It smells nice and is free of synthetic fragrances, phthalates, harsh sulfates or parabens. Unfortunately there are 7 “natural” fragrances that are just as damaging and drying as many synthetic fragrances out there.
Avalon are a company who are famous for producing organic shampoos made with mild ingredients. On the bottle itself, they state they make “safe” shampoos with no “synthetic fragrances, phthalates, harsh sulfates or parabens“. I like the cut of this company’s jib and it’s a surprise I haven’t reviewed their products before. For the environmentalists among us, they also use 100% recycled materials for their bottles.
This is a company who are to be commended in my book. However, there are many companies that talk the talk though. Do they walk the walk?
The shampoo smells like a lemon. Almost uncannily so. The lemon scent is strong too and, to be honest, that filled me with a certain type of dread. The fragrances may be organic and natural but they may also be organic, natural, harsh contact allergens. Organic means very little. Crude Oil is organic but I wouldn’t be smearing that on my scalp. I smeared this on my scalp though and the shampoo felt luxurious with a nice dense foam. After washing my hair and scalp felt extremely clean. This shampoo did achieve its first objective, it had clarified my scalp and hair effectively. But a what cost?
As I suspected the company has added a number of organic, natural but harsh fragrances in the shampoo. Citral, Limonene and Linalool are all natural extracts that the EU has forced manufacturers to label, such is their propensity to cause allergic reactions. The addition of these fragrances always disappoints me as it seems so needless, particularly for a company like Avalon. Citral has a hazard score of 7/10 on the EWG Skin Deep Database, and they specifically state that it is “associated with allergies and contact dermatitis”. 7 is a particularly high score in that database so be careful with this shampoo. Linalool is another fragrance that is almost ubiquitous in commercial shampoos. In a recent study it caused an allergic reaction in over 5% of eczema sufferers. This is just one ingredient labeled organic and natural! The shampoo also contains two types of synthetic alcohols which, while clarifying the scalp, will dry the scalp and cause a reaction in many of us.
As ever, in particular with clarifying shampoos, the performance of this shampoo comes at a price. This is certainly not one of the worst offenders on the market but it’s not the best either. It smells nice, it will clarify your scalp, it will help remove dandruff caused by product build-up but this comes at a cost.
At a minimum, it will dry your scalp. For some of us, that cost will be a lot higher than that.