantastic stock mini versions of Giovanni products, and Bouclème do 100ml versions too – a great, inexpensive way to try out new products out and see if they work for you and perfect for travelling!
If you are outside the USA, and have heard all the rave reviews about the Generic Value Product (GVP) Conditioning Balm from Sallys, and gutted you can’t get it because of where you live. Well, Matrix Biolage Hydra Source Conditioner is the branded version! The formula is pretty identical, apart from a few plant ingredients at the end of the ingredients list which is mainly for fragrance.
I only recently discovered this and the transformation in my curls, and my daughter’s is unbelievable! Curls are so much more defined and frizz is reduced. This product is amazing, especially if you’re hair needs moisture. What I love most: you only need the tiniest bit! Unlike the NYM Pink Curl & Define which I need about 10 pumps! *Please note, this is the only product from Matrix Biolage that is curly girl method approved – from what I can tell. The rest all use Isopropyl Alcohol, which dries out the hair. Review coming soon.
Top Tip: You can also use the Matrix Biolage Hydra Source Conditioner (or GVP Conditioning Balm) as a deep conditioning treatment!
If your hair needs more protein, then a recent discovery and new-found love of mine is the Hairfinity Balanced Moisture Conditioner. It isn’t as thick or balmy as the Matrix Biolage HydraSource Conditioner, but it gives a great balance of moisture and protein. Honourable mentions include Bouclème Curl Conditioner and MopTop Daily Conditioner.
Get 10% off MopTop here using code CURLMAVEN.
Curly girl method approved and great as a deep conditioning treatment, Olaplex No.3. Make sure you purchase it from authorised resellers only. Myself, and many other curly girls, have bought it from Amazon and had zero results, most likely because it’s not the genuine product. This is especially great for curlies who have coloured hair, colour damaged hair or hair that’s had Brazilian blow outs or relaxing treatments It’s just as great for us natural curlies too though! YouTuber, Stephanie Nicole goes really into depth about Olaplex No. 3 in this video which is good one to watch if you’re looking for more info on this product.
Another cult favourite deep conditioning mask is the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!. You only need a small amount of this. The tub lasts a really long time. Similar to Olaplex No.3, this deep conditioning mask is especially good if you’re trying to repair damaged hair – the clue’s in the name.
If you’re hair needs more protein, then another favourite of mine is Hairfinity’s Strengthening Amino Mask. It replenishes, strengthens and fortifies hair to protect against breakage and split ends. The smell, although amazing, is quite strong. I use it on my hair, and my kids’ – with great results. It’s a great detangler too!
Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protection Crème is my favourite heat protectant I’ve found that is CG-approved. It’s really light, and doesn’t weigh my hair down at all, and smells divine – like skittles!
I’m pretty sure I’ve put at least a few kids through college based on the amount of times I’ve purchased this product. My favourite curly styling product both before and after discovering the CG method. I’ve been using the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse (No.5) for about 15 years I reckon! For years, I used this as my only styling product as it gives a great cast. Not the Natural Curls Mousse No. 3 though, that doesn’t have the same hold or give the same cast. It works really well layered with other products too. I often apply this as my first styling product as a curl enhancer, then follow up with a custard or gel.
If I had to pick between the Pantene Mouuse and MopTop Curly Hair Custard as my all time favourite styler – I don’t think I could. I love both of these products, they work so well on my hair. I tried the Kinky Curly Curling Custard and didn’t really know what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped from reading countless rave reviews as the holy grail product for curly hair. MopTop Curly Hair Custard however lives up to all the hype and I haven’t been able to go with out it since discovering it.
Get 10% off MopTop here using code CURLMAVEN.
I adore Bouclème Curl Defining Gel! As a low porosity curly, I really struggle with products weighing down my hair. Products can often drag out the curl and leaves my hair feeling full of product on days two and three after wash day. Not with this lightweight gel. It’s one of my favourites! No matter how much I put in my hair, it never feels like I’ve got too much product in it. I really controls frizz and looks great even on day 3 hair. Because it’s so lightweight, and not sticky at all, it’s great for refresh days. I’ve bought about three or four bottles of this, and it smells amazing! You can read my full, in-depth review of the Bouclème products here.
Another American import, but available from Amazon. My hair loves Aussie Instant Freeze Gel, and so does my wallet! It’s a consistency I haven’t come across before. It’s almost like a whipped gel – if that makes sense. It doesn’t weight my curls down, I don’t always get a cast from it unless I use loads, but it gives good curl definition. I always use it as my last layer of styling products.
