We received a really nice note from a travel writer last week saying that 70% of the comments on a women’s dive site recommended our Stream2Sea leave-in conditioner. She asked what made it so special — beyond the fact that it’s reef-safe.
Like many female divers, I have thick, curly hair that was always a tangled mess after diving. As a diver AND a cosmetic chemist, formulating an effective, yet environmentally safe leave-in conditioner was a top priority when I started Stream2Sea. I needed to create a strengthening, non-greasy conditioner that doesn’t weigh down even thin, fine hair – but still holds up to a day of masks and hoods in saltwater.
Most conditioners include ingredients like polyquaternium 10, propylene glycol and cylcopentasiloxane – any of which can make your hair look great, but are NOT great for our waters. Instead of using these synthetics, I formulated our conditioner with our signature antioxidant blend of green tea, aloe, olive leaf and holy basil, then enriched the formula with extra keratin and panthenol. I also tested our formula to ensure that it readily biodegrades in the environment.
It’s also formulated to be vegetarian, but we can’t claim vegan (unlike our other products) because it contains keratin, which is made from sustainably sourced sheep’s wool. I considered removing the keratin, but it is so effective that I focused on ensuring the ingredient was a sustainable and cruelty-free process instead.
Because we spend so much time outside in the sun, I also wanted to protect our strands and color. SPF and sunscreen is not an allowed claim for hair care products in the US, but our formula does a great job protecting the hair from UVB damage.
Salt, chlorine and the sun can all damage your hair. Our added antioxidants, B-vitamins and keratin all help to counteract that damage. To help protect your hair before swimming, rinse with fresh water if possible before applying the conditioner. Applying before your swim will give a protective coat to your hair follicles to prevent breakage.
And, of course, from a reef-safe (and people-safe) perspective, the ingredients I didn’t use are nearly as important as those I did:
- Cylcopentasiloxane/cyclomethicone smooths hair follicles but has been shown to be toxic and to bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms. It is also suspected to be an endocrine disruptor in people.
- Parabens, including propylparaben, benzylparaben, methylparaben and butylparaben, are common preservatives that mimic the hormone estrogen which is known to contribute to breast cancer. Its also implicated in coral disease.
- Multiple preservatives, including diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin and hydroxymethylglycinate, release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen in humans and toxic to fish and other wildlife.
- Methylisothiazolinone is a widely used preservative but it’s also a skin irritant and is a likely allergen. Like many preservatives, it’s considered to be toxic in aquatic ecosystems.
- Phthalates are commonly found in synthetic fragrances and are classified as endocrine disrupters than can interfere with normal brain function. They also block male hormones and can interfere with normal genitalia development.
Learn more at Merissa Principe’s upcoming article on www.hellogiggles.com and follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/citygirlriss/?hl=en. Follow Girls That Scuba at www.girlsthatscuba.com and https://www.facebook.com/groups/girlsthatscuba/.
Join us on our journey to create body care products that are safe for us and for our oceans. Together we can do better!
Formulator & CEO
Phone: (863) 473-4223 Ext: 108 | Toll Free: (866) 960-9513 Ext: 108
Stream2Sea | PO Box 907 | Wauchula, FL 33873 | USA
From Stream2Sea – Protect WHO you love