Jessicurl Ingredients PhilosophyI developed the Jessicurl line after realizing that most products on the market contain ingredients that are bad for my hair. Whether drying alcohols in hair gels, or harsh detergents in shampoos, nothing ever seemed to treat my hair with the respect I felt it deserved. This article is intended to educate other curlies as to why I avoid certain ingredients in Jessicurl products.
Silicones: 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. The downside is that most silicones are not water soluble, and can only be removed with harsh detergents. The very detergents needed to remove the silicones strip the hair of all its natural oils, leaving it frizzy and straw-like. This causes the user to think she needs more silicones to combat the dryness. Thus, the cycle begins again. If the user is not using these harsh detergents to remove the silicones, they can build up, creating a barrier on the hair shaft. This barrier prevents moisturizing conditioners from penetrating the hair, further drying it out.
Jessicurl products do not use any silicones. I feel that by using ingredients that IMPROVE the health of the hair rather than masking the damage, the end result is a much more vibrant head of curls.
Alcohols: I also avoid the use of any drying alcohols in my styling products whenever possible and minimize their use if it’s not possible to avoid them altogether. Many hair gels contain SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol. These ingredients are often included to help the hair dry faster during the styling process. The end result is that they also dry the hair out over time, leaving the user desperate for something to fix the dryness. You will note on the ingredients label for our Spiralicious Styling Gel that it does contain a drying alcohol, ethanol, to be exact. Our bottles of Spiralicious contain about 7/10ths of one percent ethanol. Ethanol is a necessary component in Polyquaternium 69 which is one of the ingredients we use in that gel. Spiralicious is our most popular product and has been used on curlies around the world (including me) for well over a year now and we have never had a single report of it causing dryness. The proportion of ethanol is so low in this product that it does not have a negative effect.
There ARE, however, a number of alcohols that are actually good for the hair, and are what provide the 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 will never find any of the bad ones in any of my products and are better off avoiding them all together, as they're really just horrible for curly hair.
Sulfates: Another problem area for curly hair is shampoo. Personally, the wrong shampoo is my fastest ticket to a bad hair day. Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair, one reason being that the oils naturally produced by the scalp have a hard time making their way down all of our loopy ringlets. Add to this the fact that most curly heads (with good reason) don't brush their hair, and you have the potential for real dryness, even on hair that is not chemically treated. When using a shampoo that has any of the Sulfate surfactants in it, the curls are often left stripped, parched and feeling like straw. I speak from experience on this one. I used to dread the 2 days a week I forced myself to wash my hair. I just KNEW I'd have bad hair for a few days until my scalp could replenish the oils I stripped from it. I'd even plan my hair washing around important events - if the prom was on Saturday, I’d wash my hair no later than Wednesday to help 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, and it wasn’t until I began making my own with gentle cleansing agents that I could wash my hair and have it actually look good the SAME day.
Because of this, my Gentle Lather Shampoo and Hair Cleansing Cream use only the most gentle cleansing agents, such as Decyl Polyglucose and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, ensuring that you have a good hair day EVERY day, not just 3 days after washing.
I am not interested in creating unhealthy dependency on Jessicurl 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 respect, and feel that you’ll really like the results.