This is a total curve ball but work with me here. KY Jelly, yes lube! This is a great product for combating frizz between my wash days. After dampening my hair, I mix a little with some Aussie Instant Freeze Gel in the palm of my wet hands, and scrunch into my hair, always with great results.
An honorable mention for the Giovanni LA Naturals Gel (which is often sold out, so pick it up when you can!) and Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly. Both of them are budget friendly and pretty easy to get in the UK and Ireland. I prefer the Giovanni gel which has a really strong hold, to Umberto Curl Jelly which can feel quite sticky if you use too much.
Top Tip: Boots often do 3 for 2 and/or discounts, so check their site or in store for offers. They stock Umberto Giannini, Pantene, Shea Moisture, Cantu, Yes To and Maui Moisture.
I bought the Bouclème Cotton Curl Towel at the beginning of Summer 2017 and have used it ever since. Regular terry towels are a huge no-no for curly girls. This cotton jersey towel is quite large, great for if you have long, thick hair like me. This is what I use to plop, and scrunching out excess moisture. I’ve washed it loads and often put it in the tumble dryer and it’s still perfect! I also have microfibre towels from Aldi, Only Curls, and DevaCurl – which is by far the best one if you want a microfibre towel. But I prefer the Bouclème cotton towel.
Check out this post on curly girl techniques to learn about plopping with a cotton towel/t-shirt.
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*This post may contain some gifted items and affiliate links. Which means I get paid (a very small) commission on any products you purchase through my links. This in no way affects you, the price you pay or the way in which I write about products featured on this site. My content and opinion is not influenced by advertisers, sponsorships, affiliate partnerships, brands or PRs.
Michelle N says
First of all thank you for this! Super helpful! Question!
The Briogeo heat protectant, how/ when do you use gay in your styling steps?
I’ve ran out and haven’t used it in a while, but I usually use it as the first styling product I apply to my hair.
Ginger Crouch says
What do you think about Shea Moisture low Poristy line of products. Do you think they are still too heavy for 2c/3a low poristy low/medium hair density, fine/medium courseness Hair? I think you are the closest I’ve ever found any one to be to my hair type and hair properties following all kinds of girls on YouTube but none of them have my hair type or properties! Possibly curly penny is but not quite sure I know India Batson snot and I know Bianca’s not I think you’re the closest I have found do you have a YouTube channel?
Ginger Crouch says
By the way I also love as I am coconut cowash and leave in conditioner I use the curling jelly as well but I haven’t really had any luck with the hold of it but that’s what I bought to begin with and I want to use it up I also bought The Mane Choice biotin infused silk protein hair gel but I don’t use it all the time. My hair seems to just soak everything up I don’t get a cast I get a partial cast and then by the time I hair is dry it’s there is no cast my hair takes forever to dry and it’s kind of long I do have a blow dryer but it doesn’t have it doesn’t have low or cool on it but it does have hot and warm but no other states just high and low I think I just haven’t used a blow-dryer on my hair and so long cuz my hair frizz is too bad! I’ve been doing the curly girl method for about 5 months now I think about 19 weeks I think another day I’ll be 20 weeks in!
Ginger Crouch says
What curly girl Pages groups are you on?
Way too many to list on here! ha ha. I’m on 3 of the UK ones, Love Your Curls and a few others.
I wish I had come across your website before buying so many products from Cantu and sheamoisture . I’m trying to transition to curly as I’m not used to it and learning about products and method. But with those products I started to wonder is curly hair really for me
I will give those a try, hopefully something will work.
Not everyone can get a cast on their hair. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. It depends on how dry/moisturised my hair is, what products I used, how much of them I used etc. I would suggest investing in a more up to date dryer if you want to go down that route. But not everyone diffuses their hair, and air drying it naturally is a healthier route to go down, if you can. Scrunching your hair with a cotton t-shirt or micro fibre towel will help to partially dry it.
I follow all of those curlies on YouTube. My hair is probably most like curly penny’s but I haven’t been CG as long as she has, so my hair is a little less further along the journey. I personally haven’t tried much of the Shea Moisture line, apart from them being too heavy, I find the smell very strong and overpowering. My son also has sensory processing disorder and really doesn’t cope well with strong smells so that brand is a no-no in our house. I don’t have a YouTube channel yet, but I’m hoping to start one soon – as soon as I build up the courage!
