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60 Affordable Curly Girl Method Approved Products 2023

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Are you looking for affordable curly girl method approved products to start the curly girl method? We all know switching to the Curly Girl Method can get expensive as you experiment with different curly girl method products or if you’re a product junkie.

Finding affordable that actually work for most hair types almost seems like a unicorn, but lately, more brands are coming out with products that cater to all hair types. Lucky for you, I’ve rounded up over 50 affordable curly girl products!

Buy Products For Your Hair Type

Before you start shopping for hair products, it’s helpful to know your hair type. Choosing the right products is based on the characteristics of your hair, and not your curl pattern. Not all curly hair products work on all curly hair. I learned that the hard way.

If you don’t already know your texture, density, and porosity, take the quiz below. You’ll also get product and styling tips based on your hair type.

How to tell if hair products are curly girl approved

If you have my getting started guide, you already know this. But you can also do it the easy way.

Check if products are curly girl approved by using the site isitcg.com. You just search for the product or paste the ingredients in and it will tell you if it’s CG approved or not.

Delilah shows her beautiful curls using Mop Top custard and As I Am Co-Wash some affordable curly girl products

Curly Girl Approved Shampoo

Top Pick
Giovanni Cosmetics Eco Chic Smooth as Silk Shampoo
$9.62 ($1.13 / Fl Oz)

This is our top pick for a budget-friendly shampoo because it cleans well, is gentle, and has great ingredients.

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03/09/2024 07:42 pm GMT
  1. Acure Mega Moisture shampoo
  2. Acure Lemongrass shampoo (this shampoo is not clarifying even though it says it is on the label)
  3. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo (also not clarifying but it’s not very moisturizing)
  4. Desert Essence Organic Pure Shampoo Fragrance Free
  5. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
  6. Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner Bundle
  7. As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner
  8. Inahsi Soothing Mint Sulfate Free Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
  9. Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo
  10. Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Shampoo
curly girl method products shampoo and conditioner Acure brand on marble counter

Curly Girl Approved Clarifying Shampoo

*Note: to be clarifying a shampoo must have the ingredient olefin sulfonate

Top Pick
TWIST Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo
$11.99 $7.00 ($0.54 / Fl Oz)

The TWIST Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo is not too strong but strong enough to remove buildup without stripping your hair.

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  1. Kinky Curly Come Clean clarifying shampoo
  2. Mop Top Gentle shampoo
  3. Mop Top Detox clarifying shampoo
  4. Inahsi Naturals clarifying shampoo
  5. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo
  6. Cantu Cleansing Cream Shampoo
  7. TWIST Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo

Curly Girl Approved Conditioner

Top Pick
TWIST Gimme It All 4-in-1 Hydrating Conditioner
$11.99 $8.79 ($0.55 / Ounce)

This TWIST conditioner is a great balance of what our curls need for softness and minimal frizz at a low price.

*Note on the ingredient isohexadecane: Many sites say this is not an approved ingredient. However, this will completely wash out even with only cowash so it is indeed safe.

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  1. Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner
  2. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat conditioner
  3. Desert Essence Conditioner Coconut
  4. Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming Conditioner
  5. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
  6. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
  7. Mop Top Daily Conditioner
  8. Mop Top Light Conditioner
  9. Everyone Volume Conditioner
  10. Alaffia Everyday Shea conditioner
  11. Andalou Naturals Brilliant Shine conditioner
  12. TWIST Gimme-It-All Conditioner
  13. Maui Moisture Lightweight Hydration + Hibiscus Water Conditioner
Delilah Orpi in patterned robe turned to show long curls after using curly girl method approved products deep conditioner

Curly Girl Approved Leave-in Conditioner

Top Pick
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner
$15.25 ($1.91 / Ounce)

KCKT is a cult favorite because of its great slip for detangling and softening, while not being heavy.

