How do you choose? Finding the right sulphate free, organic hair products

I’ve been a bit stuck with finding the right shampoo my entire life. There are particular Asian brand shampoos and conditioners that worked well with my hair type when I still lived in Hong Kong, but unfortunately I can’t get the same brands here in the UK. I’ve resorted to using Head & Shoulders because it’s the only shampoo that’s been effective in reducing the build up of grease in my hair.

In trying to live a healthier lifestyle with fitness and looking to dairy free/vegan recipes for baking and other goodies that I miss, it just felt a bit of a double standard to keep using chemically-laden products in my shower routine. I had a conversation with my sister when she was here for our wedding about organic and SLS/SLES/ALES-free products and I feel it’s the right time to look for a replacement to my harsh hair products.

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Image from source

There are so many brands out there to choose from as well as reviews from different sources (for example, here, here and here), but the main reason for my switching to is because of the harmful properties of SLS (this is explained further by eLuxe magazine and MyPure).

I have had a hunt around and read reviews (both through online sites and blogs as well as user reviews) to somewhat narrow down the list of actual organic shampoos. This means that each shampoo must be:

  • made from organic and natural ingredients
  • free from parabens, sodium laurel sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and ammonium laureth sulphate (ALES)
  • tested on human volunteers (not tested on animals) (look for the leaping bunny logo – for more information click here)
  • vegetarian or vegan friendly

For each of the 8 products and brands below, I’ve had a personal look at the ingredients to make sure they all match the above criteria. I’ve chosen the particular shampoo based on my own need to reduce build up over time, but each brand offers a range of products to suit all hair types.

1. Dr. Organic

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Rose Otto shampoo, £5.99 for 265ml from Holland & Barrett

The brand is known for its use of a blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients and offers a range of hair, skin and health care products. The Rose Otto shampoo has been formulated to revitalise the hair and scalp whilst nourishing, cleansing and hydrating keratin fibres and follicles. Rose Otto oil has been commonly used in natural skin and hair care through the ages.

2. Green People

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Daily Aloe shampoo, £11.95 for 200ml

If you’re looking for a good quality product that celebrities use to look as good as they do, this shampoo has been recommended by Kate Moss in Elle magazine. For those who wash their hair daily, this shampoo is suitable for all hair types and gentle enough for the whole family. The brand was created by a mother whose daughter was plagued by various allergies and eczema and in 1997, the brand was born.

This product contains organic aloe vera and lavender and leaves your hair feeling soft and purified. Although compared to your usual super store shampoos, 200ml doesn’t seem like a lot, but Green People assures that this lasts 3 times as long as most shampoos and on average lasts 3 months!

3. Melvita

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Gentle Purifying Shampoo, 200ml for £10 or 500ml for £19

The French brand was founded by the brothers Chevilliat in 1983 in the countryside of Ardèche, creating natural and organic beauty products designed for people to use everyday without the need for harsh chemicals. It was one of the first to gain the ECOCERT certificate for organic products in 2002.

The Gentle Purifying Shampoo has been developed for oily hair types and was highly commended at the Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2015.

4. Tisserand Aromatherapy

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Tea Tree+ Deep Cleansing Shampoo, 150ml for £5.80

Tisserand is a company that specialises in aromatherapy oil blends, but also produces beauty and wellbeing products. The brand only produces simply the best essential oils available for home, family and professional use.

This deep cleansing, regulating and purifying shampoo leaves the hair soft and shiny and helps to protect and ease problem scalps. With tea tree oil, rosemary oil, lemon oil and scalp-soothing organic hop botanical extract, this shampoo is suitable for all hair types, particularly for oily hair.

5. Purely Perfect

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Purely Perfect Cleansing Crème, 236ml for £35 – currently out of stock from This Is Beauty Mart for UK customers. US customers can still purchase it here

In case you were wondering where the idea for a cleansing crème came from, the founder Michael Gordon is also the man behind the Bumble & Bumble brand. He wanted to create a brand that was sulfate- (or sulphate-) and detergent-free. You can read more about Michael Gordon’s thoughts behind creating the brand Purely Perfect here.

This shampoo boasts that it lifts dirt and oil gently with essential oils (aloe vera, sunflower-seed oil, peppermint oil, primrose oil and keratin) that also smooth the hair without use of harsh detergents.

6. Aveda

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invati™ exfoliating shampoo, 200ml for £22

This brand needs no introduction, it has been well known over the years for its organic and natural philosophy towards hair care products. There was some controversy previously about whether or not Aveda supported or conducted animal testing, but the company is a featured cruelty free brand with PETA. Cleanses, exfoliates and renews the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid.

This shampoo has been clinically proven to remove the build-up of sebum and product residue that can clog pores and affect healthy hair. It also nourishes dry, tight scalps with extracts from millet seed and milk thistle, equalizing the lipid balance.

7. Lovea

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Green clay purifying shampoo, 200ml for £5.09 from MyPure. European customers can also purchase products directly from the Lovea online store

The French brand offers a range of certified organic skin, hair and body care is packed with nourishing natural ingredients. The three key ingredients in this range are: Tahitian Monoi (normal hair and skin), Burkina Shea Butter (dry skin and hair) and Moroccan Argan Oil – sometimes know as Moroccan Oil (for skin and hair that needs special care).

The French brand offers a range of certified organic skin, hair & body care is packed with nourishing natural ingredients. The three key ingredients include Tahitian Monoi (for normal hair and skin types), Burkina Shea Butter (dry skin and hair) and Moroccan Argan Oil or Moroccan Oil (for skin and hair that needs special care).

The shampoo contains natural absorbent Green Clay which deeply cleanses and restores balance to the scalp. Leaving your hair ight, purified and easy to style and restored to its natural softness.

8. [A’kin]

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Lemongrass shampoo, 225ml for £10 or 500ml for £18 (currently on offer for £15.30 at MyPure)

The [A’kin] ranges were pioneered by The Purist Company, an Australian company who for 15 years focused on creating natural, safe and effective products so that men and women can be their most beautiful selves naturally. The company is driven by their passion for pure, natural and effective ingredients and a genuine concern about ingredient safety in personal care products. Great care is taken to ensure that all products are paraben free, sulphate free, toxin free, harsh chemical free, certified vegan, animal ingredient free and animal testing free.

This shampoo a gentle formula with 6 natural cleansers to deeply clean oily to combination hair and scalps. The complex formula gently dissolves oily scalp secretions without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

After careful consideration, I decided to get the Lemongrass shampoo and unscented conditioner based on user reviews, properties, price and net weight. The unscented conditioner has also won Best Eczema Range in Natural Health & Beauty Awards (2010), Best New Non Food Product in Natural Product Tradeshow (2006), Best Conditioner in LifeScape Natural Beauty Awards (2008) and Best Conditioner in Green Beauty Bible. In spending over £30, you also get a choice of a free gift, so I chose the Lavender and Anthyllis 24-hour leave in conditioner worth £12 which was voted the best new hair care product at the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Beauty Awards in April 2007.

I will post a review of the shampoo and conditioners once I start using them, but as always, I’m happy to hear recommendations or suggestions for other organic and natural hair care products which have been tried and tested, and work best!

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