Beauty is skin deep…or is it? We have to consider that our scalp absorbs everything we put on it; therefore our bodies need to filter out all of the components of hair products. My circle of influencers in the beauty industry, who I go to when I have questions about ingredients, has asked me: why am I now so interested in the ingredients that are in the products we sell? I have two simple answers.
The first is that my renewed interest is inspired by the show Down to Earth with Zac Efron. This series is about sustainability on this earth and explores how we can operate differently to make a positive impact. So, naturally, the inner hair geek in me is curious: what can the beauty industry do differently to protect our bodies from chemicals, as well as the earth, since the products we use on ourselves wash down our drains and into our water?
The second is something we all have witnessed—our big, beautiful, blue world is acting a little aggressively right now. We recycle, we reduce emissions, we try our best, but what else can we do? Maybe all of the products we use can be chosen more carefully with this in mind.
While researching this subject, I really couldn’t find anything comprehensive in the United States, so I broadened my search to European countries. It turns out they have a specific method, PEFMED (Product Environmental Footprint across the MED) and guidelines, PEFCRs (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules), that track the life cycles of products and calculate their environmental footprint. I am no expert, so check out a short YouTube video that explains sustainability and “The environmental footprint of a shampoo and possible ways to reduce it” better than I can: https://youtu.be/UPB3gdWAkmA.
While we have a long way to go, the good news is that major technological advances in the production of products in the past 5 years alone have greatly increased the efficacy of hair products. The new technology brings with it healthier options for color and smoothing treatments, home care shampoos and conditioners, as well as styling and application options, which benefit us and our world. Choices that are better for our environment and us are out there, so my advice to you, the reader, is to ask your stylist if they are researching this topic and making conscious efforts to choose better.
I know the one hesitation we all have when buying a new product is—is the price worth it? Yes, with the research and improved production practices of these hair products comes a generally higher price tag, but with it also comes greater health benefits to you. So the real question is… are you worth it?
Wise, Wise Women Let Their Inner Goddess Shine.