Hair care is something I get excited over.. I have long, naturally curly, colour treated hair so I find it can be difficult to find shampoos and conditioners that perform, don’t weigh down my hair, leave a sticky residue or leave my hair tangled and unmanageable. It can be even more tricky to find options that are natural as the products in health food stores tend to not really work for me. They seem a bit archaic in their formulations and don’t really cater to the girl who wants clean products that work just as well as salon brands. Not to mention, a lot of the brands in the health food stores still aren’t quite as clean as I would like them to be. But this just leaves the excitement of the hunt to find the best hair products that are still super clean, something that I think I’ve managed to crack over the years of testing out product after product. I’ve really narrowed it down here to hair products that I use regularly.. and while I may add some more here and there down the way, you can be sure that these are the top performers of the bunch.
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If you want to know more about what to avoid in hair products you can read my top 10 toxic ingredients to avoid in shampoos HERE. This goes into more detail on how I choose safe hair care products for myself. We should remember that shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and treatments are being applied to our scalps and heads which hold our most important organ, the brain. My Education and pre-motherhood career was in psychology so I know all too well how delicate yet powerful this organ is and I want to ensure I avoid ingredients that will influence its ability to work at peak performance. The brain and spinal cord work in unison to help every other part of your body function.. they’re a pretty big deal. So, while I don’t write this to scare you.. I want to shed some light on how it can be important to be aware of the chemicals found in conventional shampoos and know that they can certainly influence how well your brain, glands, lymph nodes, and skin around your head and neck area are working.
To lighten this topic up, I wanted to share some of my all time favourite options for hair care that I’ve found to date. I don’t have a massive list as these are truly my favourites and ones I use for myself and my family. Some I’ve used for years, some are fairly new to me.. regardless, these are my top contenders:
– Shampoos and Conditioners –
Carina Organics: Budget Friendly + My personal favourite
Carina Organics has been my all time favourite natural hair line for shampoo and conditioner for over 5 years now. You will ALWAYS find these products in my home for myself, my husband as well as my little one since they carry a very clean baby and children line. This shampoo leaves my hair feeling soft, manageable, untangled and as if its had a treatment to boot! Carina Organics really is for any hair type as it hydrates (perfect for those with coarse thick hair) without leaving heaviness which could affect those with wispy or thin hair. I personally use the sweet pea line as the smell is out of this world (the baby + childrens line uses this scent too). I haven’t found a natural shampoo that’s managed to create this beautiful floral scent without using nasty fragrance. You might be caught red handed smelling your own hair after using this shampoo. It doesn’t leave a film at all, no sticky residue is found left in the hair after rinsing. I shared an in depth review of this shampoo and conditioner in one of my very first posts on this blog three years ago, you can read it all HERE.
Carina Organics comes in many others scents like lavender, citrus, unscented (for those who are extremely sensitive to scent) and my husbands favourite, their peppermint line. Talk about a shampoo that will wake you up in the morning.. the peppermint scent is cooling, refreshing and can also be used as a body wash. There really are options for everyone in a family from Carins Organics and I am incredibly proud that they were formulated and created here in Canada. I purchase them from various healthfood stores that carry them in my area as well as well.ca here in Canada as this is usually where I can find them on sale. They aren’t carried in too many places in the U.S. yet to my knowledge, but I managed to find that one of my favourite green beauty boutiques from the States carries them at All Natural Collection.
This shampoo and conditioner line is also the most budget friendly of the ones I use at only $12.99 (USD) or $14.99 (Canadian) per bottle. That price point seems to be hard to beat among natural hair lines that actually work well.
Innersense Organics Hydration Line: Best for Naturally Curly or Coarse Hair
Innersense is a favourite amongst the green beauty world as its provides some intense moisture for those who have naturally curly, hard to manage or coarse hair. If you have thinner hair type, I would recommend looking into their other lines (such as Carina Organics above) but their Hydration Line is one of my favourite picks for when I want to rock my naturally curly strands. It does leave a slight (very slight) residue on the hair which I find is what helps keep curls controlled and from being “poofy” after washing. It almost acts as a secondary hair styling product for bouncy curls. I have had my fair share of days where leaving my hair natural has meant I looked like a poodle so a line that can tame this for me gets two thumbs up!
The smell of this shampoo and conditioner is another scent that is completely intoxicating. It has a very rich “vanilla-esque” scent that is blended with roman chamomile and is so soothing and makes me feel very put together once my hair is done. I also like to use their Leave in Conditioner before styling to help detangle and add some extra moisture making curls pull together better. If you have curly, thick or coarse hair then Innersense’s Hydration Hair Bath and Conditioner should be on your list!
Graydon Matcha Mint Shampoo + Hair Smoothie
Graydon’s shampoo and conditioner are very new to me this year but I fell madly in love with their Matcha Mint Shampoo for the sheer fact that it works AND it smells like a vanilla + mint matcha latte. Its unbelievable how Graydon managed to get this scent in a bottle, I still cant figure it out.. but they did it and I am so happy that they did! This shampoo is definitely for every hair type as it rinses out easily and does not leave a residue behind. Overall, this shampoo works good for any hair type, will leave you with soft hair that smells out of this world.
