One more for Rapunzel! | Hair Health Quest #4

In review: Another certified organic shampoo that also works great with backward hair washing. Backward what? Read on!


The Quest to finding the perfect healthy organic shampoo went on behind the scenes of nail polish, nail polish remover, and motivation monday sessions.


You remember the very first product review here on BEAUTYCALYPSE. I tested three certified organic products and was unpleasantly surprised by the omnipresence of palm oil in the formulas. Only one product (that by Natura Siberica) might be completely palm-oil-free, yet the Russian manufacturers still haven’t replied to my email.

And while Weleda, too, is quite a trusted brand, palm oil is used in their shampoos. A chat with their customer service revealed that the brand is very aware of the recent RSPO chaos and is currently working to make sure their own suppliers carry the really sustainable product (as in: from smaller farmers, from regions other than Malaysia etc.).

Let’s not forget, it’s the Unilevers of this world who buy the most palm oil – and (by far) not the organic beauty companies.

Still, relying on certified palm-oil proved slightly naive also.
There’s hope that certified organic brands – trusted brands I want to add – can go either palmoil-free or at least source their palm-oil from sustainably farming, smaller farmers etc.


The product I now bought and tested is Frangipani Shine & Volume Shampoo by the Swiss organic brand Farfalla. Their products are certified with Demeter, BDIH, and NaTrue. Besides, Switzerland, like Austria, are countries where if you ask farmers whether they work sustainably and organically, would raise the brow and say: “Why, is there another way?”


The shampoo (200 ml, approx. 12€) is BDIH-certified.
It’s perfumed with certified organic essential oils only.
The only plant ingredient that could in fact be RSPO-palm-oil based is glycerin; however I’ve read that Farfalla works since 2012 with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute to develop alternatives (UPDATE JULY 2013: the project started in 2012 and is set for 3 years), and I’m willing to give this product a try. I’ll be shooting them an email to get the news – it really matters to me.
The shampoo can’t qualify as vegan due to the use of liquified silk; it does contain Hydrolized Wheat Protein which is a no-go for people with coeliac condition (I’m sensitive to wheat gluten in processed food and flour UPDATE: I have believed I had no allergic reactions to cosmetics until end of 2013 -> Alchemy Lab: Hydrolized Wheat Protein). Bottom line: no toxic ingredients whatsoever.


The detergents are very mild, the hair doesn’t get too squeaky, or the scsalp itchy. The shampoo delivers a fine lather which spreads the best with the second wash. Again: don’t forget that rinsing is the main thing when washing your hair; not letting the lather sit in your mane for minutes and minutes!

The scent is sweet, unobstrusive; they’ve aimed at exotic (“frangipani”) but it doesn’t overwhelm the senses. As you use the shampoo, the scent is fresh and sweet – white flowers and vanilla; what stays afterwards, in the dry hair, is a very, very light scent of roses, quite powdery-fresh (as opposed to powdery-heavy).


In its clean-ness and non-toxicity close to Frangipani, Pomegranate comes sans silk. It has the distinct scent of pomegranate juice; the texture is a thick liquid (Frangipani hat that standard shampoo-typical gel texture), but if you pour small amounts into the palm of your hand, you normally shouldn’t be letting it go down the drain 😉 It lathers decently, and leaves the hair really manageable.



Now, what’s that backwards wash thing? This, or the reverse hair washing refers to a hair washing technique that goes like this:
(1) Apply hair/scalp care and let sit,
(2) apply conditioner – to the lengths of course,
(3) wash the treated hair.

Women who used to wash their hair everyday use this technique to break the vicious circle of dryed out hair > getting greasy > getting washed too often > getting dry > getting greasy.
There are other, bolder options of course: One of the ladies from No More Dirty Looks doesn’t wash her hair with any shampoo at all. Well, I haven’t tried that, to be honest, but I’d embrace basically any healthy beauty routine that comes without some esoteric voodoo and helps me make things easier and use less product.

Anyhoo, so I wash my hair once in five days now; with only a dab of product (which has been hard to get used to since my hair is very, very thick).
Prior to washing, I apply pure argan oil, or almond oil or – especially fabulous for hair – broccoli seed oil and let the good times roll the good stuff sit. Sometimes for over an hour (evenings, Sundays…)!
I never put in too much oil, so that I don’t need any towel; also too much oil is rather tedious to wash out. The sign that I’m doin’ it right: My hair looks ‘wet style’.
This works great and gives me perfectly manageable, non-fluffy hair.

A note: using industry hair care products like some ‘Great Hair Oil With Argan Oil’ or ‘Rich Hair Mask with Whatever Super-Duper Oil’ most probably isn’t going to work as good because those products are designed for another routine.”

Only pure oils or blends of pure oils work well (= oils without chemical compounds or silicones or mineral oils – the latter are simply petroleum, hmm, petroleum hair…).
You can basically use any oil you like, but be warned that sesame and olive are the stickiest.
I’m most happy with argan, almond, coconut, broccoli seed, and jojoba oils so far; to me, jojoba and broccoli seed are the most “light” oils that also leave the least scent, even though broccoli smells quite heartily when you apply it.
Coconut is fine, too, but it comes with that typical sweet scent that’s I just not always feel like wearing.

Other shampoo related topics on BEAUTYCALYPSE are:
>>> Who put the ‘poo’ in shampoo?
>>> Testing certified organic shampoos (Natura Siberica, Melvita, Weleda)
>>> Trick 77: The Rapunzel challenge
>>> The sad truth about certified palm oil

>>> My fave dry shampoo


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

8 Responses

  1. Heather in Arles

    Yay! I have been doing something right with my use of pure argan oil. 🙂
    But wait, am I really the ONLY person that tried to unlock the post? Really??? Booo!!!! And if I am the only entrant, I will galantly bow out so that you can keep your fabulous gifts for another give away!

      1. Heather in Arles

        Mucho cheaper as we have a big Moroccan population in the South of France and those ladies were on to this a looong time ago–and their wrinkless faces show it!

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