By Heleayner Davies
Searching for the perfect shampoo and conditioner is hard, we get it. From frizz-fighting to curl-quenching and volume boosting, there are an overwhelming amount of options to choose from no matter your hair type or need. However, chances are that the majority of them contain some pretty nasty chemicals that are both harsh on your tresses and the environment.
You’ve probably been lectured by your hairdresser to avoid chemicals and preservatives such as sodium laureth sulphates (SLS), which gives your shampoo that squeaky clean lather that we’re all used to. Why? These ingredients can damage your hair; stripping it of its natural oils and cause irritation, sensitivity and even aggravate conditions such as eczema and psoriasis (no thank you).
Yes, there has been a huge surge in natural haircare brands launching SLS and preservative-free formulas, but many of them are misleading consumers on what is truly defined as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ hair care. In fact, according to ethicalconsumer.org unlike food there are currently no legal standards for the use of the terms ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on beauty products. This needs to change ASAP!
So, if you’re looking to make the switch to a more natural and sustainable alternative, fear not as we have gathered the best shampoo and conditioners that stay true to their ethical values and really work. Whether your hair is coloured, fine or lacking in moisture here are our top 5 editor- approved picks that are guaranteed to make your haircare routine a hell of a lot greener.
A creamy, rich and nourishing shampoo designed to quench dry and colour-treated hair. Free from dulling sodium chloride, this formula works to gently cleanse the hair whilst maintaining the vibrancy of your colour. The addition of Chestnut Milk replenishes and conditions whilst Tomato Extract (I know, this one surprised me too), strengthens and enhances the elasticity of each strand, so that your tresses remain vibrant and glossy. For optimum results pair it with their best-selling NOUNOU Conditioner infused with sweet almond butter and Vitamin F to effortlessly detangle and minimise breakages. No wonder it has 5-star reviews.
Your haircare routine is about to get a whole lot sweeter. This best-selling duo is free from nasties such as silicones, parabens, mineral oils and is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It contains naturally derived cherry blossom and sweet almond oil to restore softness and shine to even the most parched of strands, leaving your hair touchably soft with a weightless volume. The oh-so-sweet aroma is infused with 38 (yes, 38) flower and plant essences including tonka bean, certified organic orange and ylang ylang. The cherry on the cake? (Literally). All of Aveda’s products are sustainably produced using wind power and renewable energy. Obsessed is an understatement.
Healthy, frizz-free and defined curls using all-natural ingredients? It sounds too good to be true! Well, it isn’t! Boucleme is here to bring you the ultimate in plant-powered haircare for your curls. This award-winning UK brand harnesses the power of nature to create effective products that are completely free from sulphates and silicones. Curly hair tends to be the driest and most fragile of hair types; therefore requires nourishing and penetrating ingredients that help strengthen your curls from the inside out.
Their best-selling Curl Cleanser does just that. A non-foaming, hydrating formula that gently eliminates impurities without stripping the hair of its natural moisture balance. It contains honey, argan oil and virgin coconut oil to replenish and revitalise dry, frizzy and dull hair, resulting in perfectly defined and deeply nourished curls after each wash. Pair with the Curl Conditioner; a lightweight, ultra-hydrating formula that includes vitamin E to shield the hair from environmental stressors, restore shine and lock-in moisture. Wave hello to bouncy curls.
4. Fine Hair: Grown Alchemist Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner 0.4
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Grown Alchemist uses only the most effective botanical ingredients in their organic formulations. Free from chemicals, never tested on animals and the super chic apothecary style packaging is made using recyclable glass and premium PET plastic that is easily recycled. If you find that your hair is flat and lifeless by lunchtime (always), we recommend their Volumising Shampoo 0.4. Fortified with Biotin-Vitamin B7, Calendula and Althea extract, this innovative formula works to boost volume, increase thickness and promote hair growth. Follow with the Volumising Conditioner 0.4 to detangle, boost shine and create enviable volume that lasts all day long. Even Beyoncé will be jealous.
5. Oily/Sensitive Scalp: Green People Irritated Scalp Shampoo And Conditioner
If an oily scalp has you washing your hair on the regular, then you could be causing more harm than good. It might sound odd, but washing your hair every day stimulates your scalp’s sebaceous glands and therefore produces more oil. Before you know it, your hair is in a constant state of grease and you find yourself reaching for the shampoo bottle every damn day. Not only that, but oily hair often brings with it an irritated and itchy scalp due to the harsh foaming agents (SLS) that we mentioned above.
Combat this with Green People’s Irritated Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner. Completely free from parabens, SLS and alcohols this clarifying formula contains invigorating Rosemary and Pineapple to gently cleanse whilst helping to relieve itchiness, stimulate circulation and normalise sebum production. What’s more, is that the packaging is made from renewable sugar cane that is farmed on sustainable land, making is 100% carbon neutral. What’s not to love?
NOTE: When making the switch to a natural shampoo, you may feel like your hair is a little oilier than normal due to the absence of foam inducing ingredients (SLS). However, after a few washes or so, you will notice that your scalp is more balanced, your hair texture is fuller and you’ll probably experience better hair growth as a result. So, be patient, stick to it and you’ll soon reap all of the wondrous rewards.