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  1. Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner
  2. Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner
  3. Andalou Naturals Argan Oil leave-in conditioner
  4. Curls Blueberry Bliss leave-in conditioner
  5. Mop Top Bamboo Essence leave-in conditioner
  6. Cantu Natural leave-in conditioning cream

Curly Girl Approved Deep Conditioner

Top Pick
Garnier Fructis Smoothing Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask with Avocado Extract
$15.75 ($4.63 / Fl Oz)

The Garnier Avocado Mask is a steal for its value. You can't beat the effectiveness at this price point!

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  1. SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
  2. Andalou Naturals Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
  3. Pacifica Pineapple Hydrate Mask
  4. Garnier Fructis Avocado mask
  5. Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner
  6. Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask
curly girl approved products Giovanni brand shampoo and styling foam on counter

Curly Girl Approved Styling Products

Top Pick
Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling Gel, 6.8 Ounces
$5.99 $4.73 ($0.70 / Fl Oz)

This Garnier Furctis gel will give you definition, hold, reduce frizz, and last for days at a great price.

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  1. Giovanni L.A. Natural gel
  2. Giovanni Natural Mousse
  3. As I Am Smoothing Gel
  4. Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling Gel
  5. Garnier Fructis Style Curl Treat Shaping Jelly
  6. SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  7. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse
  8. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
  9. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle
  10. Kinky Curly Curl Custard Gel
  11. Mill Creek Styling Gel
  12. Mop Top Curly Hair Custard
  13. Cantu Shea Butter Hair Curling Custard
  14. Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Hydrating Curl Smoothie
  15. Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly Scrunching Jelly

Curly Girl Method Accessories

I’ll only mention a few of the accessories I use on a regular basis to help keep my curls looking good and last between washes. None of these are necessary but they help.

Curly Product Handbook mockup

Product Matching Guide

You should also check out my product matching guide, The Curly Product Handbook, to help you choose the right products for your hair type. There are so many things to consider when choosing products and this guide will help you narrow down what you need to look for.

This product guide will help you identify your hair type and characteristics, provide some styling tips, and list exact products that will work on your hair type. Click here for more info.

A Note on Affordable Curly Girl Products & Ingredients

While I absolutely love EVOLVh, I know it seems pricey to some. This stuff lasts me an entire year and therefore is actually cheaper than budget brands, but I know the upfront cost is a barrier to some.

So here I list some more affordable curl girl friendly brands and products you can try. These are all cleaner as some do have fragrance or a questionable ingredient.

If you are picky about using clean ingredients then make sure you read the ingredients label before purchasing any of these. They are all curly girl method approved products so you only need to look for ingredients you’re avoiding for other reasons.

With some of these, like Shea Moisture, they can cause buildup over time so you would need to clarify regularly (once a month). Also, ensure you’re deep conditioning 1-4 times a month.

For more info on the curly girl method, check out my basic guide for both wavy and curly hair, or join my course Fabulous Curls Academy.

If there are other products you know of let me know so I can add them to the list. This list is specifically for nontoxic curly girl products so that is why I have left out some of the other popular brands and products.

Check out my Favorite Products for Fine Curly Hair if you have hair like mine and want to see what’s working for me. You should also know your hair porosity to figure out which products will work best. Check out my Guide to Hair Porosity to figure that out and get more tips.

Click here for tips on product application and methods.

If you want help with embracing your naturally wavy or curly hair, you can join my FREE email course and download my FREE pdf guide, THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MASTERING YOUR CURLS, full of everything you need to know to get started and bring out your beautiful waves and curls.

Facebook group simple curlies and wavies

Want to remember this? Save Affordable & Clean Curly Girl Method Approved Products to your favorite Pinterest board!

curly girl method approved list of 50+ products to try

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  1. Aussie hair products has a line that I think is in line with the curly girl method. You may want to add them to to your list, because they are very affordable.

    1. Hi Rachel. I just looked it up, Aussie Miracle Curls. I checked the ingredients but they are not CG as they contain sulfates and silicones, and they also contain artificial colors along with some other toxic ingredients so it wouldn’t be classified a clean line either.

