{"id":604864381234,"title":"Hair Food Review: Is Plant-Based Shampoo Better?","created_at":"2023-02-18T13:21:22-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Hair Food Review: Is Plant-Based Shampoo Better?\",\n \"keywords\": \"hair food, hair food review, hair food reviews, hair food shampoo, hair food shampoo reviews, hair food products\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Hair Food shampoo based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is likely to improve hair quality or if it's a waste of money. We highlight three questionable additive ingredients and explain why Hair Food was recently sued.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/hair-food-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Brian Moore\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.D.\",\n \"F.A.A.D\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/brian-moore\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/brian-moore-md-faad-2b1b77a2\/\",\n \"https:\/\/www.apexskin.com\/our-team\/dr-brian-moore-md\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Dermatology Advisor\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"dermatology, skincare, pigmented lesions, anti-aging, medical research, clinical trials, sunscreen, moisturizer, wrinkles, makeup, shampoo, soap\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"Columbia University\",\n \"University of Toledo\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Hair_Food_Thumbnail.png?v=1676744737\",\n\"width\": \"3642\",\n\"height\": \"3642\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12715094\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/prose-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/3301220\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31840548\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5093181\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32387382\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12451368\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.classaction.org\/news\/lawsuit-filed-following-recall-of-pantene-aussie-and-other-dry-shampoos-conditioners-due-to-benzene-contamination\",\n\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/safety\/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts\/pg-issues-voluntary-recall-aerosol-dry-conditioner-spray-products-and-aerosol-dry-shampoo-spray\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22517595\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"coconut\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"fragrance\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"preservatives\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"faceovermatter\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Target\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Walmart\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Amazon\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"ClassAction.org\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"FDA\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Procter \u0026 Gamble\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-02-18\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Hair_Food_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1676744395\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eH\u003c\/span\u003eair Food is a shampoo brand made from natural ingredients. The brand uses exotic ingredients like “avocado and argan oil,” and claims that “what you put on your hair is as important as what you eat.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBut does Hair Food contain research-backed ingredients for improving hair quality, or are these just marketing claims? Does it contain any unhealthy additive ingredients? What retailer has it for the best price? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Hair Food shampoo?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Hair Food based on medical studies to give our take on whether the shampoo is likely to improve hair quality and even promote hair growth, or if it’s a waste of money.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll also document which retailer has it for the best price and share real, unsponsored Hair Food user reviews.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Hair_Food_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1676744417\" alt=\"Hair Food ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredients in Hair Food Coconut Milk \u0026amp; Nourishing Chai Spice are shown above. The product does have coconut, but doesn’t appear to have any chai.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCoconut fruit extract\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a strange ingredient choice in our opinion, given that coconut oil is so well-studied and effective for hair quality. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12715094\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eJournal of Cosmetic Science\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that coconut oil prevented hair damage. We’re unsure why the brand would choose an extract which may not have the same benefits.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003ePanthenol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is clinically shown to hydrate the skin as we documented in our review of \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/prose-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eProse hair products\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, so it may be effective for scalp health. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSalicylic acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is an effective exfoliator and was shown to have anti-dandruff properties in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/3301220\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eGlycerin\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e was found to have a hair conditioning effect in a 2019 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/31840548\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eClearly Hair Food shampoo has some potentially effective ingredients, but it also has several ingredients that health-conscious consumers may wish to avoid.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eFragrance\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e was analyzed in a 2016 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5093181\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, and the study authors concluded the following: “Results of this study provide compelling evidence that everyday fragranced products can impose serious risks to human health.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eSodium benzoate\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ephenoxyethanol\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e are synthetic preservatives, the latter of which was shown in a 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32387382\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be toxic to human cells.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere are some questionable additives in this shampoo, but are any Hair Food shampoos free of such additives? We’ll answer in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhich Hair Food Shampoo is Best?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe reviewed the ingredients in all seven Hair Food shampoos.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eUnfortunately all of them contain fragrance, but Hair Food Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Water Purifying Shampoo is free of phenoxyethanol. It does contain the other preservative sodium benzoate but we believe this is a healthier preservative choice based on toxicity studies.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis shampoo also contains \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003etea tree leaf oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which was shown in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12451368\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be highly effective against dandruff. Trial participants in the tea tree shampoo group experienced a 41% improvement in measures of scaliness, itchiness and greasiness.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe want to be clear that we do not currently recommend any Hair Food products, but for consumers intent on purchasing from the brand, this is the product we think is the best option.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eReal, Unsponsored Hair Food User Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA YouTube creator named “faceovermatter” reviewed Hair Food including a live product demonstration:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/DqekWKGGpsE\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA TikTok user named “livingmygreatlife2” claims that Hair Food is a great option for natural hair:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cblockquote class=\"tiktok-embed\" cite=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@livingmygreatlife2\/video\/7138045298710039850\" data-video-id=\"7138045298710039850\" style=\"max-width: 375px; min-width: 325px;\"\u003e\n\u003csection\u003e\u003ca title=\"@livingmygreatlife2\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/@livingmygreatlife2?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e@livingmygreatlife2\u003c\/a\u003e Today, I’m reviewing some new hair products. You will definitely want to grab these \u003ca title=\"naturalhairtiktok\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/naturalhairtiktok?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e#naturalhairtiktok\u003c\/a\u003e \u003ca title=\"hairfoodshampoo\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/hairfoodshampoo?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e#hairfoodshampoo\u003c\/a\u003e \u003ca title=\"naturalhair\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/naturalhair?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e#naturalhair\u003c\/a\u003e \u003ca title=\"selfcare\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/selfcare?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e#selfcare\u003c\/a\u003e \u003ca title=\"naturalhairproductsthatwork\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/tag\/naturalhairproductsthatwork?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e#naturalhairproductsthatwork\u003c\/a\u003e \u003ca title=\"♬ original sound - Self Care Advocate\" href=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/music\/original-sound-7138045249506528043?refer=embed\" target=\"_blank\"\u003e♬ original sound - Self Care Advocate\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/section\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cscript src=\"https:\/\/www.tiktok.com\/embed.js\" async=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhere to Find Hair Food for the Best Price\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHair Food shampoo is sold on a wide variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for their tea tree shampoo at the time of publishing this article:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTarget: Currently out-of-stock\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWalmart: $12.43 (and smaller size)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAmazon: \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003e$11.99\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e (\u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3XIDUDd\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003elink to official Amazon listing\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e)\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe product is listed as $0.20 cheaper on Target but is not available for purchase at the time of writing this article. Consumers interested in this product may benefit from checking the price on Target to see if it’s available again.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eWhy Was Hair Food Sued?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn 2022, Hair Food was one of a number of brands facing a lawsuit due to contamination of one of their dry shampoo products.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.classaction.org\/news\/lawsuit-filed-following-recall-of-pantene-aussie-and-other-dry-shampoos-conditioners-due-to-benzene-contamination\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAccording to\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e ClassAction.org, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ebenzene contamination was the consumer health risk that prompted the lawsuit, and benzene is a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/safety\/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts\/pg-issues-voluntary-recall-aerosol-dry-conditioner-spray-products-and-aerosol-dry-shampoo-spray\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFDA recall notice\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e regarding this contamination reported the offending product to be Hair Food Coconut Dry Shampoo. Given that the product has already been recalled, there is no indication that this product will have similar issues moving forward, but it may be logical to be wary about all dry shampoos sold by this brand.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eProcter \u0026amp; Gamble, the company that owns Hair Food, only allowed refunds for customers who had purchased six or more contaminated products according to the lawsuit.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eReal Customers Review Hair Food\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAmazon is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion. Hair Food’s most-reviewed shampoo on Amazon is their argan oil and avocado shampoo which has been reviewed over 6,000 times with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Bamb” who gives the product a 4-star rating and claims it’s helped with hair loss:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“Had to use this for awhile to see its effectiveness, but less hair falls out. I also take apple cider vinegar gummies every day so maybe combination of both is working to strengthen hair - which is a good thing.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “bigfatcat” who claims the shampoo is non-ideal for thick hair:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003e“I have thick, course hair, I almost never brush my hair before I take a shower. My hair is extremely tangled when I use this shampoo, and I get massive amount of fall out! This shampoo is not smooth at all, I HAD TO wash my hair 4x (FOUR TIMES), and it’s still not smooth!\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e I noticed there was remaining shampoo left in the roots several times while I was blowing drying my hair.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Clean Hair Care Picks\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Shampoo_Image_20df2087-a8ba-4c39-adbe-7dd14757ec84.png?v=1666993226\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3SViT6y\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eAcure Vivacious Volume Shampoo\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e is our top shampoo pick, and\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eonly costs $7.49\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eat the time of updating this article.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThis shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ealoe vera juice\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eargan oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan\u003e. It also contains \u003cstrong\u003erosemary leaf oil\u003c\/strong\u003e which was shown in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22517595\/\"\u003e\u003cspan\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan\u003ePhytotherapy Research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan\u003e journal to promote hair growth.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/track.revoffers.com\/aff_c?offer_id=267\u0026amp;aff_id=7240\u0026amp;url_id=7700\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eHappy Head Topical\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top hair growth solution.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eThis formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/12196747\/\"\u003eclinically shown\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eto increase hair count by 11%.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not recommend any Hair Food shampoos. All such products contain fragrance which may be harmful to human health, and also contain at least one synthetic preservative. The brand has also been sued due to contamination of one shampoo product with a carcinogen.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn 2022, Hair Food was sued due to benzene contamination in one of their dry shampoos.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor consumers intent on purchasing Hair Food, the tea tree shampoo is the healthiest pick in our opinion because it’s free of phenoxyethanol and tea tree can improve hair and scalp health.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCustomer reviews of this brand are relatively positive, and for those intent on purchasing it, Amazon currently appears to be the most cost-effective way to do so.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-02-18T13:30:35-05:00","updated_at":"2023-11-22T22:54:26-05:00","summary_html":"We analyze the ingredients in Hair Food shampoo based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is likely to improve hair quality or if it's a waste of money. We highlight three questionable additive ingredients and explain why Hair Food was recently sued.","template_suffix":"","handle":"hair-food-review","tags":""}

Hair Food Review: Is Plant-Based Shampoo Better?

Hair Food Review: Is Plant-Based Shampoo Better?


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Hair Food is a shampoo brand made from natural ingredients. The brand uses exotic ingredients like “avocado and argan oil,” and claims that “what you put on your hair is as important as what you eat.”

But does Hair Food contain research-backed ingredients for improving hair quality, or are these just marketing claims? Does it contain any unhealthy additive ingredients? What retailer has it for the best price? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Hair Food shampoo?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Hair Food based on medical studies to give our take on whether the shampoo is likely to improve hair quality and even promote hair growth, or if it’s a waste of money.

We’ll also document which retailer has it for the best price and share real, unsponsored Hair Food user reviews.

Ingredient Analysis

Hair Food ingredients

The ingredients in Hair Food Coconut Milk & Nourishing Chai Spice are shown above. The product does have coconut, but doesn’t appear to have any chai.

Coconut fruit extract is a strange ingredient choice in our opinion, given that coconut oil is so well-studied and effective for hair quality. A medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil prevented hair damage. We’re unsure why the brand would choose an extract which may not have the same benefits.

Panthenol is clinically shown to hydrate the skin as we documented in our review of Prose hair products, so it may be effective for scalp health. 

Salicylic acid is an effective exfoliator and was shown to have anti-dandruff properties in a clinical trial.

Glycerin was found to have a hair conditioning effect in a 2019 medical review.

Clearly Hair Food shampoo has some potentially effective ingredients, but it also has several ingredients that health-conscious consumers may wish to avoid.

Fragrance was analyzed in a 2016 meta-review, and the study authors concluded the following: “Results of this study provide compelling evidence that everyday fragranced products can impose serious risks to human health.”

Sodium benzoate and phenoxyethanol are synthetic preservatives, the latter of which was shown in a 2020 clinical trial to be toxic to human cells.

There are some questionable additives in this shampoo, but are any Hair Food shampoos free of such additives? We’ll answer in the next section.

Which Hair Food Shampoo is Best?

We reviewed the ingredients in all seven Hair Food shampoos.

