Monday, 10 September 2012

Hair Product Standards: Higher in UK than US?

I was just reading one of my favourite UK blogs The Natural Lounge and came across a post about two online trading stores having to temporarily remove American products due to a request from Trading Standards  (In UK this is the body tasked with consumer protection and complaints).

This is not necessarily because the products are bad but likely because UK has stricter standards on products. With the exception of soap, all hair products have to

1. Be labelled correctly - (ingredient order and everything over 1%)
2. Where claims are made about efficacy, there has to be proof (e.g if you say product X strengthens hair, then you have to on request produce the tests that you did to state that claim)
3. Be laboratory tested to show absence of contamination by fungi/bacteria etc

In general the supplier of the product should provide a reseller with these documents. In USA, the FDA sort of leaves the cosmetic industry to police itself although all the things I have listed above are in effect recommendations.  In USA, the risk of being sued is much higher which means most businesses that want to stay working , have to make sure that their products are safe.

In UK anyone can complain to Trading Standards and they have the power to effectively shut down a business if you fail to comply with their requests. I do have to say that as much as I promote good labelling standards and do know that many natural businesses fail to label correctly, something about this complaint to Trading Standards seems fishy (i.e why complain now when the same products have been on the shelves for years).

However, I am all for better standards, so maybe there will be some good from this.

14 comments:

  1. I'm ao upset about this, I really want my shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie and both places that sell it have been shut down! My hair needs this stuff!

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    Replies
    1. The products will go back on the shelf when they meet regulations

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    2. The products are back on the shelf on british curlies

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  2. To be honest I wish the same standards where here in the US, waiting for someone to sue a company if the product at the very least is making false claims or at worst using suspect ingredients I don't think is good enough, and the trusting the cosmetic industry to really police themselves is a joke.

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    1. FDA cant afford to police the cosmetics industry because food, drugs and medical devices take all of the manpower. When the budgets get cut, these three areas have a greater public health impact; therefore, they get more attention. Sad but true. Tell your congressperson to put more funding into cosmetics. If we get involved, maybe we can make a difference!

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  3. I noticed that when I ordered some products from one of the online trading stores the ingredients were not on the label which I found a bit strange but I thought it was the brand itself. However, the products did come with a leaflet that listed the ingredients as they would have been on the label so I thought nothing of it. I agree that the complaint seems fishy, hopefully all will be well soon.

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  4. Thank you for your comment. I totally agree, it is very fishy indeed. I am just glad that the products were put back on the shelves.

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  5. Any hard scientific proof as to whether Rosemary oil regrows thinning hair? I trust your facts over any others I may read online JC. Thats why I am asking:) Thanks (I mess with a small part of my scalp a bit and the hair thinned out)

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    Replies
    1. I found a paper, I need to read it

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  6. I bought a product from a leading brand that claimed to have Raspberry in it.It had the scent and colour but when i checked the ingredients it had NO sign of it.I was soooooo shocked but have yet to take my complaint to Trading Standards. I have emailed the company and they have not replied.

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    1. I don't like that, it is deception.

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  7. I wasn't aware that point 3 was a must (which I know as challenge testing) I thought that was optional, I know that all products have to have a safety assessment but that doesn't involve lab tests like a challenge test does

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