It’s been nearly three years since I washed my hair with shampoo and conditioner. Shortly after I got married, being somewhat disillusioned with the $30-a-pop masques and leave-in conditioners my wedding hair stylist had bullied me into buying, I joined the natural haircare bandwagon and started experimenting with water-only hair washing, henna, hair oiling and a multitude of other primitive-sounding rituals.
For the most part, it’s been great. Natural haircare is better for my hair, infinitely cheaper and better for the planet, and my husband’s gotten used to seeing me with yoghurt dripping from a plastic bag on my head. But at times I miss the convenience and luxury of commercial haircare products — specifically, not having to dash out of the bathroom in a towel to see if my husband ate all the honey. So when I had the opportunity to review some natural haircare products from eco.kid, I was thrilled — and, in the interests of journalistic thoroughness, tested them out on me as well as Rowan. While I don’t know that I’d buy the products again, simply because our natural alternatives work fine, I enjoyed being able to use the concoctions without worrying about sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens.
Despite their natural blend of essential oils, the eco.kid products don’t smell conspicuously herbal. In fact, the products I tried smelled like lemonade popsicles or, according to one friend, sour apple Gummi worms. Apparently the smell discourages lice — it also displeased my husband, which doesn’t bear thinking about too deeply — but I liked it and found myself sniffing my toddler’s hair more than usual.
Eco.Kid Call Me Bubbles Hypoallergenic Bubble Bath
I was looking forward to a trial of the eco.kid Call Me Bubbles hypoallergenic bubble bath mixture. Due to my concerns over chemicals, Rowan had never had a bubble bath before, so I was expecting her to love the new sensation. No such luck. The poor kiddie was horrified at the mounds of foam and wailed lustily. None of my pantomiming with bubbles on my head and nose could convince her that they weren’t waiting to attack. She’s a weird kid. As bubble bath goes, though, this was a good one — the bubbles lasted longer than any I’ve seen and smelled good to boot!
Eco.Kid Daily Tonic Leave-In Conditioner
We had more success with the Daily Tonic leave-in conditioner, which comes in a generous 500ml spray bottle. The all-natural ingredients form a protective film over the hair, which is the sort of thing that usually sets my natural haircare radar off — plenty of commercial conditioners coat the hair with a waxy build-up of silicones, leading to rough, dry hair. However, the website assured me that the eco.kid conditioner was water-soluble, and it was. I tried the conditioner on my own hair and, after my regular baking soda and vinegar wash, it was gone. For my hair and my daughter’s, I’d prefer a conditioner that was more intensively moisturising — and eco.kid does offer Hydrate Intense Conditioner, which I didn’t sample — but for a quick detangling aid, it was fine, and the lice-repelling properties alone would make the product worthwhile for a child who goes to preschool.
Eco.Kid Bubbalicious Smooth Protection Paste
The final product I tested was the eco.kid Bubbalicious Smooth Protection Paste. This stuff smelled gorgeous. The paste is designed as a light-hold styling paste and protective, not as tough as eco.kid’s Tuff Stuff Strong Styling Shield, but great for taming flyaways and helping braid hair. On both Rowan and me, it did just that. The paste gave Rowan’s curls a bit of “boof” and neatly slicked away some short hairs around my hairline; it worked equally well on damp or dry hair. The only problem I had was that Rowan wasn’t too keen on me applying the paste, which feels unpleasantly goopy before it’s thoroughly massaged in.
Eco.kid’s range also includes hair and body products such as insect repellent, lice bomb, and body lotion; in June 2010, a selection of face products will be added to the line. To buy eco.kid products for a child with sensitive skin, a kid who keeps coming home with lice, or simply a family who prefers more natural and eco-friendly options, visit Eco.Kid Organics. Eco.kid is available widely in Australia and New Zealand; it is now available in the United States through Target.
The products mentioned in this article were provided to Untrained Housewife by Eco.Kid for the purposes of review. Eco.kid is an Australia-based company specializing in certified organic, biodegradable products made from ingredients that are indigenous to Australia. It is not affiliated with the EcoKids environmental education site in Canada.