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 limited...so 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.
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 ecoyogini.blogspot.com