7 natural hair products for cleaner lifestyle

When we first go natural, we're all about finding the perfect products to moisturize and define our curls, kinks, and coils. Then, we get a little ingredient-conscious and learn to focus our attention away from the package advertisement, and more on the first 5-6 ingredients after water. And finally, as we become more ingredient-savvy, we become more health-conscious. Natural hair inspires us to live healthier lifestyles, and we begin to get active, and take control over what goes into and onto our bodies--including hair products.

Francheska Medina (Hey Fran Hey) has been the face of the clean living movement in the natural hair community since 2011. Her videos on everything from her hair regimen, to oil pulling and making your own natural eyelash growth serum have garnered her over 100k YouTube subscribers and clean living devotees. Her healthy lifestyle is something to be admired, absolutely! I'll get there one day. As I'm transitioning to cleaner eating, I'm making cleaner choices about what I'm putting onto my hair.

What does that mean?

While there is no real definition about clean hair products that exist, there are some general suggestions around what characteristics clean hair products should and should not have:

  • Organic/Non-GMO (when possible, especially if it contains soy)

  • Most ingredients if not all should be plant-derived

  • Free of harsh chemical additives and formaldehyde-donor preservatives

  • Free of artificial colors and/or fragrance (phthalate free)

  • Unique/exotic ingredients are sustainably sourced

  • Free of sulfates, silicones, parabens

  • No mineral oil or petroleum

  • Cruelty-free

  • Environmentally friendly

That seems like a tall order of nearly impossible and incredibly expensive proportions. But I promise, you probably have some products that fit the bill in your stash already. Besides, the list above is not concrete, it is only full of suggestions to help you determine what products will be best for your hair. Not every product will meet every bullet point, but that's okay. The point of clean living isn't perfection. It's about making healthier choices, given the circumstances (your budget, product availability, etc.). Even the cleanest eaters cheat sometimes.

To help you get started, here are some brands (but I know there are PLENTY more out there) that offer pretty wholesome products that won't break your budget.

Bonus: you'll be able to support a lot of small businesses owned by fellow naturals, too.

camille rose naturalsCamille Rose Naturals

If your hair loves luxury, then Camille Rose Naturals will give you a clean fix. The entire line of Camille Rose Natural products is free of silicones, sulfates, petroleum, mineral oil, artificial colors, parabens, harmful preservatives, and other additives. Janell Stephens' line of luxe goods are handcrafted, vegan, and available in Curlmart or at Target.

My favorites from Camille Rose: 

Curl Love Moisture Milk, Curlaide Moisture Butter, Fresh Curl, and the newly re-formulated Curl Maker (my new holy grail).

soultanicals vegan hair productsSoultanicals

Full of funky soul and Afro-licious flava, Soultanicals is an all-natural, handcrafted vegan hair, bath, and body brand inspired by self-love, positive affirmation, and celebrating the diversity of natural hair. The entire Soultanicals collection is made from plant-based botanical, vegan, and African-inspired ingredients, and free of artificial preservatives, dyes, fragrance, silicones, sulfates, petroleum, parabens, and mineral oil. Get your soulistic fix at www.soultanicals.com. 

My favorites from Soultanicals

Fluffalicious Curl Nutricious, Mango Dip Detangling Slip, and Curl Blaze Hair Glaze.

sheamoisture hair productsSheaMoisture

Every naturalista knows SheaMoisture. The most widely commercially available of all the clean product lines, SheaMoisture's high quality, affordable price points, wide distribution, ethically traded, and sustainably sourced product model is something to be applauded. And they know how to keep a product junkie on her toes -- releasing three new product lines in the past three months! Every Shea Moisture product stands by their commitment to be free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances and colors, DEA, and animal testing. Practically all of SheaMoisture's products are free of silicones (click here for a note on Keravis protein in their Jamaican Black Castor Oil line), and crafted with fair trade ingredients. Check for their products at Target, CVS, Ulta, Walgreens, and in Curlmart.

My favorites from SheaMoisture:

Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque, Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque and Leave-In, and African Black Soap Purification Masque.

eden bodyworks curl defining cremeEden BodyWorks

If you're looking for clean, quality products in generous quantities for $10 or less, look no further than Eden BodyWorks. The triple threat (Peppermint Tea Tree, Jojoba Monoi, and Coconut Shea) brand offers paraben, silicone, sulfate, mineral oil, petroleum, artificial color, paraben, harsh preservative, and cruelty-free shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, moisturizers, and stylers. Eden BodyWorks products can be found at Sally Beauty, Wal-Mart, CVS, and online in Curlmart.

My favorites from Eden BodyWorks:

Coconut Shea All-Natural Hair Masque, Coconut Shea All-Natural Cleansing CoWash, Jojoba Monoi All-Natural Deep Conditioner, Coconut Shea All-Natural Leave-In ConditionerCoconut Shea All-Natural Pudding Souffle.

hi def treluxeTreLuxe

A relatively new kid on the block, TreLuxe offers an elevated, luxury experience for natural hair using high quality Active Botanicals and potent plant-based ingredients. The TreLuxe collection of products is free of silicones, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, artificial colors, harsh preservatives, and parabens, and features tomato fruit ferment extract. Tomato fruit ferment extract is a bio-fermented enzyme complex that creates long-term conditioning, penetrating moisture, nourishing and strength without buildup. Lastly, through their A Natural Fit initiative, TreLuxe has teamed up with Girls with Sole, Girls on the Run, and Girls in the Game to help promote healthy habits and active living among girls in communities that are at-risk for developing health-related illnesses directly correlated to a lack of physical activity. Check out TreLuxe's products online at www.discovertreluxe.com.

My favorites from TreLuxe:

Curl Supreme Styling Cream, Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer Styling Gel, Untie The Knot Leave-In Conditioner.

qhemet hair product comboQhemet Biologics

Qhemet Biologics has been a pillar in the natural hair community for quite some time. Focused specifically on meeting the needs of ladies with dry, brittle, kinky and coily hair, Qhemet products are designed to hydrate, moisturize, nourish, and strengthen based on African, Mediterranean, and Ayurvedic hair care traditions. Qhemet Biologics products conform to the notoriously stricter EU and Japanese cosmetic safety standards, and are free of mineral oil, petroleum, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde donor preservatives, artificial colors and fragrances. Qhemet Biologics is a vegetarian, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly brand. Products are available online at www.qhemetbiologics.com.

My favorites from Qhemet Biologics:

Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter, Burdock Root Butter CreamCocoa Tree Detangling Ghee.

obia natural hair productsObia Natural Hair

Obia Natural Hair Care was founded by Obia Ewah, a chemist by trade. On the heels of a personal battle with her health, she developed a health-conscious line of products for ladies with natural hair. Everything in the Obia Natural Hair Care line is formulated by Obia herself, utilizing her special skills as a chemist. All of the products are pH balanced, vegan, cruelty and gluten free. Additionally, they are non-toxic, herbal-based, and free from parabens, formaldehyde donor preservatives, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates, artificial colors, drying alcohols, silicones and petroleum. Obia Natural Hair Care products are available online in Curlmart.

My favorites from Obia Natural Hair Care:

Curl Enhancing Custard, Babassu Deep ConditionerCoconut Shea Shampoo Bar. 


Of course, there are tons of other brands that offer clean and health-conscious products for all hair textures and types. This is just the beginning.

What are some of your favorite clean natural hair brands and products? Let me know in the comments below!