How do decode a clean hair care product label

Written by Sumona BoseJun 25, 2021

The transition from a regular hair care routine to a clean hair care routine is rewarding AF. Not only are you tossing away chemical-laden products and making space for non-toxic, baddie free ones, but you’re also contributing to a greener planet by choosing sustainable brands. However, since there’s no official body that regulates the use of the word ‘clean’, it leaves brands open to interpret it how they want. In order to avoid being misled, just focus on one thing - the labels. They tell you what products are ‘in’ and what are ‘out’, helping you make an informed decision. Ahead, we’ve listed down five labels you’ll come across when buying a clean hair care product and what they mean.

01. Silicone-free

Silicones are common compounds used in hair care that form a thin coating on your hair to prevent moisture loss and lend shine to it. While silicones are not toxic, some aren’t water-soluble, making them hard to wash off. They cause a nasty buildup on the scalp, clogging the hair follicles and making your hair more prone to breakage.

02. Paraben-free

Parabens are used as preservatives in hair care products to increase their shelf life by inhibiting bacteria and mould growth. However, parabens are known to get absorbed into your scalp easily, causing several issues like dryness, inflammation, fading of hair colour and, in worse cases, even hair loss. Moral of the story? Parabens are best avoided.

03. Dye-free

Artificial dyes are used to enhance the look of a hair product. Similar to parabens, artificial dyes can also get absorbed through your scalp and reach the bloodstream, causing inflammation and skin sensitivity. It can also cause allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin.

04. Fragrance-free

Artificial fragrances are added to hair products to increase their appeal. However, they contain synthetic chemicals like petroleum, phthalates, benzene derivatives, aldehydes and toluene, all of which are known to be cancer-causing agents and hazardous to your overall health.

05. Cruelty-free

Cruelty-free indicates that the products have not been tested on animals. And it also signifies that neither the ingredients nor the components have been tested on animals as well.'

It can indeed be tricky to decipher all of these labels and make the right pick for yourself, so we wanted to help out. One of our personal favourite clean beauty brands, which also happens to have a great haircare range, is Love Beauty & Planet. Not only does it have all of the labels mentioned above, but its products come packed in recycled bottles and are 100% recyclable too. What’s more, is that they contain ethically sourced fragrance oils or absolutes such as French lavender, Moroccan mimosa flower or Bulgarian rose petals that leave your hair smelling divine. With a haircare range that caters to issues ranging from frizziness to colour care, this is one brand that will always be on the top of our clean beauty checklist!