I know its churlish of me, but I can't wholeheartedly support Kate Hudson's new hair care line, WildAid, made with celebrity hairstylist David Babaii. This is a product range that is trying really hard: it boasts having eshewed parabens and sulphates; it is pledging 10% of profits to wildlife conservation; the packaging is made from recycled materials. The problem is that there are too many dubious ingredients for WildAid to make it to the top of the class.

Take the Hydrating Shampoo ($13.95 for 13.5 fl oz), for example. The second most prevalent ingredient is disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, a mild irritant according to animal and human studies. Sodium cocoyl isethionate is most certainly an irritant and lauramine oxide is both an irritant and toxic, according to the International Journal of Toxicology, which recommends limiting concentrations to 3.7% in rinse-off products only.

Then there is  PEG-150 distearate, an ethoxylated compound.  Ethoxylated compounds, unless vacuum stripped, are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, identified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). Cocamide MEA is OK unless, says the FDA, it has traces of DEA in it. In which case, it can be carcinogenic.

Finally, there are the usual suspects: phenoxyethanol (which the FDA says is an irritant and can arrest the central nervous system); tetrasodium EDTA, a pollutant that disperses so slowly that it is the most abundant anthropogenic compound in many European surface waters; sodium benzoate, which is restricted as a food additive and can become carcinogenic if it encounters Vitamin C.

Now, you could accuse me of splitting hairs. And I will admit, that there are plenty of good things in WildAid Hydrating Shampoo. There is shea butter and no end of botanicals including mango, kiwi, nettle and oat. I particularly like the inclusion of volcanic ash.

Ingredients in David Babaii for WildAid Hydrating Shampoo

Water, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamide MEA, Lauramine Oxide, Spirulina Platensis Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum Flower Extract, Glycol Stearate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Hydrogenated Hemp Seed Oil, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Zingiber Officinale Root Extract (Ginger), Yucca Schidigera Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Mangifera Indica Fruit Extract (Mango), Actinidia Chinensis Fruit Extract (Kiwi), Urtica Dioca Extract (Nettle), Equisetum Hiemale Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract, Rosemarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary), Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Hedera Helix Extract (Ivy), Trigonella Foenum Graecum Seed Extract, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (Oat), Volcanic Ash, Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Wheat Amino Acids, Algae Extract, Panthenyl Hydroxypropyl Steardimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Polyquaternium 59, Citric Acid, PEG 150 Distearate, Sodium Benzoate, Retinyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Polyquaternium 7, Tetrasodium EDTA