Hi Gabriella. I’m loving your info. So helpful. My hair is very similar to yours. I’m just 3 months in to CG. I think you should “build up your courage” soon! . It would be awesome and I think people would really respond well to it. Your pictures on Pinterest were some of the first ones I pinned when starting this process. Thanks for all your curl wisdom. GO FOR IT Gabriella!
And now for a question…how do you apply your mousse? I’m realize the same about my hair…butters and creams are just to heavy. I already have a NYM dark blue mousse I’m going to try. Also, do you use all three, mousse, custard,and gel in your line up?
Aww thanks so much Chris! I’ve finally got internet back in my house this morning, so as soon as I reply to comments I’m going to write a blog post! It’s been far too long! Then at the weekend sit down and film something for YouTube that I’ve been working on, so watch this space! Okay, I apply mousse to my hair by spraying a big palmful in my hand, and then running my palm down my hair to distribute the mousse throughout the ends of my hair – but I generally avoid the roots. Once the mousse is on my hair and not my hands, I then scrunch scrunch scrunch. Sometimes I’ll use praying hands too. I’ll be honest, I often do you use mousse, custard and then gel. Mousse as a curl enhancer, custard for clumps and gel to seal it all in. But often I’ll either use mousse or custard and then always seal in with a gel. Hope that helps xx
Thanks! That was very helpful for sure! Definitely going to try it. Can’t wait to see your next YouTube video….I have to admit it’s partly because I love your accent! Haha. I’m an American Irish, so no accent here! Lol.
What a helpful post!! So glad I’ve found you! Question…do you only use conditioner on ther days when you use shampoo or do you use it after rinsing our your co wash also? On days when you don’t wash your hair, do you do anything to it in the shower?? I’m new to all these techniques but a excited to start and hoping my curls respond well. Thanks again!!
Hi Beth, glad you found the post so helpful! I always use conditioner, whether I’ve used a low poo, clarifying shampoo or co-wash. I don’t always refresh between wash days, but when I do, I spray my hair with water (sometimes mixed with conditioner) and then lightly graze a mix of gel and lube through my hair, scrunch and then diffuse for a few mins. Hope that helps! Gabriella xoxo
On your Instagram page you mentioned that Jessie curl is one of your favorites but it wasn’t listed anywhere on this page. Any reason?
Hi Bekah, yes! This post was written before I had tried Jessicurl, and I am about to do a full Jessicurl review on the site. Stay tuned!
Ahhh amazing! I have heard great things about their products and anxious to see your opinion 🙂 Just getting oriented into the CG world and looking for the best things to try first!!
Hi, I can’t get moptop curly hair custard, what would you recommend instead? Hair is wavy/curly, low porosity and fine so can be weighed down easily.
Hi Charlie, have you tried the Kinky Curly Curling Custard? It’s similar to the MopTop one. If not, check out my post on my favourite products as I have fine, low porosity, high density hair that gets weighed down easily too. And there’s lots of product recommendations in there.
Thanks, I was looking at that post which was where I saw the moptop curly hair custard. I’ve never tried anything like it and usually use Boots curly hair mousse but would like to try something that doesn’t make my hair look dirty on the second day.
Lucy Coogan says
I have recently discovered your blog Gabriella and I’m so glad that I did. It’s beautifully written and accompanied by fantastic photos. I’ve been following the curly girl method for a couple of years now but I was on the cusp of giving up: I feel like my progress had plateaued and 2nd day hair remained elusive. I was on Pinterest and followed a link to your blog and I think I probably read the whole thing twice over, that very same day! It was very inspiring to see your Curly Girl journey and to learn what had and hadn’t worked for you. I particularly found your post on porosity interesting. I had read articles about porosity before but couldn’t really see how would make a difference to my curls. When I read your post it “clicked” and I am now considering porosity when I make my hair care choices. It was my birthday recently and I used that as the perfect reason to request some new products. I used your posts on building a curly girl routine and your favourite products to inform me. I am now very much looking forward to trying out the mop top curly hair custard and Bouclème curl towel. My mum has even made me a thermal heat cap (thanks to your tutorial). I used the As I Am co-wash this morning and I was delighted at how silky soft my hair feels. It’s my first time co-washing and I really like this product. What I would like to ask is: would you recommend following up with a separate conditioner; either leave in or wash out? I had fully intended on doing so but my hair felt really lovely afterwards that I wondered whether it was necessary? I should probably point out that I didn’t wear my hair curly today day. I was pushed for time and ended up putting it in a Dutch braid whilst it was still damp (I couldn’t manage to drag myself out of bed early enough to go through my full curly hair styling routine!)
