This post on natural hair care ingredients is sponsored by Sally Beauty. The review reflects Eco Child’s Play’s honest, authentic opinion.
Choosing to live a greener, healthier life involves selecting products made primarily of natural ingredients, including personal care. It’s part of the ethos that contents from nature and not a chemical laboratory are superior. It’s not about being fooled into thinking natural simply means safer; however, in general, synthetic chemicals are more toxic than natural ones causing harm to consumers and the environment.
Of course, many natural chemicals are extremely toxic, like botulinum, but you will not find that in your shampoo. It can be tricky defining “natural” when it comes to routine hair care products because it is often used as a marketing term.
Natural hair care ingredients have great benefit. From coconut’s anti-bacterial properties to honey’s ability to strengthen hair follicles, not only will your hair and scalp be healthier from these products, but you’ll reduce your exposure to synthetic chemicals.
What Does “Natural”, “Naturally-Derived” and “Organic” Mean in the Cosmetic Industry
Unlike with food, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to take a stance on what “natural” and “organic” means when it comes to personal care products.
FDA regulates cosmetics under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). The term “organic” is not defined in either of these laws or the regulations that FDA enforces under their authority. 1
The FDA does go on to clarify that, “Cosmetic products labeled with organic claims must comply with both USDA regulations for the organic claim and FDA regulations for labeling and safety requirements for cosmetics.”
The United States Department of Agriculture is, of course, concerned with food production and labeling. In 2016, the department requested public comments on what “natural” means.
Although the FDA has not engaged in rulemaking to establish a formal definition for the term “natural,” we do have a longstanding policy concerning the use of “natural” in human food labeling. The FDA has considered the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food. However, this policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor did it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization, or irradiation. The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefit. 2
Given such a lack of oversite and guidance in the personal care industry, consumers must rely on company ethics and their own research to determine what products match their natural living value system. Figuring out what labels are truthful and which ones are misleading can be confusing. The FDA has never committed enforcement in the cosmetic industry for truth in labeling involving the terms “organic” and “natural”. 3
On the other hand, California is the only state to regulate organic personal care products. Under the Cosmetic Safety Program, personal care products can be labeled “organic” “under California law if the cosmetic contains a minimum organic content of 70% (minus water and salt)”. 4
What does natural and naturally-derived mean?
Natural means exactly what you think: it’s an ingredient that is extracted in its natural form. A few examples of natural ingredients in the products we review below are manuka honey, argan oil, and lavender.
Naturally-derived ingredients start out in their natural form. Then they are treated to access certain properties. These are hard to pronounce names you find in ingredient lists. Most commonly used in personal care products are naturally-derived fatty acids from coconut.
Some purists believe naturally-derived ingredients are not truly natural because they created by humans into an “unnatural” form; however, I believe they are better than completely chemical synthetic ingredients. You will probably find some form of naturally-derived ingredients on most personal care labels in the health food store.
Sometimes the words “naturally sourced” are used instead of naturally-derived.
Common toxic ingredients found in hair care products:
You’d be hard pressed to find any beauty care product natural or otherwise that doesn’t list the ingredient fragrance. Many fragrance components are common allergens. Chemical versions often contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. 6
6 Natural Hair Care Products from Sally Beauty
I first learned about Sally Beauty watching Project Runway. This online beauty site features a wide array for hair care and cosmetic products. They offer quick, free shipping if you spend $25, and they have a reward system too.
My hair has evolved and changed throughout my life. From pregnancy to middle age, the texture and thickness have transformed causing my hair to thirst for the nourishment of natural hair care ingredients. Color treatments have only compounded the problem. I selected the products Sally Beauty sent us for review as they promise to nourish and strengthen my long locks.
Be Care Love Superfoods Quench Shampoo
One way my hair has shifted over time is from oily to dry. It just drinks up conditioner, so I was excited to try a shampoo with “quench” in its name. Be Care Love Superfoods Quench Shampoo contains many organic ingredients:
Silky Coconut Milk, moisturizing Vitamin E and hydrating Argan Oil. This impressive ingredient combination nourishes hair follicles and treats dry, sensitive scalps with a rich formula intended to remedy dry and damaged hair.
