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Road Test - Shampoo & Conditioners



For years I have used traditional, chemical laden shampoos and conditioners, but after working at EarthFirst I’m more aware of the harmful chemicals in most of these products.  I decided to give a natural product a go and so did the other girls here.  We did have mixed results after using four different products so I thought I’d share our experiences with you. 

One great thing about these products is they don’t contain the worst of the chemicals you’ll find in shampoos and conditioners – parabens, sodium sulphates and formaldehyde.  So if you want to know which ones to try and which ones to leave on the shelf, here we go.


This product is not tested on animals, there are no toxic chemicals (100% natural ingredients) and the packaging is recyclable.  Two of the girls tried this and they were unanimous in their opinion – the shampoo is the worst they have ever tried.  Unfortunately it left their hair feeling very dry and like straw (think scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz). 

They thought the conditioner was ok but felt they had to use a lot of it.  The price didn’t grab them either, at $19.95 for a 400 ml bottle it’s on the expensive side.
No leaves for this one; it was an uninspiring experience.

Organix Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner

Our girl tested the Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner.  This product had lovely packaging (which our tester thought may not be recyclable), and again was quite expensive, especially for the size.  The name led our tester to believe it would be creamy and luxurious, however the shampoo made her hair feel very dry and rubbery as she washed it. 

The end result was ok but a little dry, and her hair didn’t feel soft and manageable.  On the plus side, it did have a nice smell and doesn’t contain sulphates or parabens.  Our tester decided she would not be buying this product again.  They do have a large range of different shampoos so you may have better luck with another one of their products.

No leaves for this one - it’s looking very bare around here so far.

Organic Care

Natures Organics is an Australian owned company which doesn’t use animal products, undertake animal testing and all their packing is compostable and biodegradable, (this is the only company of the ones we tested to offer such environmentally responsible packaging).

 Their products are sulphate and paraben free.  Our tester has been using this one for nearly a year and has tried the normal, dry and coloured versions, and the verdict - all are great (finally, yay!).  This product has a delightful smell and her whole family uses it, even the kids.  Our tester found it leaves hair nourished, it lathers well and is very cheap compared to other shampoo and conditioners.

This product contains a chemical ingredient, dimethicone, however this has been proven to be non-toxic in studies undertaken to date, and is not absorbed into the skin.  The Natures Organics website lists a full detailed description of their ingredients with a link to their product material safety data sheet, which is great as they are not hiding anything.   At EarthFirst we think all sites should be like this and think this company has found the right balance between safe ingredients and a good outcome, because let’s face it, mud is natural but would you use it to wash your hair?
We give this one an honourable five green leaves!

Sukin Purifying Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner

Finally it’s my turn.  I’ve started using Sukin shampoo and conditioner.  I found them at a health food store but they’re available on line as well.  

These products are labelled as carbon neutral (their production has no impact on the environment) and they don’t contain animal derivatives, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, petro-chemicals, triethanolamine or parabens.  Their full range of products, which include body wash, deodorants and creams, are made in Australia and the packaging is recyclable. 

The product is not cheap with a 250 ml bottle costing around $7.50.

I’ve recently had foils in my hair (yes I know, bad chemicals) and it has dried it out a little.  When I used the Sukin products my hair felt soft afterwards and I can’t tell any difference in the end result if I compare it to the chemical laden products I’ve always used.  Both the shampoo and conditioner smell fresh and fruity. 

Don’t be disappointed that the shampoo doesn’t lather; this is a good thing, because the major bubble action in shampoo is caused by sulphate, a dangerous chemical, and this shampoo is sulphate free.   There were a couple of chemicals that I think are borderline, with the conditioner containing cetyl alcohol which can be a skin irritant and cetrimonium chloride which is a synthetic chemical which can be an allergen.  The shampoo contained PEG 150 which should not come into contact with broken skin as it can, in high enough doses, affect the liver and may contain harmful impurities which have links to cancer.  The shampoo also contained cocomidopropyl betaine which has been associated with contact dermatitis.

So, whilst most of the ingredients are safe, there are a couple that I was not happy with and the balance of ingredients is not as good as Natures Organics.  They don’t contain the most harmful chemicals in shampoos; parabens and sulphates, and the fragrances are all natural, so I am happy to give it three green leaves.

So if you have reached the end of our road test and are a logical person you would have to see that Natures Organics are way ahead of their competitors in terms of product, price and earth friendliness. 

If you're currently using a hair product that you think is awesome, let us know!



What do you think?