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Carol's Daughter hair care - we name names

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
August 13, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 10 Comments
I have always suspected that behind Carol's Daughter there isn't some folksy lady whipping up natural products in her kitchenette in Brooklyn, but a marketing genius. Lisa, whose mom was called Carol and who got into the potion business because she was inspired by her Nana's hair pomade, looks in her publicity shots like a cross between Oprah and Martha Stewart with her comfy cardies and mixing bowls full of all-natural homemade shampoo. It's the kind of image that makes unkind snoops like me want to see if all is as it seems.

Much to even my own surprise, Carol's Daughter failed at my first sniff test. I had innocently thought that the name of a product such as Mimosa Hair Honey ($15.50) would be a reasonable clue as to the contents. But no, there is neither honey nor mimosa in Mimosa Hair Honey. You will not find any vanilla in Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner ($11.50). Other names, such as Tui and Khoret Amen, seem to exist only in the world of Carol's Daughter and don't bear any relation to the contents. After comparing names with ingredients on half a dozen shampoos and conditioners, I was relieved to find that Rosemary Mint Herbal Shampoo ($12.50) does contain essential oils of both.

Eventually, I began to understand why Carol's Daughter comes up with all these names. All the products are essentially the same. No, really. Carol's Daughter's conditioners all have the same set of ingredients. According to Sephora (the ingredients aren't listed on the company's own website), the contents of Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner and Tui Leave-in Conditioner are identical:

Lavender Extract, Rosemary Extract, Nettles Extract, Rose Flower Extract, Sage Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Delphinium Consolida Flower Extract, Clover Extract, Vodka, Ceteth-20 Glycerin, Water, Sodium PCA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin And Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl.

Khoret Amen's is almost identical, in that it has all of the above and some ylang-ylang and clary oils thrown in. Moving on to shampoos, Tui Herbal Shampoo looks a lot like Rosemary and Mint, except for the Rosemary and Mint.

Still, perhaps you can never have too much of a good thing. To be fair, all of those extracts are known to be good for hair health. However, I'm not sure what Nana would make of sodium magnesium silicate, which is used in cement and for muffler repair (although the CIR says tests demonstrated it not to be irritating when used in cosmetics). DMDM Hydantoin is sometimes considered dangerous because of its toxic formaldehyde component, although the percentage is so small that it has been approved safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel. If I was Nana, I'd be turning in my grave at iodoproynyl butylcarbamate. It can cause irritation or an allergic reaction on sensitive skin. a Danish study published in the April 2006 issue of Contact Dermatitis found that it can be a toxicant, cause contact dermatitis and have immune effects. Phenoxyethanol is suspected of being a neurotoxin as well as an irritant.
  • August 12, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Jaclyn, you could take a look at a new line that we have just got to know and has good reviews. The conditioner, particularly, could be good for your hair type: https://www.truthinaging.com/ahnesti-puriti-uplifting-conditioner

    Also, all our hair care recommendations are natural and effective, having been tested by our community. You can browse them here: https://www.truthinaging.com/hair-care

  • August 11, 2016

    by Jaclyn

    So, what would you recommend then? I have surly hair that gets dry at the ends. I've tried a bunch of different natural products and I can seem to find the best thing. I need help! I wasn't my product to be toxin free but work!

  • August 9, 2015

    by luisa

    I use Carol daughter for over 4 yrs. my hair is natural i role it and style and in the summer let it hair air dry my hair.even when i do color its nice and soft recomend it

  • January 2, 2015

    by Susan

    I have been using Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask for the past 10 months. At that time I developed a dermatitis on my face that I was told only effects light skin, not dark skin, and I am very fair. I have been to the Dermatologist several times. He has prescribed a few different things that never cleared it up and told me to stay away from any Sodium Lauryl Sulfates. This shampoo has no SLS in it. So, I thought it could never be the source of my skin problem and it did great things for my hair. Today, I looked at a question I left on a YouTube channel 10 months ago, to a girl who also had dermatitis on her face for an unknown reason. Out of curiosity I looked up the date I purchased these products from the Macy's website and it was 10 months ago. I often wondered if these products had anything to do with the dermatitis. I have to say that after reading what some of the ingredients can do to skin, I am pretty sure that they are the source of the problem. I will stop using these products today and see if there is a change in my dermatitis and post a comment about it.

  • June 30, 2012

    by Lolo D

    This is B.S the ingrediants are listed for the black vinellia
    Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol ( Pro-vitamin B5), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Butylene Glycol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf Stem, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica ( Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum)

    This list for the tui
    Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol ( Pro-vitamin B5), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Butylene Glycol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf Stem, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica ( Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum)

    Yes I understand that some toxins are listed but have listed way more dangerous ones that are not even in the product..smh.. This list was copy and pasted from carols daughters and sephora.

  • January 29, 2010

    by aminiaujuzi

    Thank you for this insightful article. I was looking for some more information on the ingredients in these products and this definitely helps me. The slogan for these products is "beauty by nature"...according to whom is what I want to know?! Ha, Ha...

  • December 17, 2009

    by Orangenyellowsunshine

    I used to love her stuff when she first came out, it was not tht great, but it was natural. Now it kinda sucks and is not natural anymore. She got sucked in by the hype.

  • December 8, 2009

    by PrettyLady

    LOL. To think, when she first started it was all natural.What a joke.Not my hair.

  • August 20, 2009

    by Beauty Able

    I guess they expect that most people wont look into the ingredients in the product, they know that you only have to mention a few exotic sounding words, keep talking about natural this n that and people are sucked in.

  • August 14, 2009

    by synergie

    One of the ingredients for a leave-in conditioner is vodka? Vodka? Is that just a way of getting around saying this has alcohol in it? Why would you put ethanol in your hair as a leave in?

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