What are the trends and innovations in organic haircare? We investigate this exciting sector and its key players. Words by Rebecca Barnes
It seems the trend in natural beauty is going to our heads. Global consumer interest in natural and herbal haircare is driving market growth, brought about by increased consumer awareness on ingredient ill effects, and products with pure, high quality formulations are becoming as desirable as organic skincare.
Ask anyone who has experimented with natural haircare products, however, and they’re likely to give you the same answer — when it comes to efficacy and performance, they often don’t stand up when compared to mass market formulations.
So fledgling brands take note — get it right and you’ll probably be onto a winner.
Interestingly, and in contrast to products traditionally occupying this sector, the latest organic haircare brands are going upscale, with premium packaging and high quality, indigenous ingredients.
“For a long time, consumers have been forced to choose between ethical products which do not work as desired, or which have a harmful impact on the world around us,” says Nick Shillabeer, UK
managing director of OWAY, a new haircare brand which uses biodynamic ingredients grown on an eco farm in Bologna, Italy.
“We’re giving them the choice to reduce their environmental footprint and detoxify from chemical agents, while achieving a salon-quality look and feel,” he continues. “We combine the old-fashioned concept of farming all ingredients in one place with modern distillation methods to create products which are both ethically sourced and effective.”
Designed to improve the hair structure with every application, OWAY features sustainable glass packaging and is exclusively stocked in selected high-end salons
Swiss-born skincare brand Ananné’s new haircare offering blends herbal ingredients with scientific innovation and aims to deliver quality products with clinically proven results. Claritas Shampoo and Amicio Conditioner were created in collaboration with a local perfumer, with importance placed on purity and superiority of ingredients.
“The Ananné philosophy values an holistic approach to haircare, embracing the purest scents found in nature for a multi-sensory experience,” says Dr Urs Pohlman, neuroscientist and founder. “The result is a completely new haircare experience: both mind and body are soothed, balanced and refreshed.”
Seven products make up the luxurious Onira Organics range, which is sold at Urban Retreat in Harrods. With a seal of approval from Ecocert, the products are 98-100 per cent natural with ingredients sourced sustainably and organically where possible. Bespoke results can be achieved with The Serum, which contains Tahitian ginger and can be mixed with the other products.
New to the UK, Natura Siberica haircare was created using wild herbs and flowers from Siberia.
Containing extracts of plant-adaptogens that possess powerful regenerative properties, the beautiful packaging belies a more affordable price point. The unique Oblepikha Scalp Scrub purifies the scalp while helping prevent hair loss by increasing blood flow. Ingredients include Altai sea buckthorn, amaranth oil and marigold.
Diversification and innovation is also energising this sector, addressing both care and styling requirements. According to Tints of Nature, dry shampoo has become a staple product but there were few organic, environmentally friendly options on the market. The non-aerosol Dry Shampoo was created due to consumer demand — the 99.5 per cent natural and certified organic ingredients include rice silk and hectorite clay to lift and freshen hair.
The natural hair colour sector is a tough one to crack, and up until now there has been just a handful of brands worth talking about. Saach Organics’ formulations are based on Ayurvedic traditional recipes, and its all-natural Hair Colours powders contain a revolutionary Ayurvedic formula that offers lasting semi-permanent coverage.
“Natural beauty is mainstream in India, and botanical ingredients, such as henna, have been used for centuries to not only colour the hair but help create vibrancy, body and health,” says Harvinder Parhar, founder of Saach Organics. “We wanted to bring to the UK market products filled with the goodness of natural beauty as you would find in India; a truly natural and organic hair colouring system that works, and is kind to hair, health and the environment.”
Taking it one step further is another Ayurveda-inspired brand Khadi, which offers hair colours containing only pure plant-based hair colouring agents. Avoiding synthetic pigments (PPDs) which can be found in other natural hair colour brands, Khadi’s colouring agents don’t enter the hair cuticles, instead coating the surface of each hair, which is less evasive and safer.
