Fragrance free options are often suited to those with several allergies to cosmetic ingredients, including MI, as fragrance allergies can be tough to pinpoint and diagnose. Furthermore, given there’s a small possibility fragrance ingredients used by manufacturers can be preserved with isothiazolinones, choosing fragrance-free is a further insurance. The unscented conditioners below should be completely safe.
Desert Essence Fragrance Free Conditioner (8oz)
Very natural product based on aloe vera and green tea. Free from parabens, phthalates, gluten, artificial colours, silicones and petroleum-based ingredients. Vegan. Very good value at under $10. For more info, see also the Desert Essence site.
Dolphin Organics Conditioner – Fragrance Free (US only) (8oz)
Lovely natural product – free of all artificial ingredients – which is ideal for kids and other family members alike. It is vegan, hypoallergenic, gluten free (though contains oat kernel extract). Lots of botanical extracts, thickened with xanthan gum, and preserved with sorbic acid – it’s a good option to reduce risk of any rogue reactions in children.
Ecostore Ultra Sensitive Conditioner (Australia / NZ only) (220ml)
Plant-based, few-ingredient product which is extremely simple. Glycerin and almond oil (so not nut-free) are included, with phenoxyethanol as preservative, and behentrimonium methosulphate – widely considered the mildest conditioning and hair-detangling agent available to the natural formulator. (For NZ site, click here.)
Faith in Nature Fragrance Free Conditioner (400ml)
This accessible and affordable naturally-inspired brand does not use isothiazolinones in any products, so all its many varieties of conditioner are safe, but the fragrance free one is especially ideal for those with other sensitivities, and may be suitable for those who are uncertain to what they react. It has a straightforward formulation – with coconut derivatives, sunflower oil, plant extracts and gentle preservatives (sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate) – and is excellent value.
Free and Clear Conditioner (355ml)
A no-frills product which will not win any natural or green awards, but one which is free from almost all conceivable irritants, making it ideal for especially sensitive people. It’s free from all preservatives, wheat / gluten proteins, sulphates, oils, phosphates, fragrances, dyes, lanolin and much more. Ideal as a hypoallergenic product if you want to use a conditioner which is highly unlikely to trigger any reaction.
Green People Natural/Scent Free Conditioner (200ml)
This is an excellent natural product, which is free from any fragrance allergens, and also free from wheat / gluten (unusually, it uses quinoa proteins instead). GP say it could be suitable for those with eczema or psoriasis. Key plant actives include olive oil, aloe vera, green tea and sunflower. Also available via Amazon, including in North America.
Nurture My Body Nourishing Conditioner Fragrance Free (US only) (240ml)
This is a preservative-free formulation with a difference, using only purified water, emulsifying wax, and a wide assortment of botanicals, including macadamia nut, chickweed, nettle, jojoba, aloe vera, seaweed, as well as sage, rosemary and vitamin C, which presumably offer some preservative action in the formulation. Vegan, gluten-free, all-natural and certified organic, this is definitely an original conditioner, which may be worth a try if you’ve not had success with more mainstream versions.
Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Conditioner (250ml)
A functional formulation with no botanicals nor food allergens, and preserved with phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin and sodium benzoate – therefore free from parabens and isothiazolinones. It uses silicones to provide the sought-after silky smooth gloss, and hydrolysed elastin to help condition hair. Manufacturers claim anti-static qualities too. Not the most affordable, but trusted, solid and functional.
The Seaweed Bath Co. Unscented Moisturizing Argan Conditioner (12 fl oz)
Suited to normal through to dry/damaged hair, this seaweed enriched conditioner contains oils of avocado, coconut and jojoba in addition to argan, and is preserved with sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, making it free from many preservatives consumers look to avoid – such as parabens, phenoxyethanol and of course MI. Contains soy and barley (albeit hydrolysed, therefore gluten free) and also the silicone amodimethicone. Vegan friendly.
The following look to be safe from the ingredients, but we have not received confirmation from the brands concerned.
Earth Science Fragrance Free Conditioner (12 fl oz)
Earthsafe Clean Air Unscented Conditioner (Canada only) (480ml)
PHB Scent Free Conditioner (UK only) (250ml)
Pure Nuff Stuff Intensive Hair Conditioner Unscented (UK only) (250/500ml)
Stony Brook Conditioner Unscented (US only) (16 oz)