If you are reading this post, it is probably because you are excited, like me, to kick off the start of this new series, The Affordables!
I thought long and hard on what to review first and decided to do it on the things I use regularly, like shampoos and conditioners. So if you are ready to hop on this bandwagon, let’s roll!
There are a multitude of shampoos and conditioners on the market, and while you may think they are harmless… Think again. On our blog, we have talked about the perception of organic natural products, our disbelief in their effectiveness and our reluctance to investigate ingredients to determine how safe the product actually is compared to the traditional ones. In all of this, money plays a big part as well. So in the past year or so, I have been actively swapping my hair care products to more natural, conscious products. I must warn you, I still have a long way to go… But like we’ve said in the past, this is a journey, where you discover yourself and everything around you, if you are willing!
First up are the Alba Botanica Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner. To be fair on my review, I make sure I’ve used the products for at least 60 days, in this case 90 days 😉 These products are marketed as an natural alternative to regular shampoos and conditioners because they do not contain parabens, phthalates, artificial colors and sodium lauryl/sodium myreth sulfate…. yeah, what? If you struggle understanding what these ingredients mean (like me) and why they are considered bad for us, head over to our NEW Glossary page and put your thinking hat on.
Let’s talk about the products.
Ingredients and Company: the products are not 100% organic, but it claims to be made with 100% vegetarian products and they do not test on animals. Among the organic natural ingredients in this product you will find: pineapple, papaya, coconut, calendula flower and ginger root extracts.
I wanted to learn more about the company that manufactures the product, and while the bottles have a website listed, the website doesn’t work or have any content in it… this strikes me as odd in this digitized day-and-age.
Application and We-arability: the shampoo has a gel like consistency, it’s transparent and does lather very nicely. This is where some of the controversy is… Should we be use lathering agents in our shampoos? Lathering agents are technically detergents. The effects of detergents on your scalp can be irritation, dryness, itchiness, dandruff and even hair loss. I must say, not using a shampoo that lathers makes me question if my hair will be clean afterwards, but it also puts to question if my hair loss is the result of my strive to cleanliness. Confused? so am I.
The conditioner is your typical white cream conditioner, with the consistency of whipped cream; it applies smoothly and rinses off easily. It leaves the hair smooth, but not as smooth as the conditioners that contain silicone. Both products have a strong coconut smell. I have dark brown hair (naturally and artificially, hehehehe) and I have noticed this combination of shampoo and conditioner does wonders to add shine to my hair. It almost looks glossy. I have also noticed that it provides volume while keeping the hair soft, especially the ends. I have to confess something: I don’t cut my hair regularly so my ends take the brunt of it. I think the conditioner works well in keeping split ends under control and overall locking in moisture.
The biggest test for me is day 2 or 3 after wash. My hair is naturally curly, but the crazy curl, where one strand of hair is curly and the next is straight… The contradictions of hair or Mother Nature at its best. My hair is also frizzy, the marvelous result of half-ass curls and very fine hair. These products do OK in maintaining the frizz under control, after day 1. Day 2 and on… A mangled jungle. Must wash again.
Accessibility and Price: I have purchased these products at Whole Foods and Target. If you are on the lookout, you can find good sales at Whole Foods. A bottle of 12oz can be found for under $6 (normally $8.99). I’ve purchased 24oz bottles at Target for under $14 per unit.
In my experience, a 12oz bottle of shampoo may last approximately 30 days, but the conditioner may last between 45-60. This is primarily because I tend to double shampoo, which quite frankly is not a necessity, more so a habit of mine. If used normally, you could probably finish a 12oz bottle in 45 days. I suggest using a pump to dispense the desired amount of product for extra savings 🙂
Safety: according to the Environmental Working Group or EWG, these specific products have a score of 5, which means “moderate hazard.” If you are in the non-toxic, green kick, you may know the ideal EWG rating should be between 1 and 2. The biggest contributor to the high EWG rating is the allergy and inmunotoxicity component http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/606789/Alba_Botanica_Hawaiian_Shampoo%2C_Drink_It_Up_Coconut_Milk/.
Compared to my old shampoo and conditioner, Organix, the Alba Botanica Coconut Milk line is an appreciable alternative when compared side by side in terms of toxicity and harmful substances.
Overall, I like the product, the way it works on my particular type of hair. I am not crazy about the scent, but I haven’t had any skin reaction to it either. I am comfortable with the price point, especially because it can be found on sale often. Accessibility is also a key factor for me, and I appreciate that the product is in my local shopping center. However, the fact that the products rate mid point in the EWG scale tells me there are better options out there for me and my family.
I hope you found this useful and you’ve learn a thing or two about ingredients to be on the lookout for!
Cheers to a green-er life… And see you on the next one.
The Minimal Sisters.