“Pravera was seeking a certified natural herbal hair colour for the UK market and Khadi matched our criteria,” says Graeme Hume, managing director of Pravera Ltd.
“Khadi is the only brand currently on the market that offers a range of 100 per cent natural herbal hair colours to give long-lasting colour, volume and gloss that is completely free from synthetic colouring agents.”
To keep that colour for longer, Leonor Greyl Crème de Soin à l’Amarante’s new Conditioning Mask (available from October 2016) maintains vibrancy with natural active ingredients including sacred plant amaranth oil, plus Indian Pongamia oil, an Ayurvedic staple that helps to prevent colour fade.
Formulated with natural and organic plant and seed oils and extracts, Naturtint’s Anti-Ageing CC Cream is a restorative treatment that cares for the hair and scalp. Formulated to work alongside the brand’s colour, which has recently been reformulated with even more natural ingredients, it delivers seven benefits, including strengthening and reducing split ends.
When Tabitha James Kraan opened a pioneering organic salon in the Cotswolds in 1993, little did she know that they had planted a seed in the professional sector.
Says co-founder Dennes James-Kraan: “I wanted to show how easy, effective and satisfying it is to lead a natural and organic life, and became frustrated by not being able to find pure products to work with in order to get the best out of hair naturally. So I decided to make them myself!
“After extensive performance testing with my salon clients, Tabitha James Kraan Organic products were officially launched in 2015. We haven’t looked back! My intention will always be to deliver the cleanest possible options for hair, with professional performance and delicious scents. My certified organic and natural products nourish and feed the hair, and won’t harm the planet.”
Paul Windle of award-winning London salon Windle & Moodie, is the first to admit that he didn’t intend to specifically develop a natural haircare range. The result, a stylish haircare line incorporating high-quality food grade teas, is now used both in the salon and for session work.
“We wanted to make our products the best they can be, and no chemical options were anywhere as good — in many cases, nature provides us with the most effective compounds,” says Windle.
Ogario London products are used daily in the Ogario salon, so it was important that the formulas had to match the salon’s high standards. Four years in the making, the award-winning products were produced in collaboration with the salon’s clients for invaluable feedback from the front line.
The resulting blend contains pro-vitamin B5, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, while the hero Restore and Shine Hair Masque, contains sage, lavender and avocado oil.
It’s clear that natural brands are taking a more sophisticated approach in the quest for success, but will this be enough for the mass market to sit up and take notice? Only time will tell.
CurlyEllie, the haircare brand for curly locks has been awarded Silver in the Junior Design Awards 2016 prize for Best Children’s toiletries collection. This is a huge achievement with CurlyEllie only launching in April of this year. Each
product is lovingly customised to provide high quality haircare making washing, conditioning and styling tresses fun and pleasurable for both mother and child. Initially aimed at children, CurlyEllie has gained cult status amongst women too with mothers discovering the benefits for themselves after seeing perfectly smooth, defined curls on their young ones. Free from sls, parabens, sulfates, synthetic-fragrances, silicones and mineral oils.
Giovanni 2Chic Ultra Sleek Leave-In Conditioner & Styling Elixir is a deep penetrating 2-in-1 intensive conditioning treatment and styling serum shields hair from the elements; UV, pollution, humidity and even styling heat. Formulated with Brazilian Phyto-Keratin and Moroccan Argan Oil to lock in smoothness, softness and shine, delivering a sleek texture to hair. With use, frizz is banished and split ends are reduced and repaired. Safe for color treated hair. Giovanni is where natural hair care meets salon quality products. Vegan and cruelty free, and formulated without parabens, phthalates and SLS/SLES.
Avalon Organics gentle, safe and effective plant-based shampoos and conditioners are designed to bring luminance to locks without the use of harsh preservatives or hair-stripping cleansers. For hair that is dull or lacklustre, a medley of lemon essential oil, quinoa protein, aloe and vitamin E gently clarify, brighten and remove excess oils and dulling build up. The result: natural highlights, color and shine are restored. Formulated with organic botanicals and essential oils, and free from: GMOs, parabens, harsh sulfates, harsh preservatives, synthetic colours, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, animal ingredients and animal testing.