    1. I have heard of others using this brand but I have not checked them out. I’ll have a look and add to the list if they check out.

      1. Some cantu products yes CG, others no. Cantu Leave in Conditioning Cream is CG, but not the Cantu Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream. SO CLOSE. Bring a list when you go shopping.

  2. I’ve just started using the Evolvh products and my waves still tend to get frizzy toward the end of the day. Will that get better over time? I guess I just want to make sure Evolvh is the right product for waves too.

    1. Hi Jody. If you’re new to the CG method and your hair is still “healing” then yes, you will have some frizz no matter what. My suggestion is you leave in some more conditioner. SInce Evolvh is so light, try squeezing in a tiny amount of the regular conditioner to just your ends in addition to the spray leave in and see if that helps. Frizz usually means there is not enough moisturizer. Also, make sure you’re deep conditioning regularly! I think Evolvh is probably best for waves because it is much lighter than other curly brands.

  3. I know you live in a high humdity area. I live on the ither coast of fl in fort myers. Are all these just cheaper products or are they cheap and good for humidty? Do they have humectants in them?

  4. Hi,

    I’m currently using the shea moisture shampoo/conditioner and it is WAY too heavy for my hair. It also gives my hair a slightly grimy feeling that prevents me from being able to straighten my hair without it looking and feeling greasy. I don’t straighten my hair often but I do like when I have the option. Do you know if Evolvh or any of the other options you mentioned might solve these issues?

  5. Hi. I just found you. Pinterest and followed you on Instagram. I wanted to add that Alikay Naturals has an awesome line of CG friendly products. Their new Lemongrass line is amazing. The leave in spray and the gel are so nice and smell delicious and their mousse is also wonderful. I didn’t know. You already knew about their line or not. Thank you for your knowledge and helping us new to the CG method.

  6. How about devacurl? Do you have anything good to say about that line of hair care? My hair is fine with some waves and curls but I can’t gey it to be more uniform and un-frizzy.

    1. Yes, I used to use them when I first started CG. I like some of the products but I didn’t include the brand because they’re really not affordable or clean and that was the focus of this post. It took me a long time to get uniformity and frizz is a never ending battle. Just be patient and take care of your hair. Experiment with different methods and you’ll find what works for you.

  7. Just wanted to mention for all the Cantu questions that there are MULTIPLE Cantu lines but most people are referring to the original (Classic – really orange packaging), and Cantu FOR NATURAL HAIR. The natural hair line is the one that doesn’t have silicones and sulfates – the classic line does. The containers for the natural line are usually white/translucent/clear with the signature Cantu orange color in the accents or the label. I do modified CG and have used some products in the natural hair line. I can’t speak for the others but I would assume the kids line would be similar.

  8. Hi! Was wondering if the Trader Joe’s conditioner was not acceptable for the CG method? I saw that the Shampoo was top of the list.

  9. I just checked some of these products on the “Think Dirty” app, and more than one aren’t “clean” – which is a misleading word anyway 😉 It should be “safe to use healthwise”.
    Curls Blueberry Bliss aren’t for example.

    1. Hi Mal. Yes that app scores some products an 8 solely on the fact that they have fragrance, as is the case with this product. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, it is up to you to determine what ingredients and products are “clean” as that differs for everyone and check each product. I am simply trying to share the most common and affordable options to give people a starting point. Some people avoid fragrance (I do) but others don’t.

  10. I tried a friend’s Hair La Vie Cleanser & Conditioner and liked it. It looks like it would fit the Curly Girl (CG) criteria but it is very expensive (~$45 for bottle of poo & conditioner)! Would you please let me know if it does indeed fit the CG requirements, and (PLEASE) if there is something cheaper that is similar? I am in LOVE w/the list of ingredients on these 2 products.

    Thanks for your time & info!