I haven’t yet tried out the curl towel or Mop Top custard but prior to this I was using a cotton t-shirt and the Boots pink curl cream so I’m eager to see how they both compare. Once again thank you for sharing – it’s certainly given me hope for the future of my curls x
Oh Lucy, that message has made my day and is the whole reason why I do this! Thank you so much, I’m so glad my content has been helpful! Okay, as for the As I Am Co Wash – more often than not, I will follow with a conditioner as I use the co wash in place of a “shampoo”. But if I’m on holiday or it’s really hot, I will usually just use that co-wash followed by one or two styling products. The Boots Curl Cream is no longer CG friendly, as it now contains drying alcohol in the ingredients. And personally I don’t even think you can compare it to the MopTop Custard as it’s far superior in every way to the Boots Curl Cream. Hope that helps. x
Lucy Coogan says
Yay! That’s wonderful to hear Gabriella and thank you for your reply. I’ll let you know how I get on with Mop Top and the Bouclème towel. All best wishes Lucy x
Just discovered your site- great source of info. Thank you!
But unfortunately, The Matrix Biolage Ultra Hydrasource conditioner does contain Isopropyl Alcohol –
at least the U.S version does. So not CG approved in the States.
Hmm…. are you sure that’s not the mask? Because it’s only the Hydrasource Conditioner from the Matrix Biolage range that it CG friendly. I’m not aware of an “ultra” version. The other products do contain isopropyl alochol. In the States, GVP Conditioning Balm from Sally’s is the cheaper, generic version if that helps. I just don’t have that one available to me in Ireland. Hope that helps x
Gail Cordell says
Thanks so much for this…I am about 5 weeks into this curly deal. I have battled my curls for my whole life and have decided to finally give in to them. Mainly because I live in California and I am just plain sick of blow drying and then curling my hair. I have to say this really is a process and I am still learning. Thank you for the great tips. I didn’t really know how to refresh until I read your post.
Aw your very welcome! I’m so glad you’ve found my content helpful and are now embracing your curls. I was born in California and my sisters still live there! Best of luck with your curly journey xoxo
Hi! Such a great post and has really helped me out (I fell into the ‘trap’ of buying Shea moisture and cantu products and whilst they smell amazing and have great reviews, they just aren’t for my hair!). I’m going to try out some of the other lighter weight products you recommend 🙂 Can you recommend any other mousses? My hair loves mousse but I can’t get the Pantene one here in the Netherlands…any ideas of an alternative? Thank you for your advice!
Hi Lizzie, I don’t know of any other mousse’s that are as good as Pantene, for that price. I know The Mane Choice, Giovanni and Kinky Curly have good mousse’s or “foams” but I haven’t personally tried them. You can buy them from Naturalistic Products or Look Fantastic, links for both are in my side bar, or if you’re on a mobile, just keep scrolling down to the “Where I Shop”. Hope that helps x
Thank you! I’ll have to stock up on Pantene when I’m back in the UK 😉
I’m really cheap (broke), so I found a L’Oréal sulfate free shampoo and conditioner for curly hair. Is that clean and natural enough for Botticelli curls?
I wouldn’t be certain that the L’Oreal shampoo and conditioner really is free of sulfates, silicones and drying alcohols, so I would be inclined to say no. Check out the ingredients, and input them into this site which is a great resource for finding out if products are CG approved/friendly or not. https://isitcg.herokuapp.com/
I’m just starting up with this method. I had a friend that recommended the Shea Moisture curl enhancer cream before I found yours posts about porosity. Based on what I have read, this tends to be too heavy for low-porosity hair and I think that’s what I have going here. I’m just wondering how I will know if it is something too heavy for me, especially since I am just starting and it was the first product I bought. Thank you!!
Hi Alexis, as a general rule I stay away from all Shea Moisture and Cantu products as they are very heavy and not good quality ingredients. Look at the ingredients of products, if there’s lots of butters and oils and highly moisturising ingredients high up the list it will generally be a heavy product. Do your research, Google products for low porosity hair. In general, I prefer mousses and gels as styling products rather than smoothies, creams and butters. Hope that helps, there’s lots of other posts on the blog which you should find helpful about products and low porosity hair. xoxo
I also didn’t understand the rave about kinky curly custard but really got to love Cantu custard,and I’m a wavy. Moptop is the next one to try!!!!
I was the same with the Kinky Curly Custard, I wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss is about. But I have to say when it’s really humid, it’s great stuff! I absolutely A D O R E MopTop Curly Custard!!!
hiya where do you purchase your mop top custard from here in the uk?
