If you are not a fan of products with fragrances, then reading the back label is probably the first thing you do upon finding a new product. Just about every hair product contains some type of fragrance whether naturally derived or artificial. A naturally-derived fragrance is a blend of essential oils, isolates from those oils, and isolates created from bio-fermentation. In short, the mix of oils and how they react to one another creates a fragrant smell.
Another interesting thing to note is unscented products may still technically contain a fragrance, which works as a masking agent to the other ingredients for a no-scent result. According to the Food and Drug Administration, cosmetics marketed for retail purposes must list each ingredient individually under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. However, companies are also allowed to only list “fragrance” as a way to not force brands into selling trade secrets.
So the big question is how do you know which products are truly fragrance-free? Honestly, it is really hard to tell. The FDA does not regulate the term “fragrance-free” or “unscented” so reading the label is your best bet for now. Thankfully, we have done part of the work for you. This list contains brands with unscented or fragrance-free product options, which is perfect for babies and those with sensitive skin or those susceptible to fragrance-induced headaches.
Some people hate the natural smell of shea butter, and with the Oyin Handmade Whipped Shea butter you can order the unscented option. If you are looking for a natural oil to use from head-to-toe without the overwhelming scent of essentials, then try their After Bath body oil.
SheaMoisture Fragrance-Free, Gluten-Free Baby
Jessicurls offers their complete line of shampoo, conditioners, stylers, and oils with a no-fragrance option. With three separate collections for fine, thick, and coarse hair, this line has a little something for every curl type.
Karen’s Body Beautiful
Known for a variety of amazing scents such as pomegranate guava, lavender vanilla, and chamomile sage, Karen’s Body Beautiful offers unscented options for their cleansers, conditioners, and leave-in conditioners as well. Karen’s Body Beautiful can be used on natural, transitioning, or relaxed hair.
Koils by Nature
Koils by Nature offers the Fragrance Free Hydrating Shealoe Creamy Conditioner, Fragrance Free Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-In Conditioner, Nourishing Hair and Body Butter, Herbal Soothing Curl Defining Gel in unscented options. These products are great for anyone with sensitive skin, as the cleanser contains the healing property of calendula.
Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding
Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding is a staple for many naturals due to its amazing ability to define tight curl patterns. If you do not care for the scent of the original formula, then you should try this one.
If fragrance-free options are a real concern for you, then research will be your best line of defense. Also, if you are still unsure when reading the back of a label, steer towards products where the ingredients are comprehensible.
What are you favorite fragrance-free products?