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.
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.