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is organic really organic!

Are organic claims made loosely? Are organic claims made loosely?
Monday, 07 July 2014 00:00
(5 votes)
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Organic Hair Products ?


As a hair and beauty professional with many years of experience I choose to use on my clients and myself - what I consider to be the safest possible products that, at the same time will do their job brilliantly.

I have in the past had my own health issues that have heightened my awareness of using as many products that are safe to our health and environment, and to reduce artificial and chemical substances wherever I can.

I have recently completed extensive research into organic/natural hair and hair colour products.

In a perfect hairdressing world we would only use products that have been tested and certified organic by NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia) or Australian Certified Organic (ACO) - Australia's two main organic certification bodies.

Australian Certified Organic standards are one of the most stringent in the world. To be classified with the ACO products must contain 95% certified organic ingredients.

Whereas the European ECO CERT standard specifies the product must have a majority of plant based ingredients

One would then expect that the remaining percentages should at least be natural based if not organic. Are they?

My research found that the majority of products that claim to be organic/natural, state on their websites that:-

Our products include as many mild organic and natural ingredients as possible!

Strive to make the most natural and gentle products as we can.

Up to 96% natural ingredients.

Use as many certified organic and naturally derived ingredients as possible.

Most of the ingredients in each and every product are USDA and ECOCERT certified.

Have replaced as many ingredients as possible with naturally derived alternatives.

So is this their way of saying that only some of their ingredients are organic even though they claim to be organic - so therefor not really organic as a whole at all.

Do your own research on organic hair and hair colour products

Our inquiry to the ACO regarding organic hair and colour products received this response and ability to search for certified products:-

Their reply was as follows:

If you're interested in seeing a full list of products associated with hair care search for 'hair' within this page Enter 'hair' in the 'search for' field. There are not many if any salon products though.

Chances are any products claiming to be organic might only use some certified organic ingredients; however the whole product might not be certified.

The ABC's The Checkout program is screening a short segment on this issue shortly. They highlight that the word organic is used loosely and advise viewers to always look for a certification label to be sure that what they are buying is truly organic.  

Our inquiry with NASAA regarding organic hair and colour products received this response and ability to search also:-

NASAA reply as follows:-

Any hair colour companies making a claim that their product is organic or certified organic needs to be able to verify that claim – see the following link on the ACCC* website that gives guidance on organic claims

All certified products should come with the certifier’s logo on the packaging of the product that allows you to call the certifier and verify those claims.  Where the product is not certified, you would need to get in touch with the manufacturer to determine what their claims are made on.

I cannot speak for other organic certifiers, but NASAA Certified Organic has two operators certified organic for hair care products, which you can check yourself by following the directions below:

  1. Visit the NASAA certified website
  2. On the left hand side, click on “Product Search”
  3. Leave the “State” field blank in order to select the whole country
  4. Leave the “Type” field blank in order to select all hair care operators.
  5. Disregard “Reg. No.”
  6. Enter “Hair care” in the Product or Category and search

This should provide you a list of certified organic operators in hair care certified by NASAA Certified Organic.    

All in all to date my research was not able to find ANY hair colour products that have been certified by the two main Australian Certification Bodies, and  very limited hair care products certified organic. There are however some products including hair colour that have some or an ingredients that have been certified by European certifications - but note it is some ingredients not the complete product that has this certification.

So BEWARE of organic claims - read your labels and ask to see the certification (or at least the certification label), and who it is certified with, and how much of the product has been certified organic.




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