We receive questions every day about everything beauty and we’ve compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions below. They cover a wide array of topics including general hair care knowledge to ingredients to avoid when choosing a personal care product to how NIUCOCO approaches research & development in a conscientious manner.
What affects the health of your hair?
The health of the hair is impacted by several factors including:
In combination, using shampoos that can be excessively stripping of hair’s natural oils, can also lead to split ends, dull hair, and aggravate dry hair.
Why are so many products, while considered salon grade, have provided poor results?
It all comes down to the first step of washing hair: “cleanse with a shampoo.” The fact is most shampoos on the market are simply too stripping for most hair types.
We have been programmed to believe that a shampoo only cleanses if it lathers. But, really a shampoo does not need to foam copiously to cleanse hair. In fact, the more lather you see, the more detergents are likely present, and the more stripping it is to the hair. These shampoos are often inexpensive to produce and are simply too powerful of a degreaser. So while it cleanses (thoroughly), it also removes your hair’s natural sebum, which is important to scalp health and healthy hair.
The other products offered in these lines are usually used to mitigate the effects of the overly stripping shampoo. For example, conditioners or masks to restore moisture or sprays to add volume to limp hair. From personal experience, we can say most hair care lines focus on combatting hair issues caused by the shampoo; they mask the issues instead of repairing them.
NIUCOCO’s products are different in this sense because they focus on bringing hair back to healthy, thereby repairing the underlying issues.
Why is the consumer frustrated with products today?
The answer is two-fold. First, many products today are not performance based – why shell out money for something that simply does not deliver? And second, many products on the market are ladened with toxic ingredients that pose a potential risk to the health of the consumer.
An overwhelming number of NIUCOCO’s users all agree that each product delivers on its claims. This was the core mantra during the research and development phase: produce products that work … and it seems we have.
Equally important, NIUCOCO carefully formulates its products with high quality, natural ingredients. This gives our products a low toxicity profile, as indicated by Think Dirty. All NIUCOCO products have a Think Dirty score of 0 and is the best score any product can have.
More and more consumers today are living lifestyles focused on health and wellness. This goes beyond just food and diet and is also incorporated into their choices for body and hair care products. There is also an increase to allergies with consumers; in fact, 1/3rd of Americans are suffering from an allergy or intolerance. These factors are driving the consumer to make healthier choices regarding their cosmetic products.
Consumers are also demanding transparency regarding the ingredients in the products they use. Information is now readily accessible via digital technologies and social media. The consumer can research products and individual ingredients with a simple click. Reputable groups, such as Think Dirty and EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, have emerged to help consumers define the toxicity of cosmetic products and highlight potential hazards and health concerns. Their scientists compare ingredients to published journal articles and government regulations to provide the consumer with an easy to understand toxicity rating for a cosmetic product.
Phthalates are a common industrial chemical used in synthetic fragrances to stabilize the fragrance. They are also found in PVC plastics and are often referred to as plasticizers.
Synthetic fragrances are a common addition to cosmetic products, including hair care and body care products, since they add a pleasant scent to the products. Synthetic fragrances are also cost effective and minimal amounts are required to give the product a strong and long-lasting scent.
Government regulations require companies to provide an ingredient declaration for each product. However, since fragrances are considered trade-secret formulas they are not required to list each component of the fragrance on the ingredient label. So, many cosmetic products containing synthetic fragrances also likely contain phthalates.
There are alternatives to using fragrances containing phthalates such as natural fragrances. NIUCOCO’s fragrance is composed of natural aromatics and is phthalate free.
Phthalates have several potential health effects and have been linked to asthma, allergies, and problems of the reproductive system, such as decreased sperm motility.
Parabens are a widely used inexpensive preservative and have been used in cosmetic products since the 1920s. They extend the shelf life of the products and protect the products from fungal and bacterial contamination.
Many studies have linked parabens to disruption of reproductive hormones since parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen. The push to remove parabens from cosmetic products came when a study showed the presence of parabens in 19 of 20 breast cancer tumors.
In the cosmetic world, sulfates are designated to anionic surfactants and specifically to sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate.
These four detergents are powerful degreasers and are typically used at very high concentrations in shampoos due to their cleansing and foaming capacity. This means they can be too harsh on hair and scalp and can strip away your hair’s natural oils.