I have been purchasing it directly from their website and getting it sent to family in the US to ship to me in Ireland. But you can get it on Amazon, they don’t have any other distributors outside the US. Hope that helps xoxo
Hi Gabriella! Is it possible to find moptop here in Ireland? Or do you buy it online? I didn’t see it on naturalistic or look fantastic 🙁
Hi Esther, you can get it on Amazon, they don’t currently have any other distributors outside the US. Hope that helps xx
Kyndra Zahnow says
I’m just starting out with this whole thing- my hair used to be so curly when I was younger, I miss it! But the amount of product scares me (and my wallet) a little bit. Are there a handful of products that you would recommend to get myself started?
Hi Kyndra, I know what you mean, it all sounds very daunting, especially at the beginning. But it’s definitely easier to start off with a few good products and then add or take away where you need to. Hair porosity, in my opinion, is definitely important when it comes to choosing products. But if budget is a problem, a few great products I’d start with is a good conditioner – that you can co-wash with, use as a conditioner, deep conditioner and leave in – the Lacura Moisture one from Aldi is a great budget busting option, and then a good mousse and gel – this is my favourite styling combo that never lets me down. And thankfully both of them are budget friendly too. Pantene Defined Curls Mousse No. 5 and either Aussie Instant Freeze Gel (USA) or Umberto Giannini Curly Jelly (often on sale or 3 fo 2 in Boots) or if you need super hold Giovanni LA Natural Gel. Those 3 items (conditioner, mousse and gel) should be enough to get you started. Hope that helps my love xoxo
Your blog is great very informative.Went on YouTube but you only have one video up,will you be doing more?? Your curly girl journey has been amazing,really good to see the change.Not long been using Jessicurl and it’s been great.Love kinky curly custard,tried it once wasn’t that impressed then tried it again a few weeks later and OMG beautiful soft defined curls/ringlets once the cast has been scrunched out.Reading your post I will be trying moptop custard.You should be on YouTube more,curlies love watching what other people are trying.Your post on porosity is fantastic.Keep up the good work and congrats on your beautiful curls they are stunning!!!
Aww thank you so so much for your kind, sweet, supportive words Sue. I certainly plan on doing more on YouTube, it’s just been a crazy hectic Summer since I posted that first video, and lots of upheaval, but I hope to get back to it before Christmas. xx
Hi Gabriella! I love your blog and the great information. I started my curly journey a couple of years ago but have let it go recently and your posts are a great inspiration to get back into it again. I was just wondering if you’ve tried any of the trepadora products? They were recommended to me by my curly hairdresser last year over boucleme but i couldn’t afford either range at the time.
Hi Nicki, thank you so much, I’m glad you’ve found my content helpful. I have recently been using the Trepadora products and I really love their curl towel, hibiscus pink clay wash and their quinoa deep repair conditioner in particular. Hope that helps xoxo
Hi, loved reading your blog, am going to apply new things I learnt for myself and hubby 🙂
Quick question, how often do you use each product? e.g do you use As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner on all washes or only once in every 3 washes?
Is there any harm in using a product ( mainly a shampoo or cleaner) too often?
Hi Lili, thank you for your kind words. I wash my hair twice a week. I clarify once a month using my Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo as I live in a hard water area. Other times I use the co-wash or my low poos. Yes, if you use a traditional “shampoo” too often it will dry out the hair. The Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo is mild and moisturising enough to use regularly though, and I have a discount code for that. Use code CURLYCAILIN10 at checkout for $$ off. xoxo
hi Gabriella! I was just reading your post and I didn’t spot any low poo shampoos mentioned. maybe I missed it by mistake but could you share the low poo’s that you use please. Thank you! xoxo
Hi Dayanna, please see my most recent version of this post, this is from 2017, there’s since a 2018 and 2019 versions – both with low poo options. Thank you x
Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks says
I’ve found that hair gum works better than any gel to lock the curls. It also doesn’t look like you even have any product on your hair. Unless you apply too much, of course.
Lord above, just reading that scares the crap out of me! Are you sure hair gum is CG friendly? I can’t imagine it would be. I’d be very careful using products like that, especially long term as I can only imagine the damage it would do to your hair!
Thank you so much for all the info!! Are any of the shampoos listed above (besides the B and B) clarifying? Also, unless you specifically stated that something wasn’t CG friendly, does that mean that everything else is CG friendly? Thank you.
