Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eco-Shampoo in GLASS bottles!

Out of all my "eco" changes, the cosmetic-y, beauty stuff has been the most difficult. It would seem that I really like what all those chemicals did to my hair, eyelashes and face! By far, shampoo and conditioner have been a total eco-adventure.

I used to be an avid Aveda-fan. I had their shampoo, conditioner, allll their face stuff (cleanser, toner, moisturizer AND exfoliant), body lotion and wash and hair styling products. Aveda uses wind power and they push their products as being "natural" and healthy. I honestly assumed that because it's implied that they use "pure" and "natural" ingredients that their products would have less synthetic chemicals...

Then I read the ingredients on the back of my shampoo bottle. Their Color Conserve has a nice purple sticker on the front that says: "Made with Organic Lavender". On the back, after we get through the 10 plant extracts (whoa!) we see: ammonium lauryl sulfate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, lauramidopropyl betaine, cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride (wtf??)... ok the list goes ON. We have some PEG's and some parfum's (i.e. formaldehyde).. not so natural. Check out my post for more discussion on this sad break-up.

Check out Skin Deep's online cosmetic ingredient rating system to find out what YOUR shampoo's ingredients may be doing to your health.

So, I needed a natural replacement that would keep my hair just as shiny and clean. I really wasn't ready for the "no-poo" shampoo of washing with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Getting through two weeks of icky hair just makes me cringe. There must be another alternative.

I started with the obvious- Green Beaver's shampoo. I love their body lotion and wash, why not their shampoo? Well I think I lasted about three days and my hair was so greasy and disgusting that I passed the shampoo along to Andrew and moved on to Giovanni. Unfortunately, Giovanni isn't the "cleanest" (term for chemical-free) shampoo out there and still it wasn't that wonderful. On to... you name it I've tried it. (ok maybe! I tried a lot let's just say).

Finally I gave up, I was tired of constantly having crappy hair, so back to Aveda it was (hence having the ingredients handy). At least Aveda's products were made with recycled plastic (although it says right on the bottle that recycling the shampoo bottle is what am I supposed to do with that?). Ideally I wanted something with no or better packaging (i.e. a bar or glass). I tried a few shampoo bars and wasn't a fan. Even Andrew, who had been the garbage disposal for all my shampoos over the past three years (aww- he's so cute and supportive of my non-wasteful ways!) hated the shampoo bars. Also, since I am not a fan of Lush; too much scents, hidden synthetic ingredients, I was stuck.

Until one fateful day my parents were up to visit and I decided to "show" them our local organic grocery store (hehe, I am such a geek!). While I gave them the "tour" I happened to spot new shampoo GLASS bottles... BISH! I had heard of a local hair stylist in Halifax who was making his own shampoo and conditioner. I think perhaps a little "WOO!!!" slipped out, scaring my parents just a tiny bit. As I oohhed and ahhed over how they were in glass bottles, no synthetic ingredients, made in Halifax, smelled pretty.... my dad and Andrew slowly inched away.

The hair stylist, Kevan Bish, formerly worked for L'Oreal and was tired of their non-eco production habits (btw, L'Oreal owns Aveda...). Five years ago he opened his own salon here in Halifax (The Swanki Guru...I KNOW) and began making his own shampoo and conditioner. My friend's mother who is a hair stylist uses all his products as she recently had breast cancer and decided to completely cut out chemicals from her hair salon.

I emailed him as soon as I got home to see if he did bottle exchanges and to find out if his shampoo was actually bottled here in Halifax as well. His response was that yes, he does accept bottle exchanges and that they are made (the bottles I'm assuming?) in Winnipeg but that he was hoping to find a local producer soon. Which I'm assuming his bottles them himself in his lab. COOL.

The verdict?
I've been using this shampoo for about a month now. So far I have lasted four consecutive days before my hair becomes slightly dingy. It took a week to figure out that I was squirting WAY too much and it was cloggin' up the hair pores or whatever. Ick. After four days I switch and use Aveda for one or two and then immediately go back. BISH smells phenomenal and leaves my hair nice and soft. I'm wondering if I push it and after a certain time frame my hair will reach that turning point of gross to nice that so many "no-poo" shampoos have... I'm not sure.

I also have been using the conditioner as a shaving lotion and it's AMAZING. Better than any other lotion I have ever used (method, soap bars, even chemical-creams!). It leaves my legs super smooth. The shampoo can also be used as a body wash (which I have).

I feel as if finally the perfect eco-shampoo and conditioner are within my grasp (cue maniacal laughter...).

What do you think? Think I should just go beyond the four day mark and see what happens?


article and photos copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. heya. Hope the dreaded hog isn't lying you to low.... Get well!

