Is this detergent curly hair friendly?

The original "curly hair" rules pioneered by Lorraine Massey only said:

“Look for sulfate-free products only. Detergents frequently found in shampoo are sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulfate (the harshest), ammonium laureth sulfate (also harsh), and sodium laureth sulfate (harsh). Always check the ingredients list on the product to make sure none of these detergents are included.”

But since then most online communities devoted to the method have adopted stricter rules that forbid either ALL detergents (the co-wash only groups) or sulfates plus some other detergents.

These detergents include ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfoacetate and sodium cocoyl sarcosinate. Curlsbot lists these cleansers as "caution." It's up to you to decide whether they are right for your hair or not. Hair that's low porosity might be fine with these, but they might dry out hair that's high porosity. Also how harsh they are depends on their concentration in the shampoo and the presence of other ingredients.

Curlsbot decides based on what's generally considered safe in the curly hair community (Facebook, Reddit) and data from studies comparing different detergents to sulfates.

If you want to know more I recommend starting a discussion at our Facebook Group or joining one of the communities on our resources page for more guidance.

Harsh Cleansers (considered curl-unfriendly)

    • alkyl benzene sulfonate
    • alkylbenzene sulfonate
    • ammonium cocoyl sulfate
    • ammonium cocoyl sulphate
    • ammonium laureth sulfate
    • ammonium laureth sulphate
    • ammonium lauryl sulfate
    • ammonium lauryl sulphate
    • ammonium xylene-sulfonate
    • ammonium xylenesulfonate
    • ethyl peg-15 cocamine sulfate
    • sodium alkyl sulfate
    • sodium alkyl sulphate
    • sodium c12-18 alkyl sulfate
    • sodium c12-18 alkyl sulphate
    • sodium cetearyl sulfate
    • sodium cetearyl sulphate
    • sodium coceth sulfate
    • sodium coceth sulphate
    • sodium coco sulfate
    • sodium coco sulphate
    • sodium coco-sulfate
    • sodium coco-sulphate
    • sodium cocosulfate
    • sodium cocosulphate
    • sodium laureth sulfate
    • sodium laureth sulphate
    • sodium laureth-40 sulfate
    • sodium laureth-40 sulphate
    • sodium lauryl sulfate
    • sodium lauryl sulphate
    • sodium myreth sulfate
    • sodium myreth sulphate
    • sodium polystyrene sulfate
    • sodium polystyrene sulphate
    • sodium xylene-sulfonate
    • sodium xylenesulfonate
    • tea dodecylbenzenesulfonate
    • tea lauryl sulfate
    • tea lauryl sulphate
    • tea-dodecylbenzenesulfonate
    • triethanolamine lauryl sulfate
    • triethanolamine lauryl sulphate


Some find these drying, but they are NOT sulfates
    • dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate
    • disodium cocoyl glutamate
    • olefin sulfonate
    • oliefin sulfonate
    • sodium c 14-18 olefin sulfonate
    • sodium c 16-18 olefin sulfonate
    • sodium c12-14 olefin sulfonate
    • sodium c14-15 olefin sulfonate
    • sodium c14-16 olefin sulfonate
    • sodium c14-26 olefin sulfonate
    • sodium cocoyl glutamate
    • sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
    • sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate
    • sodium lauroyl methyl lsethionate
    • sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
    • sodium lauroyl sarcosine
    • sodium lauroylmethyl isethionate
    • sodium lauryl methyl isothionate
    • sodium lauryl sarcosinate
    • sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
    • sodium myristoyl sarcosinate

Gentle Detergents

    • ammonium cocoyl isethionate
    • babassuamidopropyl betaine
    • capryl glucoside
    • caprylyl glucoside
    • cocamidopropyl betaine
    • cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine
    • coco betaine
    • coco glucoside
    • decyl glucoside
    • decyl polyglucose
    • disodium 2-sulfolaurate
    • disodium cocoamphodiacetate
    • disodium cocoamphodipropionate
    • disodium laureth succinate
    • disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
    • disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
    • lauryl glucoside
    • lauryl hydroxysultaine
    • sodium cocoamphoacetate
    • sodium cocoyl isethionate
    • sodium lauroamphoacetate
    • sodium lauroyl glutamate
    • sodium lauroyl hydrolyzed silk
    • sodium lauroyl lactylate
    • sodium lauroyl oat amino acids
    • sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate
    • sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropylsulfonate
    • sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate
    • sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
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