Remember that sulfates are powerful detergents. In addition, high percentages of sulfates are used in most shampoos, which can be extremely stripping to hair and skin causing irritation and dryness.
Scientists have developed and continue to develop alternatives to sulfates, parabens, and phthalates due to the demand from consumers for safer, non-toxic ingredients. In addition, an increasing amount of ingredients derived from natural and sustainable sources have emerged.
With more health conscious choices on the market for cleansers, preservatives, and fragrances, ingredients were carefully vetted and combined to produce products that not only focus on performance but also focus on environmental impact.
Formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors (urea and DMDM Hydantoin): Used as a preservative in cosmetic products and is a known animal carcinogen. They are no studies linking cancer to humans but it is best to avoid this ingredient.
PEG (Polyethylene glycol): Petroleum compounds typically used as a humectant or stabilizer in cosmetic products. PEGs have a penetration enhancing effect. This helps the other ingredients in the products to easily penetrate skin, but also allows the potential impurities PEG carries from petroleum to also easily penetrate the skin.
Synthetic colours: Typically derived from petroleum or coal tar and are suspected to be a human carcinogen.
MEA, DEA, TEA: Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), and Triethanolamine (TEA) are known to form cancer causing chemicals and are commonly used as foaming agents in shampoos, bubble baths, and body washes.
Mineral oil: Mineral oil is a derivative of crude oil (petroleum). It is inexpensive and can be found in many hair care products and is most popularly used in baby oil. This is not a sustainable oil and since it is derived from crude oil it can be contaminated with carcinogenic materials.
Behind NIUCOCO is personal story. NIUCOCO was formulated by a female scientist who suffered from dry, damaged hair for years. Coupled with constantly heat styling and dying her hair, it was just a recipe for parched hair and epic split ends. She used products from salon grade to those found in the drugstore with no avail. Products seemed to be masking the dry hair and not really addressing the issue at its core – or should we say cortex! Frustrated with products on the market that did not deliver results, she began to create her own line.
With extensive research, she realized that there are many common hair care ingredients she did not want to work with due to their toxicity profiles. So, she carefully combined ingredients that she felt safe to work with, safe to put on her scalp, and that also made a visible difference to the health of her hair.
She had friends and family try the products and received great comments and feedback. And this is how NIUCOCO started. NIUCOCO’s products are performance driven. Every product is conscientiously formulated by hand with the intention of delivering on its claims.
Most hair care lines produce products that combat the drying effect of shampoos, since they are typically formulated with high percentages of detergents or with harsh cleansers.
NIUCOCO has produced a shampoo that cleanses while retaining hair’s natural oils and therefore is not as stripping as other shampoos. With this innovative recipe, hair is cleansed and hair’s natural health can be regained and also maintained! The additional products in the line are used to enhance hair’s beauty – not to combat the effects that overly stripping shampoos can leave behind – such as dry strands, limp hair, and oily scalp. Since hair is optimally cleansed with NIUCOCO’s Hydrating Shampoo, the other products in the line have a synergistic effect to maximize the health and shine of the hair.
Not all coconut oils are the same! The best quality coconut oil is EXTRA VIRGIN, COLD PRESSED, UNREFINED, which is what NIUCOCO uses in its products. NIUCOCO’s coconut oil is particularly special because the extraction process is patented. In short, the coconuts are hand-picked at peak ripeness – between 9-12 months. The fresh, raw coconut meat is air dried in a controlled atmosphere. The oil is hand pressed so minimal heat is introduced and also makes it a chemical-free process. This maximizes the coconut oil’s benefits and ensures that the naturally occurring phytonutrients are intact. Therefore, it contains a superior lauric acid and vitamin E percentage than refined coconut oil.
REFINED COCONUT OIL on the other hand is not the highest quality. It uses desiccated coconut flakes or copra. Copra is coconut meat dried at very high temperatures, usually under unsanitary conditions, and is not suitable for consumption. It is extracted using a chemical distillation method usually dependent on harsh solvents or is expeller-pressed using added heat. Finally, it is bleached to remove impurities and deodorized to remove the smell of the chemicals used in the extraction process. This is abbreviated RBD i.e. refined, bleached, deodorized and these steps are necessary to create a palatable product.
What standards does NIUCOCO follow in order to create products?
The NIUCOCO Health and Safety Consumer Excellence Standard is driven on product performance and aims to provide a low toxicity profile of all its products. It involves the following: