There are now a plethora of hair product lines aimed at naturals but they are mostly online or in select stores. In the future, it will be super easy to get probably any product. However, there are still many of us who do rely on drugstore products either for convenience or simply because they do actually work well.
Most naturals are picky about their products and top of this list is silicone and sulfate free products. Therefore, this list should help you:
1. Trader Joe — Nourish Spa Line — Silicone Free and Sulfate Free
The Nourish Spa Shampoo and Conditioner are the only set that I have found that are both silicone free and sulfate free. However the shampoo does contain olefin sulfonate as its lead cleanser and this surfactant is known to be just as irritating as the sulfate of dread — SLS. Additionally, the old trick of listing herbal extracts in water first before active ingredients is used to make the product seem more organic or natural to consumers. Both the shampoo and conditioner are quite cheap which means that trying the products and assessing for yourself whether they are good or not is pretty easy.
2. Tresemme — Naturals Line — Silicone Free
Tresemme Naturals is marketed as a low sulfate and silicone free line. The hair shampoos do contain both ALS and ALES which is a combination that can reduce irritation but still cleanse well. Therefore, if you are looking for a complete no sulfate shampoo, do pass on this one. The hair conditioners on the other hand have no sulfates or silicones.
3. Garnier Fructis — Pure Clean — Silicone Free/Paraben Free
In addition to being silicone free, parabens are not use as preservatives across the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean range. The hair conditioners are sulfate free but the shampoos in the line do have SLS and SLES as active cleansers. Athough that combination is known to be less irritating than pure SLS, the product is not labelled as nor is, sulfate free.
4. L’Oreal — Eversleek, Everpure and Everstrong Line — Sulfate Free
The Eversleek, Everpure and Everstrong hair conditioners are all sulfate free and in addition are also silicone free. The hair shampoos do, however, contain silicones such as dimethicone and amodimethicone so L’oreal does not proclaim the whole range as silicone free. Per ounce they are generally more expensive than the previously listed lines but they are still not super expensive by any stretch of the imagination.
5. Suave — Naturals Line — Silicone Free
Suave Naturals conditioners are sulfate and silicone free, however the shampoos while being silicone free, do have sulfates with the ALS/ALES combination of cleansers similar to Tresemme Naturals. Once more, if you want a sulfate free shampoo, do not select one from this line.
6. Alberto VO5 Conditioners - Silicone Free
VO5 conditioners in general do not appear to have silicones (checked variants include strawberries and cream, champagne kiss, kiwi lime squeeze, mint tea and blackberry sage tea). The shampoos do use SLS as an active cleanser and are therefore not sulfate free although they are silicone free.
Herbal Essences is marketing these products as silicone-free shampoo and sulfate-free conditioner. I am not convinced by the marketing strategy at all because I could easily turn that bottle around and see that the hair shampoo has sulfates (which some naturals want reduced or eliminated in shampoo) and the hair conditioner has silicones (which, again, some naturals want reduced or eliminated in conditioner). In truth, you should avoid the shampoo if you want sulfate free cleansing and avoid the hair conditioner too if you want silicone free conditioning. This is no slight on the quality of the products and I am well-known for my obsession in general with herbal essences despite all the silicones, sulfates and unnatural blue hues. I do however think the marketing people failed immensely as there is really no major reformulation; but somehow trying to convince the consumer with labeling that it is a different product.
What are some of your favorite silicone/sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners?