Throughout 2019 we reached out to our smarter shoppers, asking them for reviews on their favorite hair growth shampoo and conditioner sets. Thousands of reviewers from around the world submitted reviews via Email, Twitter and Facebook.
Not only did we use our smart shoppers to gather information for our Top 5 Hair Growth Shampoo and Conditioners of 2019, we bought each bottle and researched every ingredient to evaluate which shampoo and conditioner ingredients were harmful and which ingredients were beneficial.
Research was also gathered from several recent clinical studies (you may review our research in the citation section of this article) to complete this list in it's entirety.
Voting is still available! Join the conversation, review a product and put in your 2 cents today. We're only an email away at Product@Smarter-Reviews.com.
Organic Shampoos and Conditioners: What You Need to Know
A lot of conflicting and confusing information exists when it comes to the word organics, especially with personal care products. Here's a little more information on organic shampoos.
- What Does Organic Actually Mean? Everywhere we look these days people are buying the latest and greatest organic products. We can't escape it, organic this, organic that; organic labels are even popping up in the shampoo and conditioner aisles (labels such as: "Contains 70% Organic Content" or even "83% Organic Content"), and they totally influence our buying decisions.
The truth is that does not apply to personal care products. That means a shampoo can contain a small percentage of an organic ingredient (that may or may not enhance your hair's health) to be called organic. Beware of labels that claim a product is organic. Do your research and read into it.
- Organic v.s. Natural. We've explained how easy it is to claim a product is organic when it's not truly organic. Another thing to consider, just because a product claims to be organic doesn't mean it will actually clean your scalp and repair damaged hair.
Years worth of research and clinical trials has revealed the exact natural ingredients needed to simulate and protect your hair. You need to infuse the right antioxidants, natural oils and scalp cleansers that will create an environment for your hair follicles to thrive.
The real question you need to ask is if a natural product, that has been proven to work, would be more effective for you than an organic product, that might miss a few key ingredients. These ingredients could be missing for a few reasons. One popular reason is the organic versions of those ingredients aren't really available. Another is that it's simply not an affordable option.
THE HIDDEN DANGERS OF SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONERS
The Journal of the American College of Toxicology says that common shampoo and conditioner ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can damage the immune system, cause separation of skin layers, and inflame your skin leaving it dry, rashy and irritated.
SLS is found in about 90% of hair care products, but is also found in several harsh floor cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash detergents, not exactly something you would want to put in your hair.
The sad truth is that most manufacturers cut corners and use cheap synthetic ingredients when formulating their products, yes even in organic hair care products. It saves them money and most consumers can't tell the difference.
You may wonder why your hair is unhealthy, but you'd never think to blame your good ol' shampoo and conditioner.
The Proof is in the Pudding, I mean in the Shampoo and Conditioner
You are what you eat, right? Consuming processed and unnatural foods makes you sluggish and can lead to numerous health issues. The same goes for your hair. Your hair and scalp act like a sponge absorbing the nutrients you feed it.
You want to find the right mix of essential oils, vitamins, natural extracts and mild cleansers to gently clean your hair and scalp, while fortifying it with beneficial natural ingredients.
Below are beneficial and natural ingredients a high-quality shampoo should contain. All ingredients have been clinically proven to maintain healthy hair and aid in hair repair and growth.
Beneficial Shampoo Ingredients:
- Peppermint Oil - Fortifies and stimulates the hair cuticle to take in moisture from other ingredients promoting hair growth*.3
- Cedarwood Oil - Stimulates circulation in the scalp which helps to promote healthier hair growth*.4
- Tea Tree Oil - Cleanses your hair and scalp, by removing dead cells and unblocking hair follicles*.5
- Jojoba Seed Oil - Similar to the natural oil your scalp produces, sebum, Jojoba is used to treat a dry scalp*.6
- Grapefruit Oil - Hydrates the scalp helping to prevent dandruff and skin irritation*.7
- Horsetail (plant) - Promotes circulation and assists in nourishing and strengthening hair follicles. also aids in removing styling product build up*.8
- Nettle - Promotes hair growth and obstructs surplus DHT, the hormone that causes male and female baldness*.9
- Willow bark - Stimulates hair growth and encourages thicker hair*.
- Keratin - Promotes hair growth by protecting your hair cells from styling products and heat tools*. 10, 11
- Soy and Wheat Proteins - Penetrates the cortex of your hair strands, strengthening and moisturizing them*.11
- B5, D3 and E - Prevents damage, stimulates hair growth and hydrates your scalp*.
