So, you know I switched to the no ‘poo method of hair cleansing a couple of months ago, and it’s been working fine. But I do have the occasional frizzy hair day. I still have over half a (plastic) container of TRESemme styling putty that I purchased long before I stopped buying new plastic, but I quit using it months ago. First, because it contains 25 ingredients, many of which I cannot pronounce, and second, because once I started “no poo” I was worried it wouldn’t wash out properly.
So I was happy to receive an email from Rachel Whitman of the company The Name Is Product asking me to try out her… um… product. It’s a hair styling aide that claims to defrizz, texturize, soften, condition, and glisten using only 5 ingredients: “organic shea butter, pure aloe vera, natural source vitamin E (tocopherol), organic beeswax, and natural fragrance [which turns out to be tangerine oil].”
Now, I’m sure the DIY folks in this group (hey Tracey!) could figure out how to make this themselves. But I’m happy to have it already made up… in a glass jar, albeit with a plastic lid. The company shipped it to me in a padded paper mailer (the kind without plastic on the inside) and wrapped in brown paper. See? Another example that glass doesn’t need to be shipped with plastic or styrofoam to remain intact.
I was a little concerned that Product might leave some residue on my hair that wouldn’t wash out easily with baking soda, but so far it has not. It’s a bit solid in the jar. You scoop out an amount smaller than a pea (well, I do… you long hairs might need more) and rub it in your hands to soften it up. Then run it through your hair. And it really does create a nice, non-frizzy shine.
I don’t use this stuff every day. Usually, I’m in such a hurry, I stick a hair band around my wet hair as I’m running out the door. But on days when I have some extra time and want my hair to look nice, I’ll dry it a bit and then run Product through it to give it a little something extra.
I asked Rachel about the beeswax, since my beekeeper friend has told me terrible stories about the ways some bees are kept. Rachel said her beeswax comes from a company called Stakich, Inc in Michigan, which has been in business for 83 years. The bees come from unsprayed and unfertilized fields of wildflowers, and according to Stakich’s Steven Dushan in a response to me, there is absolutely no “killing the bees. We take the utmost care of them so that they can continue their diligent work of collecting nectar and bee pollen and producing beeswax, honey and royal jelly. If we killed the bees we would be out of business the very next day.”
I also asked about the plastic lids on the jars. Why not recyclable metal? She said that they have not yet found a dark glass jar with a metal lid that would work for them. Anyone have ideas for her?
I also asked Rachel why the label simply lists “fragrance” as one of the ingredients rather than tangerine oil, which is what she herself told me the fragrance was. Here’s her response:
“I totally hear you with that – my husband/business partner liked the mystery of referring to the tangerine scent as simply ‘fragrance’ (people could tell it was citrus, but not what kind). I think with the next run of labels we will change that ingredient to read “natural fragrance.” People ask about it often, so we want to clarify and reassure.”
And finally, you know I like the personal stories behind folks with green businesses, so I asked her to tell me the story about how Product was developed. Here is Rachel’s response. Enjoy.
My husband/business partner, Michael Hacker, actually came up with the original formula (quite similar to the current one) for PRODUCT. Before I even knew him, he developed PRODUCT out of a personal need for something that could give him the styling and frizz-taming he wanted without going flakey or being too slick or too gooey, etc – basically most things he tried left a lot to be desired. So he began looking at ingredients in other hair styling formulas, and was taken aback by how many chemicals were in most.
Not being a chemist, he knew if he was going to make something on his own it would have to be natural ingredients. He started trying combinations of shea butter, aloe vera oil and vitamin E – and found one that worked and began using it. When I was getting to know him, he gave me some to try and I loved it – used it all up and asked him if I could get some more.
He had thought about trying to put it on the market, and we started working together to refine the formula, line up ingredients suppliers, design and produce labeling and packaging, create our website with online store, etc…In our first year out, we received some wonderful magazine press, we had a great response from highly talented editorial fashion/celebrity hair stylists, and we have built a list of salon and beauty store retailers.
We would love to be able to grow PRODUCT into a (small) line – shampoo, conditioner, styling spray, possibly a couple other items – but aren’t able to put the money into R&D yet. Any new products we develop, though, will be organic & natural, high quality ingredients, free of synthetics and irritants. What we enjoy about PRODUCT is that it is pure, and clean, and natural. It’s simple – nothing unnecessary is in there, nothing excess in the carefully balanced formula. And it works so well and feels really great to use.
Only 5 all-natural ingredients, comes in a glass jar, and works. I like it. Now what should I do with the remaining TRESemme hair putty? Ideas?