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September 30, 2017
The mainstream cosmetic industry has one goal in mind, that is to keep their costs as low as possible in order to gain the highest possible profit margin, this is what drives them to synthetic based formulations. Consider that a natural ingredient might cost £200 per kilo while its synthetic counterpart might cost as little as £2 per kilo. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because natural ingredients need to be harvested, pressed, extracted, heated, processed, etc. and all of this takes time and effort, while lab synthesis can be far more cost effective. Most commercial haircare manufacturers also keep their costs low by using cheap ingredients such as water, which generally make up the bulk of the product, i.e. many shampoos and conditioners are made up of between 70%-90% water. Other forms of cheap ingredients are known irritants on the scalp and hair shaft when used in high enough quantities, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Greenwashing is rife in the cosmetic industry today in general with little transparency about ingredients and philosophy. Mainstream haircare products contain long lists of ingredients, touting the presence of 'natural' ingredients. While many products today claim to be made with the presence of natural ingredients, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of haircare products are formulated with the opposite, promoted alongside selective 'free from' claims. In addition, there is no legal definition for the word 'natural'. Studies reveal that textured haircare products contain more hazardous ingredients and substances compared to their counterparts, with less safer options being available for textured haired women: A report by the Environmental Working Group notes that ''although “natural” hair products presumably have fewer toxic ingredients than traditional, many of these products still contain harmful ingredients.''As natural haircare formulators, we believe and stand by truly natural formulas that work together to create harmonious beautiful products that work in synergy with the natural chemistry of the scalp. Ingredients are the driving force behind products with real therapeutic benefits. This is the kind of relationship we believe in: simple natural formulations with honest intentions to produce safe products that are truly effective and high in quality. Mineral oil and synthetic fragrances are good examples of ingredients that offer virtually nothing in terms of therapeutic benefits and is widely used by the mainstream industry. Mineral oil contains no active compounds, works as a cheap moisturizing and effective scalp occlusive agent with high stability against oxygen, water and microbial degradation. Conventional and mainstream cosmetics apply plant extracts and oils to as low a concentration as possible (to keep the price low and increase the profit margin and to control the colour and scent of the finished product). In mainstream products plant extracts are often mixed with mineral oil derivatives, paraffin and PEG-derivatives. This is a crime and a waste of useful and amazing ingredients from any natural formulator's point of view.Much like our skin, our scalp absorbs much of what we put into it, which is why it is important to look at the labels of the products you use to see for yourself how widely they are used. Realising that many mainstream haircare products use timesaving techniques, Flora & Curl was created because we wanted to make a difference with haircare that was truly natural. We begin our extraction journey with whole plants, wild florals and botanical herbs. We gently apply our knowledge of their scientifically proven activity and nutrients into our formulas, monitoring conditions such as temperature and emulsification to ensure that the active nutrients were captured delicately into our final botanical formula. This time-intensive method works to nourish and enrich our formulas. We believe that nature is much more moisturising, nourishing, protective, pure, and effective. The love for using real ingredients (such as fruit and botanically derived scents) to create formulations that are not driven by cost or outdated views on what a haircare product should look and feel like, is what sets artisan haircare makers apart. Our natural hair deserves care the way nature intended.
- love, Rose | Founder, Flora & Curl
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