This product is vegan and cruelty-free. It does not contain phthalates, parabens, or harsh preservatives. It does contain preservatives with funny names like Disodium EDTA and Phenoxyethanol; however, the Environmental Working group gives it a hazard score of one and four. It is also safe for color treated hair.
One interesting ingredient is coconut milk rather than coconut oil. I’ve been told by several stylists that coconut oil does not moisturize hair and to use argan oil instead. It seems coconut milk gets around this problem. This hydrating shampoo does contain argan oil and vitamin E to seal in hydration and heal damaged hair.
My experience with this product: This shampoo has a light coconut smell. It comes out as a clear gel-like liquid, and it lathers up well. Just like you would with a conditioner, for added hydration let the shampoo sit on your hair and scalp for a couple of minutes. As soon as I rinsed my hair, I noticed it felt hydrated but not heavy.
Be Care Love Superfoods Anti-Frizz Conditioner
I live in a damp, foggy coastal environment. It’s quite beautiful, but the weather definitely contributes to frizzy hair. Coupled with broken pieces of hair damaged from bleaching, I am always looking for an effective remedy. Be Care Love Superfoods Anti-Frizz Conditioner uses the power of Manuka honey.
Honey has incredible healing powers, and Manuka honey is the best. It comes from New Zealand and Australia from bees that pollinate the manuka bush. 7 Honey is included in this product as it strengthens hair follicles and attracts moisture to hair. It also increases hair growth. The antibacterial properties in honey, of which Manuka has more than other varieties, aids in healing dandruff and eczema.
This conditioner will help smooth and tame your hair with natural hair care ingredients.
Calm unruly frizz with our Manuka Honey, Omega 3, 6 and 9 and Shea Butter blend while softening and smoothing hair for outrageously silky, smooth locks.
There are a couple of hard to pronounce ingredients in this conditioner, which usually indicates a naturally-derived ingredient or synthesized chemical. BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE (hazard score 3), CYCLOPENTASILOXANE (hazard score 3), and ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN (hazard score 1) are a few. A hazard score of 10 is the highest toxicity ranked by the Environmental Working Group.
My experience with this product: As mentioned previously, my hair drinks up conditioner. I usually have to use copious amounts. Not so with this product! I was impressed at how concentrated it was, how my hair felt using it, and how it rinsed away. Maybe it was because I had used the Quench shampoo first, but again I was impressed my hair felt soft without being weighed down by the product.
In addition, the little flyaway hairs, on the top of my head, were tamed for days. My hair felt smooth and velvety.
Naturelle Biotera Renew Leave-In Silky Milk
My hair requires a little extra conditioning each day because I go a few days between shampooing and conditioning. I have found that washing my hair less has helped to balance my natural oil scalp oil production; however, having long hair means a leave-in product is necessary for my daily natural hair care routine.
Biotera Natural Origin Renew Leave-In Silky Milk is super easy to use. Just a few sprays on damp or dry hair is all it takes. It works on all hair types including color treated.
Goji Berries and honey create a unique hydrating experience.
Biotera Natural Origin Renew Leave-In Silky Milk is 97% naturally-derived and free from sulfates, silicones, parabens, dyes and gluten. Enriched with nourishing honey & nutrient-rich Goji Berry. Gently restores the beauty, radiance, moisture & strength to all hair. Biodegradable formulas and 100% recyclable packaging.
I really appreciate when companies clearly inform consumers about the percentage of their products that are natural or naturally-derived. There are a few ingredients with long names like Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride derived from guar gum and Hexyl Cinnamal derived from chamomile essential oil.
My experience with this product: Just a few spritzes on damp hair, and I couldn’t believe how easily the hairbrush went through my locks. Ever since I got my hair colored last April, the texture of my hair changed, and it has been difficult to brush out damp. Not so after using the Silky Milk!
I have also been using this product on dry hair in the morning. A light mist helps to tame any craziness that happened while sleeping. I love how silky my hair still feels in the afternoon.
Be Care Love Superfoods Color Lock Hair Serum
Coloring one’s hair can be harsh even when using mostly natural products. The longer one can go between color treatments, the better it is for your hair.
Be Care Love Superfoods Color Lock Hair Serum is an effective way to nourish and keep color lasting. Apply to the middle section down to the ends of your hair avoiding the roots. It can be used on both dry or damp hair.
Superfoods aren’t just for eating! Be Care Love Superfoods puts their power into protecting your hair. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, help shield your hair from environmental pollutants, as well as promote hair growth.
Marula oil comes from Africa’s marula fruit (related to mango). It penetrates the hair shaft deeply, and it contains ten times the vitamin C of an orange. Acai berries come from the Amazon rainforest and are full of omega fatty acids that help keep hair strong. This especially important for color treated hair that often becomes brittle or easily breaks.
Acai, Vitamin C and Marula Oil shield color-treated hair, deliver nutrients, hydration to pitted hair shafts and soften the hair for noticeably long-lasting color protection.
My experience with this product: Oh my! I love the smell of this serum and the way it slightly lingers the next day. You only need to use a little bit to nourish your hair. I first rubbed it on my hands and then ran it through my washed hair. It was noticeably softer and nourished after one use. It works equally well on dry hair before brushing and styling.
Pure Oils Silk Elements Shea Oil with Lavender
This product is perfect for hair, scalp, and skin. Pure Oils Silk Elements Shea Oil with Lavender is especially effective at soothing an itchy scalp. The lavender soothes and calms irritation, as the shea oil shields damaged hair and relieves scalp itchiness.
- Hydrates and nourishes dry skin, hair, and scalp
- Preservative-free, chemical-free
- Vitamin-rich oil
You can use this product directly, as I describe below, or it can be added to your favorite shampoo or conditioner to create your own custom product. Either way, your hair will be hydrated and conditioned with natural hair care ingredients. It is especially good for dry, brittle hair, but it is appropriate to use on all hair types.
My experience with this product: I regularly use hair oil to nourish the ends of my hair between conditioning. One has to be careful not to use too much, or your hair ends up looking greasy. I used one dropper full on my hair. First, I put it in the palm of my hand, rubbed my hands together, then stroked my hair.
Unlike other hair oils, this was very light. The lavender aroma was especially pleasing. Who couldn’t use a little extra calming during rushed mornings?
Biotera Restore Strengthening Masque
Like the other Biotera Sally Beauty sent us, this product discloses the number of ingredients that are naturally-sourced. Biotera Restore Strengthening Masque is 96% natural and naturally-derived. Furthermore, it is free of sulfated surfactants, silicones, parabens, dyes, and gluten. The coconut in this products adds luster and softness to hair.
You may wonder why being free of gluten would matter in natural hair care product. For people with severe celiac disease, absorption of gluten through the skin and scalp is enough to cause a negative reaction and illness.
My experience with this product: This product distributes evenly on wet hair and does not require an extraordinary amount of time sitting like other hair masques. After three minutes, I rinsed my hair out. My wet hair felt noticeably smoother and softer. I did not worry about brushing it wet due to the strengthening nature of the ingredients.
The next morning, my dry hair felt manageable and was easy to brush and style.
All of the products sent to us by Sally Beauty fully disclose their ingredients. This is very helpful for consumers to determine what marketing truly mean when it claims “natural”. The natural and naturally-derived ingredients are carefully chosen for maximum benefit.
What is incredibly impressive about these products is not only their effectiveness (they are all salon quality) but the price. All of them are very affordable, especially compared to other natural and naturally-derived hair care products I have tried. They are certain to become a part of my natural hair care daily routine.
If you would like to try these products, Sally Beauty is offering 20% off purchase of $40 or more. Some exclusions may apply. Use code 888570 Valid now through 11/15/18