Guys, I feel I have failed you. A while back I posted quite epic (if I may say so myself) series of shaving cream reviews, with a strong focus on content, as in points deducted for mixing dodgy ingredients into the mix. Then I posted about being cosmetically cautious, paying attention to ingredients in everyday products you use on or in your body. Important matters in this day and age if we are to enjoy a long and healthy life and so forth.
And then I went and bought a new bottle of shampoo. From my most excellent barber, in fact, and he washed my hair in it first. It smelt lovely and minty, and certainly cleaned my hair up well and proper. It came in a nice and compact bottle as well, and cost much more than I usually spend on shampoo. And it’s from Truefitt and Hill too, who did pretty well in the shaving cream investigation. So all was good in the world of washing the pomade and sundry gunk from my hair. Minty, I tell you, and it sure strips hair clean.
And then I happened to cast an eye on the list of ingredients. And felt like such a chump. You may remember engine degreasers from the time when they actually worked, back in the 90’s. They came in metal containers, and had warning signs on them, and they’d clean oil and crud off metal efficiently. And seeing as the environment was healthy and good then, we’d just hose it off and think no more of it. Then it turned out the old degreasers were really crummy and disrespectful to the environment, so we got the new ones, the ones that really don’t work at all.
In the world of shampoo it’s still 1995 and it appears anything goes. I counted 11 ingredients in the “Frequent Use Shampoo” that are either confirmed as being really bad, or strongly suspected of being so. Heck, it’s almost as if some evil genius was trying to squeeze as much nasty stuff into that bottle as possible. Of course, completely disregarding whether your ingredients are suitable for use on humans in 2015 means it is very easy to make a shampoo that makes short thrift of degreasing the users noggin. You can probably start with an engine degreaser recipe from 1995 and add some minty smell. Of course, I’m no chemist.
Suitable infuriated (and, I have to admit, disappointed!), I sent a short mail to Truefitt & Hill outlining my concerns and listed up the 11 ingredients that had caused my brow to set in a suitable stern look.
last week I purchased a bottle of you “Frequent use shampoo”, thinking it would be up to the usual Truefitt & Hill standards. While the shampoo itself did a good job of cleaning my hair, I was utterly gobsmacked when reading the list of ingredients. Guys, it’s 2015, we are a species of clever and innovative beings, how on earth can you produce a product with this many questionable ingredients? The list of ingredients reads more like the contents of an engine degreaser from 1950, not something that is meant to use on human skin!”
And listed up the following, with a selection of links:
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- Cocamide DEA
- Glycol Distearate
I was curious to what they would reply, and whether they would reply, but the day after I did indeed receive a reply:
“Dear Mr Johannessen,
Firstly, thank you for your email and we are very grateful for your comments and time.
Truefitt & Hill prides itself, and is indeed renowned for, its high standards and we strive to produce the best products possible.
All of our products are constantly being re-evaluated in respect of the ingredient usage, as we speak all our Shampoos are being reformulated without Cocamide DEA and other ingredients you mentioned below. We are also in the process of removing all artificial colour from all our shaving creams and have recently partnered up with a great new manufacture that is approved and certified by Soil Association and GMP Certification.
We are committed to innovation and bringing the market effective and as natural products as possible. As I mentioned, we will be implementing huge improvements to our existing formulas and moving forward we will only use the best ingredients possible. Unfortunately, these things do not happen overnight (as much as I would love them too) but please note we are working to produce cleaner, greener cosmetics that do the job.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions. As mentioned, we welcome feedback and comments from all our customers.
Is this good enough? I’m not sure it is. Am I being unreasonable? I don’t think so, and especially not when I read the claims on the Truefitt & Hill website:
“All our products have been carefully crafted in England since 1805 and they embody the essence of the British heritage at its best. Our dedicated team of highly skilled professionals, chemists, designers and craftsmen work tirelessly to deliver our products known today for their distinctive tradition of innovation and excellence.”
This morning, after having archived the ominously green bottle of Truefitt & Hill, I went back to the bottle I bought last month, from Uppercut Deluxe (who make a pretty decent pomade) and what do I find? That also included Sodium Laureth Sulfate! I’m quite devastated!
Tomorrow I’m using WDG’s organic, wholesome and sensitive product instead. Even if it’s not really that minty.
I did post a quick note about this on Instagram, and received some suggestions of products that are made using ingredients that are less damaging to health and invironment. If you have other suggestions, or general input (even to call me a tosspot for not wanting to infuse my golden locks in industrial solvent), let me know. I’ll post a followup when I have more to report.