Natural & Organic Shampoo & Conditioner
{My Natural Hair Series Part 1}


I once heard what sounded like some great advice: if you find a shampoo and conditioner you love, try the hair sprays, volumizers and other styling products in the same brand and you’ll probably end up liking them too.

The only problem is that really doesn’t hold true particularly when you hit organic and natural product lines. Worse is that many natural and organic companies that make shampoo and conditioner are very sparse when it comes to styling and finishing options.

And even worse than that, I have issues with anything rose scented and Tim can’t be around me if the rosemary or lavendar is too strong (and rosemary makes my hair look A-Maz-ing! Argh!) I would be using Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and their Organic Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner but the rosemary in them gave Tim a headache. :/

So what’s a girl to do when she she has allergies, her significant other has allergies AND she wants to go with a natural product? Research a LOT and try a LOT of products until one clicks.

For reference and for those familiar with the Naturally Curly hair types, I’m either a 2b or a 3a since most of the time the curls don’t go to the crown of my head, sometimes they coil but sometimes they just do a simple “s” and I can also straighten my hair (not pin straight) without too much trouble (unless I go out in the rain.)

So let’s start with the basics, Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo & Conditioner:


Desert Essence Fragrance Free Shampoo | Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner
The shampoo is a 2 with EWG’s Cosmetic’s Database, and the conditioner is a 3

This is not my be all end all perfect combo but it’s what I can use daily and my hair looks good without killing me or Tim. I do want to try some of the other Desert Essence Shampoos and Conditioners but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet and keep rebuying this one.

What I love about these Desert Essence Fragrance Free products :

  • It doesn’t weight down my hair.
  • It doesn’t build up in my hair.
  • You can use it week after week with the same results instead of feeling like it’s no longer doing it’s job after a few weeks.
  • I don’t have what I would call “hippy hair” like I have with some other natural shampoos & conditioners (Dr. Bronner’s, I’m sorry, but I’m looking at you.)
  • “Fragrance Free” is NOT a gimmick and scents are not masked by “light” added fragrances like some other products. There is a light light scent when sniffed directly in the bottle, but that’s really from the product ingredients AND it really does rinse out. I recommend reading over the ingredients to see if there’s anything you know you personally might have a problem with but this is one of the best fragrance free products I’ve found.
  • It’s a good base for everything else.
  • No: cones (dimethicone), parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates

What I don’t like:

Where I would suggest starting if you don’t already use a natural / organic shampoo, conditioner or other styling products – Shea Moisture kits:

Now that I’ve spent all of this time talking about the Desert Essences Fragrance Free line, I’m going to switch gears. If you are looking for somewhere to start in your journey for natural hair care products, I would highly recommend starting with the Shea Moisture kits. Particularly since I’m going to talk about some of their styling products from these kits that I DO use:


Shea Moisture Organic Curl & Shine Kit Coconut & HibiscusShea Moisture Hair Repair & Transition Kit Raw Shea Butter & Argan Oil

I was able to pick both of these up at my local Walgreens. And don’t worry too much about the fact that they’re in the ethnic hair care section. Unless your hair is super thin and straight, I think at least a couple of products in these kits will work for many different types of hair.

Like the Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner, the Shea Moisture products are also free of: cones (dimethicone), parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or sulfates

If these don’t work for you or you have allergies or scent sensitivities I would move on to the Desert Essence Fragrance Free line.

Some other brands of natural / organic shampoo and conditioner that I’ve tried and thought were ok:

  • Avalon Organics: The Lavender OR Rosemary shampoos and conditioners I’ve tried and are good. And after I shower they aren’t intense enough to bother Tim. However when compared to the Desert Essence, my hair looks better with the Desert Essence. I haven’t tried the rest of the Avalon Organics line. Rosemary Shampoo is an EWG 4 and Conditioner is an EWG 3
  • Aubrey Organics: This line is very hit or miss. From my recollection one of my main problems with these was that there was product buildup. I needed to switch back and forth between two shampoos and conditioners to keep certain ones from weighing down my hair and others from stripping too much oil out. Some of these however would be excellent options for the more curly girls out there which is why I’m mentioning it. One of my favorites from their line is actually the Swimmer’s Normalizing Conditioner for Active Lifestyles – it’s a really thick and luxurious conditioner and I didn’t seem to have the same buildup problem with it. I used it for awhile with the Avalon Rosemary Shampoo.

