Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All Natural and Natural Based Shampoo and Conditioner Recs: Part 2 (Natural Hair Care)

And here is part 2! Part 3 will be posted in a few days.

Please note: since most (but not all) of these brands are only preserved with mixes of alcohol (an extremely effective natural preservative if used in the correct concentration), herbal extracts (which contain alcohol) and essential oils (anti-bacterial ability depends on the plant, and will only preserve against certain bacteria and fungi), the shelf life of most of these products is much shorter than products preserved with synthetic preservatives: only a few months. A couple of these brands use synthetic/naturally derived preservatives (meaning that some people call these preservatives 'natural' because they are derived from a natural substance, but I personally consider them synthetic since they are not completely natural since they are altered. However they are relatively benign so I use products with them) so shelf life for those products is at least a year. I don't recommend storing most natural products in the bathroom since that reduces shelf life (the only products that you can leave in your bathroom are soaps and small amounts of soap based liquid cleansers, small amounts of shampoos, and powdered mineral makeup made only with minerals and pigments).

Giovanni makes some nice shampoos and conditioners. I like their products but don't love them. They are available online and in stores. Their products range from nearly all natural to natural based (depends on the formula). Their shampoos and conditioners contain a nice assortment of herbs that are good for the hair. Light conditioning, very basic products for frequent use. Inexpensive.

Heart of Iowa Soapworks. I've plugged this company on my blog before. For a few years they were my favorite shampoo bars (though now Chagrin Valley is, see part 1). Before I tried Karla's (the owner) shampoo bars I hated shampoo bars because other brands left my hair feeling dry and greasy. Karla's shampoo bars clean well without over stripping. I like her aloe fresh shampoo bar the best. Her facial bars are also very nice (a few years ago her shea special bar was one of the few soaps I could use on my face that didn't dry out my skin--though thankfully I now have found several other companies I can use on my face now). The shea special bar is awesome, rich in shea and smells very yummy! She makes 100% natural and nearly all natural (some have fragrance oils) soaps. Most are vegetarian or vegan but there are a couple that are not vegetarian. They are available online, through a few different vendors that I have posted about previously before. The link above is to her own site.

Kiss My Face Organics. I don't care for their regular line (which is not natural enough for me ;P and contains ingredients I don't recommend using though I admit their regular line is much better than many conventional lines) but their organic line is all natural or nearly all natural or natural based (depends on the product). I haven't used their shampoo in years so I don't really remember what it's like, but I have used their conditioner lately. Nice, light conditioning, which is better for oily hair because of the herbs used in the product. Basic care. In stores or online. Inexpensive.

Miessence is a very nice nearly all natural organic cosmetic company from Australia. Most of their products are all natural and organic, except for their shampoos (which use an extremely mild sugar based naturally derived synthetic detergent) and conditioners (depends on how you personally define certain emulsifiers). Miessence is one of the purest lines out there. Very gentle and lots of herbs that beneficial the hair. I like both their shampoos and conditioners (but of course can't use either very often since their shampoo is detergent based and their conditioner has apple cider vinegar in it. Most people love sugar based detergents since they are so mild, and also the majority of people who have tried apple cider vinegar in rinses or conditioners love it, but as I mentioned my hair and facial skin are very picky!) Very nice formulations.

Paul Penders. I love Paul Pender's products. They are originally a European company but I think are ship out of Asia now (but shipping is NOT expensive even though it is international; but they have currently have a minimal order of $50). Definitely also one of the purest lines out there. They do a lot of environmental work too. They use a very complex blend of amazing and beneficial herbs in most of their formulas: over 20 different herbs. Most of their product line is all natural or nearly all natural. Their shampoos and conditioners are natural (except for of course the detergent and the emulsifiers depending on your own definition of natural). I haven't used them in a couple years but I remember I really loved their conditioner: for a while it was my favorite conditioner. However they reformulated many of their products within the last few years and I have not tried them since (sadly they have started to add apple cider vinegar to most of their conditioners which works for nearly everyone, but not me! But they still have at least one without). I remember I really liked their shampoos, which I found I could use more often than most other brands even though it's detergent based because I think it's because herbs are their first ingredient and they don't add a lot of detergents to their shampoos: in fact they now have a medium and also a low suds formula. Time for me to try them again! :)

Samara Botane is a well respected essential oil company with an ecological conscious. They have a lovely natural (and very inexpensive) herbal conditioner. They also have a shampoo base ( but I have not used it since I don't formulate with detergents but I may try it in the future). Their conditioner is one of my favorites. Their product is somewhere between nearly all natural or natural (depending on definition of the emulsifiers). This is what I am currently using. Excellent formulation, contains herbs that actually do something for your hair :) I have to mention I love their essential oils: extremely high quality and very fragrant.


JEN said...

hey i like your blog! i'm from near d.c., too. haha.
i'm going to put a link from my blog "green is the new black" to yours.
keep up the good work!

Solarkat said...


Thanks, I'll took a quick look at your blog, it looks great! :)


Kampuchea Crossings said...

i've been waiting for your shampoo/conditioner reviews!

question: if you do no-poo (just conditioner), would sls- and paraben-free conditioners still clean just as well or was the sls culprit the cleansing ingredient?

nabejero from gow :)

Solarkat said...

Hi Natalie

I didn't know you had blogs--now I have to go see them :)

>if you do no-poo (just conditioner), >would sls- and paraben-free >conditioners still clean just as >well or was the sls culprit the >cleansing ingredient?

Conditioners usually don't have SLS (which is a detergent) or at least most natural ones don't (SLS is found in some natural shampoos though)! I don't know if conventional ones do or not since I haven't used them for such a long time.

Conditioners as 'no-poo' works like how cold cream or cleansing oils cleanse the face. I am sure which ever one you use, it'll work just fine, provided that your hair like the no-poo method. I can't use it, it makes my hair too greasy.


Linnie Winnie said...

Hi Li,
Im still waiting for you part III but I know Ida's soaps are my ultimate fav now. I've been getting more lather now :), I think my hair is used to the soap now and its getting better and better.
What do you think about a company using KOH in their shampoo and conditioner base and claim that they are all natural? Btw, do you know if KOH is any better than SLS?
your fan :D

Solarkat said...

Hi Linniewinnie

Sorry for the very late response.

I posted part 3 a while back.

>What do you think about a company using >KOH in their shampoo and conditioner base >and claim that they are all natural? Btw, >do you know if KOH is any better than >SLS?

To make soap, you need an alkali (you can't make soap without it). In liquid soaps Potassium hydroxide (KOH) is usually used. Once KOH reacts with the oils and butters, there is none left in the final product (soap).

SLS is a known irritant and also very harsh (personally it over dries my hair and makes my gums bleed--it's in a lot of toothpaste--so I haven't used it in years). Detergents (even the natural, derived ones) are synthetic. Some companies claim that SLS is 'natural from coconuts' but it is not natural and is usually no longer made from coconuts (and even the few companies that do offer the one made from coconuts, it is still a synthetic ingredient). I don't have anything against using detergents, I just don't use them in skin care (too drying for me) but I use them in natural based house hold cleaning products.