About Our Ingredients - Flora & Curl - Flora & Curl Botanical Haircare

FLORA & CURL INGREDIENT POLICY

Chemicals are everywhere, in nature, and even within our bodies. We do not hate  chemicals, but we stay clear from the ones that do not aid our hair or our bodies. Our haircare products are designed with your healthiest hair in mind — no proven harsh, damaging or harmful chemicals or substances.  We use the precautionary principle, if  multiple research casts doubt over the ingredient's safety to humans or the environment, we will not use it.

Why ingredients matter: It takes 26 seconds for cosmetic ingredients to be absorbed from skin into the bloodstream. Did you know that your scalp, much like your skin, absorbs much of what you put onto it? But moreso at a faster rate. In fact, a 1999 Stanford University’s study revealed that shampoo could administer medicine through the hair follicle. That is how easily harmful chemicals can be absorbed in through the hair follicle.

The Flora & Curl Promise - all formulas are free from:

synthetic fragrances • synthetic colours •  harsh preservatives including parabens • sulphates • silicones • unsustainable palm oils • formaldehydes • phthalates • drying alcohols • methylisothiazolinone • mineral oil (We'll never promise free from by including other harmful ingredients).

HONEST LABELLING

We transparently list the complete ingredient listings next to the products we stock and on the labels, in plain English and in INCI, so if you know you are sensitive to certain ingredients you can check whether or not they are in our product. Our customers deserved to be informed before making their choices.

WHY WE AVOID

Synthetic Fragrance:  Listed as 'perfume', 'fragrance', or sometimes as 'natural fragrance' present in most beauty products. Yes, they may smell like heaven, but fragrance oils are simply manufactured scents. Sometimes a fragrance can be formulated to smell like a concept, “cherry blossom”, ''winter fresh'' or ''Christmas pine''. Fragrance is the only ingredient that gets a free pass on labels and can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients that do not have to be disclosed as 'trade secrets'. Certain chemicals do not act in isolation in a woman's body, but in concert with natural oestrogens and a large number of other hormonally active chemicals and carcinogens. Artificial fragrances are one of them. Research shows that synthetic fragrances were often linked to hormone disruptors. Synthetic fragrance oils can carry a number of toxins including harmful chemicals like benzyl acetate, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, propylene glycol, parabens and sulfates.  One of the worst chemicals, methylene chloride is a known agent that is absorbed through the skin and resides in body fat.

Why are synthethic fragrances used if they don't serve a purpose?

Scents produced by chemicals are much cheaper than scents produced naturally.  More key is that synthetic fragrances do not contain any functional or therapeutic purpose (other than to cover up nasty-smelling ingredients).

Our scents do more than make you smell nice

Flora & Curl never uses synthetic fragrances in our haircare products. We decided to do something different. The essential oils we use in our products are naturally derived from flowers, fruit, grasses, seeds, bark, wood, roots and leaves. They've been used for thousands of years and have stood the test of time.

The essential oil synergies in our formulations have been chosen for their beneficial qualities on the scalp such as penetration, potency, natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating, balancing, soothing and fungicidal properties and improvement in circulation, including therapeutic benefits for the mind and wellbeing. 

We recommend that you patch test the product, just in case you have a sensitivity (Just because it's natural, doesn't mean you won't react).

Phthalates: Present in fragrances, these chemicals are used to make plastic flexible and they are also used in plastic wrap, wood furnishing, lubricants, insecticides, and detergents. They are linked to endocrine disruption and  developmental and reproductive toxicity, have been banned from cosmetics in the European Union, but still remain prevalent in U.S. products. They are widely used to make scents and fragrances linger, although it is rarely found on labels because it is a constituent of the ubiquitous ingredient “fragrance.”

Synthetic Colours: This ingredient often begins with Cl and ends in numerical codes such as e.g. Cl 63738, Cl 143857 (or FD&C Red No. 40 in the US).  Synthetic colors are known irritants, and many color pigments can cause scalp sensitivity.  Read more on the regulatory changes here. Coal and tar based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1 (CI 42090), most commonly found in toothpaste, and FD&C Green 3 (CI 42053), commonly found in mouthwash, have been found to be carcinogenic. We prefer using plant-based extracts and oils, which provide hydrating and protective properties, to create subtle and beautiful colours.

Silicones: Often ends in 'cones' or 'siloxane' such as dimethicone or the synthetic oil cyclopentasiloxane. Silicones form a film and coat the hair strands to give the appearance of smoothness, less frizziness and gloss and may seem like the perfect curly solution. Over time however, silicone overload on textured strands prevents moisture and protein from penetrating the hair shaft. This is key because silicones can slide off straight hair more than they can on curly hair, and could be damaging in the long-term if you are trying to retain moisture in your hair or your hair is prone to dryness. In addition, most silicones are not water soluble, and can only be removed with harsh detergents. Water-soluble silicones can be washed away with water. If someone is not using these harsh detergents to remove the silicones, they can build up, creating a barrier on the hair shaft. This barrier prevents moisturising conditioners from penetrating the hair, further drying it out.  Our moisture-based formulas mean that our creations are always sulphates and silicone free. 

Sodium Laureth Sulphate: Textured hair, from loosely curled to tightly curled, is naturally dry because sebum (our natural scalp-produced oil) has a hard time journeying down our strands, usually stopping nearer to our roots unlike straight hair where there are no curves present. This is the simple science that differentiates the needs of textured hair from straight hair, which tends to be oilier in nature. This particular sulphate is a harsh detergent used to create foaming properties in shampoos. It is a key ingredient in industrial detergents, including engine degreasers and garage floor cleaners and is found in over 90% of shampoos. It risks overdrying and dehydrating fragile strands and frequent application can sensitise a delicate scalp environment. When using a shampoo that has harsh surfactants in it, the curls are often left stripped, parched and feeling like straw.  We aim for minimal and gentle cleansing and conditioning, and we care about being harmonious with the natural chemistry of our hair in order to maintain the natural oils meant for a balanced scalp environment.

Parabens: Avoiding harsh preservatives like Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and 'parabens' (methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl). Parabens have been used as cosmetics preservatives for many years, yet only in the last decade have scientists questioned their safety. Studies have shown that parabens can be absorbed into the bloodstream and disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system. 

Methylisothiazolinone: is a widely used cosmetic preservative, and is a known neurotoxin. In 2004, the European Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers (SCCNFP) suggested that companies limit the maximum concentration to 0.01% (100 ppm). However, US companies are not required to follow this guideline. It is known to be absorbed through skin. A study at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine concluded that "Prolonged exposure to low levels of MIT and related compounds may have damaging consequences to the developing nervous system.

Isopropyl Alcohol: Also known as ''rubbing alcohol'', is a specific type of alcohol that helps other ingredients dry on your hair quickly. It is used in antifreeze and wood finish and is designed to dissolve oils, which can strip the natural oils in your hair. Many hair gels, root lifters, volumizers and hairsprays use this substance to help you hold a hairstyle's look. This group includes ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol. It can create dry, frizzy hair as it may cause the cuticle to be roughened (often used as astringents in skincare products for just this reason). Isopropyl Alcohol has an odor resembling ethanol and it has a slightly bitter taste. Isopropyl Alcohol is volatile and produces a cooling effect upon evaporation. However, other alcohols, known as longer chain, naturally derived fatty alcohols such as Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol can help to condition our hair.

Petrochemicals such as petrolatum or mineral oil or liquid paraffin: Unlike the beauty that radiates from golden, green and yellow plant oils, mineral oil is a colourless and odorless liquid. It is a by-product of crude oil. It is widely used in mainstream haircare, mainly because it's a cheap ingredient and it has an occlusive and shiny effect on the hair. On skin, it hinders normal skin respiration/transpiration by keeping oxygen out and clogging the pores. More importantly, it doesn't have any nourishing or healing effect on the hair, because it only lays on the surface of the shaft and prevents absorption. This ingredient belongs in your engine, not on your hair. There is a huge difference between mineral oils created in a lab versus plant derived oils that nature provides like the ones we use in our plantbased formulas.

INGREDIENT SAFETY FACTS

  • 11 vs. 1400 - The number of cosmetic ingredients banned in the US vs the EU. 
  • 1938 - The last time to US Congress passed a law regulating ingredients used in beauty products.

All Flora & Curl ingredients meet the criteria set out in the European Union Directive for Cosmetic Safety (the strictest cosmetic safety standard in the world). We also believe that the ingredients present in our haircare products have the ability to contribute to not only the wellbeing of our bodies, but to healthier hair.

THE FLORA & CURL PROMISE