I’ve been intrigued and challenged by hair over the years – as a technician, artist, educator and developer of products. As a color specialist I’ve also struggled at times to bring into balance two aspects of my Self; the creative one that loved to create endlessly with an broad palette of synthetics, and the one that sought vibrant health and vitality through Nature. I’ve always sought out natural health solutions to any physical problems I experienced, embraced herbs, homeopathy and acupuncture which all seemed to make so much more sense to me…..so the conflict was in my professional life. I would investigate hair products claiming to be “natural” and using plant based ingredients but found they came up short in either the results they delivered or the quality of the ingredients. I ultimately decided that I should investigate further and begin to create products that I would whole-heartedly endorse and recommend for my own clients.
Consumers are still seeking the perfect hair they’ve always wanted, but now insist it is to be with products that are organically derived, chemical free with natural fragrance to ensure the health of their hair and scalp. As our everyday world becomes more saturated by “organic” products and produce, consumers are looking to see organics in all aspects of their lives. Product companies play to these trends by using key words in their marketing and claiming “organic” and “natural” ingredients but to my mind most of this just pays lip service to the truth of these terms.
The term for this is “greenwashing” and is one of those fascinating subjects that reveal a lot about consumers. Perhaps its only interesting to me, but I’ve always been nerdy about these things. At the first natural products industry event I attended several years ago I sat in a classroom and learned about the newest innovations in personal care formulation. Part of the lecture consisted of a quiz where we were shown images of products and asked whether or not they were “green” and what followed was a discussion on how “green washing” or branding products gives messages to consumers that are misleading.
More and more we are all leading busier lives so we rely on logos, colors, labels and certifications to inform our choices. Taking the time to read the fine print of ingredient labels is often time we just don’t have while shopping but avoiding ingredients like “sulfates”, “parabens” and “fragrance” are good places to start.