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December 17, 2021
Below is the ingredient list to an American celebrity-led hair conditioner. This one has a staggering 56 ingredients.
Do many people bother to read them? Sadly not. I don’t like long ingredients lists. I don’t like long addresses either or overly long books. And I apologise now for any of my overly long blogs. But beauty products don’t need to be this complicated.
I’ve spent decades formulating products. When I read the ingredients list of many high street products, I’m attuned to the toxins and the superfluous guff that pads out the formula. Most of it adding nothing to hair health and much more to a marketing story.
In beauty manufacturing they have a mixture called ‘The Marketing Pack’ which is an off-the-shelf blend of maybe a dozen lovely sounding naturals. Put an insignificant 1% of this in the formula and it allows you to virtue-signal wistfully on the packaging about mountain meadows, forest canopies, or the tribe you’re allegedly saving from extinction in the Amazon. We don’t use these marketing packs.
And you may have heard the quip, ‘If I had more time, I’d have written you a shorter letter!’ In writing, succinct communication and brevity takes time. Long and wordy copy is easier to write but often needs mental gymnastics to slog through the turgid prose. It’s similar with creating hair products, and the sustainability movement is now questioning the added carbon footprint created by transporting unnecessary ingredients around the world.
So I’ll show you how to quickly Sherlock Holmes your way through an INCI list so you can better understand what you’re putting on and in your body.
By agreeing Latin or scientific names for INCI lists, the ingredients are understood across borders. Firstly, the ingredients must be listed in order of concentration by weight, down to 1% of the formula. Ingredients that account for less than 1% can be reordered around the end of the list.
In the list shown:
Read why silicone is bad for your hair
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We formulate with mostly naturally derived ingredients and are always reviewing ways to improve them.
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March 01, 2024
You can fake it with the ‘head upside down and empty a can of hairspray’ trick, but I don’t recommend this. For volume that looks and feels natural and lasts, the following ideas help. The more techniques you use the more lasting the volume.
February 27, 2024
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