Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$20 And Under Eco Hair Care

by Rachel Sarnoff

Think Eco-Beauty’s expensive? We’re out to prove you wrong, beginning with your hair. Because there’s nothing more ego-stoking than a fabulous coif, and nothing more disappointing than realizing said coif is dependent on $150 worth of toxic hair products. Luckily, we sourced everything you need—from shampoo to shine—in products that retail for $20 or less. And lest you forget what you’re reading, these are all crafted with organic and truly natural ingredients, eschewing anything on our Big List of Things That Suck, natch.

Because you’re worth it.

European beauty standards are notoriously more strict than American, so when we heard Lavera was ranked first in a German study on safe cosmetics conducted by Oeko-Test and that they were certified natural by the European BDIH organization, we knew they were solid. The fact that they have shampoos ($15 and under)  for pretty much every type of hair on the planet? Pure gravy.

Fair trade, natural beauty pioneer Alaffia is set to launch a full line of hair care products for the curly-headed set this September, all fortified with super-moisturizing shea butter. We’re huge fans of their Curl Activating Shea Butter Shampoo ($11.99), which hypes the shine, reduces frizz and eliminates the need for wash-out conditioner.

When it says miracle, it’s not kidding. We tried Original Sprout Miracle Detangler ($11.50) on the toughest tangles and it left them in the dust. Who needs  conditioner? (Although their Leave-In is pretty awesome, too.) Plus, the Miracle Detangler cuts down on static, works on wet or dry hair and phytoestrogen free—something to think about, if you’re using it on kids.

Renowned for taming the tresses of everyone from Demi Moore to Sting, Tara Smith was named the U.K.’s “hairdresser of the year” in 2009. We think this might have something to do with the genius that is her Base Coat Serum ($9.95). Formulated with gamma linolenic acid-rich borage oil, the vegan Serum works with all hair types to finesse everything from corkscrew curls to lackluster locks.

A 1980’s big-hair staple, mousse pretty much went out with the Go-Gos. But for limp-haired ladies, there’s nothing better to volumize—providing your mousse of choice doesn’t contain propane, a common ingredient far better suited to you barbecue than your head. We like propane-free Eufora Formation Whipped Styling Solution ($19.50), which delivers all the volumizing of a mousse, without the oh-so-outré name.

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