Here’s why you should care about parabens: They are one of the most widely used preservatives in beauty products, and can be found in everything from moisturizers to makeup—check your ingredient labels for methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben and butylparaben. And while the Food and Drug Administration—which largely (and unfortunately) does not regulate cosmetic ingredients—says there’s no need for consumers to be concerned about parabens in grooming products, some studies have shown that these chemicals may disrupt normal hormone function and increase the risk of breast cancer. We’d rather not take the chance—how about you? Here are five of our favorite paraben-free conditioners that offer up lots of other great hair benefits, too.
Product: Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Conditioner, $29, philipkingsley.com
The Deets: This fragrance-, color- and paraben-free formula is just the thing for those with sensitive or easily irritated scalps. It uses amino silicone to smooth your hair and prevent static, and elastin’s natural conditioning properties to improve its strength. Fine hair should go easy on the application of this thick conditioner, while fuller hair types can feel free to use it more generously from root to tip.
Tester Comment: “I usually don’t really like unscented products, but I fell in love with this thick conditioner because it works so well on my usually super-dry hair.”
RELATED: The Best Paraben-Free Shampoos
Product: Juice Beauty’s Juice Organics PomSmooth Conditioner, $10, juicebeauty.com
The Deets: It’s time to juice—your hair. We love this conditioner’s delicious blend of organic pomegranate and aloe juices paired with strand-repairing organic essential fatty acids and organic olive and jojoba oils. In addition to parabens, this product shuns sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes synthetic fragrances and testing on animals. Oh yeah!
Tester Comment: “I can get behind a product that smells so good and works this well. I have thick, color-treated hair and so it was perfect to slather all over my head, but women with thinner hair might want to use just a small amount.”
Product: Veria ID Innerdosha Vata Dosha Truly Deeply Conditioner, $11, verianaturals.com
The Deets: You’ll reap the hydration and anti-frizz rewards of coconut juice, sugar cane and a super-fruit antioxidant called amla with this 100-percent natural-fragrance and vegan blend. The scent is a combo of organic vanilla, ginger, cardamom, clove, orange oil and other essential oils—yum!
Tester Comment: “I absolutely love how natural this product is! I feel good using it.”
Product: Aveda Brilliant Conditioner, $18-$67.50, aveda.com
The Deets: Is your hair thirsty? This powerful paraben-free detangler should be able to quench it. The main ingredient is the dessert succulent aloe—that’s right, what you rub all over when you have a sunburn—which is a natural soother and moisturizer.
Tester Comment: “I highly recommend this product—it leaves my hair shiny and soft. I use it as a leave-in conditioner at night when it looks like my hair could use a little TLC.”
Product: Age Beautiful Intense Strengthening Treatment, $2.49-$8.29, available at Sally Beauty Supply stores and sallybeauty.com
The Deets: Use this conditioning treatment once a week to add strength to aging hair. Apply it to wet or dry hair, wrap your head in a warm towel for 15 minutes or so to let the goodness—keratin peptide, phyto-collagen and silk protein—seep in, and rinse.
Tester Comment: “I did as instructed and the result was silk-smooth hair—easy to blow-dry!”