Natural, indie, clean, green, organic skincare is now commonplace on store shelves and is talked about wherever you are online. This podcast is all about it, but if you’ve listened recently to Green Beauty Conversations, you will have noticed we’ve been focusing more on the topic of natural, sustainable haircare and attitudes towards hair. But talk aside, are consumers actively looking to buy natural, more sustainable haircare products?
Big, household-name international brands have generally had a comfortable monopoly on our haircare buying habits for decades. But recently, we have seen some high-profile brands having to do product recalls amidst safety concerns. Perhaps this will see shoppers start to question mainstream haircare ingredients. If so, we may have the same situation we had in the early 2010s, when a fear of parabens kickstarted the indie beauty movement.
In this green beauty opinion episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier asks what it will take for consumers to move away from the big brands and what role mainstream beauty will play in the future of haircare.
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This opinion short follows our last guest episode in which Lorraine interviewed Jana Blankenship, founder of Captain Blankenship, the well-known and much-loved natural, indie haircare brand. Jana made a conscious decision to focus her brand solely on natural haircare, despite acknowledging that natural haircare is still a new space for the beauty industry – and shoppers. Here, Lorraine delves further into our propensity to buy natural haircare and discusses some of the tipping points that may just persuade shoppers to shift to indie, natural haircare brands sooner rather than later.
Recently, there have been several high-profile product recalls of dry shampoos due, among other issues, to some being found to have detected levels of benzene, which is classified as a carcinogen.
Hard on the heels of this news, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study in 2022 that associated hair-straightening product use with uterine cancer. While a direct, causal relationship was not established, it is noteworthy that the study failed to find a similar association with other hair products.
A decade ago, natural haircare wasn’t really heard of, and even now, the natural and indie haircare market is small – but that might be changing. During the pandemic lockdowns, when people had to cope with their own haircare, we started looking for DIY salon-grade products for home use. Coupled with the pandemic raising awareness of health and well-being, shoppers are starting to seek out natural haircare products that offer sophisticated and effective home haircare and styling.
As a result, we’ve seen a trend for well-known skincare brands to offer haircare products, and everyone is now talking about scalp care. Alongside this, we’ve also seen a rise in haircare brands started by entrepreneurs of colour to provide much-needed formulations for natural coily and textured hair, which have been historically overlooked by virtually every mainstream haircare brand.
Lorraine predicts that with all these elements coming together, we may soon start to see a groundswell of shoppers move from mainstream brands to natural, sustainable haircare products. Natural entrepreneurs in the haircare world might suddenly find themselves with a booming business.
This episode challenges you to find an indie haircare brand and try it. Even if you don’t feel quite ready, maybe just consider a serum for the tips of your hair, a scalp oil, or something that isn’t a shampoo or conditioner. And do report back by leaving us a comment here or on your favourite podcast player.
If you would like to hear more about some of the haircare topics we covered, please delve back into the podcast archives. Go and listen to:
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Episode 147 in which I interview Jana Blankenship about her pioneering natural, sustainable haircare brand Captain Blankenship.
Episode 139 – in which I interview Formula Botanica student mentor and Haircare Diploma course lead Suzanne Soto-Davies on why less is best in sustainable haircare.
Episode 140 – in which I discuss attitudes to hair, including hair discimination.
Episode 111 – Jana mentioned the PACT Collective which was co-founded by Mia Davis, VP of Sustainability and Impact at Credo Beauty, who discusses the sustainability of beauty samples in this episode.
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Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.