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Red Humpy

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Aveda vs. Arbonne vs. Biolage – Which is the Most Natural Hair Protectant?

In my bathroom cabinet were three after-conditioner, leave-in hair products by three reputable brands.  Does the one that I think is the most natural have the most natural ingredients? See if you are better than I was at guessing which one was really the most natural!

Why the three-product comparison?

aveda color sonserve daily color protect leave-inAlthough my habitual inclination is to let my scalp’s own natural oils protect my hair, in the summer it is necessary to enlist the aid of a leave-in product for protection from the sun and extreme dryness. For a few years I frugally used an Aveda product that my niece gave me – Color Conserve Daily Color Protect. It had a foam applicator and although I have long, thick hair I didn’t have to use much.

When the last pump was squeezed from the bottle and I couldn’t afford a replacement, I purchased a less-expensive but still not cheap spray-in product: Matrix Biolage Color Care Shielding Shine Mist. Keep in mind that I don’t color my hair, but two different salons recommended a color-conserve product because it would protect my hair from sun damage, which was my intent for using the product.

matrix biloage color care shielding shine mist leave-in sprayI had a feeling that although Biolage had a green leaf on the label and contained some natural ingredients, it was most likely not a “natural” product in the sense of what I was looking for in a product. I used the spray only during the driest times when my hair would start developing short, stray pieces that stuck up and out along the part line at the top of my head.

During the time I owned the Matrix product, my sister gave me another leave-in spray product from a company called Arbonne. The line is available through company reps and not something you would normally walk into a salon to purchase. The spray was called To The Rescue Hair Protectant and from what I had seen in her catalog, the items were supposed to be very natural and were quite pricey. Although not as expensive as the Aveda Color Conserve, it was something I would have to think twice about buying.

One Thursday evening, having already used the Aveda paste after an earlier shower, I showered a second time due to a long, sweaty tennis match, I wondered if I should re-apply the expensive product, or use one of my  other products. Although I didn’t wash my hair, I rinsed it with cold water and figured it would need some kind of additional conditioner.

arbonne to the rescue hair protectant leave-in spray

That’s when I grabbed the three products I had on hand and wondered which one was indeed the most natural. The small text made it difficult to read the ingredients on the bottles (I had to get a magnifying glass for the clear Biolage bottle) but when I took the time to type them out and then looked up the names of several I was unfamiliar with (who knew Galactoarabinan existed?), one of the products surprised me.

Which product do you think is the most natural: Aveda, Arbonne or Biolage?

Here are three products and their ingredients. Which one is Biolage? Which is Aveda or Arbonne?

Product 1:
Water, Denatured Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, VP/VA Copolymer, Fragrance, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Sunflower Seed oil, Wheat Germ oil, …

Product 2:
Water, Polyquaternium-59 (Propylene glycol), Sunflower Seed extract, Panthenol, Arnica Montana flower extract, Matricaria flower extract, Rosemary leaf extract, Tilia Cordata flower extract, Licorice root extract, castor seed oil, …

Product 3:
Water, Dimethicone, Cetastearyl Alcohol, Propanediol  (Propylene Glycol), Green Tea Leaf extract, Red Tea Leaf Extract, Galactoarabinan, Adansoria Digitata seed oil, Babassu seed oil, …



Product 1 is the Biolage Color Care Shielding Shine Mist spray.

Product 2 is Arbonne To the Rescue Hair Protectant

Product 3 is Aveda Color Conserve.


My conclusions about the most natural leave-in product.

At the end of this article is more detail about a few of the main ingredients. After reading what each product contained, I was surprised to see that it appeared to be Arbonne and not Aveda that contained the most natural ingredients. However, I would still consider the Aveda product to contain mostly natural ingredients.

All three products list water as the primary ingredient. The Aveda Color Conserve listed as the second ingredient Dimethicone, which is a silicone fluid that is also found in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and Wendy’s French Fries. Next was alcohol, then Propylene Glycol, also found in the Arbonne product. Propylene Glycol is an organic compound used in such things as deicing solutions, hand sanitizers and antibacterial lotions, paintballs, massage oils, and in smoke machines to make artificial smoke.

