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Fruity Cleaning Part 2: Adult Shampoo

October 25, 2010

Ok so over the weekend I had a look at some fruity shampoos for the kiddies and found that anything goes when it comes to ingredients and philosophies.  So, next on my ‘to do’ list was  to have a look at three adult formulations to find out if anything interesting is cooking!

I went down to my local supermarket and chose two fruit inspired brands from different shelves –  first we have the Australian made budget brand from Natures Organics which pairs performance with a pocket friendly price point. Next we have the well-known and global market leading ‘fructis’ from Garnier, renown for bringing their hair expertise and innovation to the mass market. Last we have another Australian brand that this time targets the ‘green’ market with its naturally nourishing formulation,  hello Natralia (which at approx $11 for 250ml is our most expensive offering).

1) Natures Organics – Fruits Hair Spa.

Natures Organic Fruits Range

I tried the grape burst shampoo which smelled beautiful and cleaned the hair well with plenty of foaming. As far as formulations go this one is pretty standard with Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, cocamide DEA, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and TEA lauryl sulfate as the main surfactants.  This blend gives the product a great cleansing ability but could make it a little too efficient for very delicate scalps. The formulation is thickened with both salt and a Hydroxypropyl Guar gum – the gum gives the product its flow characteristics and adds to the creaminess of the foam. The formulation does contain a dash of active in the form of bisabolol, grape juice and wheat protein but really what you are buying here is a very cost-effective shampoo for normal hair. 

With this brand I think that  Natures Organics do a very good job on providing budget conscious customers with funky and great smelling basics. The brand looks good and wouldn’t cause embarrassment on your bathroom shelf. It’s Australian made too which is a bonus.  Not bad!

2) Garnier fructis Color Last with Acai Berry.

Garnier Fructis Shampoo

Acai berry is one of the ‘super fruits’ that has caused a storm in a teacup over the last few years.  The fact that it is jam-packed with antioxidant potential probably won’t do much for your hair but the marketing that goes with it is still fun.  As you would expect from L’Oreal, this shampoo has stuck to its guns in terms of cleansing surfactants – Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate and Glycol Distearate which provide the consumer with a cost-effective, mild and high foaming cleaning blend.   The difference when you get up to this price point is that the cleansing ability is mixed with some conditioning and colour protection. In this formulation the main conditioner and colour-locking additive is silicone (dimethicone) mixed with a little natural berry oil.  On top of that you have a long list of botanical extracts that presumably fulfil the ‘fructis’ fruit-full brief  and you have a dash of Niacinamide (vitamin B3 that has an anti-inflamatory action) to boost scalp health.   L’Oreal use the same thickening system as the Natures Organics guys -guar gum and salt but have also popped in a little carbomer to give structure with a creamier flow.  The other ingredients are mainly preservatives and stabilisers.

So in a nutshell, this formulation will give you a better wet-comb and shine than the Natures product and the silicone will help to keep your colour locked in  (it does this by forming a temporary shield around the hair shaft which helps form an environmental shield). However, the fruits in this are more about supporting the brand position than providing activity so if you are after a ‘natural’ product or one that is ‘naturally’ active I would look elsewhere. 

 High performance in a  traditional formulation with some modern twists at a great price.

3) Natralia Nourish Naturals.

Natralia Nourish Shampoo

The shampoo that I picked up here was the ‘normal’ hair product with a grape seed and mandarin aroma.  This Australian made formulation smells quite spicy for a mandarin but is very lovely all the same.  One of its main selling points is the ‘free from’ statement that it makes backed up with the ‘pure and natural ingredients’ tagline.   So, the first ingredient here is quite funny – pure Australian water, I say funny because it would be really silly to ship your water in from say China…..  Anyway, moving on to the surfactants we have a different mix here with cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, coco glucoside and glyceryl oleate, sodium lauryl sarcosinate and lauryl glucoside as the cleaners.  This seems rather excessive and probably adds to the high price of this shampoo but the outcome is a rather lovely cleaning performance without the irritation.   After that we have the guar based thickener again with some preservatives and stabilisers – all very normal and natural (except that the Sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate is a formaldehyde donor which some people don’t like). 

Active wise we have an impressive list of silk amino acids, natural minerals, panthenol, vitamins and essential oils all of natural origin.  They are in here at quite low levels but that is to be expected based on the ceiling price for shampoos and the efficacy of these ingredients.  These would  mainly be involved in conditioning and trying to boost scalp health and therefore strengthen the hair from the root upward.  Summing up this product really is all-natural and while I believe that they have got a little over-excited with their ingredients list (I’ll have one of everything please) leading to an overly expensive product, I like their enthusiasm and execution.   A neat product but don’t forget your all-natural conditioner too.

So, as you can see the world of fruity adult shampoos is just as mixed-up as the kids and as usual the best one for the job depends on what you are after.  If naturally active is important for you I would look out for essential oils, natural extracts and vitamins that are close to the top of the ingredients list.  If you just want to smell fruity while you enjoy silky hair I’d keep your eyes peeled for either silicones, proteins, amino acids or panthenol high up on the ingredients list.  If none of that matters and you just want to stay clean then let your wallet do the talking and enjoy the benefits of a no-frills fruity clean.

It’s all out there at your friendly local supermarket (or in the health food store if you want a totally organic fruit experience).


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