Photos by Jen Olson
There’s no splitting hairs when it comes to conventional hair care’s worst ingredients. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration targeted Brazilian blowouts and other straightening treatments for containing formaldehyde—a known carcinogen. The highly publicized findings motivated consumers to question formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and other chemicals still in shampoo, styling products and other hair care on store shelves and look for smart, functional alternatives.
Whether it’s the negative media attention or an increase in stellar natural offerings, natural hair care was one of the fastest-growing categories in the natural personal care industry, experiencing 9 percent growth to reach $2 billion in 2010, reports Nutrition Business Journal. Standout products use ingredients such as exotic argan and baobab oils or plant-based quinoa and keratin proteins.
Another reason this category is recession-resilient: Unlike more niche products such as skin care or nutricosmetics, everyone uses hair products.