Aveda was not off to a good start with basically water, Silone and alcohol as the main base. The next two ingredients are tea leaf extracts, followed by Galactoarabinan, a polysaccharide derived from the western Larch tree. After several natural oils, nine in total, were items such as Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride (an organic compound),  Amyl Salicylate (an alcohol-based fragrance), and distearyldimonium chloride (a type of salt).

In the Arbonne Hair Protectant, on the other hand, I counted over 25 natural compounds and oils, including oils from orange, lemon, lime, tangerine and lavender, before I came to the first ingredient that was not organically or plant-derived: Stearamine. After reading the full ingredient list, the Arbonne To the Rescue is a product I feel very comfortable spraying on my hair. In addition, the fact that is a spray-on rather than a paste like the Aveda Color Conserve makes it very convenient to apply.

As far as the Matrix Biolage is concerned, although it may be good at making hair shiny, spraying chemicals onto my hair that I work towards keeping natural and healthy is not something I will do. If I hadn’t paid $14 for the bottle I would toss it out. I still might toss it, but I suppose it is worth keeping around in the event my Aveda and Arbonne are gone and I have frizzy hair.


Polydimethylsiloxane (Dimethicone)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) belongs to a group of polymeric organosilicon compounds that are commonly referred to as silicones.[1] PDMS is the most widely used silicon-based organic polymer, and is particularly known for its unusual rheological (or flow) properties. PDMS is optically clear, and, in general, is considered to be inert, non-toxic and non-flammable. It is occasionally called dimethicone and is one of several types of silicone oil (polymerized siloxane). Its applications range from contact lenses and medical devices to elastomers; it is present, also, in shampoos (as dimethicone makes hair shiny and slippery), food (antifoaming agent),caulking, lubricating oils, and heat-resistant tiles.


Many people are indirectly familiar with PDMS because it is an important component in Silly Putty, to which PDMS imparts its characteristic viscoelastic properties.[6] The rubbery, vinegary-smelling silicone caulks, adhesives, and aquarium sealants are also well-known. PDMS is also used as a component in silicone grease and other silicone based lubricants, as well as in defoaming agentsmold release agents, damping fluids, heat transfer fluids, polishes, cosmetics, hair conditioners and other applications. PDMS has also been used as a filler fluid in breast implants, although this practice has decreased somewhat, due to safety concerns.

This silicone can be found in many processed foods and fast food items such as McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets [9] and Wendy’s French fries [10]

PDMS is used variously in the cosmetic and consumer product industry as well. For example, PDMS can be used in the treatment of head lice[14] and dimethicone is used widely in skin-moisturizing lotions where it is listed as an active ingredient whose purpose is “skin protection.” The Cosmetic Ingredient Review‘s (CIR) Expert Panel, has concluded that dimethicone and related polymers are “safe as used in cosmetic formulations.”[15] PDMS in a modified form is used as an herbicidal penetrant[16] and is a critical ingredient in water-repelling coatings, such as Rain-X.

PDMS has been used in the aerospace industry as a heat tile on reentry vehicles.[17]


Propylene glycol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Propylene glycol, also called 1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound (a diol or double alcohol) with formula C3H8O2 or HO-CH2-CHOH-CH3. It is a colorless, nearly odorless, clear, viscous liquid with a faintly sweet taste, hygroscopic andmiscible with wateracetone, and chloroform.


Propylene glycol is a component in newer automotive antifreezes and de-icers used at airports. Like ethylene glycol, the freezing point of water is depressed when mixed with propylene glycol due to increased opportunity for hydrogen bonding. Unlike ethylene glycol, propylene glycol is of very low toxicity. Both are readily biodegradable.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panthenol is the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and is thus a provitamin of B5. In organisms it is quickly oxidized to pantothenate. Panthenol is a highly viscous transparent liquid at room temperature, but salts of pantothenic acid (for example sodium pantothenate) are powders (typically white).

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