Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Under $2 'Green' Shampoo Challenge; Buy This, Not That -- Green Edition

You've gotten your holiday shopping done, right?  So if you're anything like me, that means you're probably pretty poor for the next few weeks.  What can I say, I like making people happy.  
 This blog post was created because of the lack of clear information available for people wanting to buy green products (whether in terms of being chemical free, not tested on animals, or local made (i.e. made in USA) which would eliminate carbon footprint) but didn't want to spend top dollar on brands like seventh generation or any other expensive brand touted for being green or earth-friendly.  While there's nothing wrong with asking more money for providing this service, it obviously comes at a premium to the consumer.  Whether or not this is ethical is another discussion, one which I may or may not attempt to challenge in the future.
For the purpose of this blog, my intent is to shed light on brands that are not traditionally recognized for their 'green' intentions, but nonetheless offer an opportunity to buy a product that is aligned with your personal views. 
Some might ask, why not look at websites run by groups such as PETA, or other Vegan-associated or eco-friendly associations?  Well, anyone that is familiar with these websites knows that they can be quite daunting, and tend to marginalize store-brands, and even often-times name the subsidiary companies without ever speaking of the numerous brands that fall under their umbrella (i.e. Herbal Essences is not listed on many of these websites because they are owned by Proctor and Gamble, which IS listed-- but unless you know that Herbal Essences is owned by Proctor and Gamble, this information is useless).  Some people might suggest that people check the back of bottles or products to check which corporation owns each product and just remember those lists of the few major corporations, but that can be daunting, and often companies attempt to abdicate their conglomoration-ism (maybe a word?  no?) by listing the company under another subsidiary of theirs.
In short, it is not easy, and often times people want to just say "I want a product that doesn't test on animals-- if it is not eco-friendly, I'll at least feel better knowing it wasn't tested on animals (or vice-versa), how do I find this without having to dig through layers of information on companies and multi-national corporations?"  While it would be great if we could all buy local products that were earth-friendly and animal-friendly, a form of conscious capitalism (or another alternative-- you choose which you'd like to see) hasn't been formed yet to allow these to be feasible options for a majority of society.  When this becomes a communal pejorative, then this website will no longer need to exist.  Until then, this is a means to have access to the information you need to make informed decisions on which products are the best for your personal ethical concerns.
Our first post for Buy This, Not That -- Green Edition will focus on what I find to be a rather surprising, yet comforting fact.  Those of us on a budget tend to find things such as soap, shampoos and conditioners to be a rather bane part of our existence, and search for the cheapest product to get the job done.  What I'm talking about here is the battle for the 'under $2' shampoo and conditioners.  Can there be such a thing as a green $1-2 shampoo or conditioner?  Sure!  Let's take a look at what's out on the market.

First up:

White Rain

White Rain, a subsidiary of Unilever, commonly offers their shampoos and conditioners at (comparatively) rock bottom prices in relation to other brands.  Nearly every major chain carries their products and they often sell between 79 cents and $1.99, depending where you shop.  The product is distributed by Huish Inc., out of Utah, which doesn't test on their own products (and of course, is made in the USA, which gives this product a smaller carbon footprint).  Unilever, however, has been recognized for testing on animals, but has recently offered a product line called "naturals", which offers shampoos and conditioners infused with flowers and other essences.  While this offers a slightly more natural alternative for your mane, it offers very little in terms of actually moving away from a chemical-laden product.

Final Grade:

Animal Friendly:  D+
Carbon Friendly: B+
Environmentally Friendly: C
Price and Availability:  A


V05, owned by Alberto-Culver, has for a long time offered a great product made in the USA without testing on animals.  Usually you can find V05 at nearly every major store and it can usually be found for between 85 cents and $1.75.  In 2010, Unilever purchased the company, and as of August of last year (2011), Unilever sold Alberto-Culver to Brynwood Partners.  Brynwood Partners's activity in cosmetics (and their interest in becoming cruelty-free by 2013) gives hope again for the product, but doesn't negate the fact that they are still actively testing on animals.  Manufacturing this product in the USA gives it a thumbs up on its carbon footprint, but we'll see where this product goes in the future.

Final Grade:

Animal Friendly:  C-
Carbon Friendly: B+
Environmentally Friendly: C+
Price and Availability:  A


Suave, based out of Chicago, IL. is another product owned by Unilever, which means it is tested on animals.  Again, this product can be found between 79 cents and $1.79.  Much like their partner White Rain, they offer a 'naturals' line which offers flower and other natural extracts to provide vitamins and other natural essences.  Again, much like White Rain, this 'naturals' product doesn't really make it much more environmentally friendly. Second this product is made in the United States, which is great for its carbon footprint.  If you haven't noticed, companies like Unilever own the market, and often times you'll never know (many of these brands do not list that they are owned by this company, but will list another mediary name which is not recognized by most of society).

Final Grade:

Animal Friendly:  D+
Carbon Friendly: B+
Environmentally Friendly: C+
Price and Availability:  A

Lucky & Herbal Nature by Delta Brands

Lucky & Herbal Nature, unlike the products listed above, are not owned by Unilever.  Instead,they are  owned by Delta Brands.  Again, unlike the products listed above, Delta Brands absolutely refuses to test on animals and is dedicated to providing eco-friendly packaging (albeit, almost all shampoos are now sold in recyclable plastic containers).  Delta has been GMP approved, although that may be due to the fact that the product is made in Europe, which is not great for its carbon footprint, but better than Asia.  However, Herbal Nature is actually made in the USA, which is great.  Delta does not try or pretend to try to be natural, but the list of ingredients appears to be much shorter than other similarly priced products.  I haven't seen their shampoos and conditioners in too too many stores, but it's not overly hard to find and often sells for around a dollar.

Final Grade:

Animal Friendly:  B+
Carbon Friendly: C+ Lucky, B+ Herbal Nature
Environmentally Friendly: B
Price and Availability:  B+


It seems that Herbal Nature offers the best shampoo and conditioner for the price range of around one to two dollars, which offers an economical way to shop with your ethics in tact!  Lucky comes up as a close second, so it appears Delta is doing a great job of being economical and green!


  1. I use a no-poo method with baking soda & apple cider vinegar a few times a week. Cheap, all natural, & leaves my hair looking and feeling soft, shiny, & healthy!

    1. I tried the no-poo method but found my hair is much too oily and curly, leaving me looking like a mess. I tried different methods and all sorts of stuff, but no luck after a couple months-- it's great to know it does work for some people, though!