    1. Hi Karen! I cannot find the ingredients lists for the products on their website. I recommend you use isitcg.com or curlsbot.com to check if the ingredients are approved.

  11. THANK YOU! Oh my God, I love you. I have been thoroughly demoralized, heartbroken, and just plain embarrassed about my hair post-DevaCurl destruction. I have several noticeable bald spots and my crown is incredibly thin, easily 30% missing is from what was already fine, thin hair. And I’ve been trying products and absolutely hating them – Kinky, Curly Custard, Aussie, Eco gel, etc.

    I bookmarked this and went to Whole Foods yesterday and saw they had the Giavanni line you approved and bought the shampoo, conditioner, and the LA gel. Then I got home and read your latest review of MopTo, so I was going to return them and get that. But I looked disgusting, had a kid come home from school sick, so just decided to use them. And I look so much better! I feel human. I’m so relieved. That gel is amazing.

    I’ll still give MopTop a whirl, but at least I have something that I really, really like now.

    I so appreciate this blog and you sharing your info. Thank you SO much!

    1. Hi Tracy. I’m so glad to hear it went well with the Giovanni products. They are very popular. And yeah I love the MopTop but you can try it another time. Both brands are good.

    1. I have heard of using castor oil but not sure how effective it is. There is evidence that doing daily scalp massages (just using your fingers and no products) works for this, but it has to be daily and for 5 minutes. If you have a lot of shedding be sure to get checked by your Dr as it’s often a nutrient deficiency or medical condition such as thyroid/hormone disease. Proper care is what will help it from breaking.

  12. HI, you mentioned JESSIECURL as one of your products that you like but it was not listed under any of your
    listings of curly girl approved products of shampoo, conditioner etc.

  13. I only recently heard about the Curly Girl method and am excited to get started. Due to the pandemic, I have not had a haircut since Feb so, in general, I have been playing with a new head of hair this year. I am on a mission to reduce the number of plastics we bring into our home and add to the waste stream. To that end, in the spring I started using the products from Beauty and the Bees, an Australian company that makes bar shampoos and conditioners. They have worked really well for me and I believe that they would be considered CG approved. I’m not 100% sure about the Silk conditioner. Thought you might like to take a look at them and add them to the list if appropriate. Hair product packaging is a large source of plastics and it would be great to help diminish that. https://beautyandthebees.net/

  14. You listed Cantù cleansing cream shampoo as curly girl approved shampoo on your list. However it is has olefin sulfonate in it so it is a clarifying shampoo then, not one to use on a regular basis?

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, I just moved it to the clarifying section. I think it can still be used on a regular basis if it isn’t drying your hair. I use a “clarifying” shampoo for every wash and my hair is happy.

  15. I haven’t tried anything here yet (planning too get one of the listed clarifying shampoos and a deep conditioner); but I wanted to add to your list of approved conditioners.

    Salon care white tea ginger conditioner

    It can be found at Sally beauty supply for about $10 for a gallon. It can NOT be found online (unless you want to spend 3-5 times the price).

    Due to not being able to purchase online, the ingredients can’t be found online either, so I’ll put them here. I already checked using the 2 websites that check ingredients, it is approved (but with some cautions, so read the ingredients, especially if your hair already has too much protein, as this has keratin in it)

    Ingredients: water (aqua, eau), cetyl alcohol, stearalkonium chloride, propylene glycol, dmdm hydantoin, dicetyldimonium chloride, fragrance (parfum), polysorbate 20, benzoyl benzoate, citric acid, hydrolyzed keratin, camellia sinensis leaf extract, zingiber officials (ginger) root extract

    I was incredibly excited to see that the ingredients are approved, because this conditioner is THE BEST! I easily detangle with my fingers in the shower, it rinses out easily so that my hair actually feel squeaky clean, and I rarely get tangles during the day- I literally haven’t had to brush my hair for at least a year now because of how amazing this cheap conditioner is!

    I hope you look into it more and add it, and I hope this helps anyone reading the comments 🙂

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