Debra Lynn Dadd

Fragrance Free Hair Styling Products


Dear Debra:

I would first like to tell you how much I appreciate your web site and blog and all the hard work you put into it.

My problem is regarding hair styling products. I have had trouble finding a gel or lotion to use to remove the frizz from my hair so I can style it smooth or wavy/curly without frizz. I have tried an assortment of products from Whole Foods and Cooportunity but nothing works. Most of the time the things that could work have too strong a fragrance. I am also allergic to soy so that eliminiates many possibilities.

I would also like to know if you or any of your readers know of a styling iron (flat iron) that has low EMFs.

Thank you,


POSTED BY LYN :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 07/02/2007 12:32 PM



Debra :-)


Morrocco Method has a vegan hair styling gel that you might want to check out. It is called Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel. They also have instant conditioners and oils that can be used for styling as well.

POSTED BY RENEE' :: ILLINOIS USA :: 07/07/2007 8:54 AM

You might try I love these products. They are chemical free but you can check the particular ingredients online before you order.


POSTED BY KARI :: AZ USA :: 07/07/2007 9:31 AM


I use the Miessence shape styling gel. It is a certified organic product which means it is full of lovely food standard certified organic ingredients. The entire ingredients list is on the website where you can order the products.

there are essential oils in it so there is some smell to it, but there are no synthetic fragrances.

It is very light and does not make your hair feel hard and crunchy like some gels do.

I was wondering about the

I looked at the shampoo and it says it is chemical free but there is one ingredient: Cocomide Propyl Betaine

I believe that is a chemical ingredient....but not a harsh one or anything like that. Perhaps Debra can comment on this. While the rest of their ingredients are all botanical I was wondering about the statement chemical free.

I believe this is a "derived" from ingredient so it has been chemically altered by processing. I think the cocomide type ingredients are "derived" from coconut but because they have been processed and treated chemically, they are considered synthetic chemical ingredients.

I'm not trying to say the shampoo is bad, I'm just trying to get more clarification on the statement "chemical free", even when there is a synthetic chemical ingredient listed in the ingredients list.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: Erin, many "natural" products sold in natural food stores are made from "derived" ingredients as you describe--from a natural source, but processed with chemicals. I discuss this in my book Home Safe Home.

One would think that "chemical free" would mean no chemicals, but I think it means no ingredients "derived" from petrochemicals.

An ingredient derived from a natural source is considered "natural" and derived from petrochemical is "synthetic" or "artificial."

This may not be best or accurate, but that's currently the way it is.


Hi Debra,
Thanks for the clarification.



You might try no longer using shampoo. It strips the oils from your hair (even the most natural products) and just use a good conditioner. You can remove the sweat and grime from your hair (and products) just through friction. Put a small amt of conditioner on your fingertips for the slide and rub your scalp carefully. Rinse, then apply a moisturing conditioner. Sounds like it is pretty dry (I live in a dry climate with curly hair) so the more moisture that you can put into it, the less it tries to absorb out of the air. Treat your hair very gently...there is nothing on the market that will 'heal' hair as it is dead cuticle anyway, but you can find some products that will smooth the cuticle.

POSTED BY SUSAN :: COLORADO USA :: 07/24/2007 6:35 PM

A good source for over 250 synthetic-free cosmetics and personal care products is "Cosmetics Without Synthetics". They offer the best quality synthetic-free personal care products from trustworthy companies around the world. All of their products contain NO synthetic chemicals or preservatives. They also offer samples on most of their products. Check them out at

POSTED BY RQ :: MAINE USA :: 07/30/2007 5:40 PM

I recently got some samples of Phyto hair relaxing balm and it's AMAZING. Botanical, fragrance-free, and it brought the shine back to my hair.


After Granny's Old Fashioned Products went out of business, I began using products from The shampoo and conditioner I buy from them have no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and are available as fragrance free, just enter in the order notes that you want it without any fragrance. There will still be a slight scent from some of the natural ingredients, but nothing like other commercial products. Great products.

POSTED BY GREYSON :: TEXAS USA :: 11/08/2007 2:42 AM

Do you blow dry your hair? I have curly hair and find that when I let my hair dry naturally, there is no frizz.

POSTED BY DANI :: ONTARIO CANADA :: 11/08/2007 2:54 AM

You can try going "no poo"! Instead of shampoo and conditioner, make a paste with baking soda and water and scrub your hair with it. Rinse. Then rub some apple cider vinegar on the ends of your hair (but don't scrub into the scalp). Rinse. The first few days your hair will be kind of icky, but after than you have very managable healthy shiny hair with no chemicals to build up or fragrances to irritate you and those around you.


