HAIR: The Sequel

This spring, I was pretty much set in my haircare drill. Giovanni 50/50 shampoo and conditioner, along with John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler left my hair clean, soft, and shiny, and continues to be the backbone of my routine. In HAIR: Part I I had also become quite partial to hair oils rather than styling gels or creams, and Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil was the first one I used and I found it to be very effective at taming frizzes, adding subtle gloss, and curl definition.


hair.wolfgangsvault

But, having a natural beauty blog means staying open to new products, especially when there’s interest from readers. My HAIR post continues to be one of Scent Hive’s most popular, so here are more reviews:

Aubrey Organics is a brand that has long interested me, and I can’t express enough how much I appreciated turning a conditioner bottle over to read the ingredients and seeing this statement at the top:

100% Natural Ingredients. No Parabens or Petrochemicals

At the bottom you’ll find: No Animal Testing, Vegan, Biodegradable

So Aubrey covers a lot of bases, including many organic ingredients of course. Since my hair is thick, wavy, and leans frizzy, I tried the Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner for starters.

Rose Mosqueta Shampoo, is wow…super scented. Rose musk anyone? And the scent lasts all day long. So if that’s a deal breaker for you, go ahead and jump to the conditioner review. It’s not entirely a deal breaker for me depending on the day. If I want my hair to be my scent of the day, then I’ll go for it because this shampoo is high quality. It has an excellent lather, which is not to say it will be sudsy like a mainstream shampoo, but for a natural shampoo, it’s lovely. My hair felt well hydrated after using Rose Mosqueta and was shiny to boot. I only wish it weren’t so intensely fragranced. I’ll admit that musk is not on my preferred scent list so I might be a bit sensitive to it. But if you like musk, you will love this shampoo.

Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner also gets high praise for its performance. It’s thick and rich and I love its first ingredient; coconut fatty acid cream base. Give me more of that in my hair please! I love running a comb through my hair when it’s being conditioned, and this allowed for smooth combing action. (Not quite as effortless as John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler, but smooth nonetheless). With a name like Island Naturals, I was expecting a tropical scent of pineapple, mango, coconut or a hint of gardenia, but instead found mint and rosemary on my head. Fine by me, just not what I was anticipating. Indeed, you will find balm mint and rosemary oil in the ingredient list, with some coconut as mentioned above, but apparently the aromatic herbs are too much for the little island fruit (or seed to get technical). Regardless, my thick hair met its match in Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner and will be in rotation among Giovanni 50/50 and John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler.

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner says it’s for “Dry Brittle Hair”, but I found Island Naturals to be far more hydrating. The Island Naturals Replenishing provided so much moisture, that fine hair might be too weighted down by it, but I think the Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner could be doable in a small amount. If you find that starts coating it too much, give Blue Chamomile Hydrating Conditioner a try, it gets rave reviews on the Aubrey website from the gals with thin, fine hair.

As for styling products, I’ve been keeping it simple with hair oil after the shower. My routine: Towel dry, 3-6 drops of oil rubbed all over the hands, distribute through middle of hair, ends, then hairline. Comb it. Wrap it up in a clip for a while. Done. I’ve discovered Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil and have found my new favorite styling product. No doubt that Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil is a quality product, but Weleda’s helps tame the frizzies a smidge better and makes my hair just a bit softer. And the rosemary scent is delicious.

For some fun, not so serious hair care, give John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender a go. While it added too much body to my hair, it would be perfect for someone whose thin hair needs some life. Or if you’ve got some bedhead and need to give it a boast, spritz this on and refresh your hair with a lavender scent and a little wave.

If you’ve got some favorite natural haircare products, by all means, please share your discoveries by hitting the comments button below!

Posted by ~Trish

image from http://blog.vva.org/?m=200808

Share

HAIR

hairposterforweb

Hair. Let’s face it. It’s a big deal. I dropped my non-green products cold-turkey. No problem. Sure, I still spritz a Guerlain or Chanel perfume once in a while, but my everyday products that didn’t make the environmentally friendly cut? Gone. Except one thing. My hair products. I clung onto those silicones and heavy weight conditioners for dear life. I was afraid. Very afraid, to see what kind of frizz-ball mess I would be left with if I abandoned the coating of 30 weight oil on my hair.
 

Let me put my hair in context. It’s very thick, wavy, and frizz-prone around the hair-line. My sister can vouch for this. Any time we go to the salon, the stylist invariably exclaims to us, “my god you two have a lot of hair”! It’s not a complaint, just laying the ground work here to let you know that if I can wean myself off the hard stuff, anyone can. 

 

200Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced Shampoo was my scary leap into the no sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) realm. SLS is a foaming agent that gives soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, etc a great lather, but also can be drying, as well as a skin and eye irritatant. I chose 50/50 Balanced because it got rave reviews on the hair care board at MakeupAlley and is reasonably priced. For a shampoo with no SLS, it foams nicely, which was my initial concern. It also smells pleasant, rinses well, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling like straw, which is a common complaint with natural shampoos. I now use Giovanni’s 50/50 routinely, but I like to mix it up a bit with John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo which lathers really well and smells amazing. The rosemary scent is fresh and invigorating. I also love Dr. Hauschka’s Macadamia Orange Shampoo, which has a bitter orange scent, and leaves my hair really soft. Both the John Masters and Dr. Hauschka shampoos would be my first choices, but they are more expensive than the 50/50 Balanced, so I use that more often. Costco used to carry 50/50 Balanced in large bottles, but from what I understand, it is harder to find there these days.

 

20081010_157082900499For my conditioner, I started with John Masters. His Citrus and Neroli Detangler got so many amazing reviews on MakeupAlley, I had to use it right off the bat when I was weaning myself off the silicone conditioners. I also used his Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner to curb the shock of the withdrawal. Surprisingly, I found the Neroli Detangler to be so effective that I only needed the Intensive Conditioner a couple times a week, if that. Since my hair is so thick I also used, and still do, the Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner. Again, this is not the cheapest product ever, so I did check out Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced Conditioner, and I do like it, and use it regularly. But I always use the John Masters Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner, no matter what.

 

 

21bdx98ychl_sl500_aa247_I have to admit, it took me a lot longer to let go of the “out of the shower” routine. It was just one product, but I felt like it was the one thing that really kept the frizzies under control; Frederic Fekkai’s Glossing Cream. I was addicted to it and only found the courage to try something new about two or three months ago. Intelligent Nutrients Organic Styling Creme has made it easy to come off my Fekkai habit, which unfortunately contains petrochemicals, parabens, silicones, and possibly phthalates as “fragrance” is listed as an ingredient. Intelligent Nutrients Organic Styling Creme doesn’t have that creamy consistency, and it smells a bit like salad dressing, but it works and is 25% off here. And that slightly vinegary smell, it lasts for a mere two seconds and then it’s gone. I also have become a big fan of Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil. Just a few drops rubbed in my palms and then distributed throughout the ends of my hair gives defined wavy curls and helps it last that way for a couple of days. The Neem Hair Oil is the only product I have mentioned thus far that might not be appropriate for those with fine or thin hair. It would most likely be too heavy as a little goes a long way. 

 

So if you’ve been curious about switching to a greener shampoo and/or conditioner, my recommendation is to start with Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Shampoo and John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler. They are both widely available and a great introduction into hair care that’s better for you and the planet. 

posted by ~Trish

image from Swine Palace, a non-profit, professional company, serving the greater Baton Rouge Community and supporting the educational mission of the LSU Department of Theatre.

Share

Trying Something New. MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser

3182143705_4cbfea7a3d1I have been a Dr. Hauschka skincare devotee for quite sometime now. I use their Cleansing Cream and Cleansing Milk religiously, and even go so far as to integrate the Lavender Bath oil into the process. Sometimes I just cleanse with the Milk; sometimes just the Cleansing Cream. Sometimes both. When I have enough time I fill the sink with warm water, add a few drops of Lavender Bath oil and rinse my face with the aromatic brew and feel like I have just treated myself to a relaxing ritual. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Hauschka’s products, they are beyond lovely. They employ sustainable farming, fair trade practices, and of course no synthetic ingredients.  And because they take into account the cycles of the moon when they plant their flowers that are harvested for their organic formulas, I feel like little celestial fairies have somehow helped create my tubes and bottles of goodness.

The only downside, is that they are a German company. If you are in Germany, that’s great! If you are in a different part of the world, that means your skincare has to be flown over the ocean to get to you. Not ideal if you are trying to decrease your carbon footprint. Not to mention the high cost of their products. It’s an expensive routine. But breaking my Dr. Hauschka skincare habit is a tough one. I’ll illustrate it with a true story.

