It's surprising how many shampoos and conditioners there are for treated hair, but how little there are for natural undyed hair. I wouldn't have known this problem a couple of years ago, I used to peroxide my hair all the way to platinum blonde. I'd often also dye the underside of my hair, so there were multiple hair products in use all at the same time. However, I digress because this article is not about my shady past as some sort of reversed skunk, but about the best paraben-free shampoo for natural hair.
The short answer to this is that some people think that parabens are carcinogenic. Although the latest research shows no effective direct link, some people think that it is better to be safe than sorry and I'm with them.
Why Not Also Sulfate-Free? Well, why not? Many hairdressers say that sulphates are harmful to your hair and can cause uncomfortable scalp symptoms, as well as causing damage to the actual hair. Again, I am with the boatload of people who would prefer to act preventatively, than retroactively.
Issues with most shampoos As many people torture their hair much like I used to, it appears that most shampoos are designed to cater for damaged hair. If your hair is not damaged but always greasy, you might accidentally overtreat it by greasing it up even more when it doesn't need it if you don't find yourself a lighter shampoo. It is important to stop over-treating your hair and to start taking care of it by implementing a new approach of less is more if you suffer from it getting dirty too quickly.
The Verdict It took me many months to determine that the best shampoo for me was an inexpensive supermarket brand by the name of Organic Care Normal Balance Shampoo and Conditioner. Luckily, it is paraben-free. However, it does contain a small portion of sulphates. If my scalp starts feeling irritated, I'll need to reconsider.
Another supermarket brand of shampoo I tried was the Pantene Aqua Light. Although this was miles better than the grease I used to overload my hair with, I found that it did not do the job as well as my Normal Balance Shampoo and Conditioner. Everyone is different and some people absolutely swear by this Pantene Shampoo.
The next shampoo and conditioner I found is the Garnier Fructis Coconut Water Oily Roots Dry Ends – I will try this one if my current shampoo and conditioner does not last, as it has some pretty decent online reviews. It is also inexpensive.
There are also smaller, speciality shampoos that some people rave about. Many of them can be expensive, but it can't hurt to try them out and see if they work for you. Hell, you can even give up shampoo and conditioner and join the No-Poo movement.
Some people swear by this – no shampoo at all, but they clean their hair somehow (often with things like baking soda and other household chemicals). Although it's not for me, I am all for people finding what works for them.
If you've gone natural and are trying to find a shampoo that doesn't overdo it for your hair, I hope that this information was helpful for you. What have you been using on your hair that's worked really well for you?