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Silicone-Free, Sulfate-Free, Paraben-Free - Oh My!

JVN Hair knows you want products that won’t dry your hair, irritate your scalp or cause negative effects for your locks long term - which is why we’ve chosen to “free” our products from these three commonly used hair care ingredients.

The people are talking, and they are talking a lot about hair care ingredients - and for good reason! Consumers have more choices than ever and we want to help everyone make the most informed decisions about what products they use.

Three classes of ingredients that get the most attention these days are sulfates, parabens, and silicones. Everyone seems to be talking about them - but it can still be tough to understand why we do or do not want them around.

Never fear - JVN is here! We’ve decided to compile a super fast resource for what these three commonly found haircare ingredients are - and why we’ve made the choice to keep them out of our formulations.

1. Should I Hang Up The Phone on Silicone?

What Are Silicones?

“Silicones” are synthetic polymers derived from silica (sand). They’re included in haircare products to give hair softness, defense from humidity, shine and manageability.There are a whole bunch of different silicones, so a pretty easy trick for spotting them on your product label is to scout anything ending in “-cone” or “-oxane.”

Are Silicones Bad For My Hair?

Some of them can be.

Not all silicones are the same, but some can be responsible for laying over the top of your hair strand and coating it - which will make it feel soft and look shiny for a while, but can eventually build up and prevent much needed nourishment from entering the hair shaft. This can result in making hair feel dry, brittle, frizzy and prone to breakage after a while.

They’re also not a dream for your scalp in that some types can build up there too - helping to attract dirt and debris which can clog pores and follicles and promote dry skin, irritation, itching and a compensatory overproduction of sebum - which will make your root feel and look “greasy.” What’s more, the build up can persist for a while after you switch products - which can make it seem like your new stuff isn’t working when it actually just needs a little time to break on through. Once that build up goes away, you’ll notice a long term difference in your hair!

Bottom Line: Scalps and hair don’t love to be coated, and while not all silicones act this way, some that are commonly found in hair products have the ability to cause some undesirable results over the long haul.

Silicone free shampoo and conditioner hair products. Silicones can coat the outside of the hair shaft. making it hard to nourish strands and drying hair over time

Are JVN Products Silicone Free?

You bet! Every single product in the JVN Hair line is formulated with an ingredient called Hemisqualane - which acts as a total alternative to silicone in that it not only makes your hair look beautiful and perform better, but it’s capable of actually improving your hair health over time! Hemisqualane is able to absorb more efficiently into the hair, which makes it capable of delivering nourishment deeply inside of the strand where it can do the most good - providing all of the shine, softness, strength and manageability you expect from your products. It’s also capable of protecting your color by providing UV protection!

We like to think of it not as a silicone replacement, but a superior alternative to it. We especially love our scalp pampering Pre-Wash Scalp Oil and moisture multiplying Leave-In Conditioning Mist for silicone free self care.

2. What's The Dealio With Sulfates?

What Are Sulfates?

Sulfates” is a generalized term used to refer to specific chemical compounds (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, etc.) that are commonly used in some shampoos for their surfactant properties - which means they lift dirt and debris from the scalp and hair so they can be washed away. Sulfates are also responsible for causing these shampoos to “suds” when massaged into your scalp - which is why shampoos without them produce a “lather” instead.

Myth Busting Moment - A super common misconception is that hair isn’t getting clean unless you have a head full of bubbling, fizzing suds. This isn’t the case! Not only can a richly lathering shampoo clean our hair beautifully, but it’s often a sign of a gentler formulation. Make sure your hair is completely wet before applying to ensure the product goes on easily and evenly.

Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner hair products. Sulfates can be abrasive when they cleanse, which may cause dryness and irritation

Are Sulfates Bad For My Hair?

They can be - and your scalp too. Sulfates have pretty strong cleansing capabilities, which can cause dryness and irritation for people who’s scalps tend to be more sensitive or dry. The same goes for people who have drier or higher porosity locks (curly, coily and chemically-treated beauties in particular) - the stronger removal of natural oils from your strands can worsen dryness and make them feel “stripped,” which will result in frizz, lack of shine and luster and potentially even brittleness and breakage.

Bottom Line: The natural oils that your scalp produces help your skin stay balanced and your hair soft - so stripping those away isn’t awesome for keeping your hair and scalp hydrated or for preventing your salon color from fading prematurely.

Are JVN Hair Shampoos Sulfate-Free?

Yaaaaas! Every single JVN Hair shampoo is sulfate-free. Why? Inclusivity, of course! We want to make hair products that are suitable for everyone. Each and every gorgeous person, from least sensitive to most, should be able to pick up one of our shampoos and cleanse their locks without fear of drying them out, annoying their scalp or stripping their color. From our Embody Daily Volumizing Shampoo, to our Nurture Hydrating Shampoo and Undamage Strengthening Shampoo - you can cleanse according to your concern without worrying about anything else.

3. Parabens. A Short Story.

What Are Parabens

Parabens” is another generalized term for compounds (butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben, etc.) found in cosmetics and hair care products that act as a preservative for the product. They keep your creams, shampoos, conditioners, etc. from getting moldy, growing harmful bacteria and turning rancid when they’re chilling out in your bathroom.

Are Parabens Bad For My Hair?

In a roundabout way, because they can be irritating for the scalp and there’s some controversy that they could be bad for your general health too.

Due to their chemical composition, parabens commonly found in hair care products are easily absorbed into the skin. They have the potential to cause allergic reactions or sensitivities after repeated exposure in some people - manifesting as irritation, dryness, itching and even hair loss where your scalp is concerned. They’ve also been shown to have the potential to bioaccumulate (meaning, they stick around in the body - in humans and in wildlife too.) The effect parabens have once they’re hanging around inside the body is where the controversy comes in, with further study needed before it can be clearly stated that they are dangerous or not - but their effect on scalp health (which directly affects hair health) is more clear cut for sensitive individuals.

Bottom Line: While the jury is still out on the extent to which they can affect health on a systemic level once they’re introduced - we do know that they can annoy more sensitive scalps, which can cause irritation, itching and dryness.

Paraben free hair products and shampoo and conditioner. Parabens can cause reactions in sensitive scalps, leading to itching and inflammation

Are JVN Products Paraben-Free?

They sure are! With evidence showing their ability to irritate the scalp and follicles and questions about long term effects on health and the environment, we proactively chose to formulate our products with clean alternatives to eliminate worry and keep with our mission to provide clean, high performance hair care for all - sensitive scalps included.

Our Products Address Concerns - Not Cause Them

We started this blog because we’re all about educating our community on how to achieve their hair goals, with our number one priority being a commitment to providing products that offer a real path to those results. In order to ensure each and every member of our community can Come As You Are, we formulate every product to be as inclusive as possible. That doesn’t just mean creating a line that works for all humans and all hair (which we totally do) - it also means that we’re offering products that won’t use ingredients that could cause irritation or negative hair and scalp outcomes for individuals with higher sensitivities.

We want to give you the shampoos, conditioners, stylers and treatments that make you feel the most confident and comfortable you can be each and every day while teaching you all about how to use them. That’s what we think of when we think of beauty.

About JVN

With a focus on science-backed, sustainable ingredients that are truly effective, JVN is nongendered haircare made for everyone.

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