Hi Frances, all shampoos mentioned in this post are clarifying. Some of them are chelating also, which I mentioned for each. And yes, unless I specifically say it’s NOT CG, then you can safely assume they are CG. Everything on my site is CG, unless I state otherwise. Hope that helps x
Thanks so much!!!
Is the Trader Joe’s shampoo safe for color treated hair? How does one determine this?
Hi! I have just recently started my hair journey with the cgm and I’ve heard a lot about olaplex but I’m unsure if I should buy the whole 3-4-5 system or just No. 3? I wanted to get the whole system but I wasn’t sure if the whole system is good for curls, like the shampooo.
Hi Gabi, I haven’t tried the whole system, but I don’t believe the shampoo and conditioner are CG, so I’d definitely check that out first before you purchase anything.
Hi. I’m really confused about the porosity of my hair. I wondered if you could help. My hair usually absorbs anything I put on it. It will get quite wet easily but It’s very dry hair. And also drys very quickly.
Hi, that sounds like low porosity hair that’s very dehydrated. Have you read my post on Hair Porosity? There’s 4 ways to test for it, characteristics for each porosity type which a lot of people find more helpful than the tests, and product recommendations for each porosity type too.
Hi, i am loving your website and instagram! Wish I found it when I started CG. I fell into the Shea Moisture trap, and now have a load which is too heavy for my hair. Just discovered, thanks to your posts, that I have low porosity hair. I do still dye it (can’t face the prospect of all my grey just yet!) and was wondering which clarifying shampoo would be best for me. I live in a hard water area and I had a look at the Bumble and Bumble that you use, but it says it’s not suitable for coloured hair. x
Hi Jane, thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m so glad you’ve found my content helpful. Have you read my post on clarifying, hard water, product recommendations etc? I’ll link it here for you, https://curlmaven.ie/why-when-you-should-clarify-your-hair/ BounceCurl do an amazing colour-safe, CG approved clarifying shampoo. I have a discount code if you buy directly from their website, its CURLYCAILIN10 Hope that helps xoxo
Paula Odell says
Oh my goodness! I am so happy !i found your site! I have been qutie overwhelmed since starting the CG method in November…spent way too much money..and ready to just chop it all off! Ha!
I want so much to find the “holy grail” products that work for me and just stick with them.
I have alot of questions but will just ask you this one for now…
My water is the hardest on the planet and i dont have any idea what shampoo to get for clarfying..can you help me with that?
Hi Paula, congrats on joining the curly girl fam! And I’m so glad to hear you’ve found my content helpful. Have you read my post on clarifying? I’ll link it here, https://curlmaven.ie/why-when-you-should-clarify-your-hair/ I live in a really hard water area too, and clarifying withe Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo is a lifesaver for my curls. It’s not CG, but read the post to find out more, why its necessary to use, and what to do afterwards to ensure you don’t do any damage to your curls. Hope that helps lovey! xoxo
Hi Gabriella! You’re so beautiful and you have an amazing curls!!! I’m glad I found your blog since my hair also is 2c-3a and low porosity. I do have found out that products that I use doesn’t suit low porosity hair and have silicones, such as Joico clarifing shampoo, the Kerastase co-wash((( Unfortunatelly, Lookfantastic doesn’t send Bumble and Bumble and boucleme to my country. Can you recommend other chelating shampoo?
Thanks a lot!!! Have a good day!
Hi Inna, as far as porosity, I’ve got some new information I’m going to share in the next week or so, which is questioning everything we thought we knew about porosity. And I’ve recently discovered my hair is high porosity, not low. What country do you live in? Bumble & Bumble is available in a lot of countries. Do you need a chelating shampoo? If not, and you only need a clarifying one, then Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo is my favourite, and they ship world wide. Use code CURLYCAILIN10 for 10% discount at checkout. Hope that helps, if not I’ve got a really helpful post on Why & When you should clarify your hair, with lots of product recommendations.
I saw above that you recommend Bb Sunday Shampoo because you need a chelating shampoo. I too live in an EXCESSIVELY hard water environment. So much so that everyone walks around with matted nasty hair. And we’re a nation of curly girls. I started using MalibuC chelating shampoo- sulfate and silicone free, vegan and all natural. My hair sings when I use it! But yes, it’s drying, so I deep condition after I use it.
Yes I’ve been wanting to try the Malibu C shampoo, but it’s taken me almost 2 years to get through almost all of my Bumble & Bumble Shampoo so I’m going to finish that before I make another purchase.
Nicoline Forsberg says
I don’t understand about the Giovanni one (Tea triple treat). How often do you use it?
