Let's start with silicones. Silicones are viscous oily liquids that coat the hair shaft in gloss, giving the illusion of healthy sheen. As most curly hair tends to be dry and often frizzy, silicones seem like the miracle ingredient to combat these complaints. But often times they’re not.
The downside is that most silicones are not water soluble, meaning they can’t be dissolved in water. This is a problem because it means they can only be removed with harsh detergents. The very detergents needed to remove the silicones strip the hair of all its natural oils. This leaves it frizzy and straw-like. This tricks you into thinking you need more silicones to combat the dryness. Thus, the cycle begins again. If you don’t use these detergents to remove the silicones, they build up, creating a barrier on the hair shaft. This barrier prevents moisturizing conditioners from penetrating the hair and further drying it out.
Jessicurl products don’t use any silicones. By using ingredients that IMPROVE the health of your hair rather than hiding damage, the result is a more vibrant head of curls.
NO DRYING ALCOHOLS
I do everything I can to avoid using any drying alcohols in my styling products and minimize their use when it’s not. Many hair gels contain SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol. These ingredients are usually included to help dry your hair faster during the styling process. However, they also dry hair out over time which leaves the user desperate for something to fix the dryness.
You’ll note the ingredients lists for our Spiralicious Styling Gel does contain a drying alcohol. Ethanol, to be exact. Our bottles of Spiralicious contain about 7/10ths of 1% ethanol. It’s a necessary part in making Polyquaternium 69, one of the ingredients we use in that gel. However, the amount of ethanol is so low in this gel that it doesn’t have any negative effects. It’s been used on curlies around the world (including me) for well over a year now. We’ve never had a single report of it causing dryness.
There ARE, however, certain types of alcohols that are actually good for the hair. These are what give that creamy consistency to most conditioners. The good ones are Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Behenyl alcohol. The bad ones are SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol. You’ll never find any of the bad ones in any of my products and should avoid them all together. They're really just horrible for curly hair.
NO HARSH SULFATES
Another problem area for curly hair is shampoo. Personally, the wrong shampoo is my fastest ticket to a bad hair day, which is why I don't add sulfates to ours! Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair. Oils naturally produced by the scalp have a hard time making their way down all of our loopy ringlets. Add to this that most curly heads (with good reason) don't brush their hair and you have potential for real dryness. Even hair that is not chemically treated is at risk. When using a shampoo that has sulfate surfactants, the curls often are left stripped, parched and feeling like straw. I speak from experience on this one. I used to dread the two days a week I forced myself to wash my hair. I just KNEW I'd have bad hair until my scalp could replenish the oils. I'd even plan my hair washing around important events. If the prom was Saturday, I’d wash my hair by Wednesday to increase my chances of a good hair day. My curly-headed dad gave me that tip. Thanks, Dad!
I was unaware that the ingredients in the shampoo made such a difference. It wasn’t until I began making my own with gentle cleansing agents that I could wash my hair and have it look good the SAME day. Because of this, Gentle Lather Shampoo and Hair Cleansing Cream only use gentle cleansing agents like Decyl Polyglucose and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. This ensures that you have a good hair day EVERY day, not just three days after washing. I’m not interested in creating unhealthy dependency on Jessicurl hair care products.
My conditioners moisturize without coating the hair. The cleansers gently wash without stripping. And the styling products sculpt soft curls without building up on the hair. I believe in treating your hair with the respect it deserves and that you’ll love the results.