Unfortunately all of them contain fragrance, but Hair Food Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Water Purifying Shampoo is free of phenoxyethanol. It does contain the other preservative sodium benzoate but we believe this is a healthier preservative choice based on toxicity studies.

This shampoo also contains tea tree leaf oil, which was shown in a clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology to be highly effective against dandruff. Trial participants in the tea tree shampoo group experienced a 41% improvement in measures of scaliness, itchiness and greasiness.

We want to be clear that we do not currently recommend any Hair Food products, but for consumers intent on purchasing from the brand, this is the product we think is the best option.

Real, Unsponsored Hair Food User Reviews

A YouTube creator named “faceovermatter” reviewed Hair Food including a live product demonstration:

A TikTok user named “livingmygreatlife2” claims that Hair Food is a great option for natural hair:

@livingmygreatlife2 Today, I’m reviewing some new hair products. You will definitely want to grab these #naturalhairtiktok #hairfoodshampoo #naturalhair #selfcare #naturalhairproductsthatwork ♬ original sound - Self Care Advocate

Where to Find Hair Food for the Best Price

Hair Food shampoo is sold on a wide variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown for their tea tree shampoo at the time of publishing this article:

Target: Currently out-of-stock

Walmart: $12.43 (and smaller size)

Amazon: $11.99 (link to official Amazon listing)

The product is listed as $0.20 cheaper on Target but is not available for purchase at the time of writing this article. Consumers interested in this product may benefit from checking the price on Target to see if it’s available again.

Why Was Hair Food Sued?

In 2022, Hair Food was one of a number of brands facing a lawsuit due to contamination of one of their dry shampoo products.

According to ClassAction.org, benzene contamination was the consumer health risk that prompted the lawsuit, and benzene is a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer.

The FDA recall notice regarding this contamination reported the offending product to be Hair Food Coconut Dry Shampoo. Given that the product has already been recalled, there is no indication that this product will have similar issues moving forward, but it may be logical to be wary about all dry shampoos sold by this brand.

Procter & Gamble, the company that owns Hair Food, only allowed refunds for customers who had purchased six or more contaminated products according to the lawsuit.

Real Customers Review Hair Food

Amazon is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion. Hair Food’s most-reviewed shampoo on Amazon is their argan oil and avocado shampoo which has been reviewed over 6,000 times with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Bamb” who gives the product a 4-star rating and claims it’s helped with hair loss:

“Had to use this for awhile to see its effectiveness, but less hair falls out. I also take apple cider vinegar gummies every day so maybe combination of both is working to strengthen hair - which is a good thing.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “bigfatcat” who claims the shampoo is non-ideal for thick hair:

“I have thick, course hair, I almost never brush my hair before I take a shower. My hair is extremely tangled when I use this shampoo, and I get massive amount of fall out! This shampoo is not smooth at all, I HAD TO wash my hair 4x (FOUR TIMES), and it’s still not smooth! I noticed there was remaining shampoo left in the roots several times while I was blowing drying my hair.”

Our Clean Hair Care Picks

Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo is our top shampoo pick, and only costs $7.49 at the time of updating this article.

This shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like aloe vera juice and argan oil. It also contains rosemary leaf oil which was shown in a clinical trial published in the Phytotherapy Research journal to promote hair growth.

Happy Head Topical is our top hair growth solution.

This formulation uses FDA-approved hair loss ingredients like minoxidil which is clinically shown to increase hair count by 11%.

The brand also publishes the percentage concentration of each active ingredient, which is a sign of quality and transparency.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not recommend any Hair Food shampoos. All such products contain fragrance which may be harmful to human health, and also contain at least one synthetic preservative. The brand has also been sued due to contamination of one shampoo product with a carcinogen.

In 2022, Hair Food was sued due to benzene contamination in one of their dry shampoos.

For consumers intent on purchasing Hair Food, the tea tree shampoo is the healthiest pick in our opinion because it’s free of phenoxyethanol and tea tree can improve hair and scalp health.

Customer reviews of this brand are relatively positive, and for those intent on purchasing it, Amazon currently appears to be the most cost-effective way to do so.