Drugstore Curly Girl Products List 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 AND clean curly girl approved products almost seems like a unicorn, but lately, more brands are coming out with products that fall into this category. 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.
Curly Girl Approved Shampoo
This is our top pick for a budget-friendly shampoo because it cleans well, is gentle, and has great ingredients.
- Acure Mega Moisture shampoo
- Acure Lemongrass shampoo (this shampoo is not clarifying even though it says it is on the label)
- Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo (also not clarifying but it’s not very moisturizing)
- Desert Essence Organic Pure Shampoo Fragrance Free
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo
- Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner Bundle
- As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner
- Inahsi Soothing Mint Sulfate Free Gentle Cleansing Shampoo
- Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo
Curly Girl Approved Clarifying Shampoo
*Note: to be clarifying a shampoo must have the ingredient olefin sulfonate
- Kinky Curly Come Clean clarifying shampoo
- Mop Top Gentle shampoo
- Mop Top Detox clarifying shampoo
- Inahsi Naturals clarifying shampoo
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo
- Cantu Cleansing Cream Shampoo
- TWIST Hit Reset Light Clarifying Shampoo
Curly Girl Approved Conditioner
- Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner
- Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat conditioner
- Desert Essence Conditioner Coconut
- Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming Conditioner
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
- Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
- Mop Top Daily Conditioner
- Mop Top Light Conditioner
- Everyone Volume Conditioner
- Alaffia Everyday Shea conditioner
- Andalou Naturals Brilliant Shine conditioner
- TWIST Gimme-It-All Conditioner
Curly Girl Approved Leave-in Conditioner
KCKT is a cult favorite because of its great slip for detangling and softening, while not being heavy.
- Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner
- Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner
- Andalou Naturals Argan Oil leave-in conditioner
- Curls Blueberry Bliss leave-in conditioner
- Mop Top Bamboo Essence leave-in conditioner
- Cantu Natural leave-in conditioning cream
Curly Girl Approved Deep Conditioner
The Garnier Avocado Mask is a steal for its value. You can't beat the effectiveness at this price point!
- SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
- Andalou Naturals Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
- Pacifica Pineapple Hydrate Mask
- Garnier Fructis Avocado mask
- Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner
Curly Girl Approved Styling Products
This Garnier Furctis gel will give you definition, hold, reduce frizz, and last for days at a great price.
- Giovanni L.A. Natural gel
- Giovanni Natural Mousse
- As I Am Smoothing Gel, 8 Ounce
- Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling Gel
- Garnier Fructis Style Curl Treat Shaping Jelly
- SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle
- Kinky Curly Curl Custard Gel
- Mill Creek Styling Gel
- Mop Top Curly Hair Custard
- Cantu Shea Butter Hair Curling Custard
- Eco Styler Gel Olive Oil
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.
- Hair buff
- hairdryer and this diffuser attachment (yes it fits the dryer)
- silk pillowcase
- satin pillowcase
- root clips
- hair towel use code HOLISTICENCHILADA to save 15%
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.
You can also read my other popular posts on curly hair:
- A Basic Guide to the Curly Girl Method for Wavy & Curly Hair
- What Products You Really Need To Start The Curly Girl Method
- Curly Girl Method Routine for 2B 2C 3A Hair
- 50+ Curly Girl Method Approved Products
- Curly Girl Night Routine To Protect Your Curls At Night
- How To Refresh Curly Hair
- Tips For Fine & Low Density Curly Hair
- How To Clarify Curly Hair
- Rice Water Rinse Guide
- 14 Hacks For Curly and Wavy Hair
- How To Repair Damaged Curly Hair
- Curly Girl Method Before and After – 1 Year Progress Update
- Ultimate Guide to Hair Porosity for Curly Hair
- My Favorite Products for Fine Curly Hair
- 11 Surprising Reasons You Have Frizz + Tips to Beat Frizz
- Common Causes of Limp Curls & Their Fixes
- Guide to Humidity & Weather Styling
- EVOLVh Review
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.
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.
What about cantu products for shampoo and conditioner?
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.
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.
What do you think of Cantu Beauty’s products for the CG method?
I have not used Cantu. I just saw another comment about this brand so I’ll look into that brand and add it if it checks out.
Thank you for this list!! I’ve been looking for. List like this, especially for cruelty free products!!
You’re welcome! 🙂
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.
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.
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?
These are all just cheaper, not specific to what I’d use. For high humidity, I’d recommend Giovanni LA Hold gel, which I need to add to this roundup.
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?
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.
Haven’t heard of them so I’ll check it out. Thanks for sharing!
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.
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.
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.
Thanks Natalie! I did not know there are multiple lines from Cantu. Will have a look.
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.
Yes it is approved. I need to add it
Have you tried the new As I Am line yet?
I have not but it is on my list.
How about not your mother’s brand of curling products
I don’t really like their products with the exception of the dry shampoo, just because most dry shampoos suck.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
What is good to help curly hair grow?
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.
I use Acure lemongrass shampoo, is the conditioner also approved?
Yes, all the Acure shampoos and conditioners are approved.
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.
I don’t have those products listed here because they are expensive, but I do recommend that brand.
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/
Thanks for sharing! I can check them out. I actually really love Vida Bars which are cg approved shampoo and conditioner bars.
Have you tried Curly World products?
Not yet but I want to.
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?
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.