It’s a cleanser, so you can use it every time your hair needs cleansing. Personally, I wash my hair twice a week. Hope that helps x
Hi, I have just found a webpage that has a list of cg approved products with some products 49p per 100mls. I have done quick check on 2 items and they were right! It is Likelove do, have you seen it? Really helpful especially if you are on a budget
Salli Awad says
I came across your blog today and I am amaaaazed how good it is.
I wanted to ask you where you buy Oplaplex 3 from? I bought it from Amazon and it does not work at all. However, I have bought it before years ago and know it works if you get the right product again.
Another question is about the Moptop curling custard. Based on your amazing review of it I want to try it. Where do you buy it from?
I found it on amazon (UK site) but seems so expensive there.
Thank you in advance 🙂
Hi Salli, I too bought it from Amazon and found no difference at all! But then I got it from my local hairdresser salon, who’s an authorized dealer and had much better results. As for my MopTop, I’m very lucky that I’ve got lots of friends and family in the US who send me tubs home of MopTop and other products you can only get there. Otherwise, it is very expensive to ship outside the US. Check out Amazon.com though, as they do sell it on there. Hope that helps!
Hi! I’m new to your blog, and I love it! I have curly hair but I have never used products or anything and so usually just cross my fingers as my hair dries; it’s very hit or miss. I want to start building a proper routine. I’m just wondering do you use the As I Am Coconut Cowash exclusively, or do you use it between shampoos? Thank you!
Hi Mairead, I haven’t been using the As I Am Co Wash as often lately as I’ve been testing other products. If you find that it’s too moisturising or heavy for you, you can alternate it with a low poo shampoo/curl cleanser. I hope that helps. Gabriella x
Thank you for all the terrific suggestions. I’m new to TCGM and I’m wondering if you use a leave in conditioner after using a wash out conditioner? Trying to figure out when to use each. Thanks so much in advance!
Hi Alli, thanks so much. This can vary due to personal preference and opinion. There are a few ways you can do it. Yes, you can of course rinse out your conditioner and then apply a leave in if you like. Or you can not rinse all the conditioner out of your hair, thereby “leaving” some in. Instead of rinsing until the water runs clear, just rinse until you get a white, milky water. But if my hair still feels quite dry after conditioner, then yes – I’ll use some leave in conditioner. Especially if I’m styling with a mousse/foam. Hope that helps. x
Claire Mcredmond says
Super post, thanks so much!
I’m confused! Looks like you use many, many products every time you wash/style your hair. Can you send a list of what/when you use products?
No no, I don’t use all of these products when I wash and style my hair! These are just my favourite products in general. You can see some of my product routines in this post: https://curlmaven.ie/how-to-build-a-curly-girl-hair-routine/ Generally I use a low poo cleanser, a conditioner and then if my hair is feeling particularly dry I’ll use a leave in conditioner, followed by a mousse and then a gel. Hope that helps.
Having recently discovered your social media, I am in complete awe at the amount of care and detail you provide! Thank you so much for making all this information available. I have a notebook with literally every single product you recommend and will now be sorting through and seeing what I can purchase in Canada!
Aww thank you so much Caitlyn! I do like to go into detail! ha ha x
Hi, There was no mention of Bounce Curl items in your line up. What do you think of them for your low porosity hair? I’m tossing up between Bounce Curl and Boucleme and would be buying almost the entire line. I have low porosity but thick/coarse hair. Thanks!
HI Dilushani, at the time of writing this particular post, I hadn’t used Bounce Curl, if you look at my more recent favourite products post you’ll see that I’ve mentioned Bounce Curl. For me, I think they have some of the BEST cleansers on the market, and I really like their conditioner. But I prefer Bouleme’s styling products, especially their Super Hold Styler. So if it were me, I’d get the shampoo and conditioner from Bounce Curl (use code CURLYCAILIN10 for 10% off) and get the Super Hold Styler and/or Curl Defining Gel from Boucleme. Hope that helps x
Hi Gabriella, firstly thank you so much for collating all your research and time for the rest of us curlies, it’s been a god send. I’m 2 months in to the CG method and I’ve bought most of your recommendations (I have similar hair to you) and I’m really struggling. My hair is frizzy and coarse to touch in the shower every single time I try any combination of shampoo and conditioner / deep conditioner. It’s so tangly and feels rough. I also recently gave it a good break for 5/7 days and still the same when I washed it. I realised early that I may not get on with coconut, heavy oils, glycerin or protein!! I read on the naturally curly website that whilst my hair is adjusting to the CG method I may experience this, but it feels really extreme! I haven’t straightened or coloured my hair in years! Do you have any advise before I decide to go bald forever more?
