Woman in shower washing her hair

The hidden dangers of synthetic fragrances: Why choose unfragranced shampoo?

In beauty and personal care products, you’ll find fragrance in almost every product on the supermarket shelves. However, there’s a rising awareness of potential concerns with synthetic fragrances and many people are now actively seeking fragrance-free alternatives. All KIND2 Shampoo and Conditioner Bars are made with only natural fragrances or are fragrance-free, because we believe that’s a better choice for your health and the planet.  

What does "fragrance-free" really mean? 


When a product is marked "fragrance-free" that means no natural, artificial or synthetic fragrances have been added to the formulation. Fragrance-free doesn't mean no odour; it simply means the absence of added fragrance. Fragrance-free products just smell like the ingredients used to make them. For example, our Fragrance Free Shampoo Bar, The Sensitive One contains Coconut Oil and Cacao Butter - so you may be able to detect these scents.  

Confusingly, fragrance-free is not the same as "unscented" or "scent free"


While fragrance-free means no added fragrance, unscented or odourless can actually be used to describe products that contain masking agents to neutralise odours or to create minimal, neutral scent. In the UK & Europe, all cosmetic products are required to provide a detailed list of ingredients known as the INCI list and if a product contains added fragrance, you’ll be able to find it listed. Any allergens commonly found in fragrances are also required to be disclosed. 

How can you tell if fragrance is natural or synthetic? 


Look on the box or the back of the product and in the list of ingredients, if you see words such as fragrance, perfume or parfum - this means a synthetic or artificial fragrance has been added to the product. 

In good news, if the listed ingredients include named essential oils, these are natural fragrances made from plants. The allergens contained in those essential oils will also be listed. For example, we use Rosemary Oil and Peppermint Oil in our best-selling Rebalancing Shampoo Bar and you can see these listed clearly below on the back of the box. These natural essential oils are included for both fragrance and the benefits to your hair and scalp health of clarifying and stimulating. 

 Rebalancing Shampoo Bar back of box


Behind the label: The dangers of synthetic fragrances 


At KIND2 we don’t use any synthetic fragrances, but you’ll find they are in the majority of conventional beauty products. They are composed of a complex mix of chemicals and can include phthalates1 together with other potentially harmful substances. Synthetic fragrances have been linked to various health concerns, such as skin irritations, allergic reactions, hormonal disruptions, and respiratory issues.2 Additionally, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted by synthetic fragrances contribute to indoor air pollution.  

Another good reason to avoid synthetic fragrances is that they are usually derived from petrochemicals and have a significant ecological footprint. Their production, disposal, and persistence in waterways can harm aquatic life and contribute to environmental degradation.3 


The benefits of fragrance-free haircare and other products


  1. Reduced sensitivities and allergic reactions: Fragrance-free products are formulated to minimise the risk of adverse reactions, making them suitable for individuals with sensitive skin or fragrance allergies. 

  2. Improved air quality: Synthetic fragrances in household products (not just beauty either) can contribute to indoor air pollution. Opting for fragrance-free or natural fragrance alternatives promotes a healthier indoor environment by reducing exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and potential allergens.

  3. Enhanced safety and transparency: Choosing fragrance-free haircare, beauty and household products gives you peace of mind knowing that you are minimising exposure to potentially irritating or harmful chemicals. By reading the ingredient lists you can make more informed decisions about what you apply to your skin and hair. 


At KIND2, we understand the importance of not using synthetic fragrances and also providing fragrance-free Shampoo and Conditioner Bar options. By choosing fragrance-free haircare, you can reduce potential irritations and sensitivities, while still enjoying high-quality products that deliver exceptional results. We’ve even got a Fragrance-Free Dog Shampoo Bar, perfect if your pooch has sensitive skin. 

Visit the KIND2 shop today for our award winning fragrance-free haircare range! 


KIND2 The Sensitive One Shampoo Bar



KIND2 The Fragrance Free One Solid Conditioner Bar




KIND2 The Dog One Fragrance Free Shampoo Bar



1 https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/10/phthalates-plastics-chemicals-research-analysis 

2 Pastor-Nieto, María-Antonia, and María-Elena Gatica-Ortega. Ubiquity, Hazardous Effects, and Risk Assessment of Fragrances in Consumer Products.” Current treatment options in allergyvol. 8,1 (2021): 21-41. doi:10.1007/s40521-020-00275-7 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33520600/

3 Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi. Do Synthetic Fragrances in Personal Care and Household Products Impact Indoor Air Quality and Pose Health Risks? Journal of Xenobiotics, 1 Mar. 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10051690/

4 Are Fragrance-Free Products Better for Your Health?https://withoutfragrance.com/are-fragrance-free-products-better-for-your-health/

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