Why "green" beauty matters
Hearing more about “green” or “clean” or “organic” or “plant based” beauty lately?
We sure hope so! Find out everything you need to know about why this is the fastest growing segment in hair care.
For starters, what is green beauty?
It’s an approach to taking care of yourself and looking good without damaging your health or the environment.
Green beauty isn’t new. The techniques of using plant-based extracts for date back to ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practices. In the Americas, native people have used herbs in traditional healing for thousands of year.
Today, green beauty is one of the fastest growing segments in hair care. Why? People are becoming more aware of the value of natural ingredients for scalp and follicle health, and hair strength and shine. Steve Friedman, vice president of Miami-based Hollywood Beauty Products, explains, “Consumers have become ingredient savvy and are very conscious of the products they are using on their hair and skin. Products with sulfates, parabens, mineral oil and alcohol, which were once widely used in hair care, ... have become taboo in today’s modern formulations.”
Why should green beauty matter to you?
- It’s better for you
- Better for our planet
- It works
Green beauty products use ingredients like vitamin E, aloe vera, plant based oils, and shea butter. Traditional products use sulfate cleansers, paraben preservatives, silicones, and phthalate plasticizers. Many ingredients in traditional products are known irritants.
- 45% of people actively seek organic ingredients (NPD Group)
- 30% will not buy a product containing sulfates (NPD Group)
- 42% say that "green" products are better for the environment (Mintel)
- 32% say the products give them general peace of mind (Mintel)
While most people believe that ingredients are cleared by the government for safety, in reality there is little oversight. In the US there are only 30 substances banned from cosmetic products. For comparison, there are 470 additional substances banned from Canadian cosmetic products that can be found in US products.
Why this matters?
Over 60% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. (American Journal of Public Health)
So why is “green” hair care hard to find? “Green” hair care represents about 10% of the total market.
- Product texture
- Results take longer
- Gentler preservatives
- (Perceived) Price
Foam (good) vs. Bubbles (bad)
Traditional products use sulfate cleansers that bubble up quicklky when they come in contact with water. Bubbles are fun, but sulfates are the same ingredient found in dish detergent and strip your hair and scalp of all of its moisture. “Green” products like ANTIDOTE1848 use gentler non-sulfate cleansers that foam up when put in contact with water, but don’t create bubbles. These products clean without stripping scalp and hair of beneficial oils.
Natural oils (good) vs. Silicones (bad)
The natural oils used in “Green” products mimic the natural oils that our bodies produce for healthy hair. Natural oils penetrate deep into the hair to restore strength, flexibility, and shine. It can take time for hair to absorb these healthy oils. Traditional products rely silicones to add instant volume and shine. But this is a short term perception. Silicones sit on top of the hair, suffocating it from absorbing beneficial oils. The dry, weakened hair is more prone to breakage. Of course, all things in moderation are ok.
Shorter shelf life (good) vs. Long shelf life (bad)
Any product that contains water requires a preservative. “Green” products use gentler preservatives proven to be less irritating, things like vitamin E, and tend to have a shelf life of 6-12 months. Traditional products require longer shelf lives, 2-3 years, and need stronger preservatives to deliver on that.
Don’t be fooled by marking terms like "botanical essence." Given the lack of regulation, consumers need to read the label. Many consumers think that they are using “green” products when they aren’t.
Natural ingredients are more expensive and harder to work with. This means that they cost more than traditional products. On average, “green” products cost 25% more. We think it is worth it when you factor in the value of your health, the environment, and beautiful strong hair.
Good news! Going “green” has never been easier.
- There is great information at places like the Environmental Working Group and Healthline
- More brands like ANTIDOTE are offering “clean” beauty products
- More professional salons are differentiating themselves by offering healthier alternatives
- More stylists are educating their clients on the technical aspects of “green” beauty products
Whether you use ANTIDOTE or not, we hope that you'll become a green beauty advocate: it's better for you, better for the environment, and it works.
-- Abigail + David