Monday, August 4, 2008

Greenwashing? Organix Hair Care products

Sometimes (well, a lot of the time) I come across products that are half green and I then stand in the store forever, trying to make the decision of whether they're green enough or not. I mean, I don't claim to be an uber-greenie who makes my own shampoo or anything, but I also hate falling victim to greenwashing. If I'm going to use a half-green product, I want to know what I'm doing. In some circumstances, I will take a "better than the average" product, and in some I won't.

Case in point: the Organix line of hair care products. Look at their name - Organix. Doesn't it conjur up images of purity, and innocent children skipping through meadows of untouched wild flowers? But I don't think they're as green as all that.

For a start, they claim that the products are "sulfate free" when what they really mean is that they are free of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. It doesn't mean that there are no chemical compounds ending in "-sulfate", because there are. But hey, no SLS's is a very good thing. Also a good thing - the bottles are supposedly made from recycled post-consumer resin and use environmentally-friendly inks on compostable label film. They're also not tested on animals - again, a good thing.

However, the conditioner I was looking at includes methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone in it, which as I discovered when looking into a Be Fine cleanser, are somewhat nasty preservatives that manufacturers now seem to be using in order to claim that their products are paraben-free. Sure, so they won't disrupt my hormones, but does that mean I want a neurotoxin instead?

Then if you read the label verrry carefully, you'll see that it only claims that one ingredient is organic, and the website also carefully only claims the use of "organic active ingredients". In the case of the conditioner I was looking at this morning, it was "organic mango citrus oil". Given that mango is not a citrus fruit, I assume that they mean it's a mixture of mango and a citrus. But is it the mango or the citrus that is organic? Or both? Also, the mango oil was listed as the 16th ingredient out of 22. Sixteenth. That's hardly a big chunk of organic goodness in there, now is it?

They're also not that much cheaper than some of the truly organic products, averaging about $6.99 for a 13 oz bottle, although they are admittedly cheaper than most.

Having said that, they have won beauty awards, I have used three of the conditioners and they seem OK, results-wise. For my hair, the citrus mango actually does a fairly good job - the shea butter was adequate and the vanilla silk not quite moisturizing enough. If you can't get anything else because this is as natural as your local store gets, it's probably a good start. However, I've decided that I really shouldn't be buying them again. They just don't seem good enough, environmentally speaking, and I know I can find better green/organic products if I just plan a bit more so I don't run out and have to make a quick dash to Winn-Dixie for emergency haircare items.

Umm, 1 and a half stars for trying a little bit?


Lisa said...

Hi there, just started reading and I'm so glad someone started a blog like this. I've done so much trial and error (aka money wasting) with all natural/organic hair care products.

I have to agree with your bad review of Organix -- I tried Organix coconut milk conditioner last week and honestly, it was awful. My boyfriend asked me when I came home, "What did you do to your hair?" When I pressed him, he said it looked like I hadn't even washed it. I used it one more time and then I gave up. So that was a waste of $7.99. :(

Sam said...

The brand "organix" with an "x" seems like the "k" in "krab" which I avoid because it is not krab at all-it is cheap fish bound with flour. Not good for Sam. You might say organix is imitation organic. Hee hee. I amuse myself.

ennui-ha said...

Simply Organic is another company that just uses the name, but is by no means completely organic.

Anonymous said...

This product is garbage and the company in not reputable. They had, and still have, a promotion where if you buy the product to try, they will refund you the full amount once you mail in the receipt and coupon. However there have been 100s of complaints because they did not follow through with this offer and scammed many people out of a lot of money. BUYER BEWARE!