I’ve always been a big fan of the clean beauty movement. My inner hippie loves the idea of living in a chemical-free zone, and I’ve gotta say that I’m (more than a little) concerned about the toxic ingredients found in some of our personal care products.
Last week, I found myself reading an article about the dangers of propylparaben - a seemingly-harmless preservative that’s found its way into all sorts of conditioners, body-washes and shampoos.
The basic idea is that propylparaben acts as a preservative that’s supposed to have all sorts of beneficial properties. It's a powerful antibacterial and it does extend the shelf-life of most cosmetics - but it does have a dark side too. Propylparaben is an allergen, and has the potential to cause contact dermatitis, which can be *incredibly* irritating.
More importantly, studies have shown that propylparaben builds up in your body’s cells and scientists now think that it can damage your DNA - destroying its important failsafes and encouraging the development of certain cancers.
It’s not just the propylparaben that you have to watch for either. Way back in 2016, an article published by the Huffington Post stated that American women exposed their bodies to approx 515 chemicals every single day, and at least 50% of these adulterants have some sort of known negative side effects.
Phthalates can mess up your hormones; fragrances can ruin your lungs, and formaldehyde is supposed to be linked to the development of asthma - which makes them a serious no-go for me! I’ve also read that some preservatives can permanently damage your nervous system. If I’m being totally honest, this is the kind of thing that makes me want to stop supporting most of the big-name brands we all (seem to) know and love. I mean sure, Dove body washes smell great. But if it’s actually damaging my body then I think I’d rather do without. Same goes for most of the expensive conditioners, hair masks and makeup wipes in my collection...
So that’s exactly why I decided to start off the year by tossing my old cosmetics in the trash, and embarking on a full-on chemical detox to try and eliminate some of that rubbish that’s been building up in my system
I’m now a couple of months in and I am generally happy with my decision. My skin is looking way better and I’m worrying less about toxins from my beauty products. I really don’t really miss all the junk that used to clog up my bathroom shelf space! My night-time routine is much quicker and simpler now - just a quick wipe with my super-soft organic cotton face cloth using a natural cleanser and toner before I jump into bed.
I’ve managed to find some nice, paraben-free body washes, but it took me a really long time to find the right shampoo for me. I love my hair, but admittedly it’s not the healthiest set of tresses! I spent most of my teenage years experimenting with bargain-basement hair dye and its left my strands with a distinctly straw-like texture that’s (incredibly) difficult to tame.
Going into my detox, I really struggled to find a product that could compete with the Pantene Pro-V shampoo I’d been using since I was 15. I was a self-proclaimed addict and I was 100% convinced that nothing would ever compare.
And to start with, my suspicions were definitely kinda right. I tried every natural or hypoallergenic shampoo that I could lay my hands on. They all left my hair looking wilted, dry or forlorn. Think Cruella De Ville hair... after she’d launched herself head-first into a snow bank.
I also had some pretty bad issues with build-up. I don’t know if it was something to do with my hair or something, but every shampoo that I tried left this weird, gummy residue on my scalp. Like, it looked fine for the first couple of washes, but after a few weeks of trialling different products my hair was starting to look seriously lifeless. I admit that I was pretty close to giving up on clean shampoos all together.
But then a friend turned me on to an absolute game changer. I have been 100% obsessed with No Nothing’s Moisturising shampoo - made by a team of (genius) scientists over in Finland. It’s essentially a salon-quality product, but without any of the nasty chemicals or toxins that damage your health. This shampoo will change your life.
Unlike a lot of other competing non-toxic hair products, it’s absolutely packed with conditioners from natural sources like avocado and cotton seed. And who doesn’t love avocado?! The shampoo cleanses and revitalises your hair without stripping out all your natural oils, and I have to admit that they do a pretty good job. In fact, I found that using this ultra-clean product left my hair feeling incredibly refreshed, and the way my hair shines is out of this world.
I’ve also found that using No Nothing’s moisturising shampoo really helped to eliminate my frizz and flyaways. Although I’m no chemist, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s because they’ve packed this stuff with all kinds of healthy oils.
Oh and the lather; I *have* to tell you about the lather! See, the overwhelming majority of natural/hypoallergenic products are pretty light on surfactants, which means that they don’t produce much in the way of bubbles or foam. Instead, they sort of cling to your hair until you wash them down the drain and I honestly find that makes for a bit of a disappointing showering experience. This stuff’s totally the opposite though - massage the smallest drop into your hair and BAM! Lather for days.
Ofc you might not really care about the bubbles, but it’s worth noting that the amount of lather seems to be correlated with the cleaning power of the shampoo so I’m thrilled to have found a fragrance-free product that actually eliminates grime.
I don’t want to get too bogged down in the specifics here though. Instead, I want to walk you through my 2 week hair experience with this little miracle.
The mailman knocks at my door, and I find myself holding a bottle of No Nothing, fragrance free shampoo. I’ve been burnt by a few ‘fragrance-free’ products at this point, so I’m a little bit skeptical but I still remember thinking that the branding/bottle-design was super-cute. I also made a note of the short ingredient list but I didn’t have time to get stuck in that day because my fiance had planned a big date and I’d already washed my hair.
I finally found the time to take a shower, and try out my brand new shampoo. First impressions are pretty good. It has absolutely no fragrance, which is a little bit scary at first, but it definitely gets my hair feeling squeaky clean. After (towel) drying my hair, I notice that my strands are looking very glossy but it’s early days yet and I don’t want to jinx things!
I can be pretty lazy, but I normally rewash my hair every two or three days. Any more than that and it starts to look decidedly sketch, but I skip my scheduled wash today. My hair looks 100% passable and I’m still enjoying that ultra-smooth, salon-fresh shine.
My second wash! This one feels just as good as the last one, and I have to admit that my hair feels fantastic. It’s silky soft to the touch, and it's got tons of bounce too. Definitely a big step up from the other shampoos I’ve been trying until now.
I’ve stopped using my daily hair mask. My hair feels a lot less brittle and I have to admit that I’m getting a lot more compliments from my friends. My bestie even asked if I was trying out a new routine and my fiance definitely seems to be paying more attention to my hair! I haven't noticed any build-up yet either, so I’d say I was definitely feeling super impressed by this point.
The only (slight) downside is the lack of smell. I know it;’s a major selling point but it feels weird to step out of the shower and not smell peaches, or tropical flowers. I guess showering is a multi-sensory experience and I’m still getting used to the idea of fragrance-free hair.
Still loving my hair, which seems to get softer by the day. Today’s journal entry also notes that good hair can be a real confidence booster, and I think that’s definitely something that still resonates!
I’ve been using No Nothing’s moisturising shampoo for nearly two weeks now, and I’m really impressed with the results. I can’t fault it’s cleaning power (I only ever need to wash once) and I love the overall results. I’m also getting used to the lack of fragrance, and I’m pretty confident that I’ve found my go-to ‘poo.
It’s hard to fully express my admiration for this product. It’s a genuinely brilliant shampoo that does an A+ job of revitalising dry or damaged hair. Because it’s designed for allergy sufferers, it means that you won’t find any of the concerning, nasty chemicals that I mentioned earlier. Honestly? No Nothing is the perfect choice for anyone that’s keen to detox their hair and beauty routine. Or if you need to keep away from potential allergens. An absolute must-have if you’re struggling to manage dry, damaged hair. I’ll definitely be using it for months (if not years) to come!