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March 28, 2022 7 min read

Because green shampoo works!

  • People are noticing that their hair has more shine and elasticity, that their scalp feels better – less dryness and less itchiness.
  • Folks with color-treated hair, love green shampoos because they protect their color.
  • Plus, green shampoos are a much better bang for your buck.While traditional shampoos are mostly water, green shampoos like ANTIDOTE use Aloe Vera bases. That means that you can use less and get better results.
  • And, green shampoos are better for the planet.64% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body and 100% of it ends up in streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. 
  • Green companies like ANTIDOTE are also more environmentally minded – check out our Plastic Neutral Certification.For every bottle of ANTIDOTE you buy, we’ll take out an equal amount of ocean bound plastic.

Green shampoos - more than a trend, a way of life.

At ANTIDOTE, we aren’t going green, we were born this way!  We are thrilled that personal health and wellness have become increasingly important to everyone - now more than ever. 

At ANTIDOTE, being green means that every day includes:

As consumers have become more ingredient savvy and more aware of the damage that what we use in our shower can have on the planet, companies have been faced with a choice: adapt or fade away like a bad dye job. 

When it comes to looks, people are beginning to understand the relationship between what we ingest and how we look and feel. Beautiful hair starts with a healthy scalp, but most traditional hair products out there are at odds with this. 

So what does it really mean to go green as a consumer in the hair industry? Why does it matter? Which companies are genuinely using best practices and which ones are hiding behind buzzwords like “botanical essences?” 

In this article we’ll unpack what green beauty is and what it’s not, and show how you can develop an eye for the products that will actually help you go green.

Because looking good starts with feeling good

Green beauty is inspired by ancient practices. Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and Native American health practices reflect that all the parts of our bodies are connected. That looking good – on the outside – starts with feeling good – on the inside. These ancient health practices are time tested across generations. So why not continue to benefit from these insights.

Native American practices teach us to respect the planet we live on. When we care for Mother Earth, she cares for us. 

Here at ANTIDOTE, we’re guided by the idea that what’s good for the environment is also good for you. Green beauty is a movement that has injected sustainable, earth-friendly practices and ingredients into the products that we put on our bodies and in our hair.

It’s an approach to taking care of yourself and looking good without damaging your health or the environment.

So why now? What’s driving this trend? 

Sustainability wasn’t always as popular as it is today, but it sure has been gaining traction lately.

Whether it was the outcry over animal testing, new ways of packaging and water use, or understanding gender, the beauty industry has been challenged to evolve in many ways over the years. 

Today, toxic ingredients and environmental impact are hot topics. It’s empowering to invest in companies that aren’t hurting the earth, and the more we know, the smarter consumers we can be. 

An article recently published in The Washington Post notes that the green beauty movementstarted to really gain traction in the early 2000's when the word “clean” started popping up in skin-care line advertising.

The shift away from words like “natural” and toward “clean” triggered more scrutiny from consumers, and slowly ingredients like sulfates and silicones began to score bad reputations.

When it comes to regulation of ingredients, the US is lagging. In 2003, the EU banned chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects. Today they’ve banned around 1,300 chemicals from cosmetic use, while the US has placed restrictions on a mere 11.

Why Green Beauty Should Matter to You

64% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Because the US doesn’t regulate most of the ingredients that the beauty industry uses, it’s up to us to stay informed.

It’s up to us to choose who we give our money to.  It’s up to us to advocate for our health.

The benefits of going green are plenty, but here are just a few. 

  • Reduced exposure to toxic ingredients
  • Lower chance of irritated skin
  • Less build-up on your scalp
  • Supporting low impact businesses
  • Greater awareness of the cosmetic and medicinal uses of different plants
  • Reduce water pollution

As consumers, we have power. How and where we shop has an impact on the health of the planet, and therefore our own health as well.  

People are certainly beginning to get smart about what’s good for them and what’s not. At ANTIDOTE, we want to be a part of your process as you continue to learn and empower yourself.

Since there aren’t federally regulated standards for going green in the beauty industry, we’ve compiled a list of qualities that you’ll find in products that meet our personal standards. And we’ve compared them to characteristics of traditional products so you can train your eye.

Is Going Green Worth It?

Natural ingredients are more expensive and harder to work with. This means that they cost more to make than traditional products, so green products are going to cost more too. 

On average, green products cost about 25%-50% more. It’s up to you to decide the value of all of the benefits of going green. For us, we look at buying green products - in any area of our lives - as an investment in our health, our environment, and in our future.

3 Ways to Tell If Your Products Are Actually Green

Use this list to help you develop an eye for which products really mean it when they claim to be “green.”  There are also independent rating organizations like Environmental Working Group that can also help.

Foam (good) vs. Bubbles (bad)

Traditional products use sulfate cleansers that bubble up when they come into contact with water. Bubbles are fun, but these sulfates are used in dish detergent. 

They completely strip your hair and scalp of all it’s moisture. 

“Green” products use gentler, non-sulfate cleansers that foam up when put into contact with water, but don’t create bubbles. So you get a clean scalp without sacrificing all of those beneficial oils. 

Natural oils (good) vs. Silicones (bad)

The natural oils used in green products mimic the natural oils that our bodies produce for healthy hair. Natural oils penetrate deep into the hair to restore strength, flexibility, and shine. It takes time for the hair to absorb these healthy oils.  

Traditional products use silicones to add instant volume and shine. But the result is dry, weak hair that’s prone to breakage. The silicones sit on top of the hair, suffocating it and preventing it from absorbing any oils. 

All things in moderation are okay, but you don’t want to use products with silicones in the long term. 

Shorter shelf life (good) vs. Long shelf life (bad)

Because green products use gentler preservatives, their shelf life tends to be shorter. This is okay. If you find a product that has a longer shelf life, it may be because it contains formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. 

A common misconception is that any product with preservatives is bad for you. That’s not exactly true. 

Any product that contains water requires a preservative. However, green products use gentler preservatives that are proven to be less irritating. Vitamin E and Grapefruit Peel Oil, for example, help to preserve formulas while also being good for your skin and hair. 

The controversy lies in the use of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Some studies have linked the use of these preservatives in cosmetics to cancer and allergic reactions. Canada has restricted the use of them, and the EU requires any product to clearly label “contains formaldehyde.” 

So don’t be afraid of preservatives, just know which ones have proven to be safer. 

How To Go Green With Your Hair Routine Right Now 

Green hair care products can be a little hard to find. That’s because their companies represent about 10% of the total market. 

The good news is that there are ways to make finding them easier. Here are some ways you can find all the best and safest products.  

  • The Environmental Working Group has assembled a database of green products, as well as an excellent rating system. They’re a non-profit whose mission is to educate you so that you can live a healthier life and be a smart consumer. 
  • Healthline is a wonderful resource for information about health and wellness. 
  • More and more brands are responding to the desire to use safe products. 
  • Professional salons are adapting too. Stylists are educating their clients on the technical aspects of “green” beauty products. Ask your local salons if they recommend any clean brands. If they don’t, express your interest. Support salons that go green - it’s good for you and the stylists, too.

No matter the brand you choose, when you become a consumer of clean beauty products, or when you choose to carry green products in your salon, you join a community of environmental advocates. 

We know that change starts with us, and that the choices we make every day can be a form of fighting for the kind of world we want to live in. 

Are you already a green shampoo user?  If so, what difference has it made to you?

We’d love to hear from you.

Leave us a comment below! 

Abigail + David


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