Hi Lyn,

I want to agree with the earlier suggestion of Morrocco Methods' Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel. My husband uses it and I have no problem being around it, not fragrant once it dries. I tried some of their other products and the scents get stronger after drying, like incense that you can't get away from.

POSTED BY A. :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 11/12/2008 11:16 PM

Hi Debra and readers,

Thanks for all the responses and recommendations regarding fragrance free hair products. I have tried the Morrocco Method's Dragon Styling Gel and did not like it (my hair felt sticky).

Just recently, Jennifer, and before your November entry, I started the no poo shampoo. I haven't yet found the best combination of baking soda and water and apple cider vinegar--my hair was too dry first and a little bit oily and sticky later. Based on your comment I may have been doing it wrong or this is just the adjustment phase. I have also let my hair air dry instead of using my blow dryer. Do you have any other recommendations or a website you have used for good tips on no poo? Once I get my hair to behaving more I would like to find a very natural way of covering the gray and enhancing and bringing out the natural highlights of my brown hair.

Debra, I have your recommendations in your "Home Safe Home" book. Would you recommend the cover gray process alone or combined with the brown/brunette rinse? I saw a hairdresser 1 1/2 years ago who recommended against using henna saying that once you use henna you cannot use any other hair color product. He used a semi- permanent color (organic and non-toxic) that lasted less than a month. I haven't been back to a hairdresser since (I trim my hair myself) due to my chemical sensitivities and illness. I would love to find a salon I could tolerate well to have my hair professionally styled. Anyone have recommendations for the Los Angeles, CA area?

Thanks Debra for your website and blog.


COMMENT FROM DEBRA: I just want to remind everyone that the hardness of your water makes a tremendous difference in how hair treatments will act. Hard water will make products stick to your hair more than soft water.

I haven't tried the hair color formulas in Home Safe Home. So, readers, your suggestions?

POSTED BY LYN :: GEORGIA USA :: 11/16/2008 5:07 PM

There are fragrance free options that even my chemical sensitive daughter can use. Magick Botanicals makes a shampoo and conditioner as well as a gel...all fragrance free, and affordable! The gel is not sticky, and I have curly hair, so I don't want anything drying...this does the trick. Also, Whole Foods has a 365 brand shampoo and conditioner. There is a company called Cleure that makes some fragrance free options, even gel, which I love. You can order at Earth Science is yet another company with fragrance free products. I hope these suggestions are helpful to you!

POSTED BY MELODIE :: OKLAHOMA USA :: 11/24/2008 11:25 AM

Lyn, check out (or any other curlies here). Learn how to handle your curly hair (or wavy), lots of good ideas for no shampoo routines, recipes for natural hair care, etc.

No affiliation with it, just have learned a lot there.

POSTED BY SUSAN :: COLORADO USA :: 12/01/2008 1:31 PM

Yes, I agree with Susan's comment about Also, do read the book "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey -- you will learn how to care for your curly hair and discover that the health of your hair matters as much as (if not more than) the products you use. The best, most natural product in the world won't be of use to you if your hair isn't being properly cared for.

I have learned a wealth of information from the discussion boards (and I, too, have no affiliation with it other than being a grateful user).

POSTED BY JILL :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 12/08/2008 4:53 PM

Have you tried Real Purity\'s Natural Styling Gel. It's fragrance free and the ingredients are: purified water, aloe vera gel, panthenol, and wheat germ protein. I have have naturally curly hair myself and when I leave it curly I like to use the Real Purity gel or Aubrey Organics B5 (has a stronger scent)and let it dry naturally or use a diffuser with my blow dryer to partially dry my hair in colder weather.

Lotus Moon makes a Silky & Smooth Hair Pomade that has a light citrus scent. Ingedients are: castor oil, beeswax, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, palm stearic acid, meadowfoam seed oil, organic jojoba oil, vitamin e, rosemary oleoresin, neem oil, organic essential oils of lime, lemon and orange.

Real Purity is available at their website and Lotus Moon is available at their website or we carry both items at we also carry a great natural castile soap Foaming Shampoo by Wild Willow that is available in Unscented, Lemongrass, Lavender, & Peppermint Tea Tree. No conditioner needed, though you may like doing a vinegar rinse (approx. 2-3 tsp vinegar to 8 oz. water in a cup or bottle). It can take a few days to go through an adjustment when changing from regular shampoo to castile based.



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