Going Natural: Hair Care

Check out the rest of our Going Natural series by Neelima.


I've tried many all-natural hair products over the years.  It took a while to adjust to the change at first - sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners don't lather as much as regular products and leave your hair feeling a little less clean.  But you get used to it, and over time your hair actually feels significantly healthier.  I'm still constantly experimenting and trying new brands, as there are so many new products these days! Here a few of my recommendations:


Affordable and Available Starters

It can be pretty hard to find completely "clean" hair products in your drugstore or neighborhood Target.  But the following brands, while not completely devoid of harmful chemicals, do not contain the main chemical culprits (sulfates and parabens) and generally are available in most stores. 

L'Oreal Sulfate-free:  L'Oreal's "Ever" product line has a a series of sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners geared towards various hair concerns. I found the EverPure shampoo and conditioner to be good starter products - they lathered enough, left my hair feeling clean, and smelled good. I wasn't a huge fan of the EverSleek products though.  They left my hair feeling a little oily and stringy and I needed to wash my hair more often.  I would give these products a try if you're in a pinch or want to start the switch to natural products slowly.  They still contain a decent amount of other chemicals though, so are not the most clean or natural.  

Ogx: This brand has many different lines of shampoos and conditioners, all of which are sulfate-free and paraben-free.  I like the Argan Oil of Morocco Intensive Moisturizing Treatment - it's great as a weekly hair mask. 

Yes To Carrots:  This is one of my favorite lines of natural hair care. It provides great moisture for dry hair and makes my hair soft and shiny. Though a definite step-up from regular products, it is, unfortunately, not completely sulfate free. While it is SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and paraben-free, it still contains some sulfates.

A Few of My Favorites

Acure: I like Acure's hair products a lot. I love that, in addition to being sulfate-free and paraben-free, they are also free of phthalates. (Phthalates are synthetic plasticizers which some research has implicated as hormone disruptors.) In between trying new products, I tend to always come back to the Moroccan Argan Oil +Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner, which really keeps my hair healthy.  My only (minor) complaint is that it doesn't leave my hair quite as soft as I would like. 

Phylia [de M.]: After a particularly stressful period in my life which made my hair lifeless and thin, I decided to invest in the Phylia de M. line.  Touted as helping to bring back hair health and growth, these products actually work.  At one point I even contemplated stopping use of the products because my hair was getting too thick! The products use mainly organic ingredients, and are SLS -free and paraben-free. 

Dying to Try

Intelligent Nutrients: Next on my list of products to try is Intelligent Nutrients' shampoos and conditioners - I can't wait! These hair products are all formulated without sulfates, parabens, silicones, ethoxylates, PEG, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Also, apparently they smell great, which is always a huge plus in my book. 

Which natural hair products have you tried? Any favorites or must-trys?

Check out the links below to try the products.


Neelima is a Contributor at Sona. 

Going Natural: The Beginning

Growing up, I loved that my long and thick hair was so easy to handle.  Wash and go, with no products needed to keep it straight and shiny.  But as I hit my mid-twenties, things started to change.  My hair felt dry and looked dull.  And let’s not even talk about the frizz (my fellow South Asian ladies know what I’m talking about!).

I thought it was just a phase and decided to wait it out, hoping that all would be normal again soon.  Nope, no such luck.  This was here to stay and I was not happy.  

Needing to find a “cure,” I started researching and stumbled onto something called sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates are chemical fillers which are used to create lather and can strip our hair of its essential oils, causing frizziness and damage.  I made the switch to sulfate-free hair care and my hair felt so much healthier (though it never returned to its luster of my teenage years - that’s just age, I guess.)

That was how my journey to natural beauty began.

Through my research, I came to realize that most beauty products are chock full of chemicals.  And every time we use those products, the chemicals are absorbed straight into our skin. The thought of all those chemicals coursing through my body did not sit well with me, so I decided to transition to clean, all-natural beauty products.  

If you are looking to make the same switch, my first tip is to take it slow.  Start with a few items at a time and take your time testing them out.  The ultimate goal is to find the right products for you that make you feel and look your best, and this takes some trial and error.  I started with hair care and then moved to skincare. And now I’m currently working on cleaning up my makeup.  It’s been a five year journey, but one that has been totally worth it.

My second tip is to educate yourself about the chemicals you are willing to put up with and those you feel are absolute no-no’s.  When I first started my journey, all-natural brands were harder to come by than they are now, so I first just eliminated sulfates and parabens.  Now, with more all-natural brands and information on harmful chemicals available, I’ve made the leap to eliminating all harmful and toxic chemicals from my routine.*   

My final and most important tip is to make sure to always read the ingredient label of a product before you buy! Ingredients are listed by order of predominance, with those used in the greatest amounts listed first. Even if you aren’t ready to make the transition to clean and all-natural products right now (or ever), start taking the look at the ingredients of various beauty products as you shop.  I guarantee it will be an interesting read.

Over my next few blog posts in this series, I’ll be revealing the natural beauty products I’ve tried, those I love and those I'm looking forward to trying - stay tuned for our next post on natural hair products!


Neelima is a Contributor at Sona.