There is no such thing as organic professional hair color.
There is a lot of buzz when it comes to the word Organic in the Beauty industry. None more so then about Organic permanent hair color.
When it comes to hair; a stylist is a client's best friend and guru. They can help fix a bad color, fix a bad haircut, or make you over into the new you. So it's no surprise that when your clients have questions about hair color and hair products they are going to ask you. This is especially true when it comes to organic hair color.
Unfortunately there are a lot of well meaning stylists saying things that aren't entirely accurate about organic color. This has a lot to do with the marketing spin that they've been told by companies selling them products with the word organic in the name. You can see a breakdown of this on our expanded article at mastey.com on Organic Color? What you should no.
The stylist's confusion is understandable because the guidelines are so blurry for what an organic product is in cosmetics. The manufacturers marketing spin isn't so understandable. As manufacturers we all have to abide by the same rules. And it's a bad situation if a manufacturer doesn't know the rules or knowingly doesn't comply with them.
So we've taken a few minutes to connect you with the true guidelines and rules about organic and its reference to beauty. Hopefully they help you make more knowledgable decisions on what you use and what you say and sell to your clients.
Companies like Mastey and others in the beauty industry are working hard to create a product like this but at the moment there is none. There are products including Mastey that use organic ingredients in their formulation, but as you'll learn that does not make a product organic.
There are standards in the United States that products can meet to legally use the term organic. Those standards have a lot to do with the total Organic Ingredient Content in a product. We'll go through those shortly, but currently no permanent hair color meets these standards.
They name the company “Organic XYZ”. So when they're asked and pressed about not meeting the standards to actually claim organic, they say “oh we aren't saying the product is Organic that's just the name of the company” or "the company was named before this legislation was enacted".
US standards are much higher than the European Union when it comes to the Organic Product claim. We have listed the different and most popular certifications bellow for you to examine. We have also included links to them so that you can see for yourself.
100% Organic requirement
Means 100% of the ingredients are certified organic. It can display the USDA symbol. And it can claim 100% Organic Product on the front of the label. You normally see this symbol on organic food products and not very often on hair products yet.
90% Organic requirement
Means 90% of the product is made from certified organic ingredients. No hair color meets this standard.
Made with Organic
70% Organic requirement
This means at least 70% of the product is made of ingredients that are certified organic.
These products CANNOT legally use the term ORGANIC on the front of the label. They can only say Made with organic XYZ... and there can only be 3 of these ingredient call outs on the front panel of the label. They can claim 70% organic on the side or back of the bottle and they can call out the organic ingredients used in their ingredients list.
We took the most famous or recognized certifications and highlighted them for you:
5% - 10% not including water must be organic
Soil Association / COSMOS:
20% of the entire product must be organic
And 95% of a products agricultural ingredients must be organic. Non agricultural ingredients do not need to meet this same standard.
US: Government Administration and Enforcement
Organic is a term used by the USDA for food and agriculture. The FDA who regulates cosmetics has no designation for “Organic” when it comes to hair products. So the hair products manufacturers need to adhere to the USDA guidelines in order to be compliant. This confusion also hinders the enforcement of these rules. So even though the standard is higher in the USA, its enforcement is laxed because of governmental issues. That means its up to the consumers and the stylists to know what they are getting and if the products meet the standards.
Europe: Private Entity certification
These programs are mostly private entity and non profit company based. So a company or non profit is the certifier and creates the standard. If you meet the non profit's standard and pay them a fee, you can use their logo. But as you can see for yourself those standards are lower than the US / USDA standards.
These situations are changing as we write and you read, as consumer, business and government work together to enforce these standards and make them better. Individual States like California, public interest groups and even local Europe government is getting involved and starting to take interest in being a part of the solution to demystify these terms for consumers.
When you look at all the certifications none of them are answering what you and your client are asking for:
What is a healthier or better product for me to use?
That is really the issue that we are concerned with, what is the better hair color, what is the gentler hair color, what is better for me as a stylist to use multiple times a day or me as a consumer to ask for when I visit my stylist. We believe the choice is Mastey.
What consumers really want and maybe what stylists really mean:
When it comes to the term organic some people mean just that “ORGANIC”. And for those customers unfortunately when it comes to hair color, there is NO ORGANIC HAIR COLOR. You can use organic henna, organic indigo, organic coffee or organic tea to dye hair but for the professional stylist these products produce other problems in consistency and ability to be creative.
But most people when asked say that when they say “Organic” in reference to hair products they mean a healthier or better option. Something better for them than the norm.
It's our job as an industry to understand what our customers want and then be educated enough to recommend and explain the right options. Hopefully this article has helped with that for you and your clients.
It's a disservice to stylists, salons and consumers to claim a product is Organic when it is not. And it is deceptive to sell it that way. Manufacturers and distributors should explain their products in true and accurate terms. Even when it is more difficult to do so or doesn't fit the easy BUZZ WORD mentality of the moment.
Mastey has never claimed to have an organic hair color, only a better one for the stylist and client. We have been on the forefront of hair color advancement since the early 80's when we launched our No Ammonia Hair Color in 1982. We have been PPD free since 2010, and vegan and gluten free has been a staple in our conditioning and coloring systems for decades. We also launched the first Sulfate-Free Shampoo in 1978.
We have been very vocal on this issue as well as others that affect the health, well being, and environment of the stylists. We love our stylists and they love us, but the competition is not so happy with our honesty and with our efforts to educate the industry professionals. In years past they even posted false attacks online about us. And now years later that same competition now uses the ingredients we've been talking about for decades.
We wrote this article and we do educational classes like this online and at all the major hair shows to help stylists understand more about what Organic really means to them and to their clients. How to take their color services to the next level, and how to build the green salon of the future.
If you are an organic hair salon and would like a free trial of Mastey Hair Color with No PPD, No Ammonia, No Resorcinol, take a look at this video, create a stylists account, and order your samples today.