    I must admit, I love Lush. Any other supermarket shampoo leaves my scalp awful and the Lush shampoo bars don't. My dermititus is so much better. I like the no packaging thing...

    I know I could do more and should do more and my scalp would probably like those shampoos even more... But you havn't sold them! I probably couldn't get Bish here....

    Maybe one day I will be good.

  2. Hmmm...gotta admit, while I'm all for glass-rather-than-plastic bottles, I don't know if I've ever gotten to the bottom of a bottle of shampoo without having dropped it in the shower at least once. Oh, it's tough being an eco-conscious clumsy person!

  3. wow shampoo in a glass bottle? i think i would have been just as excited as you. although i am way less picky about my shampoo. i don't notice a difference in my hair depending on shampoos. i use kiss my face shampoo but i keep meaning to try the no poo... so i am going to play devil's advocate and say go ahead and try going beyond the four day mark ;-)

  4. I use quite a few products from The Purist Company (local in Australia).

    On their website they have a section dedicated to "Ingredients" - what they do and don't use. I'll have to go home and check my bottles to be sure, but I think they're pretty good.

    I use the Lavender Shampoo and their Avocado & Calendula Conditioner (they also have unscented products for those who are sensitive). But this stuff leaves my hair feeling amazing.

    I also use another local brand - Jurlique - for my facewash. Honestly its the best fashwash I've ever used. I thought it was a little expensive when I bought it but you need to use so little that it lasts for ages.

    Jurlique have a lot of very wonderful products, but they are pretty expensive and so I supplement with stuff from The Purist Company. It all costs a little more, but I think its worth it.

    Good luck with your new hair products!

  5. Rose: silly- you are always "good" lol. If those shampoo bars work for you then honestly I'm jealous- what a fantastic solution! :) I hope "the hog" is leaving you as well!

    Julia: alright! I will do that and for sure let you know how it goes. you should do the "no poo" and post about it too!! A CHALLENGE! lol.

    Dr. Jay: I had some serious reservations about dropping the bottles in the shower- visions of broken glass and such. hasn't happened yet- but my showers do involve a bit more paranoia than usual....

    svasti: ouuu Jurlique is BIODYNAMIC- so cool. wish i could justify ordering some from so far away..... which cleanser do you use? also the other company looks fantastic too! I do know of Miessence, which is pricey but beautiful- had some while I lived in BC and it was loverly. :) Australia has such fantastic skin care products.

  6. I say go for it. I've been trying to find a more natural facial moisturizer with spf. Right now, I've been using alba algae brand, but it's almost gone and I want to try something different since I've been breaking out a bit (and that stuff totally stings your eyes!!)

  7. I use their Balancing Foaming Cleanser. Literally one pump is all you need to wash your face and remove all makeup.

    I bought it in July (I think) and I think I have a couple of months left yet. I adore it. :)

    Their Herbal Recovery Gel is also brilliant, but its a little to pricey for me to buy regularly. Sigh!

  8. I love my Lush shampoo bars! ;) Then again, I wash my hair maybe twice a week (it is very short and doesn't get gross in between washings). I keep meaning to try making my own shampoo, body wash, etc...maybe I'll give it a go this winter. I know my husband would be on board.

  9. This is interesting information to have. Eco business is very interesting to me for a variety of reasons. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. The bottle isn't glass but I've found Trader Joe's Nourish Wash Shampoo to be the best non-sulfate, natural ingredient shampoo ever! And it's extremely inexpensive. The conditioner's awesome also.

  11. I tried the aveda poo before and hated it. I've had trouble finding something that works for my thick frizzy hair. I might have to try some of these other options. Thanks for doing all this leg work and sharing. Love it. :-)

  12. I do the no poo thing, in fact I just wash my hair with water. I didnt go through the icky hair phase, although I did use a lot of bicarb for the first 2 weeks. Also I only wash my hair a few times a week. My hair gleams and it so soft and healthy!

    I use normal clear (white) vinegar, which I use for cleaning too as a rinse, which I mix with a little redbush tea (I dont know if this does anything, but it does make it seem a little less vinegary!) and I put in some rosemary essential oils too. Just to make it all smell nice.

    It really works - try it- you may not go through the icky hair thing - I honestly didnt!


  13. I used to do 'no poo', but then switched to using Indian herbs. Shikakai and Amla powders have been working for me, but I know some people use Ritha (soapnut) also... Renewable in the extreme, and good for your hair! Only problem is finding an Indian food/beauty supply store that carries them...

    An infusion of chamomile, sage and crushed rosehips also makes an awesome hair rinse!

  14. Thank you SO MUCH for this article... it helped me hugely (I found it through google). I too am a haligonian on the hunt for healthy hair products and thank you so much for alerting me to the products right under my nose!


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