Ask Jean: Why is Clean Haircare So Basic?

We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to: [email protected], or tweet us @goop. Below, a q for our new beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean,

The majority of my makeup and skincare is as clean and natural ingredient-wise as possible, thanks to goop! But the only natural haircare I’ve found is so…health-food store. What’s clean but also cool? —Amy L.

Conventional brands have—in general—done a much better job in terms of packaging, marketing, and scents than non-toxic ones have, but that’s changing (see below). But conventional products also have some advantages: Polymers (plastics) are everywhere, particularly in styling products, because they can help (temporarily) thicken your hair, freeze it place, smooth it down…so raw “performance,” depending on what you want your hair item to do, can be better. Commercial products can also use as much artificial scent (think of shopping for shampoo; what’s the first thing you do? You smell it), detergent (one of the main things consumers say they want from a shampoo is foam; hair-stripping detergent is the route to foam), and preservatives as they like. From a health perspective, the price for this extra performance is problematic.

Hair products are incredibly personal; you have to try them. Try the clean! I was reluctant to, for a long time, simply out of habit/loyalty, but the Lavett & Chin items to the right got me to stop using my (fantastic but not at all non-toxic or clean) standby, foolproof products after a single use, truly:

The artisanal, Brooklyn-apothecary-esque pump-bottles of Lavett & Chin could not be more chic, and the subtle, essential-oil-derived scent is gorgeous. But the important thing is the incredible shape they leave my hair in. Because I don’t often use styling products, I’m particularly demanding when it comes to shampoo and conditioner—those two steps have to accomplish everything I want, hair-wise (shine/bounce/texture).

Their coolness applies to either gender, too—a rare feat. Put them in the shower and I guarantee all who visit will find themselves obsessed. (Each are $28 at