HH: Your products have offered natural and organic ingredients for nearly a decade now. Why do you think more brands are starting to make that same shift towards natural ingredients?
RGC: Brands don’t have a choice now that the internet has enabled consumers to become more label conscious. YouTube enabled me to not only share my natural hair journey when I big chopped, but to connect and share information with thousands of other women. I was still in college when the natural hair movement ignited 10 years ago, but being one of the first natural hair influencers on YouTube has enabled me to grow with the evolution of women shifting away from chemical relaxers towards DIY products and be a part of the rise of indie brands that continue to shake up the hair care industry with high quality; ingredient conscious products that are stocking the shelves of major department stores.
HH: How important is it for consumers to be aware of products that claim to be “natural,” but really only provide 1% of a natural ingredient?
RGC: The beauty expos that evolved out of the natural hair movement offer women a platform where they can have an open dialogue with industry thought leaders about the latest research and case studies. During my seminars where I explore the power of ingredients in hair health, I discuss pressing concerns like, the benefits of real almond oil verses synthetic almond oil.
HH: What are the top three ingredients consumers should avoid in hair care products and why?
RGC: Knowing the difference between good & bad alcohol will help you to avoid the dryness that can lead to damaged/brittle hair and then lead to the breakage behind the inability to retain length. Avoid sulfates — the aggressive detergents made of sulfur-containing mineral salts that strip hair of natural oils that are needed to protect strands. Some brands use silicones in their products to coat strands with an artificial sheen. That leaves behind a white buildup that can’t be penetrated by the nutrients needed to moisturize and maintain healthy hair.
HH: What three ingredients do you recommend we look for to keep our scalp clean & healthy?
RGC: Products with tea tree oil offer a great way to keep the scalp clean. Look for products with rosemary to remove bacteria & reduce scalp inflammation.