A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant with my husband and older son. I got a cell phone call that I had to take, and excused myself from the table. While I was away, my son asked who I was talking to. My husband said, “Mommy’s talking to a doctor.” My son then asked, “Oh! Dr. Hauschka?” Yeah, even my son knows about Dr. Hauschka; even how to pronounce the name correctly. I’m a little attached. But, in the spirit of looking for more locally made skincare, at least on this continent, I went shopping.

38859hnydewcleansrunsc44oz1MyChelle Dermaceuticals has been my first attempt. MyChelle is based in Colorado and does not use phthalates, parabens, or petroleum ingredients in their products. Some, but not all of the ingredients are organic, such as organic honey, blue algae and glycerin in the Honeydew Cleanser. I have heard  about their high quality reputation over the years, so I figured this was a good enough place to start. And well, Colorado is a lot closer to the Northwestern US than Germany. I saw a travel sized bottle of their Unscented Honeydew Cleanser at my local health food store about two weeks ago and decided to take the plunge. I am happy to report excellent results thus far.

I like to warm a nickel-sized amount in my palms and massage it on my face. It has a silky slip when applied and rinses nicely with warm water.  The consistency is creamy but does not leave a residue. Nor does it leave my skin feeling taut; just clean and soft. (As an FYI, my skin in general is fairly normal, but prone to dryness in the winter and breakouts every now and then). After two weeks’ worth of use, my skin looks as good if not better than it does when I use my beloved Dr. Hauschka routine on a twice daily basis. Even though the Honeydew Cleanser is labeled as “unscented” there is a mild, slightly floral scent that is very pleasant but does not linger.

For those of you who enjoy a cream cleanser, I encourage you to give this one a try. I don’t think I will ever stop using Dr. Hauschka’s Cream Cleanser, which is not creamy but rather granular and more of an exfoliator. And I won’t abandon the aforementioned cleansing ritual entirely. But I think I am ready to let go of the Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk and allow MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser to be its lovely, and far more reasonably priced, replacement.

~MyChelle is sold at Whole Foods and many health food stores. See this link to find a store near you in the US.

photograph by muffet on fllickr

Share

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara

ow_cv_20081209144724

Finding a good buy in the green world of beauty can be a challenge, so when I read about Physicians Formula’s Organic Wear Mascara I was anxious to try it. The price point is decent at $9.95, although admittedly on the high end for a drug store product. But a steal compared to my current favorite, Dr. Haushcka’s mascara that has a hefty price tag of $25.95. Physicians Formula is running a rebate on the Organic Wear Mascara, so if you are willing to shell out the money up-front, it is essentially a free trial.

The details of this green mascara are impressive for a mass-market drugstore cosmetic.  According to the website, there are no parabens or synthetic presevatives in any of the Organic Wear products. The mascara is certified by ECOCERT (not all of the products in this line are) and I reviewed all of the ingredients and none of them are petroleum based. I have sent an email to Physicians Formula which will hopefully confirm this for the entire line.

For those of you accustomed to the more sophisticated packaging of let’s say, a Chanel or Dior mascara tube, be ready for a campy, not-so-sexy presentation of a beige tube with a metallic green leaf on top. Hopefully this is easy to get over, because the product is actually quite good. I’m not gonna lie and say Organic Wear will give you the same lashes that Chanel’s Inimitable does. (I still use that when a night out calls for it). But the department store equivalent would be Clinique’s Natural Glossy which I used on a daily basis for years until I decided to clean up and go green. I have since switched to Dr. Hauschka’s mascara, but am always on the look-out for something better or at least as good and less expensive. Organic Wear’s is definitely as good as Dr. Hauschka’s and is definitely cheaper!

As for its performance, it darkens the lashes, makes them fuller, and lengthens moderately. It gives a natural, everyday look. Unfortunately, Organic Wear Mascara has a slightly sour, waxy smell. The first time I used it, the smell lingered for most of the day. The second time I used a lighter application and the smell was fainter. This could end up being a deal breaker for me as I am very sensitive to smell in products that I use on my face. I either need them to be unscented, have it dissipate quickly, or I need to love the scent.

Regardless, I think this is a great product and if you are willing to fill out the rebate form, give it a try. If you do, leave a comment and let us all know what you think! Or let us know what “green” mascaras you have tried and leave your feedback.

UPDATE: May 15, 2009. I just got my rebate check yesterday for those of you curious about how long that would take. Looks like 3 months exactly.

posted by ~Trish

Share