I am a huge fan of all natural beauty products, but the fact is, sometimes we don’t have time to put together an elaborate home spa of all-natural beauty indulgence. When I am in a rush and I need to grab a bottle of something and high-tail it to the shower, I make sure I have sulfate and paraben free shampoos and conditioners to use.
In a nutshell, sulfates (or sulphates) are the cleaning and foaming agent in shampoos and any other cleaning products (body soap, toothpaste, etc.). They generally tend to strip the hair of natural oils as well as dirt and can contribute to dry, limp and dull hair and can even cause artificial colour treatments to fade faster. Regardless of your hair type, it is wise to steer clear of these bad boys, affectionately dubbed the “paint-strippers” of hair, as they just do all kinds of wrong!
Parabens, on the other hand, belong in the deep, dark and seedy underworld of the health and beauty industry. As with most of the claims around the dangers of certain chemicals, the debate still rages on as to whether parabens do, in fact, contribute to the development of cancerous cells in the human body. My take on this – you ain’t gotta tell me twice! If there is a chance that something is going to poison my body and there are healthier alternatives, I am gonna politely break off my evidently abusive relationship with the toxic products. It’s not you, it’s me…
To help you make more informed choices, I have compiled a list of my sulphate and paraben free favourites, discovered during my time of cleansing, reflection and reassessment of my hair’s life.
Dr Miracle’s Cleanse and Condition and Curl Care Ranges (available at Clicks).
I absolutely cannot get enough of these two options and I always make sure to have these handy. The Conditioning Shampoo is my favourite shampoo. It doesn’t foam much at all and leaves my hair feeling soft.
Earthsap, Nature’s Gate and Nu-Hair (available at most health food stores)
I really enjoyed the Earthsap products. Nature’s Gate and Nu-Hair were also quite good but I didn’t feel they were the most nourishing and moisturizing option for my curly and, sometimes dry, hair. They would be more suited to people with normal to oily hair, I think.
CHI hair products (available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies)
While my hair was recovering, I used the Deep Brilliance Hydration Shampoo and Curl Preserve System. I have since shifted to the Dr Miracle’s Conditioning Shampoo, which I use with the CHI Hydrating Thirst Relief Conditioner. Even though this product is for colour-treated hair (my hair is not colour-treated), I find that the moisture treatment works just as well for hair that is chemically straightened or styled regularly using heat.
Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner (available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies)
This product is also one of my favourites, as it contains argan oil which helps to moisturise hair. Marc Anthony has a wide range of shampoos and conditioners for various hair types (Straight styled hair, Keratin enriched, Curly Care, etc.) but only the Moroccan Argan Oil range is sulfate and paraben free.
Natur Vital Leave-In Conditioners (available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies)
I really struggled to find leave-in conditioners that were sulphate and paraben free. The Natur Vital products were really all I could find, but they are really good nonetheless so I use them whenever I wear my hair curly. I hope that I will find a few more to try out in the future though.
If you cannot find any of these products or would like to try another product, always make sure that you read the ingredients list. Most shampoos and conditioners will state that they are paraben and/or sulphate free on the front of the product in fairly big and bold letters. However, not all do, as you will see by some of the products I have listed above. The ingredients list will give you all the information you need in order to make an informed decision about the products you are purchasing. Also, it is important to note that while both shampoos and conditioners could contain parabens, it is usually only shampoos that contain sulfates as sulfates are the cleaning agents in the product. Conditioners should not be cleaning your hair. Their job is to put the moisture, protein and oomph back into your hair after the shampoo has done its job cleaning.
I hope this blog post will help you to find a sulfate and paraben free product that will nourish your hair and keep you healthy.
Love and Light,