Updated: Feb 24, 2020
According to their website and the label on the bottle, Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner is made for “curls, coils, kinks and waves.” However, when researching its ingredients, I barely found evidence that led me to believe it was.
The cleansing conditioner doesn’t have any “sulfates, parabens, mineral oils, artificial colors or petroleum.” It does contain silicones, though. Those who follow the Curly Girl Method know to avoid silicones that aren’t "water soluble", silicones that don’t dissolve in water.
Cyclopentasiloxane, a silicone, was the fourth ingredient listed. The chemical itself isn’t water soluble, but according to Naturally Curly’s Tonya McKay Becker, a polymer scientist and cosmetic chemist, it does evaporate from the hair at room temperature.
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep states Cyclopentasiloxane is “Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful,” it disrupts hormone production and it can accumulate in the environment.
According to Irina Webb, a writer for I Read Labels For You, in 2008, Environment Canada and Health Canada found the chemical might be entering and negatively affecting the environment. They even recommended adding it the list of Toxic Substances.
The Silicones Environmental, Health and Safety Council of North America (SEHSC) asked for a board to review evidence of any environmental impact. In 2012, it was deemed not harmful for the environment. This was shortly contradicted when in 2016, Switzerland reported “linking Cyclopentasiloxane, as one water contaminate” that is toxic to the cells in the human intestines.
So is Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk Cleaning Conditioner truly Curly-Girl-Method Friendly? Technically yes, but I personally wouldn’t use it. It doesn’t stick around in your hair. However, according to Becker, many NaturallyCurly.com users often complain about how Cyclopentasiloxane affects their hair. “I believe that evaporation of the cyclic silicones creates a ruffled hair cuticle that creates a rough, unpleasant texture on the hair surface…” writes Becker.