Natural Foaming Agents
- Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine - Derived from the fatty acids in coconut oil, acts as foaming and anti-static agent, conditions and thickens hair*.
It is important to know which ingredients are good for your hair. But it is equally important to know which ingredients to avoid. Many people don't understand why their hair is damaged. If you are experiencing an itchy or dry scalp and have noticed hair loss or thinning, you might want to look at what is inside your shampoo and conditioner.
Listed below are harmful shampoo ingredients you need to lookout for.
Harmful Shampoo Ingredients:
Harsh SulfatesSLS and SLES are chemicals proven by the American Journal of Contact Dermatitis to cause irritation. They are added to shampoos because of their cheap and effective bubbling properties.
ParabensChemicals including methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben can be absorbed through your skin and have been linked to breast cancer.12
Cocamide DEAFound in many products claiming to be natural, the basis of this chemical—coconut oil—seems innocent enough. But scientists tinkered with the ingredient, modifying it into an unnatural, toxic form. in 2012 California added it to it's known carcinogens list.13
Now that we've taken a look at the ingredients we need in our hair growth shampoo (and the harmful ingredients we need to avoid!) let's take a look at conditioner.
Conditioner is used to moisturize and protect your hair. Because of conditioner's protective properties, you want to make sure there are plenty of natural occurring proteins and amino acids to nourish and restore damaged hair.
Listed below are beneficial and natural ingredients your conditioner should contain. Just as importantly, make sure you read the list of harmful ingredients you must avoid.
Beneficial Conditioner Ingredients:
- Keratin - The strongest hair protein which everyone's hair is made from, this protein prevents hair breakage, reduces frizz, smoothes and shines your hair*.14
- Hydrolyzed Soy Protein - Strengthens your hair, increases your hair's ability to trap moisture and adds shine*.15
- Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein - Fortifies and moisturizes your hair by penetrating each cortex*.15
Essential Oils (conditioning)
- Marula Oil - Seals, coats and smoothes your hair cuticle*. 16
- Argan Oil - This high omega oil coats, protects and moisturizes your hair*.17
- Coconut Oil - Helps makes your hair stronger, more flexible, and promotes hair growth*. 18
- Avocado Oil - Coats and strengthens damaged hair, leaving your hair thick and shiny*. 18
- Silk Amino Acids - Helps rebuild and nourish damaged hair without weighing it down or causing buildup. They also contain high levels of serine which has excellent moisture preservation characteristics*.
- Behentrimonium Methosulfate - Mild and recommended for use on baby products, derived from rapeseed oil, best used for detangling, prevents dandruff and hair loss*.
Harmful Conditioner Ingredients:
Behentrimonium ChlorideAlso known as Docosyltrimethylammonium chloride, this cheap, harsh chemical can cause skin and eye irritation. 19
Isopropyl alcoholUsed in antifreeze, wood finish and shellac, strips your hair of its natural oils and can cause damage to your hair. Avoid this ingredient.
SiliconesWhile you usually can't avoid them in your styling products, they shouldn't be present when conditioning your hair. They create the illusion of healthy hair. when in actuality they clog your pores and dry your hair from the inside out.20
Take Care of Your Hair - Be Aware of Sulfates, Parabens and Silicones
Sulfates, parabens and silicones are harmful! Studies link them to cancer, hair loss and scalp irritations.
The harsh reality, they are commonly used in your shampoo and conditioner.
Take a look for yourself, if SLS and SLES are not listed as some of the first ingredients in your shampoo then you're on the right track.
The best way to take care of your hair is with a natural hair growth shampoo and conditioner set. Here are some tips from our Smart Shoppers on what to look for:
- Look for beneficial ingredients - just because something is organic doesn't mean it is beneficial.
- Look for mild cleansers, essential oils, vitamins and extracts - they will gently clean your hair and scalp, while fortifying it with beneficial natural ingredients*.
- Look for Essential Oils from Coconut, Avocado, Argan, and Marula - they will give your hair shine and moisture without the oily build up*.
- Look for Vitamin B, D and E - they will nourish your hair follicles and help retain your hair's natural properties*.
- Avoid harsh sulfates, parabens and silicones - these ingredients may work for the very short term, but they do more harm in the long run and can seriously damage your hair and can even cause premature hair loss*.
TOP 5 Hair Growth Shampoo and Conditioner for 2019
We've compiled our top 5 hair growth shampoos and conditioners from our Smart Shopper reviews and our thorough research and evaluations. Vote for your favorite now!