Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All Natural and Natural Based Shampoo and Conditioner Recs: Part 2 (Natural Hair Care)

And here is part 2! Part 3 will be posted in a few days.

Please note: since most (but not all) of these brands are only preserved with mixes of alcohol (an extremely effective natural preservative if used in the correct concentration), herbal extracts (which contain alcohol) and essential oils (anti-bacterial ability depends on the plant, and will only preserve against certain bacteria and fungi), the shelf life of most of these products is much shorter than products preserved with synthetic preservatives: only a few months. A couple of these brands use synthetic/naturally derived preservatives (meaning that some people call these preservatives 'natural' because they are derived from a natural substance, but I personally consider them synthetic since they are not completely natural since they are altered. However they are relatively benign so I use products with them) so shelf life for those products is at least a year. I don't recommend storing most natural products in the bathroom since that reduces shelf life (the only products that you can leave in your bathroom are soaps and small amounts of soap based liquid cleansers, small amounts of shampoos, and powdered mineral makeup made only with minerals and pigments).

Giovanni makes some nice shampoos and conditioners. I like their products but don't love them. They are available online and in stores. Their products range from nearly all natural to natural based (depends on the formula). Their shampoos and conditioners contain a nice assortment of herbs that are good for the hair. Light conditioning, very basic products for frequent use. Inexpensive.

Heart of Iowa Soapworks. I've plugged this company on my blog before. For a few years they were my favorite shampoo bars (though now Chagrin Valley is, see part 1). Before I tried Karla's (the owner) shampoo bars I hated shampoo bars because other brands left my hair feeling dry and greasy. Karla's shampoo bars clean well without over stripping. I like her aloe fresh shampoo bar the best. Her facial bars are also very nice (a few years ago her shea special bar was one of the few soaps I could use on my face that didn't dry out my skin--though thankfully I now have found several other companies I can use on my face now). The shea special bar is awesome, rich in shea and smells very yummy! She makes 100% natural and nearly all natural (some have fragrance oils) soaps. Most are vegetarian or vegan but there are a couple that are not vegetarian. They are available online, through a few different vendors that I have posted about previously before. The link above is to her own site.

Kiss My Face Organics. I don't care for their regular line (which is not natural enough for me ;P and contains ingredients I don't recommend using though I admit their regular line is much better than many conventional lines) but their organic line is all natural or nearly all natural or natural based (depends on the product). I haven't used their shampoo in years so I don't really remember what it's like, but I have used their conditioner lately. Nice, light conditioning, which is better for oily hair because of the herbs used in the product. Basic care. In stores or online. Inexpensive.

Miessence is a very nice nearly all natural organic cosmetic company from Australia. Most of their products are all natural and organic, except for their shampoos (which use an extremely mild sugar based naturally derived synthetic detergent) and conditioners (depends on how you personally define certain emulsifiers). Miessence is one of the purest lines out there. Very gentle and lots of herbs that beneficial the hair. I like both their shampoos and conditioners (but of course can't use either very often since their shampoo is detergent based and their conditioner has apple cider vinegar in it. Most people love sugar based detergents since they are so mild, and also the majority of people who have tried apple cider vinegar in rinses or conditioners love it, but as I mentioned my hair and facial skin are very picky!) Very nice formulations.

Paul Penders. I love Paul Pender's products. They are originally a European company but I think are ship out of Asia now (but shipping is NOT expensive even though it is international; but they have currently have a minimal order of $50). Definitely also one of the purest lines out there. They do a lot of environmental work too. They use a very complex blend of amazing and beneficial herbs in most of their formulas: over 20 different herbs. Most of their product line is all natural or nearly all natural. Their shampoos and conditioners are natural (except for of course the detergent and the emulsifiers depending on your own definition of natural). I haven't used them in a couple years but I remember I really loved their conditioner: for a while it was my favorite conditioner. However they reformulated many of their products within the last few years and I have not tried them since (sadly they have started to add apple cider vinegar to most of their conditioners which works for nearly everyone, but not me! But they still have at least one without). I remember I really liked their shampoos, which I found I could use more often than most other brands even though it's detergent based because I think it's because herbs are their first ingredient and they don't add a lot of detergents to their shampoos: in fact they now have a medium and also a low suds formula. Time for me to try them again! :)

Samara Botane is a well respected essential oil company with an ecological conscious. They have a lovely natural (and very inexpensive) herbal conditioner. They also have a shampoo base ( but I have not used it since I don't formulate with detergents but I may try it in the future). Their conditioner is one of my favorites. Their product is somewhere between nearly all natural or natural (depending on definition of the emulsifiers). This is what I am currently using. Excellent formulation, contains herbs that actually do something for your hair :) I have to mention I love their essential oils: extremely high quality and very fragrant.

Friday, August 08, 2008

New all natural beauty website and environmental articles: anb Mall and Eco Living articles (Environmental Products and Information on Green Living)

I am pleased to announce the opening of my friend Sharon's (owner of all natural beauty website, SharAmbrosia, anb forum, and anb Portal) newest all natural beauty related website called the anb Mall! Not sure where to get truly natural beauty products (or products from small businesses, and many women and family owned businesses)? This is the place to look! Links to many fantastic truly natural brands including several I haven't tried yet (I guess this means I have to try them now, LOL! :) ). This is as natural as it gets!

It is a double pleasure to let everyone know about her newest project because I am the anb Mall's Eco Living writer! :) I am so honored that Sharon has asked me to write eco living related articles for her site and I hope that everyone finds all of my environmental friendly tips helpful! In this month's issue (click here) I have defined what eco living is and provided a few very simple green tips. So once a month check out the Eco Living section for even more awesome tips on green living! And be sure to check out all of the other great sections of the anb Mall for cool deals, articles, and all natural beauty related news!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Support Small Cosmetic Businesses and Suppliers!

A few weeks ago I posted about the FDA Globalization Act of 2008, click here for the entry. If you haven't already I urge you to please support small cosmetic businesses and suppliers and sign the petition against this legislation. There is no doubt in my mind that it will pass since the vast majority of the proposed legislation is a food bill (only a few small sections on the cosmetic industry is tucked in the bill). However the cosmetic sections of it can greatly impact the small cosmetic industry, and by signing the petition and writing to congress and voicing our concerns, it can be amended before it is passed to take into consideration the situation of small cosmetic businesses and suppliers.

This proposed legislation may change the all natural beauty cosmetic industry, natural based cosmetics industry, hand crafted businesses, environmental/socially responsible cosmetic companies, family owned and women owned businesses as we know it: namely most of the companies that I have blogged about over the last few years may either disappear or will have to raise prices drastically if this is passed. The passing of this bill may cause many small companies to close, less choices to buy all natural/natural based cosmetics, and huge increases in prices (from those that do stay in business).

Please read my previous entry on this issue and sign the petition and write to congress by August 5th!

Sharon of all natural beauty website and portal has compiled a list of who to contact in congress.

Please support small cosmetic businesses and suppliers!