JASON Revitalizing Vitamin E Shampoo gently cleanses as it revives natural manageability with super-enriched multiple vitamins and botanical extracts. Nourishing Vitamin E moisturises without weighing hair down while powerful antioxidant blend of vitamins A, C and botanical extracts helps fight environmental stressors, leaving hair revitalised, nourished and manageable. Ideal for dry or damaged hair, as won’t strip away hair’s natural moisture. Formulated without SLS/SLES, parabens, phthalates, artificial colours or petrolatum. Vegetarian and vegan friendly, certified cruelty free.
Enriched with natural and organic plant and seed oils and extracts, the Naturtint Permanent Hair Colours deliver 100% grey coverage, long lasting naturally radiant colour and shine with anti-ageing results for healthy and youthful hair. ‘Naturally Better’, Naturtint Permanent Hair Colours are free from Ammonia, Resorcinol, Parabens, DEA, SLS, Mineral Oils, Paraffin and Silicones. Available in 30 easy to apply shades, ranging from Ebony Black to Light Dawn Blonde and each complete with a sachet of the innovative Anti-Ageing CC Cream, that helps combat the main signs of hair ageing. The Naturtint range offers your customers everything they need to colour, nourish, repair, strengthen, protect and care for coloured hair!
IMPROVE your Hair Growth and Volume with HAIR VOLUME ™ The world’s new amazing Hair tablet is here for you! Hair Volume tablet is designed to help with thinning or diffused hair. The unique bioactive nutrient hair growth factor combination contained in each tablet nourishes and activates the life processes of hair follicle cells. The tablet works from the inside out. The tablet, which is manufactured in Sweden, contains micronutrients and herbal extracts including apple extract rich in procyanidin B2. The content of biotin and zinc contribute to the maintenance of normal hair and copper contributes to normal hair pigmentation, fighting grey hairs.
Tabitha James Kraan High Performance Hair Organics is a revolutionary new range, completely free from harmful chemicals, developed by organic hair guru Tabitha James Kraan. A pioneer of organic haircare in salons since 1999, Tabitha has an internationally renowned hair salon in the Cotswolds.
Tabitha James Kraan says, “The range has been formulated with three main principles in mind:
- Oil Balancing – sealing the hair shaft, and providing strength and protection that leads to strong and lustrous hair.
2. Correct Cleansing – without stripping out the natural oils, allowing the scalp to reach its own equilibrium.
3. Moisture layering – most problems are caused by moisture/oil being stripped from the hair. The products enable you to replace that moisture easily and effectively building layers to achieve longevity of healthy hair.
“Where we have been unable to source a certified organic ingredient, we only use natural ingredients. We think it’s important to state clearly on our packaging what percentage of the ingredients are organic; something can be labelled ‘organic’ even if only one or two ingredients are certified organic. We prefer to give our customers the full picture and we will continue to strive to increase the organic content of all our products.”
The range is multi-award winning. The Dry Shampoo won the Janey Lee Grace Platinum Award 2014, the Natural Health International Beauty Award 2015, the Biteable Beauty Best Dry Shampoo 2016, The Beauty Shortlist Best Dry Shampoo Award 2016 as well as the Best Natural Beauty Product 2016 at the Natural & Organic Awards. The Scented Organic Hair Oil was the finalist in the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2015. The 4-in-1 Conditioners won the Green Parent Natural Beauty Award in 2015 whilst the entire range won the Janey Lee Grace Platinum Award 2015. So far in 2016 the Amber Rose Cleanser has received the Janey Lee Grace New for 2016 Platinum Award and the Organic Hair Perfume won Best Hair Perfume at The Beauty Shortlist awards 2016.