I tried the following were “meh” or didn’t like them:

  • Burt’s Bees: I wanted so much to love these shampoos and conditioners but they just did not cut it for me. I tried at least two of their shampoos and conditioners and they did nothing good for my hair. I did so just after they came out (mentioning in case they adjusted the formula.)
  • Nature’s Gate: just meh. Not good, not bad for the hair just … nothing special. A little harsher on the hair than some of the others I’ve mentioned. Also some have parabens and some other ingredients I’m trying to reduce.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap: Serious Hippy Hair … ugh. I love this company but I just can’t bring myself to use the castile soap for anything. I tried the castile soap for my hair over a period of three days once and it just never felt clean and wasn’t looking good either. Tangly, ratty, hard to work with and dirty feeling. I really hate having to say this because they do make some good products and I know some people who can and do use the castile soap instead of shampoo but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Do NOT start here and judge natural hair care based on this alone.

Others I haven’t tried but would / should:

  • Jason Naturals
  • Alba Botanica / Alba Hawaiian – I’ve tried practically their whole line but not the shampoo and conditioner yet
  • Say Yes to Carrots

Do YOU have a favorite natural / organic shampoo & conditioner that I haven’t mentioned here that I should try? Have you tried any of the products I mentioned and want to share your thoughts? Feel free to post in the comments below! 🙂

Up Next in { My Natural Hair Series } : Natural / Organic Styling Products I’m currently using

Klutchclub December 2012

Clothing and Beauty related from the box:



Giovanni Cosmetics Shampoo and Conditioner with argan oil and brazilian phyto-keratin: ingredients look good and it’s a decent natural shampoo and conditioner. However my hair was not as frizz free as my other natural shampoo and conditioner, I had to put more product in post shower to get it tamed. That said, if you’re still searching for a good natural shampoo and conditioner that works with your hair, I would give this one a try.

c Booth - mineral oil in the ingredients listC Booth Body Butter: second ingredient is mineral oil. Not natural, pass. Tired of companies pretending to be natural by throwing some popular ingredients into their products and calling it a day.



Berry Plus Laundry detergent: looks good, very different. All natural and definitely going to try this one out. Concerns would be scent (even natural) and if they will cause any allergies to act up. I don’t think so but it’s always something I think about. All my laundry soaps are natural and unscented.


Seer Outfitters $10 off clothing:I’ve never heard of this company but it says “100% of the profits go to support organizations and causes throughout the country.” $10 off just doesn’t make sense on this on so many levels. Shipping is $5 so it basically makes a tshirt $20. Are they cotton? Poly? Blend? Organic? Oh wait, some shirts have that info and others don’t (blend.) Sizing? The FAQ says “check out our size chart HERE” and there’s no link. Just not jumping up and down over this.

In non-beauty product items, a few little comments:

Funky Monkey Jivealime: TASTY!!! Love it. SO glad I got one without bananas (allergies … man I sound crazy sometimes.) Going to buy some of these and try some of the other flavors. They are not filling but they sure satisfy the taste buds.

Zevia: These are a great no calorie soft drink made with natural stevia leaf. I think the reason I don’t drink these more is that they make me a little more burpy than normal soda. They ARE good though.

KT Tape: I’m not looking forward to using this because I don’t want any injuries that this would help BUT other than the injury aspect I am interested in these. They look awesome.

Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 6.36.37 PM

Lush Gourmet Foods Nuts: So I think one of the more disappointing things was the nuts. I get that people have peanut allergies but the promo code is kinda lame. Buy $36 worth of nuts and get a $7 bag for free. I was looking forward to trying these but probably won’t at that price to entry level. Throw it on through amazon so I can buy a bag for $7 with prime and free shipping and I’ll give it a whirl. 

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StreamFit: And anything that has two free months but I have to enter in my credit card info … I’m not going to do it because I don’t want to deal with the process of canceling something if I don’t like it. It’s not a risk free and easy trial. I would either want to do more research on the company to see how easy it was for other people to cancel, or if there were any complaints about billing before going that route. I don’t want it enough to spend that kind of time on it.

I canceled my recurring subscription on this one because January being that month that everyone resolves to lose weight, I doubt that I’m going to be interested in the January box. I’ll probably resubscribe in Feb or March.