As nature intended | The great ingredient debate

As nature intended | The great ingredient debate

As nature intended | The great ingredient debate

As modern consumers, we’ve perhaps never been as conscious as we are today about the products we purchase and lifestyle choices we make: Plant-based diets, going sugar-free, renewable energy, electric cars and – more pertinently here –the active avoidance of some increasingly controversial ingredients in our beauty routines.

Ingredients

Though the hair health transformations are undoubtedly what compel you to keep using our care system, many of you tell us that what originally enticed you to our brand was the fact our formulas are 98% naturally derived. No sulfates, silicones, parabens, synthetic fragrances or colours. 

You aren’t alone in this resolution, of course. Only earlier this year, global trends and insights powerhouse, Mintel, reported that 34% of women are interested in natural haircare. 

But this relatively recent movement against troublesome synthetic haircare ingredients isn’t a fad. Beyond the environmental concerns over synthetic ingredients in many personal care products today – something we highlight in our article on sustainable beautythere’s substantial research shows how every hair type, natural, colour- or keratin-treated, curly, fine or dry, stands to benefit from using natural ingredients.

…Finally, after decades of dominance, synthetic-based haircare appears to have lost its shine. Here we explore why.

Sulfates

Commonly present in the form of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), sulfates are pretty ubiquitous in the beauty industry. Used as an inexpensive and, yes, effective way to remove dirt and oil, these synthetic foaming agents also create the abundant soapy bubbles we’ve come to expect from shampoo. 

There’s growing opinion, however, that sulfates do all this to the detriment of hair (and skin) health. Beneficial natural oils are stripped away, already sensitive scalps are further irritated, and the hair and scalp themselves can become dry and weak. Sulfates were, therefore, never a route we considered taking.

Far gentler on the hair and scalp, yet with no compromise on cleansing power, our plant-based surfactants are derived from actives such as Coconut, Corn and fruit sugars. What’s more, we include four or five different natural cleansing agents in each shampoo complex – certainly not the industry standard. The result is there’s no need to shampoo twice; a common requirement of natural shampoos. 

From first wash, our Vata and Kapha formulas form a rich, creamy lather to cleanse hair as it softens and smooths. Our Pitta blend, on the other hand, purposely produces a low-foaming cream, as this is the trichologically recommended and most effective way to cleanse fine or thinning hair. With such competent cleansing, hair’s texture becomes more harmonious – less oily at the roots, more nourished at the mid-lengths and ends, fuller-feeling. Colour-treated and permed hair also particularly benefit from naturally derived cleansers, as they cleanse without loss of pigment and texture, helping both shade and style linger longer.

Silicone

A common addition to conventional shampoos, conditioners and hair styling products, silicone lightly coats hair, swiftly diminishing frizz and restoring smoother, shinier hair. When heated, silicone also expands, helping give the appearance of thicker strands. But appearances can be deceptive and silicone’s cosmetic benefits are just that… masking hair issues without resolving their underlying causes.

So many of you tell us that you actively abstain from silicones, aware of reports they prevent moisture reaching your hair therefore only exacerbating its dry or damaged state in the longer term. You’ve also encountered heavy, lacklustre strands and even irritated scalps brought on by silicone build-up due to its water-insoluble state. Yes, more modern-day silicones are sophisticated and shampoo soluble, but this still doesn’t overcome the fact they are superficial quick fixes.

Instead you were drawn to our use of Coconut, Macadamia Seed and Amla. Light, gentle, hydrating and rich in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, these plant oils instantly smooth, enhance shine and nourish without heavy build-up.

Parabens

Another typical industry ingredient, parabens can be found within most of the contents of your beauty bags. Used to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria, these preservatives hence give products a longer shelf life.

From those very first days of formulation development however, the decision was made to challenge ourselves to find a better, natural alternative to synthetic parabens. We chose a range of ingredients known to synergistically work together, resulting in paraben-free preservation system.

Fragrance 

It goes without saying that every haircare brand wants their customers to enjoy using their products and our industry in particular is synonymous with the use of some seriously pleasurable scents. But why should this aromatic experience again be a merely superficial one? You’ve been asking the same question also.

Our Ayurvedic underpinning instils in us cognition of the remarkable quality and power of natural fragrances. It therefore never entered our minds to use anything other than pure essential oils and absolutes in our blends. Our efforts to get the balance of these just right haven’t gone unnoticed… read the latest feedback to our Formidable Fragrances here

...And for those of you especially interested in the particular wellbeing qualities of our three bespoke fragrance blends, delve deeper into the exceptional oils in our Vata, Pitta and Kapha articles.  

Formulation colour 

And finally, colour. Similar to fragrance, hair brands are also conscious that the hues our ingredient-packed formulas take aren’t always so appealing to consumers; with some adding synthetic colour to make them more agreeable.

But you see past such a façade, wise to the knowledge that such synthetic ingredients have been known to cause skin irritation. Yes, this occasionally results in some surprising shades, such as the grey tones of our Pitta shampoo, but keeping our products as natural as possible also, of course, proves far kinder to your hair and scalp.

 

In summary, while many of you may be content with the immediate cosmetic results you’ve experienced from synthetic formulas, it simply isn’t unfair to state they bring you no long-term advantage. The quality and performance of high quality naturally active ingredients is, on the other hand, unrivalled. These plant, fruit and nut extracts and oils work beyond the superficial, helping overcome underlying issues to gently, yet effectively, restore remarkable and long-lasting condition, shine and health to hair. 
Keen to know more about our blends? Explore what’s inside our formulas here.

 


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