Allergy friendly hair products are the top request I receive from people with sensitivities to the isothiazolinones, and until now, I’ve not covered hair styling products in any detail. So to address that, here is a list I’ve started to put together, with more additions to follow. With thanks to the many followers of the MI Free Facebook page for their suggestions too. More always welcome.
Bear in mind that “unscented” products may still contain some fragrance, added to mask other smells and create a ‘neutral’ odour. If you react to fragrance compounds, look for “fragrance free” products.
Free & Clear (US) / Free & Clear (Can) / Free & Clear (UK)
Their Hair Styling Gel for Sensitive Skin is recommended by many with all kinds of sensitivities, as is their Styling and Finishing Hair Spray.
No Nothing (US) / No Nothing (Can)
“Very Sensitive Hair Products” is No Nothing’s tagline, and their fragrance free collection for hair styling look exceptionally allergy-friendly — there’s Strong Mousse, Strong Hold Hairspray, Super Strong Hold Hairspray, Styling Spray and others. “No irritating ingredients” is their promise, and while the ingredients aren’t all natural, they do look highly non-reactive. Well worth investigating. Also available via Amazon US.
Olsson Haircare (UK)
Another brand which won’t win prizes for ‘natural’ qualities, but may well do so for hypoallergenic ones. Very high tolerance ‘Sensitive’ hair styling products — Mud Styling Wax, Hair Mousse Spray Lift and Hold, and Hair Spray Medium Hold. Also available via Amazon UK.
Suncoat (US) / Suncoat (Can) / Suncoat (UK) / Suncoat (Aus)
Several hair styling products in total, but only one is fragrance free — their sugar-based Natural Hair Spray, which is a very simple formulation of corn starch, glycerin, citric acid, vitamin E and a gentle preservative. Free from polymers, alcohol and more.
Hairspray Extra Firm Unperfumed is a good high street option.
Non Fragrance Free
Most high-street propellent hair sprays in aerosol cans are MI-free, but always check labels. Those aside, here are some other brands worth checking out.
Andalou Naturals (US) / Andalou Naturals (UK)
A range of styling cremes, gels and sprays — as well as other haircare products — which are free from all synthetic preservatives, as well as sulphates, petrochemical derivatives, phthalates, artificial colors / fragrances, triclosan, parabens, gluten or MEA / TEA / DEA.
Giovanni (US) / Giovanni (UK)
Their Natural Mousse Air Turbo-Charged Hair Styling Foam is popular among quite a few MI-allergic testers and has been recommended several times on Facebook.
Green People (UK)
A Quinoa & Avocado Hair Serum (for women) and Texturising Styling Gel (for men), from this well known and highly regarded British natural skincare company.
JASON (US) / JASON (UK)
Thought I’d mention this brand’s Think to Thick Hair Spray, because it contains alpha isomethyl ionone, which some mistake for an isothiazolinone, but which is actually a fragrance compound and usually safe for those with MI / MCI allergies.
John Masters Organics (UK)
Several products which may be of interest — Volumizing Foam, Hair Paste, Sweet Orange & Protein Styling Gel, Sculpting Clay (Medium Hold), and a few others. All contain a small amount of fragrance, but from essential oils, therefore may be suited to some.
Pure Haven Essentials (US)
Their Hair Spray is described as “100% free of toxins”, and seems to contain wholly natural ingredients, fragranced with natural lavender oil.
Virtue Labs (US)
A selection of styling products, including Volumizing Primer, 6-in-1 Styler, Hair Spray, Texturising Spray, Volumizing Mousse and Shaping Spray. Not especially natural in that they use petrochemical ingredients and silicones and many fragrances, but free from sulphates, phthalates, gluten, artificial colours and parabens.
Are there any safe hair coloring products?
This article may be useful, Ulla, depending on your sensitivities and requirements: https://mi-free.com/ppd-allergy-and-mi-allergy/
Hi there, in Australia NAK Aromas products are safe as is their hair colouring products.
Kristin Ess has a collection of fragrance free hair products. I don’t remember if they’re MI free, but you should check them out. They’re available at Target or on Amazon in the US. You’re right it is hard to find organic fragrance free products for allergy prone skin. They keep telling me that they have “natural” fragrances, but fragrance is fragrance is fragrance. You can be just as allergic or even more allergic products than to natural products.
I’ve not looked at them, but will do so – or perhaps someone can let us know if they are safe.
I agree re perfume / fragrance / parfum. All these arguments about which is better / worse really aren’t helpful on an individual level. You can be allergic to one, the other, neither or both, and some allergenic components exist in both natural and artificial perfumes. What matters is what you react to. There are lots of non-fragrance products which smell nice, such as coconut, other nutter butters, or ingredients like sea buckthorn or rosehip, which aren’t strictly ‘fragrances’ and most can tolerate.
I have a severe allergy to Kathon an all it’s derivatives, Questions: Are they in tatters ink?
If you mean tattoo ink, then they can be in some. You have to check with individual manufacturers, perhaps via your tattooist. In my experience (limited), it’s uncommon to find them.
daniel field water colour is what your looking for, the first totally allergy fragrance free chemical free hairdye in the world he created it back in 1989, it became widely available from 1992 onwards. you have to leave it on 75 minutes to get permanent results also your hair has to be dry Not wet before use if you want permanent results.
Go research it, see what you think. i’m severley allergic to chemicals and i use this colouring system, you add water to a small amount of powder, you add about 75 to 100 mls of water in the supplied bottle, but if you buy more powder vials you can up the water the same amount again.
it’s a uk colourant they ship world wide, its quite dear at £9.99 plus postage, but is the safest hair colour in the world with zero aroma, you Cannot lighten hair but tone grey and blondes or certainly vibrantly redden or darken with it , its henna free.
Hopes this can help anybody out there.
Thanks for the tip and the info Susan – will definitely look into it all.