Hi Charlotte, thank you so much for your kind sweet words. Much appreciated! I’ve got a few questions: when was the last time you clarified? When was the last time you deep conditioned? And what products are you using? I’ll be able to help advise you more when I know that. x
Hi Gabriella, thanks for coming back to me. Sorry for my tardy response. I tried the as I am coconut co-wash, jessicurl gentle lather shampoo, Giovanni tea tree triple threat shampoo, bouncecurl clarifying shampoo (which I tried twice in two weeks), bounce curl moisturising shampoo, kinky-curly not today leave in, biolage conditioner, olaplex no3 (twice in a month) and Deva curl heaven in hair deep treatment (used once). For the past two weeks I’m ashamed to say I’ve gone back to my old shampoo and conditioner (both not CG approved but my hair is soft and shiny again) as I was getting extremely frustrated with my stringy, wavy, frizzy hair. Hope you can help, no worries if not!
The hydrasource condition by matris biolage i noticed has propylene glycol in it as the second ingredient i believe. Just wondering will this ingredient causes frizz i read it is a strong humectant like glycerin?
Charlene Parent says
Would KY jelly only be good for refreshing when it’s not dry winter weather? I thought glycerin can draw moisture out of the hair in dry winter weather?
Hi Gabriella, thanks for all your info! I wonder if you’ve ever tried any CG-friendly shampoo or conditioner bar. I am looking for one because they are so good for travelling, and plastic-free, but often they are heavy with oils and butters. At first I hoped in Lush, but their shampoos have sulphates (their pressed conditioners seem ok though). Have you ever heard of a CG-friendly shampoo bar option that manages to cleanse without weighing hair down? Thanks!
Hi Valeria, I am definitely interested from an eco-friendly point but I haven’t found any that are CG friendly or a good quality that I would be happy to use on my hair. I know one curly who is working on making her own, but I don’t know if she’ll be selling them. Sorry I can’t be of more help.
Hi, I’m new here but please try to find and try a product by agadir argan oil called “curl crème” i swear by it and it is the only product meant for curls and frizz i ever have 100% been able to recommend to anyone. It really is wonderful hold curls and controls frizz completely for 3 days (no lie) my hair looks even smoother and frizz free after sleeping with the product in my hair by far my holy grail.
Hi Krystal, that product is NOT curly girl friendly unfortunately, as it contains both silicone and wax, very high up in the ingredients too.
Alexis King says
Can you advise whether you alternate the Coconut Cowash and Sally’s Beauty Generic Brand Conditioning Balm?
Hi, I don’t use either of those very often any more. But they are two different products, so I wouldn’t alternate. The co wash is a cleanser, the GVP Conditioning Balm is a conditioner. Hope that clarifies things.x
Olaplex #3 isn’t a deep conditioner or even a conditioner at all.
Correct, it’s a bond builder.
Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into this blog, Gabriella. It’s a MASSIVE help when trying to sort all this out and I appreciate the effort!
I just took a look at the KY Jelly options here in the US, and methylparaben is one of the handful of ingredients. I may be mixing things up at this point, but aren’t parabens on the ‘no’ list? Are there any CG-friendly alternatives if that’s the case?
And I double-checked and found isopropyl alcohol in the Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Conditioning Balm I just bought on Amazon. UGH. But in the two times I’ve used it so far, my hair seems to truly love it. I wonder if I can get away with that until I find a way to get the Sally alternative?
Thank you again for the help and your advice to all of us. Be safe and well.
Hi Amy, parabens aren’t an issue for me personally and I don’t have an issue with them being in product ingredients lists. I think you may have the wrong Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner. It’s not the Ultra one.
Hi Gabriella, thank-you for all the info it’s super helpful for those new to the Curly Girl method like me!
I’m just starting to try out new products but I’m worried about getting the right ones for my hair type. I really like the look of the Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner but I’m worried if it might be a little too heavy for my low-density hair? Any advice you have would be much appreciated! (I’m 3A medium porosity if that helps at all!) xx
Hi Sydney, glad you’re finding my content helpful. Starting the CG method can be overwhelming at first, like most things. I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics which are 30 minute video consultations where we go through your hair, what questions you have, things you may be struggling with or would like my advice/guidance on. And then I put together a recommended technique and product routine for you, specific to your hair’s needs. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form and I”ll get back to you via email with all the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact