***Yes, I know it is not Friday. This post was planned for last Friday the 13th, but I had no capacity for writing – aside from task # 2 on my List of 113 Things in 113 Days (I hope to share some good news on this soon). It happens. I’m sorry.
Coffee and clothing were the first products that came to mind when I first started thinking about buying Fairtrade/Fair Trade. Beauty products were pretty far down the list. I had no idea that so many of them source ingredients that are in high demand – such as shea, cocoa, and argan oil – from developing countries. Now beauty products are near the the top of my ethical shopping list for two reasons. Firstly, beauty products are easy to buy Fairtrade/Fair Trade – there are so many different certified products on the online market. Secondly, I run out of different beauty products every few months. It’s easy to replace the products I’ve run out of with different products and make the switch from regular ol’ beauty products to ethical products.
Alaffia Shea and Honey Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner are available on iHerb.com for $8.06USD each (for 235ml). There are a number of different options in the Alaffia haircare range, including Nourishing, Scalp Recovery, Revitalizing, and Hydrating.
I chose the Nourishing Shampoo and Condition purely based on scent – I’m used to shampoos with a floral scent and thought orange blossom sounded fragrant. My hair is dyed, so I figured some extra nourishment wouldn’t hurt. I’ve used the products now for three months (washing my shoulder-length hair three times per week) and I’ve just run out of the conditioner.
In addition to being Fair For Life certified, Alaffia do not test their products on animals. The shampoo and conditioners are handmade in the USA and contain no parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrance. I’m used to washing my hair with ‘regular’ haircare products which use synthetic fragrances, so it was a bit of a shock when I first smelt this shampoo and conditioner. These aren’t as ‘sweet’ as the products I am used to. They also aren’t nearly as strong or as feminine as I’m used to (and so they could easily be used and enjoyed by either gender). The shampoo has an earthy quality (probably the shea) but otherwise does not really have a distinct smell. The orange blossom scentl is more noticeable in the condition; the scent is strong when you use it but fades to a fainter smell when it’s washed out. Neither the shampoo or conditioner leave much of a fragrance in your hair when your hair has dried. At first, I missed the distinctly sweet and feminine (and strong!) smell of my former shampoos but after using these products for three months, I don’t think I could return to synthetic fragrances. To me now, they smell a bit sickly – and to be honest, a bit frightening when you consider the chemicals that go into producing the smell.
Despite the fact that I’ve just spent a whole paragraph reviewing the smell of the Alaffia shampoo and conditioner, the biggest factor determining my verdict on these products is not the scent… but the effect on my hair. I will continuing to use Alaffia because I am so pleased with the way my hair has behaved since switching to Alaffia! I was sceptical at first because the shampoo seems to be super clarifying (read: makes your hair squeaky clean and… dried-out). But the conditioner puts the moisture straight back in. The effect? These are nourishing products that make my hair soft WITHOUT weighing it down. As a result, these products have REALLY brought out my natural texture (wavy).
Plus, they fund projects in Togo. How awesome.
PLUS the colour of the shampoo is GOLD. WOW.
Next up, I think I’m going to try another of the options in the range – perhaps the Coffee and Shea Revitalising Shampoo and Conditioner?