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Organic hair care products: untangling the truth

Organic hair care = natural products: true and false! 

While an organic beauty product must contain natural ingredients and active ingredients, the opposite is not necessarily true. There are no rules when it comes to natural products. They can use ingredients that are not organic. The term “natural” can therefore be used as a marketing technique to attract and trick consumers, since it is not regulated. There is no minimum percentage of natural ingredients required. In contrast, organic hair care products must contain at least 95% natural ingredients and this must be specified on the packaging. The remaining 5% are generally for synthetic products (fragrances, preservatives, texture agents, etc.) that can be difficult to replace. 

So how do you know where you stand? In the beauty sector, there are certain labels and certifications that guarantee a product is really organic. These are awarded by independent organizations without any links to the brand, and certify that a product and its ingredients are organic and that it is manufactured in an environmentally friendly way. In France, there are 3 such organizations: Bureau Veritas, Ecocert and Cosmecert. Ecocert also awards the COSMOS certification, specially designed for organic or natural beauty products. This label  is present on all our ELENATURE shampoos and conditioners

Organic hair care products are environmentally friendly: true! 

Containing more natural ingredients and free from sulphates, silicones and other petrochemical ingredients, organic shampoos and hair care products are less harmful for the environment than conventional beauty  products. They are also greener to manufacture, with less impact on the environment. Ecocert certified products have to respect a strict and precise set of specifications. These products are more environmentally friendly across their life cycle, by using natural and generally renewable resources that pollute less than ingredients from the petrochemical industry.  

However, this is now the case for all beauty products. Since 2013, testing cosmetics on animals has been banned in Europe. In 2016, the European Union also banned imports of animal-tested products. So you can be sure that organic or otherwise, your beauty products have not been tested on animals. 

The “VEGAN” label from the Vegan Society goes a step further, guaranteeing that no animal has been involved in the manufacture of the product. There are therefore no ingredients derived from animal exploitation, or any GM ingredients. This label is part of a “Clean & Safe” approach that we strive to follow at ELENATURE.  

Organic hair care products don’t lather and don’t wash your hair as well as classic shampoo: false!  

While some organic products lather less than conventional ones, be aware that, contrary to popular belief, it is not the presence of foam that determines if a product is working or not.. Conventional shampoos often use sulphated surfactants (cleaning agents), which create a lot of dense foam, but this is not an indication of effectiveness. These surfactants can also have a strong detergent effect that can irritate and damage the scalp and hair, removing their natural protection.  

Organic beauty products use milder, natural surfactants, that wash hair just as well without being too harsh or damaging it. While there is little or no foam, the product is just as effective and even better for your hair.  

When you make the switch from conventional beauty products to organic products, you should expect a transition period, where your hair won’t look as good. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and natural. The silicones and mineral oils you find in classic shampoos smother and coat the hair, giving it the appearance of healthy hair without really acting or giving it what it needs. When you switch to sulphate-free shampoo and organic products, your hair goes back to its normal appearance. This is what we call the transition period. Your hair has to eliminate these harmful substances to get back to its beautiful appearance and finally be properly moisturized, nourished and looked after. 

After a few washes with the right shampoos and hair care products, your locks will look great again and will be much more healthy thanks to organic products!  

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