Now that we’re all caught up on the chemicals we should be avoiding in our hair care products, let’s talk about ingredients that your hair will love! Some of these will depend on your hair type, but more than a few of them are universal favorites. So without further ado, here’s the bright side of the ingredients label.
Panthenol. Looking for moisture in the form of a good conditioning agent? This is the ingredient for you. According to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, this little number is a variety of vitamin B5 that comes from animals or plants. Talk about keeping it natural.
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. Here’s an ingredient that will condition your hair and form a protective film around the follicle to retain moisture, without all the garbage side-effects and hardcore buildup.
Lauryl Glucoside. This gentle surfactant will clear the dirt off your scalp without stripping your hair bare of its natural oils, since it also has some conditioning properties. Plant-based and biodegradable, the stuff is even sold directly from naturallythinking.com.
Cetearyl Alcohol. Still want to get that lathery foam from your cleansing products? Try cetearyl alcohol, the Lush-approved emulsifier free of the allergic side-effects of propylene glycol and the cancerous associations of ethanolamines.
Hydrolyzed Keratin. Keratin, the protein that makes up your hair and skin, is great for reinforcing the strength of your natural locks and mending breakage. Hydrolyzed Keratin is even moisture-binding, so you can strengthen and hydrate your hair at once.
Polyquaternium-55. Instead of relying on isopropyl alcohol for hold, try this ingredient. It scores a healthy 1 in EWG’s database.
p-Anisic Acid. Don’t like the sound of parabens? Opt for products with this preservative, instead. It’s a naturally-occurring germ killer that also promotes a pleasant smell.
Potassium Sorbate. Speaking of naturally-occurring preservatives, have you ever heard of potassium sorbate? Also repels microbes; also adds a nice scent.
Natural oils and butters. We think it’s safe to say that if it’s okay to eat, it’s okay to put in your hair. Natural ingredients are all the rage right now (as they should be), and there are lots of homemade recipes and boutique blends out there to choose from. Some good picks include: shea butter, coconut oil, aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, castor seed oil, tea tree oil, avocado oil, and vegetable glycerin. Check out this slideshow from Refinery29 to find the best picks for your hair type.
What are your favorite hair care products? What ingredients do they use? And what ingredients work best for you? Let us know in the comments below!