As mentioned in an earlier post, it is extremely difficult to find hair styling products that are relatively non-toxic and do not contain any suspect chemicals. Conventional hair styling products all contain synthetic polymers that provide the holding, lifting and volumizing effects. It is very difficult, perhaps not possible, to recreate the same styling effects with compounds derived from plant sources. I have been using Kiehl's Climate-Proof Shine-Inducing hairspray since I last posted about it, and although it works very well, I know it probably isn't a very healthy choice so I have been keeping an eye out for less toxic alternatives.
By coincidence, I was asked a while ago by someone at my workplace to recommend non-toxic hair styling products. The person asking told me that she had absolutely no luck finding a natural-based product that worked well - upon exposure to rain or humidity, her hair would go completely flat. Up until that point, I hadn't really looked at natural-based hair styling products. I came across this product by Suncoat while reviewing their water-based nail polish (see that post here), so I decided to try it out.
Suncoat Natural Hair Styling Spray, Fragrance-Free ($9.75 from www.well.ca)
Ingredients: Aqua (water), hydrolyzed Zea mays (corn) starch, citric acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), Citrus grandis (grapefruit ) seed extract, vegetable glycerin, potassium sorbate.
This is basically an aqueous (water-based) solution of corn starch. The preservative system is tocopherol (antioxidant), grapefruit seed extract and potassium sorbate. There is also a fragranced version of this hairspray, which contains a number of essential oils.
I tried using this by first applying to wet hair and then blowing dry, similar to how I use the Kiehl's hairspray. This produced no noticeable hold effect, and a slight volumizing effect that collapsed shortly after exposure to damp weather. At the end of the day, my hair felt kind of dirty and my scalp felt uncomfortable, so I was happy to wash it off.
Next, I tried it on dry hair. This time, it produced only a very slight volumizing effect that was not noticeable soon afterwards. Worse, my hair looked stiff and dull, and it felt sticky and dirty.
So, unfortunately, this product didn't work out at all for me. The performance of this hairspray seemed to corroborate my co-worker's experience with natural-based hair styling products.
Suncoat also makes a number of other hair styling products, including an anti-frizz serum, a gel, and a mousse. However, those products contain essential oils for fragrance; this hairspray is the only product in the lineup that is completely fragrance-free.
If you have any recommendations for natural-based hair styling products, please feel free to share in the comments section!
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