Many more of us are searching out more natural, lower chemical haircare, for health or environmental reasons, or just because we prefer them – so Giki set out to find the facts. How easy is it for us to find these products in the supermarket or on the high street?

We searched across our database of 250,000 products, which includes 1,400 haircare products across 120 brands and we looked out for chemicals of concern in the ingredients.

What is a chemical of concern? 

Understanding the ingredients list on most haircare labels is not easy. In fact, you probably need to be a scientist to work them out. So we compiled a listi of chemicals which have been linked to issues from skin irritations and allergic reactions to cancer, hormone disruption and effects on the reproductive system. Then we checked all these chemicals against the ingredients of hundreds of the products we see in store everyday. 

And here’s what we found 


40% of haircare products are free from chemicals that have been linked to health concerns  

Here’s how some of the biggest shampoo and conditioner brands measure up on inclusion of chemicals of concern.



Why look out for these commonly used chemicals?  

  • Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, also called Octinoxate is linked to hormone disruption 
  • DMDM Hydantoin is linked to irritation to skin, eyes and lungs 
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate is connected to irritation to the skin, eyes and lungs.  
  • There are also more concerning chemicals found in a smaller group of haircare products, for example Benzophenone, a possible carcinogen; Triethanolamine, linked to skin or breathing toxicity; and parabens, which are possible carcinogens. 


How to find brands and products without chemicals with potential health risks: 

  1. Read the label and look out for the chemicals above – this is a good start but won’t avoid all risky chemicals. 
  2. Look at our graphs for shampoo and conditioner brands. The brands at the top are free from chemicals of concern. 
  3. These brands also tend to be free from chemicals of concern across their range: 

Aloe Pura  

Australian Organics  

Avalon Organics  

Balance Me  

Burt’s Bees  




Lee Stafford  

Louise Galvin Natural Locks  


Organic Surge  

Sen Spa  



 4. Use the Giki app – it’s free – just scan the barcode and look out for the chemicals of concern badge and we list which chemicals the product contains. Download from the App Store or on Google Play!