The keyword that I look for in any new haircare product is “without”. That is without dyes, without aromas and parabens (which are added to some products to preserve them better) and obviously, without paraffin and without sulphate (foaming agents), which oftentimes are not really washing your hair, but instead drying and damaging it. And last but certainly not least on my list of no-no’s are silicones and petroleum oils. Can I still see effective results and beautiful locks using products that do not contain these ingredients? In my own experience, the answer is yes.
I can’t hide that I have no loyalty to any one particular hairdresser. For work reasons, and for my innate sense of curiosity, I tend to pick different hair salons; one who cuts, one who colors and even one salon that I know just has the best selection of products to shop. (If you ever happen to be in Milan, an address to take note of is Via Vigevano, in the Naviglio area, where they just inaugurated the new Nashi salon). This means that in my shower at any given time you can find 10 different products, between shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, and they are all, for the most part, green.
Why should you go green? What are the advantages? Research by Harris Poll shows that about 59% of women 35 and over believe buying all-natural products is important, while an even larger percentage – about 73% of millennials – look for products that are increasingly natural and free from unnecessary substances. This is the whole point of my “without” search.
Just take a stroll through Sephora to confirm this trend. A couple of days ago, I happened to be at a presentation for their Fall 2018 line, and it was swarmed with organic products, natural and green products produced in the States and in Europe. If you ask the company, they say the demand from clients is high for green brands, and it is there responsibility as a beauty leader to sync up with their clients respect for the environment and higher awareness of the content and quality of their beauty products. “The millennial age group has grown up with the internet,” commented Annie Jackson of Credo Beauty, in an article from Allure. “They are curious, and love to research and understand ingredients and what they use; who the founder is, where they are from, do their passion and perspectives align? For that very reason, our focus is staff education on ingredient and brand education.”
It is easy to say, “I bought a natural shampoo.” It is a slippery slope to actually define something as natural because there are ingredients that technically are natural (meaning coming from the earth), but can damage our strands – the best example petroleum jelly. The solution? Always read the list of ingredients very carefully, and if you are having any doubts research on specific databases like EWG.
And you may find yourself attracted to a product that touts “green” ingredients, but does that mean it works? On one hand, we want to be sure we are using products that are not damaging to our bodies or the environment, but on the other hand we want to be certain that product contains ingredients that are still effective. Companies, even the big corporations, understand this market demand perfectly and are moving their research towards formulas with the most natural elements possible. Garnier’s Fructis line, for example, is free from sulphates and parabens and characterized by a high concentration of active ingredients naturally present in fruit, while Kèrastase created Aura Botanica with cold extracts of Argan and coconut oil. The colossal L’Oreal also has the line Botanical Fresh Care (one of my favorites) that not only offers high performance formulas without silicone, parabens or dyes, but they have decided to use an eco-sustainable bottler for a 360 degree approach to the environmental consciousness.
From big corporations to smaller indie brands, there us no shortage of options on the market if you’re looking to delve into green haircare. Here is our list of some products that we tried for you!
Formulated with rare and sustainable ingredients, like Omega 9, this shampoo leaves your hair soft and shiny with a beautiful aroma.
This has a base of yellow melon from Paceco (typical from Trapani in Sicily) and leaves you with long-lasting hydration.
Formulated with 98% natural ingredients, Invati has three-step system: Exfoliating Shampoo, Thickening Conditioner and Scalp Revitalizer. The line is inspired by Ayurveda, the Indian historic art of healing, with a formula including a mix of invigorating Ayurvedic herbs that help fortify your scalp, decreasing hair loss.
Should be used before washing for a night treatment, notable for a mix of nutrients from biological coconut oil and essential oils from organic rosemary, cedar and lavender.
Great for normal to dry hair, this has a mix of lavender essential oils, quinoa protein, aloe, Babassu oil and Vitamin E.
Oat Replenishing Conditioner by Weleda
Contains biological Jojoba oil, coconut oil and organic oat extracts. For smoother and healthier hair.