Shampoo & Conditioner for Sensitive Skin & Scalp
If you have sensitive skin, it unfortunately doesn’t just stop at your hairline. Irritation can affect your entire body and it can spread to your scalp. It is also possible to experience discomfort and irritation on the scalp even if you don’t have sensitive skin on your face or other parts of your body.
For many years I used a number of different brands of shampoo and conditioner for my hair and often when my hair was down and around my face after washing it, my eyes would get irritated, itchy and puffy and my nose would get stuffy or runny. So I would hold a cold cloth over my eyes for about 30 mins and then it would settle down. This happened on and off so it was hard to pinpoint exactly what was causing this irritation as it could have been anything from the hair products to the dust on the towels or in my room to the snack I might have eaten after the shower.
How do you know if your scalp is sensitive?
Signs such as itching, flaking, redness, tingling may indicate you have sensitive scalp. Also, if your hair is super oily or super dry, it might be considered sensitive. Sensitive scalp can be aggravated by various factors, such as shampoos, conditioners, certain ingredients in hair products, environmental pollution and stress.
Because of the amount of hair follicles on the scalp, products put on your scalp can penetrate the skin (pass through the upper layers of skin and has the chance to be absorbed by the bloodstream) to a greater degree than on other parts of your body. Data suggests that hair follicles may provide a significant access route for chemicals and compounds. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the ingredients in your hair products and opt for products are free from ingredients such as sulfates, parabens and unnatural colorants which may irritate your scalp further.
Absorption of chemicals from products into the skin also depends on different factors, like skin integrity (damaged or intact), concentration of product on the skin, length of time exposed, skin temperature, and the area of your body exposed. Skin absorption rates vary greatly among different parts of the body – the chemical absorption rate on your forehead and scalp is greater than the absorption rate on your forearms.
My Hair Products
For many years I used a number of different brands of shampoo and conditioner for my hair and would get itchy, irritated eyes and my nose would get stuffy or runny. After taking a look at all the products I was using, changing my skincare routine to products for sensitive skin, specifically the Avene range (see my post on skincare), and using mineral makeup for my sensitive skin, I started on the search for appropriate hair products for sensitive skin.
So personally, my aim was to find a natural shampoo and conditioner, free from as many chemical irritants as possible and designed for sensitive skin.
After a lot of trial and error, I found the hair products ‘Faith in Nature’.
Faith in Nature was established in 1974, with products that are made using naturally derived, cruelty free ingredients with 100% natural fragrance. The shampoos and conditioners are made with essential oil, are free from parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), and vegan & cruelty free.
SLS is like a detergent, which makes a liquid turn to foam. There are some concerns about its toxicity when combined with other ingredients in personal care products, and it may also cause irritation to the skin, eyes and scalp. When I started using the products, I noticed the shampoo didn’t lather as easily as other shampoos I had been using but I knew this was because it is free from SLS. People perceive the suds produced during shampooing as a good thing, that it’s cleansing their hair, but these suds are produced by sulfates that strip the hair of its natural oils, making it dry and brittle. So the lack of lather and suds was a positive for me!
I use the Aloe Vera Shampoo & Conditioner which contains active organic aloe vera which is known for its rejuvenating qualities, so it nourishes hair in a natural way.
I also found my hair doesn’t get as greasy as quickly so I might get an extra day out of my hair compared to other brands I’ve used. This may be due to the shampoo cleansing my hair without stripping my scalp from the natural oils produced (certain shampoos can strip the scalp from natural oils produced and therefore cause the scalp to produce excess oil), while helping restore the pH balance of my hair.
Faith in Nature also make shampoo bars which I would love to try as they are 100% natural origin so I might try these the next time I order my hair care.
Another plus is that the packaging is 100% recyclable and made from recycled materials! These particular products are more eco-friendly than a lot of other hair care brands. They also have 5 Litre refils on every product to save on packaging. Once the 5Litre product is used you can send the 5 Litre container back to the supplier to be refilled.
There is also an option for fragrance free products which are made without the use of essential oils for fragrance.
So these are the products that I’m currently using and work well for my sensitive skin and scalp but if you have any other producst or brand you use and love – please let me know in the comments!