The Curly Girl Method was originally founded by DevaCurl co-founder, Lorraine Massey, for the express purpose of giving people a foolproof guide to improve and maintain their naturally curly hair. This guide serves as a handbook that details the best methods to get excellent curls by using specific, stylish techniques and products.
Although the Curly Girl Method does differ slightly due to people having different types of hair, the theory works more or less the same for everyone. However, it doesn’t simply tell people what to do; it also tells them what products to avoid.
Naturally, if you don’t follow the guidelines properly, you are liable to end up with frizz or dull hair. Using just one product that isn’t Curly Girl approved is enough to ruin all of your hair preparation efforts. This is why you should pay extra attention to product labels and have the knowledge of what is and isn’t Curly Girl approved.
Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls
The name sort of says everything you need to know about this product. If you are looking to get curly hair that is as soft as a pillow, then you might have set your eyes on Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls. The product claims to have merged the worlds of fabric care and hair care and resulted in a combination that gives users soft curls that are beyond comparison. However, the question remains: is Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls Curly Girl approved?
The short answer to this question is no, Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls are not approved by the guidelines set by the Curly Girl Method since the product uses amodimethicone. To understand why this is the case, we have to understand what emollients are and how they are used in hair care.
You might have heard the term emollient in regards to skincare products, but emollients have their way into the hair care glossary. In skincare, emollients are used in products to give them a good spreadability that becomes a thin layer that softens the skin without becoming greasy. Taking that and turning it into the world of hair care, we get that emollients create a very thin film on the hair which then serves to soften it without giving it a greasy texture.
If we get more specific, emollients in hair care are mainly made up of hydrophobic oils that form a thin layer on the hair, where they serve as a sealant. They work as a lubricant that stops the drag and friction between hair for the purpose of making your curls easier to detangle. In addition, they also manage to reduce the tangling overall by making the cuticle surface extremely leveled and flat. Some emollients are even able to easily penetrate the hair and work from the inside to add strength and elasticity to the strand.
What’s Bad About Emollients?
Most types of emollients will include ingredients such as dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, amodimethicone, and other types of silicone. If you have been paying attention to the Curly Girl Method, then you already know that silicone is a big no-no for natural curls. Although silicones do offer great benefits, such as a silky smooth feeling in your hair, combating frizz, and entanglement, they also come with some downsides.
Enter the “bad silicones,” a non-water soluble silicone that decides to stick around longer than what we want. These silicones build up in your on your hair and will not be removed with a simple wash. They can also prevent your hair from getting the vital nutrients it needs by creating a film on the surface of the hair strand. Lastly, silicones can weigh down your hair and therefore end up making your curls become straighter and harder to manage.
Can I Use Silicone in My Hair?
If you are looking to strictly stick to the Curly Girl Method, then you should avoid most types of silicone in hair care products. However, things aren’t that simple in a general setting. The situation can vary from person to person, so while the Curly Girl Method prohibits the use of silicone, it can be used in moderation along with the right type of silicone. We have already established that using silicone offers plenty of benefits, and its usage is widespread throughout the hair care industry for good reason. There are exceptions to the rule so you need to understand the effects of silicone and how that relates to your hair circumstance.
Curly Girl Method Silicones to Avoid
Unfortunately, the list of silicones that should be avoided in the Curly Girl Method is quite extensive, Keep an eye out for any silicone with the suffix xane, cone, con, and for the variants of dimethicone. All these will be the previously discussed non-water soluble silicones that tend to become buildup in your hair. You should note that names for silicones are created on a regular basis, and you can fall prey to the usage of these new terms if you aren’t keeping up with the ever-expanding list of “bad silicones.”
Here is a quick list of the main silicones you will see in products and should avoid:
- Aminopropyl triethoxysilane
- Behenoxy Dimethicone
- Bis-aminopropyl dimethicone
What About the Good Silicones?
Now that we have gone over the “bad silicones,” you might start to wonder where the “good silicones” are, and luckily, there are some silicones that are considered alright to use in your hair.
Luckily, it is much easier to spot good silicone ingredients since they all come with the prefix “peg” or “ppg” in their name. Silicones with those words are all soluble in water. Why exactly do you want water-soluble silicone ingredients?
The raw ingredients used in silicone can stick to your hair, but water-soluble ingredients can wash off your hair with a simple rinse in water. Unlike other silicone ingredients, there is no need to use powerful conditioners that strip your scalp and hair of important substances such as sebum.
Is There a Miss Jessie Product Alternative That Is Curly Girl Approved?
If you are an avid supporter of the Miss Jessie brand but you also do not wish to stray from the guidelines set by the Curly Girl Method, then you might still have some alternatives.
If you are set on getting softer curls, then you can try Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls. It manages to deliver definition, bounce, and some shine to your curls thanks to its Curly Girl-approved formula. While it does use emollients like Pillow Soft Curls, it does not feature any of the “bad silicones” that linger in your hair. The gel is clear and dries very quickly, so there is no problem getting ready in the morning, plus it has a slight scent that you might enjoy.
Other Non-Miss Jessie Product That Could Do the Job
If you are fine with going outside the Miss Jessie brand, then there are also plenty of their products that could get the job done for you. All while staying within the rules of the Curly Girl Method.
You can try out Ouidad’s VitalCurl+ Define & Shine Gel-Cream if you can’t decide between a cream or gel to style your curls. This product should be able to maintain your curls’ definition, retain moisture, bounce, and elasticity. It also gives you a very natural look, so there is no concern that any gel residue will be visible hours after application.
How to Know What is Curly Girl Method Approved?
If you are feeling confused about what is and what isn’t Curly Girl Method approved, then you would not be alone. This type of issue isn’t your fault since the rules that people follow for the Curly Girl Method will inevitably vary depending on individual needs. What works for some will not work for everyone. All you can do is get familiar with the needs of your curls and do your own research to see if the products you are looking at meet those needs.