I also tried out their Hair Smoothie which is a conditioner and hair treatment in one.. to my dismay it does not have the same scent of the shampoo and instead has a very herbal scent. I don’t personally love this scent and am just waiting for Graydon to come out with a matcha mint conditioner to go along with their shampoo. I do, however, appreciate the fact that the reason this conditioner smells so much of herbs is because it contains pure herbs meant to treat your hair (ie. rosemary). I did find that the conditioner left a slight (I’m talking very slight) residue on my strands post hair drying and would suggest using this conditioner only if you have coarse, thick or curly hair. I use it mostly when I’m leaving my hair curly but have found that sometimes the residue doubles as a hair finishing oil when my hair is straight and I don’t need to use one after conditioning with this.
– Hair Masks + Conditioning Treatments –
Rahua Omega 9 Hair Treatment Mask
Rahua is very well known in the green beauty industry and they’ve been around the longest of all the brands in this guide. They were the first natural hair care line that I ever tried and I have fallen head over heels for their Omega 9 Hair Mask. In my “non-natural” days I used to love using hair masks and treatments from Morrocan Oil. The mask would sit on my hair and once I washed it out, would leave my hair so soft, hydrated and easy to style. After switching to green beauty I quickly noticed that there didn’t seem to be any products like this that didn’t contain harsh chemicals so I gave up hope and stopped looking. Then I stumbled upon a sample of Rahua’s Omega 9 by chance and found it is exactly like my old favourites but the non-toxic version. This is hands down my FAVOURITE hair treatment to date and it would be pretty difficult to top this in my opinion. If you are having a hard time letting go of conventional hair masks then I would give this one a try. It does come at a somewhat steep price but I only use it about once every 3-4 weeks and it lasts long enough to justify the cost.
The Coal Miners Daughter Surfer Rose Hair Treatment
Surfer Rose Hair Mask pictured above (product behind)
This is another option for hair treatments/masks that I use regularly. This hair mask comes solid in a container and melts into your hands when you scoop it out to apply all over dry hair before washing. For anyone who uses coconut oil or hot oil treatments, this is your natural and incredibly lush option to take your hair’s health to the next level. After using this mask my hair is always SO SOFT that I just cant stop running my hands through it. Unlike some oil treatments I’ve tried, this one will wash out completely so long as you really scrub with your shampoo and conditioner. This is also one of the most budget friendly oil treatments for hair that I’ve found yet. It is also completely vegan so its the perfect option for the most conscious of green beauty consumers!
You can grab the Surfer Rosa Hair Mask HERE.
Carina Organics Deep Conditioning Treatment
Ok.. Yes I am going to mention Carina Organics again because it is JUST. THAT. GOOD. I stumbled upon their Deep conditioning treatment by chance as I thought it was a regular conditioner but after using had to take a double look at the bottle because my hair was so manageable, soft and hydrated after I used it. Once I realized this was in fact a deep conditioning treatment it all made sense. This is a great budget friendly conditioning treatment and is basically their conditioner “on steroids”. It is used after shampooing and takes the place of your regular conditioner so you don’t need to use both. It is also incredibly budget friendly as is the rest of their line and one of my top picks for anyone who has chemically treated or dehydrated hair. I use this instead of my regular conditioner about once a month and twice a month in the dryer winter months.
– Hair Oils –
UMA Hair Treatment Oil
This hair oil in particular contains Yerba de Tago which is basically the natural version of the active ingredient in Rogaine (a popular hair regrowth medication targeted at men). When used as an overnight scalp treatment and over time to protect your hair, you will actually improve and increase the growth of your hair exponentially. This is a great hair oil, not only for women who want to grow their hair long and lush, but for men and women who may be experiencing some hair loss or thinning.
This hair oil is also one of the most diverse treatments I’ve ever come across (and I have tested MANY hair products in my day). This oil can be used in many different ways, including:
1. Overnight treatment: as a treatment for the scalp to help hair grow: it contains Yerba de Tago which is the natural form of Rogaine. When using this treatment on the scalp over night, it stimulates hair growth and will help thicken hair at the shaft filling in patchy areas, and it will also help you grow your hair long and healthy.
2. Heat & Styling Protector: as a heat protector when used before drying or styling your hair: This oil can be used directly after the shower. Simply apply 3-4 drops to your entire head of hair from scalp to ends and style away. This oil will protect without the use of harmful parabens and coating agents that only reduce the health and vitality of your hair.
3. Daily Smoothing & Styling: as a styling oil targeting dry brittle ends or frizzy strands to smooth out your hair style. This oil can be applied on dry hair every morning to eliminate bed head. I use no more than 3 drops a day from the mid section of my hair down to my ends and it smooths out my hair perfectly. It also gives the hair a healthy dose of vitamins and prevents your ends from splitting when you apply it consistently.
Your strands won’t require very much of this oil to receive its powerful effects which means this bottle will last you a very long time. It is one of the best investments you can make for your hair whether you want to improve the look and feel of your hair or grow your hair longer and thicker. This hair oil has a sweet citrus blossom scent that I adore. I have finally found my match made in heaven and the perfect replacement for my departed Moroccan oil.
Grab UMA’s Nourishing Hair Oil HERE
I will update this list as I find more high performing natural hair products but for now these are my very favourites. Make sure to Subscribe to get more posts like this sent directly to your inbox!