Which Ingredients to Look For and to Watch Out For

When you are purchasing black hair products, there are certain ingredients that you will benefit from and then there are some that are will only benefit the manufacturer, (like preservatives), or will only provide consistency, color, smell, or texture to the product.

In general, the less ingredients, the better! It's just like shopping for food. If you can't pronounce it, chances are it's not natural. There are exceptions to the rule, like tocopherols which is a form of vitamin E which is a natural preservative.

This list is not a bible by any means. If you have been using a product that contains these items and your hair is thriving, then don't stop. This just means that your regime is healthy and you are repairing any damage that the products may have caused or are causing.

I am going to give you a list of ingredients to avoid and then which one you should look for in a good shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer.


Ingredients to Avoid
  1. Petroleum - this coats your shaft and is hard to wash out. It will prevent need moisture from getting in.
  2. Mineral Oil
  3. Isopropyl Alcohol - alcohol that dries out our hair. Also known as isoporpanol
  4. liquid paraffin - another name for mineral oil
  5. sulfates - This is an iffy one. Sulfates are what cause your shampoo to lather and some don't mind having it in their shampoo. It does strip out natural oils and since our hair is naturally dry, some people tend to avoid them. Those who don't have a problem with them add steps to their regime to add and seal in the lost moisture. However, I would not use them on a daily basis
  6. Lanolin
  7. cones - Silicones cause buildup in your hair but not everyone agrees that they cause harm to your hair. I think the main to remember is that they do cause build up and they do block moisture. If you are not washing often, I mean clarifying, then maybe you should try to avoid products that contain cones.
  8. Color and Fragrance - These are unnecessary chemicals.

What You Want in Your Shampoo

  • Sodium laureth sulfate - This is derived from coconut oil and is a mild hair cleanser.
  • propylene glycole - derived from coconut oil, it attracts and locks in moisture.
  • Lauramide DEA - derived from palm trees, it is a gentle foam enhancer.
  • Cocamidopropylamine oxide - mild detergent with conditioning properties.

The above list was taken from the book by Tulani Kinard, No Lye!. New York, 1997.

  • Creamy moisturizing salon quality shampoos are best.
  • wheat germ oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Nut Oils


What to Look For in Your Conditioner

First of all you want to look for a really good moisturizing deep conditioner. The instant conditioners and leave-in conditioners are great if you are short on time but please believe that you will appreciate a good deep conditioning on a regular basis. Deep conditioners actually penetrate the hair shaft.

  • Panthenol - provides moisture
  • Natural Oils
  • Water
  • Protein


Great Moisturizers

If you think about how important it is to moisturize often, (I moisturize daily and pay close attention to my ends), you know that you should try your best to use one that has natural oils, water, and pathenol.

Back to Black Hair Care Products from Ingredients

Back to Black Hairstyles MagazineHome from Ingredients


What Our Visitors Say About Us

"This site is one of the best sites on the internet with accurate information. Some of the sites make me smh."

"Blackhairstylesmag.com went above and beyond to answer my questions. There is information here that is so basic, it makes my head spin that so many people don't know about it. I now know how to wash my hair!!"

"Great Site"

"I had never even heard of Sisterlocks before this site and now I am locked and happy"

Try our Natural Hair Moisturizer which includes extra virgin coconut oil, organic, raw shea butter, grapeseed oil, golden jojoba oil, organic aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerin.