Are Aveda Products as Safe and Natural as They Claim?


Aveda is one of those brands that has long held a reputation for being pure, natural, safe and environmentally friendly. After all, Aveda brands itself as “providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet.”

But, many people are incredibly disappointed to trust in this ‘green’ image of Aveda, only to read the ingredients on their products and realize that many contain parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial fragrance, petrochemicals and other ingredients of questionable safety and origin. In fact, the majority of Aveda’s products rate no better in the Cosmetic Safety Database than products from brands like MAC Cosmetics, which makes no claims about being natural or eco-friendly.

On their ingredient guide, for example, Aveda states that “what you put on your body should be as healthy and natural as what you put in it”. It then lists dozens of natural ingredients like avocado, flax, neroli, seaweed and tourmaline with nary a mention of the ingredients contained within their products that don’t fit this standard.

Aveda has rightfully earned their reputation as stewards of the environment, as they’re one of the biggest brands to do so much work raising awareness about causes like recycling, pollution and the responsible sourcing of raw materials. Aveda takes great care to ensure that when they purchase exotic ingredients like Lippia from Brazil, they’re giving back to the community and encouraging sustainability. They’re also the first beauty company to run on 100% wind power, and an industry leader in responsible packaging. Aveda has a lot to be proud of.

CR10.AvedaWind_720 x 406_2011-07-13_04-58-37-AM

Stacy Malkan of the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database says that for all Aveda’s efforts, they should really be focusing on safer ingredients. “A company like Aveda, with the backing of billion-dollar Estee Lauder, really ought to be at the front of the line innovating the safest products on the market,” says Malkan. “Instead, I think what we’ve seen is a trend that the major multinational beauty companies face a lot of pressure to keep costs low, and use a lot of cheap synthetic petrochemical ingredients.”

Aveda responded by stating that they’re working on changing their formulas, actively working to replace parabens with other preservatives. Aveda Spokeswoman Suzanne Dawson says they currently offer 350 products that don’t contain parabens. They’re also seeking organic certification for more of their ingredients. Until recently, the company contended that parabens were safe (the FDA deems them so, but they also lets high levels of phthalates, BPA and lead slip under the radar, so can they really be trusted?).

We’ve certainly come a long way since women smeared products all over their bodies without a moment’s thought of what was in them. We’re demanding safer, better, more natural, more responsible – and that’s the key. If companies don’t see a good reason to change, they won’t. But if consumers come together to say “we deserve better than this”, the companies will listen.

I recently wrote to Aveda asking that they continue improving their products and practices, to truly live up to their reputation. You should, too – and do the same for any other ‘natural’ company you like that still uses questionable ingredients.

Read all about Aveda’s standards and practices at the Aveda website.

About Stephanie Rogers
Stephanie Rogers is a fashion- and beauty-obsessed freelance writer with an abiding love for kale and organic wine, living in Asheville, North Carolina.


  1. no, they are not. they have practices and methods that are eco-conscious to get to the end products but i would not say that the end products are “green” per se. i have used their products on my hair and no, ma’am. i went to a salon for a facial and my skin and eyes burned from one of the ayurvedic treatments.

  2. I have to say that I was one that believed I was doing the right thing by using their products (marketing once again triumphs). It is so dissapointing….I don’t know why we have to spend so much time getting to the truth about products. I feel like I spend hours reasearching the Skin Deep database (which has its own controversy), researching online and writing to companies….would be nice to find a definitive guide!

    Thanks for the post.


    • martine robertson says:

      It makes so much more sense to use a product like Modere, which actually does not add any harmfull inegrdients and takes out any that come into question as more information comes forward. Some of the products can seem clunky, ie mascara, but that lets you know what gunk is going in from other companies to stop it cloggin. Hurry up Modere and find a way to get clean mascara. If you can’t then I have to assume I have to stop using it. Aveda where are you on clean mascara?

      • Lisa Frankel says:

        Started using aveda back in early 80’s
        Too bad it has exploded into a cosmetic goat!
        I remember there were only a couple of shampoos and conditioners… I also noticed their over usage of silicones!!
        I miss the old aveda…

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  4. Thanks for the great info…. I’ve been wondering about Aveda myself!

  5. I’ve been using Aveda products for years, and to be fair, they were talking about making products more natural before many others were AND they were big enough to really make changes in the industry. That being said, I am phasing out my use of Aveda hair care products until I see some serious changes- BUT knowing them I bet they’re on this already- I would be surprised if they weren’t going to be debuting reformulations soon.

    • Mishell Osmundson says:

      Ive worked with Aveda for 30 years. And while some of their products do contain ingredient that arent grown in the brazilian rainforest, The plant and flower essences they put in their ingredients are. There is nothing natural thats going to give you certain qualities, like binding products. Essential oils and essences arent water soluble. Therefore they do need binders when put into products like hair care, and makeup. If you had an issue with Aveda products 1. You didnt have a qualified Aveda rep help you choose whats best for you. 2. you used an item that had something that gave you a reaction, not a allergy. Some people are allergic or have a reaction to strawberries, roses, mums, bees, honey, Nothing is Allergy free. A person can be allergic or reactive to anything. Dont blame the entire product line. Ask for a consultation with an Aveda Rep (At an Aveda Salon,not the Aveda store) to go over the line you’re using, the ingredients, any allergy or reactions you’ve had to other products. They will nail it down, and put you onto the proper Aveda path for you. Aveda is a line made to be specified to each client. Not the multitudes of people. And if you want to try their make up line, its fantastic. Ive had eye shadows that last forever. They have a lot of pigment. So little goes such a long way

      • Mishell
        For someone who has seborrheic dermatitis which
        Avrda prod uct line in the hair color
        Would u suggest?
        How do u compare to keune hair color?

      • Lisa Frankel says:

        Hi… So what would be a logical reasoning behind using silicones in your products?
        I started to use aveda 30 years … So disappointing it has become too large of a chain.

        • Mishell Osmundson says:

          Im right there with you Lisa. When Horst Owned Aveda, it was a natural, smaller salon experience. ALL the salon staff was well schooled in every aspect of Aveda and its properties, and why everything was the way it was. Everyone in the salon, (receptionists included) were taught about every ingredient, and what it’s purpose was. AFTER he sold us out to Estee Lauder, it went to hell in a handbasket. I no longer use it. Sadly, I miss the “real” Aveda. Now it is nothing more than one of a million other mass marketed products, with no actual “all natural” checks and balances. After over 20 years of classes, and workshops at the Aveda Institute in MN, all of my hard work, and learning, and expertise in their product is useless. I feel very sold out by Horst. In the end, he said to hell with it, and took the money instead of keeping Aveda’s integrity.

      • As the only means that I know of to buy an Aveda product is to go to one of their salons or chain stores, I would question you statement that someone bought an Aveda product from and unqualifed rep. I had the experience of buying an Aveda shampoo from a rep and it was actually meant for oily hair and I have very dry hair. As my hair was clean and I even spoke about its dryness, she did not question my choice or give me any help. I am not impressed.

  6. Well, this is disappointing! I love Aveda products. In fact, I’m going to an Aveda salon next week because I’m dying to color my “virgin hair” for the first time and want to use eco-safe products. I’m definitely going to quiz my stylist about this!

    • Oh my dear, I wish you luck! Not only did the dye burn my scalp but my hair is falling out. It’s also very dull.
      They had great color maybe 20-25 years ago.
      It never burned and it left your hair shiny.
      I knew they changed their formula and I hadn’t used it until 1 1/2 months ago.
      Huge mistake!

      • Ory, I am sorry that you had to experience this. I am a stylist that has just started working for Aveda the last 2 years. I found that my hair has been fantastic since using Aveda, I never had to tone my hair every 5 weeks. My skin has also improved and I am now more conscious about what I put onto my skin and working with in an Aveda salon has made me more aware of a lot of things to do with the environment, my own and others health. I love their make up range, however I cannot use their foundation as it makes my skin break out.

        There is no such thing as products that people won’t be allergic or react to. Every one is different and Aveda does not claim that it will be perfect for everyone with sensitive skin etc. Just like any natural or organic product, you just have to try it and see if it works for you.

        When it comes to hair colour, if your hair is falling out, it is not because of the product itself. It is due to the level of developer being used. If the stylist you went to does not have the proper experience to give result without damage to the hair, then thats because the stylist did not have enough knowledge. In all my years of hair dressing I have never had any problems with guest hair, thats because I educate my guest how to look after their hair and also do my best to provide result without much damage to the hair. You cannot blame the product line entirely because of a damage. Look at the stylist and how they looked after your hair as well.

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  8. We’ve been chatting about Aveda for a while. It is a shame they are not more natural. I sent a letter two years ago, inquiring as to why they used such nasty ingredients in their purported ‘natural’ products. I never got a response. Ann wrote about the carcinogens and chemicals some time ago, it is strange, to me, that they have not changed their ways thus far, since they have been getting bad press for at least two years???

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  10. As an Aveda Concept Salon owner I wanted to share some insights. In the last two years Aveda has replaced formulas on over 10 products. This may seem low, but it takes a lot of research and testing to replace chemicals with natural ingredients. I do know that the newest product lines are in more compliance than the products originally created by Horst. At this point all products that had VOC’s have had a formula change. Other products may be discontinued and replaced with compliant product lines soon. Please know if you buy Aveda anywhere but from or an Aveda Salon you may be buying one of these discontinued products or versions with old formulas.

    Depending on what color service you have done with Aveda hair color, it will be 93%-99% derived from plants. This means that the actual color is coming from natural plants. The other part of the color is the chemical neccessary to bond the color to the hair. There is not other professional hair color line that comes close to what Aveda has achieved. Unfortunately if you trully want 100% natural hair color it will not stay in your hair for very long, so your best bet is no color if this what you are trying to achieve.

    Aveda also changed the formula on all of its lip colors a few months ago to be 100% nautrally derived.

    Are the products safe? I would say yes and no. Being that Aveda is trying to achieve 100% nautrally derived products, we do find that some customers have allergies to ingredients like flax seed oil. Just like any chemical based product individuals may have allergies to different ingredients. The products are safe, but may not be for every person.

    Aveda is the the first beauty company to produce its products with 100% wind power. Aveda also gives back to the communities it sources ingredients from to ensure the communities are sustainable and paid fairly for the ingredients. This is a major reason why I choose to sell only Aveda products. There are many product lines, and many with all kinds of claims, but at the end of the day Aveda is following through on its mission. Aveda is now making bottles very recycled plastic bottle caps. Bottle caps are not recyclable in many locations and we are working to send our customer lids back to Aveda to do this. There is work ahead, but I do know they are working on it.

    Success of the Aveda line will only allow Aveda to dedicate more resources to changing product formulas and to continue its environmental efforts aorund the world.

    • Youre awesome! I read all the comments previous to yours and was getting all bummed!! I work at an Aveda salon 18 years!! And want to open my own very soon. I feel like your comment brought me back in. Its a process. And for now, it is the best closest to natural product there is. LOVE the color. And also the company itself is so committed to the earth completely. Beyond its natural resources, the people!!!
      Thanks Ray

    • Ida Lynn says:

      I recently changed to an Aveda salon and have had my hair colored 3 times. the first time in California and my scalp had a slight sensitivity feeling. The last 2 timesI had color applied at a salon in Michigan and I have experienced this strange heaviness to my head,like a vice type pressure, which lasts about 20-30 min. I believe I’m experience a type of chemical reaction. I was hoping to eventually change all my hair, face and body products to Aveda because of the 98% plant base products but now questioning the hair dye. I will need to go back to my previous salon which uses Redken products. Have you heard or can you comment re: this? Thanks

      • Tanguera says:

        Does sound like you had an adverse reaction. There are non toxic hair dyes available at health food stores. Redken makes some hair care and hair color products that do give lovely results, but they are not an natural or organic line… either is Aveda in my opinion, despite all their hype to the contrary. I spoke with the Aveda product formulations expert over the phone and found out that they use “a little bit” (?) of chemical (synthetic) fragrance in their products, along with all the plant based stuff. Huh!? Chemical fragrance is one of THE most toxic ingredients that we should be avoiding! Bottom line, Aveda products do not carry the Certified Organic seal, plus they contain toxic fragrance additives, so personally I do not use them.

    • Tanguera says:

      I have to respectfully add that “derived from plants” or “plant based” are essentially meaningless marketing phrases that Aveda likes to toss around. Some of the most toxic ingredients can be blended into plants and then still be called “plant based” or ” plant derived,” and as for the 98% natural thing, what good is that claim if the 2% of synthetic content is toxic to humans? Aveda uses synthetic
      (i.e. neuro-toxic chemical) fragrance additives along with their natural fragrance ingredients… I got that info from the company’s product formation specialist, and believe me, it was not easy to get the truth, I had to keep repeating the question as she tried to evade it. Adding chemical fragrance to hair and skin care products is totally unnecessary. Many truly natural ( certified organic) lines use natural fragrance ONLY. It’s not splitting the atom, it’s just standard organic formulation practice these days, and Aveda is way behind the times in that regard. As for hair color, granted Aveda might be the most natural option within the “professional” product lines, but it is more myth than fact that “professional” products are any better (for the hair or for the health) than drugstore, “boutique” or indie (small scale distribution) products. Many do prefer to get hair colored at a salon, by a stylist, rather than do it themselves,, but some stylists are willing to special order non-toxic hair color for their health conscious clients, or even let them carry it into the salon. And yes, the color might need to be applied more often, and that might be well worth the inconvenience, health wise. Lots of non toxic hair color options out there, everyone, have a look around online!

      • Hi, could you please reccomend me an actual 100% natural shampoo and conditioner then?

        Please, please, reply as soon as possible!

  11. Hi my name is Renee I was wondering if
    formaldhyde was in your products.


  12. I have to say, it really frustrates me to read incorrect information on forums like this one.
    I am a colour specialist in an aveda concept salon and have been using aveda colour ever since it was launched.
    I thank Ray for clearing a few things up. I just wanted to add, that you should do your own research, ask aveda itself and be careful not to make confusing statements. aveda is not using artificial fragrance in any of its products. never have done, never will be. using pure essential oils as aroma in all their products is their main point of difference. even in the hair colour there are no masking synthetic fragrances used. most of the essential oils are now even organically resourced and so are the other plant ingredients. btw, aveda has never stated anywhere it’s products are 100% natural or organic for that matter. so, don’t be disappointed that they use some ‘non natural’ ingredients. if you want a great performing professional product you need to make compromises. in other words, if you want your shampoo to clean your hair properly, you need the ingredients to do that. and the apparently 100% organic shampoo with no surfactants won’t do that. as far as I know, it’s actually not possible to have a 100% organic product, because by law synthetic preservatives must be used to make the product ‘safe’. there you go. origins (another Estee Lauder company) have got an organic range, but not all of them are 100% as they declare on each of their products. trust me, if it would be possible, aveda would be the first company to produce only 100% organic professional products without any synthetics or ‘non natural’ ingredients.

    horst’s (founder of aveda) new company ‘intelligent nutrients’ produces organic products, but not all of them are 100% either. check them out, they are really fantastic. I use some of them, the body cleanser doesn’t foam and the shampoo is NOT 100% organic! the range is very limited, not even horst can do it. and he’s the most committed person on the planet to drive this trend, believe me.

    at the end of the day, it’s up to you, the consumer, to make an informed decision. I have plenty of guests in the salon who ask all those questions. but you cannot question a few ingredients in a product and then go on driving your car unnecessarily, go on exotic holidays by plane, keep smoking cigarettes, eat conventionally produced meat and buy cheap and nasty cosmetics from the next best supermarket.
    it just doesn’t make sense.

  13. It is very frustrating reading this post. Aveda has been around for 30 years way before this green movement start. Aveda has never said that they’re products were 100% natural. There is no way you can make a product that is 100% natural anyway without it being safe. They’re pretty close though. I just find if funny that you think they aren’t natural because a person with food allerges are advised NOT to use the products because of the natural ingredients And you’ve obviously never smelt any of their products because if you have you would know that there are no artifical fragrances in them.

    • Mishell Osmundson says:

      You’re absolutely right. Ive been working with Aveda for 30 years in a salon. Before they even had “concept” salons. And Aveda does as much as it possibly can. Lets Remember that MOST lines today just basically stole all of the decades of extensive, expensive research. Aveda didnt used to have perms, or colour. Because they couldnt find a way to do it without certain chemicals. Over the years, they have achieved a lot. They still do A LOT of behinds the scenes thing people dont think of. Recycling, Dramming, Working on packaging thats easier and easier to biodegrade. BUT I have to say, that since Horst sold Aveda to Estee Lauder, its gone to hell in a hand basket.

  14. Do Aveda hair dyes and Toners contain a chemical called Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) as I am highly allergic to this chemical which is in most hair dyes – I am trying to find one that doesn’t contain it, before my roots get to bad. The allergy caused facial swelling, red rashy head and neck etc and I was put on a course of steroids and several other medications to help the reaction.

    Please help!!!

    • Josie Stanton says:

      Is there any other dye without this chemical?

    • What about trying henna dyes? I use Light Mountain because it’s supposed to be the purest stuff. I just checked the ingredients on the box and it doesn’t include PPD. It’s a pain and a mess, but I’ve had really good results and it’s much less expensive than the salon. And natural.

    • There’s a hair color product used in special salons. Look into it. I heard it’s extremely natural and without ammonia or chemicals that can do harm. It’s called INOA.

      • Look at the chemical makeup closely. If it is amonia free it usually has MEA wich does the same thing as amonia. The chemicals that make up perminate hair color are all about the same. The few things that very are the levels of amonia or MEA, the levels of peroxide you mix in, and the base the color company uses for a conditioning agent or pertectant. For example Framesi uses in ther Framcolor 2001 line, less than 2% amonia and has a vegitable coconut oil base. It pertects the scalp and leaves the hair in better condition then when u started.

  15. For the comment below me. Simone…Your face burned after a facial because your skin was dirty. When you use Aveda products such as the tourmaline face mask, it can “break you out” if you don’t take care of your face. It pulls the dirt from under the skin that causes the skin to be sensitive. The only way to keep your skin from burning or breaking out is to use Aveda products regularly and keep your pores clean. Aveda products are naturally made and even their hair color is 97% naturally derived from plants.

  16. I have to correct the last comment about a dirty face being the cause of the burn…Chances are it was an inexperienced aesthetician and the wrong product was used for your skin type. and as for their hair colour I am completing in field training to become an educator specializing in this and the claim is UP TO 99% natural not 100%. As for make-up it is the only product line approved by the FDA as skin care.

  17. I am a hairstylist who became aware of the harmfull ingrediants in cosmetic products. I use to think Aveda was different then other lines but turns out they do the same cheap manufacturing of their products using chemicals that cause cancer and reproductive harm. I too would like to see them step up to the plate and make real natural products.

  18. I am laughing at Brianna’s comment that Simone’s skin was “dirty”. WHy would that matter? A facial is cleaning your skin, or should. The fact is that Aveda’s products have caused MANY, MANY allergic reactions. My first and ONLY service at an Aveda salon was a pedicure, and I had a very bad reaction to something used on my feet — hives, swollen upper lip, and ankle that lasted for many days, and which my doctor said was a bad reaction, and not the first allergic reaction to Aveda that she’d seen. Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin. Poison Ivy is a “natural” plant, and you wouldn’t smear that on your face, would you? Many “natural” things are incredibly irritating. And many people have allergic reactions to Aveda products.

  19. Has there been any recent research having to do with this issue? I recently left Aveda to work in another salon and have started to research this. I only worked for Aveda for a few years and felt that it was a very “corporate” brand, and very pushy to sell, sell, sell! I felt like I might as well have worked for Regis in the mall (no offense to anyone that does). I am starting to think that Aveda has a huge gimmick that manipulates consumers into buying their product. Makes them A LOT OF MONEY I am certain. Yes, they do use a lot of great certified organic ingredients, but everyone I talk to says the company has changed for the worst since Estee Lauder bought them out. Also, if they do have to have those other ingredients for preservatives, is it right for them to go on and on about how great their ingredients are? It should be black or white, not gray. I’m starting to think Aveda is another one of those corporations trying to make shortcuts wherever they can. I LOVE to do hair and have always had a passion for selling hair products…not to make money, but because people truly need them for their hair. I’m still trying to find a brand that is the real deal and truly concerned about quality products rather than taking shortcuts to make money!

    • Check out Framesi, it is family owed and the real deal. Hair color with integrity and the richest most beautiful colors. It is based in coconut oil. They have a few different lines. Even one called eclectic that has perminat color that is amonia free, ppd free and low MEA. Check it out. Email me if you need more information.

      • Dear Tina, I read that you recommended Framesi, may I ask you the following: I usually use Aveda, would it possible just to change and use the same colour (I usually use Aveda`s dark blonde 7N mixed with 6N) made by Framesi? Or is there a risk of colour change or reaction or something? What kind of developer would you use? Does it have to be the same brand?

  20. Also, as a former hairstylist from an Aveda salon, I would like to know how they can sell their back bar for SO CHEAP if their ingredients are so wonderful. Good ingredients are not cheap. Also, if there is a such a cheap back bar price, why is the mark up so high? For example, air control- was about $5 BB-retails for $24, Confixor $3-4BB-retails $17, Curl enhancer $4-5BB-retails $18 Men’s grooming clay about $5BB- retails $22, style prep about $5-retails $24, Damage remedy shampoo and condition together were about $30-32BB- Retail for shamp. &cond is $67 and $84..and all of these sizes are the retail sizes. Every other line I’ve seen out there marks their products 50% not almost 300+ percent. Makes you think doesn’t it.

    • I bought the Aveda hair care is most expensive at Ala Moana Honolulu of Hawaii. I don’t understand why you said it’s cheap

    • Nicole, as a salon owner I appreciate when a line I carry can support my cost of running a business. Giving me a price break on my “backbar” helps me to not only pay my technicians well, it helps to keep our salon open- you say you “love to do hair” then do just that, and leave the “thinking” to those of us who are owners. I’m thankful for this support they offer, and shake my head at the stylist who questions the petty things like this and judging the integrity of a brand like Aveda. The products are untouchable. They work, they deliver, and no brand can offer what they do.

  21. I used to use Aveda products exclusively, and did so for many years. I loved them tremendously, but noticed a lot of changes once they got bought by Estee Lauder: (they branched out a ton with a lot of salons, and at that time I felt like the whole experience changed. It seemed to become much more like a corporate workplace than a magical, energizing place that it had always been prior to that. After too many rude interactions with an Aveda salon, I quit using their products altogether. I now use Eufora and Head Organics, which I love.

  22. i worked at an aveda concept salon for 2 years as a cosmetologist. the salon was deemed a “green” salon, we didnt even have a recycling can! although i do love their color line you could still smell the awful chemicals coming from peoples hair coated in this stuff. the color conserve shampoo and conditioner…. check the ingredients they contain sulfates which are color stripping agents?! many of the aveda products contain parabens and many questionable ingredients. being owned by estee lauder has made a huge impact on the direction the company is going. i have since left the aveda concept salon and am now opening my own salon using a truthful honest company for my color and product line. not only are they honest about how they impact our lives and the environment their color is brilliant and their products are truly amazing, i couldnt be happier. PRAVANA.COM check it out you wont be dissapointed! my web site is coming soon stop by some time =)

    website coming soon

  23. Ysheka Mitchell says:

    I have found Phyto and PhytoSpecific to be the most natural product line. The sulfate in the products are a coconut oil, the entire line is paraben free as well. It is not an “organic” line b/c some of the ingredients are from the sea and cant be certified. I suggest you research this line and thier color line, Subtil, it is PPD and resorcin free.. I luv it!!

  24. Ysheka Mitchell says:

    Oh, also Subtil.. low ammonia..great for relaxed hair

  25. I have to comment. A lot of you are absolutely clueless and its pathetic. To the people that said it’s impossible to make a product 100 % natural because it would be unsafe….you are probably in the dumber portion of our population. How would adding synthetic chemicals KNOWN to cause cancer and reproductive problems make a product safer? F’in idiots.

  26. After coloring my hair for about 30 years into ignorance, and without worrying about was in those products,thankfully today,I am more conscious and will dye my hair only if the product does not offer any risk to my health.

    So far, it looks like Henna is the safest option, but I wouldn’t go that route.

    Let’s keep the hope that, eventually,another safe option will show up in the market.

  27. azureminded says:

    horst could do it he has no interest in doing so obviously as i make ALL NATURAL chemical free hair and body care products that are 100% effective along with pure perfumes and i don’t even use credit my line of products heals and so could his if he cared

  28. Andriy Portyanko says:

    I believed in Aveda as a sustainable and organic, high quality products but NOT ANYMORE! My recent experience with Aveda showed me that they don’t care and disrespect clients opinion, request. I noticed that Brilliant Styling Creme has dropped in quality significantly. The cream suddenly become to runny to use and lost quality to perform as it used before. I contacted the company with the issue. as today I have no respond. Do you think it’s worth spend money on something which is not good? Think twice! I am leaving Aveda shop for good as it failing. Sorry to say that but its true. Aveda is not quality anymore!!!!!!!

  29. Does aveda hair colour have ppd in it as I am nervous about dying my hair again after my recent reaction 2 this chemical?

  30. @emc, here is what you are missing: 100% natural, synthetic chemical-free products can absolutely be unsafe. Take any product with water or aloe vera and bacteria will thrive, often undectected from the human eye or nose for quite some time. Microbes are serious stuff and as a general rule, some level of synthetic preservation is necessary in order to prevent contamination…which could lead to serious, skin-scarring results. So try not to be so rude and look at both sides of the story.

    @Jenny, I’m not sure about Aveda containing PPD, but I believe almost every hair coloring product uses it to bind color to the hair. PPD scares me a bit too, so I did a little research quite some time ago. It looks like you have three options:
    1. A lower-dose of PPD 2. Henna 3. Pallettes of Nature (which seems like the best bet!) If I dye my hair, I’ll be looking seriously into #3, which you can find at

  31. you are all quite ignorant. please don’t open your mouths with stupid comebacks like “FDA demand synthetic preservatives” “synthetic preservatives are needed or you will suffer from bacteria”, etc… so what was used before synthetics? we don’t only have one choice when wanting to go all natural, so don’t get “fustrated” becuase someone dosn’t like the products you sell and we can pin-point why we are unhappy with it. customers should know what they put into their hair and on their skin, not harassed and belittled becuase it concerns them. proof your statments are ignorant and false:

  32. I have just come back to this site after a long time leaving a comment. I love this passionate discussion! I colour hair with Aveda colour every day and also teach for them in Australia. Yes, Aveda colour contains PPD. You can find it on the ingredient listing. I have plenty of new clients who are allergic to this ingredient, then they need to find an alternative product or cannot have the colour applied to their skin. I do think that some products can be 100% plant derived/organic, but only some. You will need some form of preservation for any concoctions if water and oil, otherwise they will go off very quickly. As I said before, if you want a professionally performing product you might have to compromise the content of natural ingredients. I use a 100% natural deodorant, but it doesn’t keep me dry and smelling of roses all day 🙂

  33. I just confirmed with customer service that both the Full Spectrum Permanent Hair Color and the Full Spectrum Deposit Only Hair Color contain p-Phenylenediamine and Resorcinol.

    Does anyone know why these are necessary for non-permanent color?

    I used the full spectrum deposit only color for years and I loved the results but it always caused minor irritation. The last time I went it was horrible – pain, swelling, itching,and a patchy bumpy rash, all around my hairline, neck, forehead, and the tops of my ears. I was miserable for weeks.

    99% plant derived does me no good when the remaining 1% is composed of nasty chemicals.

    If anyone knows of a good alternative please share. I only want to darken and / or add red, and I don’t care if the color fades out, in fact I prefer not to use anything permanent. I have heard of henna but I don’t want bright orange.

    • FRAMESI Eclectic hair color is a line that is ammonia and PPD free. It is a deposit only color that covers grey up to 100%. It does not claim to be all natural but it is based in coconut oil and makes your hair feel amazing.

  34. Thank you eco-chick for providing us with great information on Aveda. I used to think that they are “pure” but from reading your articles and comments on here it makes me think twice about what I choose to put on my body. I have been using Aveda camomile color enhancing conditioner so I’m going to look up their ingredients to see if they are actually natural as they claimed. If not, I’m going to return my latest purchase.

    If anyone have any recommendation on safe color enhancing products, please let me know.

  35. I used to use Aveda before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and pretty much became allergic to almost everything that touched my skin. Since then I have been making my own hair products using ingredients from Camden Grey,, and Ingredients to Die For. I try to stick to the natural and ECOCERT additives. I have learned so much about synthetic ingredients and realized that companies like Aveda use way to much of them. In some of their products it seems as if they add the natural ingredients as an after thought. While investigating the synthetic products, I was very surprised to learn how many of them could be cancerous. Some of them, like polysorbate-80, they put in food all the time. It’s no wonder the cancer rate has sky rocketed in the United States. Did you know that one out of three people in the U.S. will develop some kind of cancer in their life time (usually breast cancer and prostate cancer)? I am really going to try to eat organic foods and make my own health and beauty products from now on.

    • this is very true. its quite sad that so many people are so ignorant to the facts. they trust that because something is on the market that it must be safe when history has proven that to be untrue time and time again. its sad really

  36. I just wanted to post about a brand I love that didn’t seem to get a lot of play here. After going through all of the concerns and worries people here have, and spending way to much time on looking at ingredients, it seems like the safest salon-quality brand you can use is John Masters Organics. I’ve been using them for about a year and I am very happy. He runs a salon out of NYC, and also does a lot of the research people seem to be suggesting Aveda do in terms of transitioning out dangerous ingredients. His stuff is REALLY pricey, even by Aveda standards, but I’m really happy and I know I’m taking care of my health. Hope this helps!

  37. A few Aveda facts
    -Aveda hair color is 97-99% naturally derived ingredients, including all natural fragrances.
    -Aveda does NOT use artificial fragrances AT ALL. When fragrance is listed in the ingredients, it is Aveda’s PUREfume, all natural fragrances. This is listed on their product labels under the complete ingredient list.
    -Aveda products do cause allergic reactions because they contain derivatives of grass, wheat, lavender, and other natural ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. For example, if you allergic to grass, you can not use the Aveda Green Science Anti-Aging skincare line.
    -90% of Aveda’s essentail oils and 89% of the raw herbal ingredients are certified organic.
    -Aveda products are manufactured using the power of wind. They are the FIRST company to manufacture with 100% certified wind-power.
    -Aveda ingredients are obtained from all over the world using fair trade/pay practices, as well as providing indigenous peoples who supply these items with schools, clean water, and the ability to support and sustain their existing way of life.

  38. How do you feel about Neuma hair care products. They have the zero content on the back of all their bottles. Any input?

  39. You’ve saved me from spending 100.00 by going to Aveda this weekend. I am going to use that money and purchase Acure Organic Shampoo and Conditioner. Their products look really good. Was able to try their day cream at Whole Foods today and I really liked the product/ingredients. I wish WF carried Acure shampoo/conditioner, though.

    I already use John Masters and, as mentioned above, they are quite expensive, but I really LOVE his products. Acure is all organic and better priced. I noticed the free shipping code (FREESHIPPING) and have decided to order their products.

  40. Philippe Livernois says:

    Bonjour, ma copine est aller dans un salon AVEDA le 23 Décembre au Soir, et quelque heures après avoir eu un traitement pour cheveux,teinture,coupe et mise en plis, une grosse réaction allergique c’est produite qui a commencé au niveau de la tête et oreilles un gros rash dans le cou,la poitrine,le dos, le corps les jambes etc..! Les yeux enflés , des grosse plaque rouges au complet de bas en haut du corps. Bref,après 24h toujours les mêmes symptômes, demande des conseilles a la pharmacie, crème Aveeno,benadryl total plus, et benadryl pour la nuit. Maintenant le 25 au matin, les symptômes au diminuer mais toujours présent.

    C’est la premiere fois que sa l’arrive apres 7 rendez-vous au Salon AVEDA, jamais que ma copine a eu des réactions a la peau.On a manger et bu la même chose durant la soirée, le seul doute , c’est que une des coiffeuse au salon AVEDA a faite la même réactions pendant que ma copine se faisais faire une coupe il y a quelque mois. Donc, on a conclus qu’il a certaines personne qui ne tolère pas les produits AVEDA, peut-être un Spray Net , Teinture ou mousse/savon pour les cheveux.Ce sont de bon produits, mais je trouve que c’est de la fausse publication qu’ il mentionne que leurs produits sont ANTI-ALLERGIQUE.

    Si quelqu’un a eu les même symptômes , SVP. , récrivez moi !

    Merci! Joyeux Noel

  41. Phillipe – Unfortunately most people misunderstand the meaning of hypo-allergenic. Just because something is labeled as such does not mean no one will react to it….it means people are generally LESS LIKELY to react to it. Therefore, it is not false-advertising.

    To all who are having allergic reactions to hair colour, please be very careful… It has been documented that people have died from allergic reactions to hair colour (went into anaphylactic shock). If you have a serious allergy or suspect you do ALWAYS DO A PATCH TEST.

  42. I live in Minnesota and have been using Aveda hair, skin, and makeup products for over 20 years.

    However, after learning about the dangerous chemicals in many of their “natural” products, I am no longer an Aveda customer.

    To all of the defensive Aveda salon workers who have posted here, the ingredient lists speak for themselves. Yes, ingredients such as parabens are indeed natural, and they even exist in foods we eat. Even in olives, which are a wonderfully healthy food! However, do some research: they are dangerous when used in body care products.

    Aveda and Estee Lauder do much to mislead customers about their products. Just walk by an Aveda salon, with the green eco-decor and the big signs touting their “plant-derived” products. Plenty of other brands do this too.

    All I can say is, “let the buyer beware”. Aveda and Estee Lauder, with word of mouth on the internet, it’s only a matter of time before the jig is up. There are other truly natural products that are years ahead of you in terms of research. Too bad you squandered away your time on marketing rather than developing safer products.

    • Could you say what those natural hair products, that are supposedly years away from them in terms of research, are? How do we know that they are genuine aswell?

  43. I don’t feel anyone is expecting 100% Organic products but for Aveda they do expect a bit more because the advertising of this line is clever & a bit calculated. They do make the claim about the importance of what you put on your body as well as in. So what, we can’t expect better ingredients. I am a realist & I know it’s not possible to be 100% on anything but with Aveda, I want to trust them just based on what there advertising says. With hthat said I know better. I feel since being bought by Estee Lauder, which is full of chemicals the standard will not hold to the way it was when Horst created the company. I feel the reason Aveda is careful, is due to the amount of competition out there. I don’t trust Estee Lauder who promotes toxins, false advertising but rather the demand from public to keep them on there toes. More people are demanding safer, high quality, natural ingredients & Aveda did start in that catagory. I do want to add Horsts new line, Intelligent Nutrients, is amazing. The conditioner & shampoo are always out of stock at every Whole Foods. Many people just love it. It’s not 100% pure but close enough. I also trust the integrity of any product that is under the care of a man like Horst whom I know a few who have met him & say he is a man of integrity.

  44. Nancy Prince Jackson says:

    I have recently started having allergies to hair color and went to a salon in a large city that was suppose to use products that were organic (being Aveda) and I still had the major outbreak of SEVERE rash, bumps all around the hairline and forehead and in on my scalp. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  45. Davines: Natural Pigments. No ammonia, place it straight on the hair with out use of devleoper. Lasts about 3 weeks. 98%-99% natural plant derived.

    If you are allergic to color try ammonia free and off scalp application.

    Also check your diet. Make sure you are giving your body what it needs because a healthier diet will help to prevent other types of allergic reactions. Skin will be more reactive to products if the body is already under attack on the inside.

  46. vivien matz says:

    hi all,very interesting all your comments.
    i went to a local salon about 2 years ago to get a colour correction which sold aveda products i was assured by the owner that the products were 100percent herbal,i thought great at last i have found a herbal colour i suffer from a under active thyroid which does affect the hair.
    I was very happy with the result and no reaction to the hair.
    A couple of root top ups after were fine,then the root top ups were proving a fatal,my hair started to react,i have naturally curly hair and i was losing the curl and body my hair became lifeless and dull and seemed thinner,i told the salon owner about this change he said it couldnt be the product as its all natural,i asked my GP to do my blood test to see if my thyroid level was ok and all was fine.
    i told the salon owner this he still insisted it wasnt the product,i had 1 more root treatment and again it happened it takes about 2 months for my hair to start recovery i feel very angry about this ,i have always taken care of my hair and to pay a very high price for these products is a utter scandal.
    I wonder if as mentioned above the take over to estee lauder has a link?
    can anyone please advise a good herbal colour ,i would be extremly greatful.
    thanks for your time.

  47. I’ve never bought the natural thing from Aveda, although I have used their products. Gimmie a break all you have to do is read the label. Having said that, Aveda hair color used to seem less harsh than other products, but they recently reformulated it. After using Aveda for 9 years and being relatively pleased – my hair broke off after my last coloring session. I don’t color my hair that frequently, and I am very careful about it becoming dried out. I never use a blow dryer, not even at a salon. Aveda was always a green-washed product filled with chemicals. But I think the new product from Aveda is pretty scary considering it singed my hair when I had it dyed!

  48. Also check out EWG’s site “Skin Deep” – just google it. They have an AWESOME database of beauty products and have them rated for toxicity. I entered the ingredients of my foundation makeup and it came back a 9 out of 10 for carcinogenic! Yikes

  49. Jamie, I assume you work at Aveda in some regard?

    I am reading the label on an Aveda suncare conditioning product right now: are you telling me Stearalkonium Chloride, Palmamidopropyl Trimonium Methosulfate, Hydroxypropyl Methosulfate and Benzyl Benzoate grow in nature? Lol!

  50. I have been going to an Aveda salon for the last 2 years. I have used the Dry Remedy shampoo & conditioner & have my hair colored every 5 weeks. I have also used only Aveda products during these 2 years. The first reaction occurred after a few months of using the product (itchy spot on back). Then hair loss which I excused as hormonal. Next was hair breakage. Within the last 2 months I have experienced a skin irritation around the hairline, eyelids & along the neck. It actually looked like I have been burned. I stopped using the Aveda products & switched to Burts Bee products. I had to go to dermatologist for creme that I applied for a week. Now everything has cleared up but will not use the Aveda products again. Unfortunately, I really liked my hairstylist.

  51. I have never used aveda but have just had a massage at an aveda spa facility. I looked at the oil used afterwards, an aveda “relaxation” blend. It used chemical fragrances, no natural oils, and the rest of the ingredients read like a cheap shampoo. Weird! You would think they would at least use natural oils in their spa products! False image and promotion indeed. Yuk.

  52. When a new salon opened up in my small town, my massage therapist happened to be in the same space. Immediately I found it difficutl to be in the reception area because of the candles, and knew that these were not “natural” soya candles. Then a girl talked me into letting her put some lotion on my hands and I had to wash it off fairly quickly. I have had Environmental illness for 20 years and my body knows chemicals (especially petro) within seconds. On reading their products most say “parfum” and this is a catch all for many chenicals which do not require listing. I have also had a facial with supposedly natural oils. Within minutes I had to have the girl wah them off. These are not even close to natural products. I use essential oils at home and know the difference between a tru oil and one with synthetic properties. Keep trying Aveda!

  53. I’ve been buying the newest and greatet thing from my hairdresser for years. I’ve been disappointed in 80% of Aveda’s products…Why am I talked into an 8oz shampoo bottle that costs $18.00 to $20.00? There is a HUGE markup on them and the technition probably gets a huge cut of it. I was told to buy this special box at Christmas and it was quite a savings…I got home and it had 2 full sizes and 2 tiny for $56.00. I’m done with Aveda products. The pressure sale will be put in it’s place tomorrow..

  54. My biggest question is: why are Aveda’s color-specific shampoos full of sulfates? Didn’t anyone tell them that the sulfates are what wash out color?

    I love their styling products, but I will no longer buy their shampoos until they take out the sulfates.

  55. Leah Bateman says:


    I went to school at the Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill and currently work for an Aveda Spa…and I can tell you that our products are completely organic. There are ingredients on the label that contain parabens, sulfate, etc. However, those ingredients are in the amounts of less than 3% per container. If you read an ingredient label, the ingredients are in the order of the amount used per product. Those types of ingredients are at the end of the label. Also, those particular ingredients are used solely as preservatives. Smash up a fresh avacado and put that in your hair– it’s an excellent hair mask. However, you can’t bottle fresh avacado for more than a week because it spoils. You have to have something to keep these fresh, organic ingredients healthy and safe. Most of Aveda’s products have a shelf life of 12-24 months (it’s indicated on each bottle). Without some sort of preservative, our products wouldn’t last more than a few weeks. Aveda does test each preservative to insure that it has no adverse heath effects. Furthermore, Aveda does SO much for the environment beyond what you see in the public eye. All of their schools donate the tips that you leave your “student professional” go towards a charity (a different one is chose each month). Also, they hold two benefit fashion shows per year, per school: one for land conservancy and one for breast cancer. Aveda also holds “cut-a-thons” where we cut hair and give express facials for donation only. Aveda is a great company and I stand behind it 100%. Just shedding some light on this post…

  56. I had a facial done by my Aveda Salon using items froms the Enbrightenment line plus the Tourmaline mask. A few hours later, I started to develop a mottled effect on my face, by the evening it had developed into a rash that encased by face neck and ears – everywhere that the product touched me. Today, 4 days later, I am swollen to where I have lost the folds to my eyelids and still have the rash. 4 days people! 4 days!!! I am 55, have used lots of products before (expensive and inexpensive), but never have I ever had a reaction like this. I called the corporate office to speak to them about this, their response “Well what resolution do you want?” How do you respond to that??? So I’m writing this review, if it stops someone from buying Avedas products then that is the resolution I want.

    • I’m 51 and used the Enbrightenment cleanser, toner, face cream for 6 months to see if it would help my hyperpigmentation, which is what that line is for. It did nothing to improve my skin. In fact I was getting more breakouts than ever. Well I thought a different cream would help. I went to a store and got the tourmaline cream instead. After 2 days of using it at night, I broke out in hives all over my face. Even ingesting and using topical benedryl has not helped much. I have to wait for them to go away. It’s terrible. Tonight, I did a search and found this site and others with comments about similar experiences. Very disappointing especially after spending so much money on these products.

  57. twinkle eyes says:

    I have tried to research hair dye products that are all natural to cover up grey hair. I’m only 34 and I have a lot of grey but I didn’t want to use any chemicals in my hair after I had an incident where approximately 40% of my hair fell out! I believe it is from a hormone inbalance. I have regained some of my hair back but it is still thin and very fine. I have since used only all natural products in my hair. Getting back to the point. I recently discovered “” which is an online store that sells all natural hair dye made two basically two ingredients. Henna and indigo. when mixed by using a percentage of each powder it can create variations of colors. It works! I did my first trial last month. I have dark brown hair so I was able to use the dark brown mixture. It worked great for the coverage…I will be a life long client of theirs! Before I was just using henna to dye my hair but I won’t any longer since I found this website. I love it! Anyway, I just wanted to pass it along…I hope this helps!

  58. If you want a green product right down to the end result, good for body, and environment, you need only go to Neways. They do everything from healthy, cosmetics, hair, house products and nutrition. They are brilliant.

  59. I am having a reaction to having my hair colored with Aveda products Thursday. It’s a burning, itching, and swelling reaction. I’m alleviating the itching with Benedryl and other antihistamines but I want to know if there is something to help get the chemical out of my hair or to releave the burning short of cutting my hair all off…something I seriously thought of doing last night.

  60. Bebe,

    Please consult with your dermatologist regarding your allergic reaction. They can provide you with the best method of treatment.

  61. Folks, try your local health food store, organic or regular supermarket. I’ve been using a self made henna & indigo mix to achieve the look I want on hair w no side effecte. Cocoa butter, Shea butter, olive oil, Argan oil are natural – just be ware they are expeller pressed as opposed to chemically extracted. When consumers demand- by not spending- these companies will respond. Rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce it don’t use it….

  62. FAO: the person who had a horrible reaction after the Tourmaline facial.

    While I love the Tourmaline products myself, there are lots of people out there who are allergic to tourmaline.

  63. It happens to every skincare company that gets snooped up by corporations. Sorry to disappoint you, but realize that a handful of corporations own the majority of beauty brands. There has been a huge buying out going on in the industry for years. Aveda, the Body Shop, Philosophy, bare minerals, etc. got bought up. The moment, a coporation takes over, all their brands essentially come from the same pipeline, with slight adjustments in ingredient concentrations that closer fit the brand it is marketed under. Brand Marketing teams are set up in competition among the brands. Overall, the moment a giant snoops up a company, corporate greed and bottom line thinking sells out the real good ingredients. The bulk of the investment and what we’re paying as consumers goes into marketing and advertising. And despite their ‘Corporate Responsibility ‘ which has become the golden rule for current PR and good branding – if you compare the profits per year, expenditure on advertising and the tiny fraction that goes to charity projects, it is shameful. Look at the numbers. They speak loud and clearly.

  64. Im an aveda esthitician. we just learned a new facial using the outer peace line.
    These products are for people with acne which i had none. my partner had to perform the facial anyway so she could get knowledge on how to do it. Everything went fine until the next day. I woke up with with itchy hives all over my face. i asked the head esthitician if the product had anything to do with my allergic reaction. She said no like she was defending avedas image. I am PRETTY SURE that was the cause. Its the only thing i put onmy face recently and Im normally not allergic to anything. so now i have terrible bumpy red skin. When before i was a porcelain beauty. Products to be aware of at aveda
    Green science, Caribbean therapy, and outer peace. most people are allergic to the weird plant ingredients

    • ANYtime you begin a new regimen with new products your skin will react , but what you need to remember is that any new regimen or product will draw out any impurities, as many Aveda products do. You should wait till after a few weeks of consistency to really have any kind of say on those products. A one time use of a product gives you no authority to bad mouth that product or company.

      I am currently an esthetician student, and one thing that is certain is that most people dont know the true issues with their skin , let alone how to fix it (i.e. overdrying your skin with products because you belive your skin is too oily. So using an estringent or highly drying product, like gel cleansers or regular body soap, are stripping your skins natural oils to keep it plump and moisturized which in turn make your sebaceous glands produce more oils to compensate for the lack of moisture.)

      Aveda strives to balance your skin by giving it what it needs(which can vay on a day-to-day basis), so unless you are well versed in skin care, you shouldnt just try any product and especially bad mouth that product because you had a bad reaction and dont know why, or assume to know why.

      FYI: Aveda products are “full products” meaning they dont use fillers to give you a whole bottles worth of product. So when you use an Aveda product, especially the skin care products, remember that a little goes a long way. Also, Aveda just reformulated most of their skin care products, “Tulasara,” so some of the claims made on here might not be the best reviews to rely on. If you would like to test a product line or find more information about, find an Aveda Institude near by and get a facial, the students and educaters will be more than happy to explain the products, benefits, and how to use them.

      • Thanks for that info; we have been trying to update this article for some time as you are correct, product formulations have changed. We’ve had trouble getting Aveda to respond, but we’ll try again!

  65. Hello , For the last few years I have been complaing about frizzy hair and i found out it was the shampoo, so i finly found Aveda and i love it my hair looks amazing , However i have been noticing more and more everyday that my scalp is sore all the time and now i have many small sores …. I dont use anything else in my hair at all ( gel, moose, hair spray ) has anyone else had this issue ??…. I have the Damage Remedy …. I hope i can find another shampoo there that works as well without this small side effect !!…. ANY HELP ???

    • You may be allergic to something in the Damage Remedy line. If you want to tame frizz, you could try a combination of Smooth Infusion and Dry Remedy.

  66. This caught my eye right off the bat. But you piss me off so bad, Aveda is one of the purest cosmetic/hair care lines you can possibly use. No line compares.
    Maybe you should do your research a little better before you say there smells are artificial. I find that you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. You need to look more in depth into this & actually compare & contrast what you think because this whole blog is bogus

  67. Aveda’s packaging practices are atrocious and are in no way environmental. A tiny bottle of product comes in a large box stuffed with packaging. Shame on them.

  68. I worked as team leader with Aveda for several years and definitely witnessed the quality of the products fall after being bought by Estée Lauder. For me the worst thing was when they introduced synthetic perfumes into several products over the last few years. I am extremely sensitive to synthetic aromas and don’t need to read a label to tell if synthetic aromas are used! The newer men’s aroma spray has synthetic perfume, and I recall one or two other new items that made my nose itch. such a shame… their pure-fume system was what brought me to work there. now I make some of my own products, with natural bases, essential oils, and soapberries. my skin and hair are so much healthier than at any point using Aveda products, though I still have a few items I still use from them (make up mostly). Regarding allergies, two of my siblings had terrible hives- from outer peace and the dual foundation- but everyone in my family has allergies to crazy things so we just patch test everything.
    I must say that I learned a lot from Aveda, some good, some bad. But I think Horst probably despises what it has become. Yes, you need preservatives unless you keep it in the fridge but why deviate from the essential oil pure-fumes?! For really great products, make your own and check out your local farmers market- I always find great skin care lines sold there made by people who care about what they put onto/into their bodies. I’m currently a big fan of !

  69. wormcast says:

    Aveda Hair “Detoxifier” Shampoo contains:

    Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalus (Sage) Leaf Extract, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Gluconate, Erythorbic Acid, Panthenol, Fragrance, Dimethicone Copolyol Laurate, Osostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Cocamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Peg-6 Cocamide, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Tetrasodium Edta, Methylchloroisonthiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

    ’nuff said.

  70. For 20 yrs I had sort of a golden mane but was plagued with some serious dandruff. I live in minneapolis and can remember getting my hair cut at horst’s first local institute on blaisdell ave. when aveda under his ownership introduced the scalp tonic/dandruff remedy, it’s no exaggeration to say it changed my life. A leave-in, translucent liquid applied with a dropper, it eradicated my itchy, prolifically shedding affliction in about two weeks, and after a couple of months i noticed you could skip a few days without regression. i continued using it for years. The active ingredient was zinc pyrithione, the same agent found in head & shoulders, except for the innovation that it was to be left in. Some time after lauder bought aveda, they reformulated the product, leaving out the zinc pyrithione. On discovering that, i made the rounds of every aveda salon within 50 miles and bought whatever remainders they had. The price was something like $11 for a 4oz bottle that would last about 9 months. Well where’s the profit in that? Especially in a product that you can get by using three times a week. The new formula’s active ingredient? An exfoliant-can’t remember if it was salicylic acid or something else-which of course forces the acceleration of skin cell production, which in turn increases your dependence on the chemical exfoliation; thus, when you stop using the product, even briefly, your dandruff comes back with a vengeance. That finally wised me up to the cynicism of the brand’s buyout. My supply of the old product has now, several years later, run out, and i’m looking for a source of znpy to formulate my own product, as my slowly returning dandruff urges me on. How znpy works is for another forum, but it’s got a very good safety profile which you can google. The ingredient is not sold to individuals, alas.

  71. Two years ago, I also suffered through weeks of red, bumpy, flaky, itchy skin around my eyes before figuring out that Aveda products were to blame. I am now back from a business trip where my hotel offered Aveda products. Without thinking, I used the facial soap. Lo and behold, the skin around my eyes is red, bumpy, flaky, and itchy. Unfortunately, I have to appear on national TV in three days. GACK! I really wish someone would expose Aveda for the frauds they are.

  72. Alacon- Why does your allergic reaction to their products make them frauds?

    Tons of people have allergies. People are allergic to lavender. Does that mean any company or product that uses lavender is a “fraud”?

    Make a better point before you slander a person or company.

  73. mariah neidert says:

    I am a student at an Aveda salon and I will certainly stand behind the product. I work hands on with the color everyday and it is healthier and more gentle than other Color lines. I will also say that aveda never claims to be 100% plant derived. I have never been told by any of my instructors that it is 100% organic. Actually most of the time they say it is 90% natural. I think its wrong that people pick apart a company that has made very large strides in the beauty industry. What other company produces productwith 100% wind power? None. What other beauty company hoed to other countries to build wells for those with contaminated water? And what other company recycles everything used snf only builds buildings with recycled buildings? I think aveda is trying to bring good into this world beyond cosmetics. So what if a measly 10% of their product is not all natural. They are striving to help this planet and that is something that in my opinion should be commended.

  74. mariah neidert says:

    And to that person who made a comment about aveda being a fraud: most people are actually allergic to more natural products so it is important to read any label before you use something just because you are allergic to something doesn’t make a company a fraud of you did not in fact read the label. Actually aveda requires patch tests before any Color service to ensure that no one will be allergjc to the natural ans pant derived ingredients in the formula. The point is: always always do your homework before trying something new on your skin.

    • I have been to an Aveda salon recently for a color service. No patch test was done. That being said, I walked out with my hair in great condition even though it was a major color job with bleaching done first. My scalp also felt great, not even mildly itchy. I really respect Avedas social and environmental practices and love most of the many products I’ve tried. My ONLY problem with Aveda is the eternal confusion over whether the fragrance in their products is 100% naturally derived or part synthetic. Since the word “fragrance” appears on the ingredients list and since NOWHERE on their website or in their marketing materials do they state “no synthetic fragrance,” we can only assume it’s part synthetic. That’s concerning since synthetic fragrance constituents can legally be kept secret by the company, meaning that when they use that word”fragrance” on the label it’s allowed to be a mystery cocktail of chemicals. That’s an unfortunate gap in our level of protection from the FDA . Aveda should clearly state on their website whether or not they use synthetic fragrance. Companies who don’t use it don’t need to put the word “fragrance” on the label like Aveda does, they simply list the fragrant plants being used. Aveda needs to clarify this issue if they want educated consumers to take their natural philosophy seriously. As things stand, if you ask 5 different Aveda reps about whether or not any synthetic fragrance is added in to all of the natural fragrance, you will get five different answers. That’s not ok. It’s not a complicated question.

      • I agree, they should be able to specify more.

        However, I was able to take a tour of Aveda Headquarters 2 years ago. I was actually shown the lab where the aromas for the products were created. I saw the bottles of plant and flower extracts that are used to create the aromas found in Aveda products. I learned that while other companies have thousands of fragrances to choose from when creating their products, Aveda only has a couple hundred to create unique aromas for their products. This is why there is a distinct “Aveda smell” in each of their products. I used to be a hairstylist in Aveda salons-I spent about 5 years working for their salons before I switched careers (my career switch had nothing to do with their company, I was simply given an opportunity that suited my needs). Because I became so used to their natural fragrances, I can no longer wear perfumes of any sorts-I’ve become extremely sensitive to synthetic fragrances, which is common for anyone who works for aveda. I remember when I went to their school, students were asked not to wear synthetic fragrances because people used to their products were so sensitive to synthetics.

        Also, I know Aveda is cruelty free, and has been for a long time. Reading through all of these comments is quite frustrating. People have allergic reactions all the time to products. Just because 10 other people found the same blog post as you did and you all had allergic reactions doesn’t mean the product is crap. For example, I can’t wear Aveda mascara, eyeliner or eyeshadow because I have allergies to different types of plants and having the makeup near my eyes causes my eyes to get red and watery, just like being outside in spring time makes my eyes red and watery. But I recognize that it’s because the products are made from the same plants and flowers that makes me miserable every year during spring time, not because the products are crap.

        Also, although Aveda was purchased by Estee Lauder, they continue to operate as a separate entity.

        I became very curious after reading all of these comments, and although that I realize a lot of them are quite old, I became curious about what exactly Aveda says about their ingredients and products these days. While I was a stylist, we had an Aveda rep that came to our salon once a month and, in great detail, explained the products, new and old, to us in great detail and answered any questions about the products that we had so we were always delivering reliable and truthful information to our guests. I know not all Aveda salons have as great of a rep as we had, so not every Aveda employee will be able to deliver clear and accurate information.

        Anyway, if you go to Aveda’s website, I clicked on their “living Aveda” tab and found an ingredients tab that explained a lot about their ingredients and sourcing and all that. While they may have a clever marketing team that comes up some terms that may cause people to piss and moan about their “truthfulness” behind those statements, I also know that the legal department is extremely strict about what they can and can’t say, and everything they say has to be backed up with facts, so always look for the little * to explain more about what they are stating. Reading some of the comments about the stylists that claimed 100% this or that made me shake my head. They clearly don’t know everything there is to be known about the products and claims that they should and should not be making.

        I also wanted to point out to the person who said they worked for an Aveda salon that didn’t even recycle…that’s on the employees of that salon and the owner. If the company knew that that salon wasn’t recycling they probably would have taken some action.

  75. can i know pregnant can use aveda shampoo is it safe?

  76. Fragrance Mix 2 says:


    I’m allergic for a couple of years to Fragance Mix 2, I bought the Invati line as the seller repeated me that i had nothing to worry about, all perfumes were natural. as I look on the back of the shampoo bottle I see, there is still the same products that are supposed to be ones of the most allergen ingredients. I don’t know how Aveda is making there communication about all being natural and at the same time putting the most common unnatural chemicals. i’m very reluctant to use their products as my allergic reaction have lead in the past to (a lot of) hair loss.

  77. Aha moment says:

    I stumbled upon this website while researching allergy to Aveda hair products. Have noticed in recent years that my face reacts with deep, sore pimples when using Brilliant products, as well as itchy nose. This week I dug out and used Confixor and now have broken out with pimple on eyelid, over eyebrow, on neck – all places touched by hair and product. Then, it dawned on me…October 2012, had hair color at Aveda salon. When I came home and ran fingers through hair, it broke off in pieces – 1/2 inch to 2 inches on otherwise long hair. Thought at the time that it was due to over-processing, but now am considering that the color itself did the damage. Hair texture has not been the same since. Still breaks off in small pieces. That, after coloring for years with other products with no breakage. Another connection – the current Aveda products have that same overwhelming degree of scent common in Estee Lauder perfumes and cosmetics. Had I not come to this site, would not have known that Lauder purchased Aveda. I hate to abandon Aveda, as back in the day I really loved some of the products, but there is something, natural or otherwise, that just doesn’t sit well. Thanks also to whoever posted about the color-specific products. Washed with one of those shampoos one time, and hair was noticeably lightened and dried out. I kept trying to convince myself it wasn’t the Aveda, but am afraid that it is. The up side is no longer spending the big dollars, sigh…

  78. I’ve been trying to find the best possible color for awhile. I hesitate to use Aveda again because of the same reasons you discuss here; however, have you found a better alternative? I’d love to find an organic color, and one that lasts longer than 2 weeks for the same expensive price as others. I’ve used Henna, but you can’t exactly get the color you want and it is SO messy. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  79. I’ve started using Radiantly You – a basic skincare regimen by a small, but formidable organization. I won’t go back. This is coming from someone who was practically an Aveda spokesperson for years. It makes no sense to “clean” my face with chemicals.

  80. Kimberly Holmes says:

    My 13-year old daughter had dry skin and our neighbor gave her a bottle of Aveda all-sensitive moisturizer. She applied it to her face and woke up at 5 a.m. with swollen cheeks and eyes. Her face was red and rough and she had small bumps all over. It definitely was an allergic reaction. She took Benydryl and we used a cold wet cloth and ice to help decrease the swelling. Ugh. She is very concerned because school starts tomorrow. It is not possible to post a review on the Aveda website unless you are a customer, so there is only one review of this product that reports an allergic reaction. That is worrisome. Ugh.

  81. Currently, I know this article was written awhile ago, but as of now, all of Aveda’s products are completely paraben free, and they offer many shampoos, conditioners, treatments and skin cleansers that are sulfite free also, the products that do contain sulfites, yes have the same name on the indgredient label as other cosmetic lines, however it is the where these sulfites are derived from. All sulfites that are used in Aveda products are plant derived unlike many other lines in which said sulfites are derived from animal fats or petroleums.

    • Aveda does avoid parabens now, but unbelievably they still use synthetic (chemical) additives in their proprietary “PureFume” blend, which is added to most of their products. I got that info directly from Aveda’s product formulation specialist, over the phone. It is not something they publicize, but the “fragrance” ingredient you see on the label, is NOT made up of “only” natural essential oils, as the marketing hype would like us to believe…. it’s a blend of natural oils + synthetic fragrance (potentially neurotoxic chemicals). Shame! Aveda is therefore not a truly natural line, it’s just green-washed.

  82. I kept noticing the word “fragrance” on almost every Aveda product I bought. This was puzzling to me because when a company has a policy of not using any chemical or synthetic fragrance they will not use the catch-all word “fragrance” on the label, they will simply list the natural fragrant plants they use, such as lavender, sage, or whatever. They will also clearly SAY on their website and on their marketing materials that their products contain “no synthetic fragrance,” like Origins and Desert Essence and many other companies do. But I noticed that Aveda, for all their advertising about being so very “natural,” does not say word one about avoiding chemical fragrance. So…

    While I was at Aveda town square, I asked the sales lady if Aveda uses any chemical fragrance additives. She said “We use plants and flowers to give our products the aroma that you smell.” I go “Yeah, I know… but does Aveda also use SYNTHETIC fragrance?” She seemed confused and just said “The FDA does not have a way for our fragrance information to be put on the label.” That is not true, in fact it’s laughable… so either she was purposely lying to me, or woefully misinformed about her products and labeling regulations. I mean, it’s a real simple question, is there synthetic fragrance in the goop or no? And it’s a big question for those of us who choose to avoid synthetic fragrance, which is a cocktail of Neuro-toxic chemicals that enter the blood and contribute to disease.

    So I contacted customer service by email. No reply. Nice. Undaunted, I phoned customer service. I was told “That’s a really good question, Maya, and I have no idea what the answer is.” At least she was honest. She then put me in touch with the Aveda product formulation expert. And guess what? This expert told me something that I guarantee you will never see in any of their apparently “green-washed” product advertising! And I quote directly “YES, Aveda does use a range of chemical fragrance components. These synthetic ingredients are blended in with the natural essential oils.” WOW. That’s so unnecessary, and so disgusting. I asked if I could ship my recently ordered Aveda products back for a full refund, and was told yes. I’ll never buy anything Aveda again. I don’t like giving my hard earned cash to companies who aim to dupe the public.

    • Thanks so much for all of your hard work finding this out for us! Good to know.

    • FYI, I’m the founder and editor of this site. Thank you so much Maya, for sharing your exchange with Aveda on this issue! We have tried to do a follow up/update article here on Eco Chick but even though we have reached out to them several times, they won’t answer us. So, thanks for the updated information. It’s really a shame, this used to be one of my favorite brands.

      From my own POV, I will share that I used Aveda hair color for YEARS to get by brown hair red. I can’t tell you how much healthier and happier my hair is now that I use henna. It’s kind of a pain and it’s messy, but my hair looks great and it’s definitely natural (I used hibiscus to up the red tones and olive and coconut oils for conditioning).

  83. Had a terrible reaction to the toner in the Aveda salon today. Felt like my lungs were swelling up, itching and burning skin even hours after the visit. The stylist assured me it was the same product she used six months ago. Really weird as so far I had not had any reactions. Was there a secret product change?…I also went through a bit of hair loss using them for 1,5 years which I blamed on stress, low iron etc. But today’s experience makes me think… If only I could find a line in Australia which produces the same colour results (for blonde hair) without the fear of being slowly poisened…

  84. I was given Aveda Foot Relief Moisturiser and also rubbed a bit on my arms and lower legs after applying to my feet as I thought the moisturiser would be strong to help with my dry skin on my legs and arms but I came out in the most horrible itchy raised spots/rash all over my legs and arms. It appeared 10 days ago and is still as bad despite taking antihistamines and cortisone cream. Any ideas what ingredient could have caused this and what I should do – when will the rash die down?

  85. As an Aveda graduate I was honestly, disappointed by the products in general. I’ve nicknamed the color line “A-fade-a” because the pigments don’t hold. I’ve worked in a Redken salon for two years now ( Loreal 2 years, and Davines 1year before that ) and I’ve never been happier with the products or the color line.

    Granted – they’re not all natural – but they don’t promise to be.

    A great all natural line is Macadamia. Look them up – they have GREAT stuff. No hair color though. And I’ll have to check on the Redken MSDS sheets for our Chromatics (which is oil infused and ammonia free ) to see how that fares on the organic friendly scale. I know it’s not 100%, because the pigments aren’t plant derived, but at least we aren’t slapping ammonia on your head like Aveda….

  86. I own a small natural product company, we manufacture candles and beauty products built from the ground up with sustainability as the standard. I started this business because I realized how toxic many products are and in this process have learned what feels like an encyclopedia worth of info. Even so, there are companies like Aveda that have convinced me of their natural claim through their tricky marketing. I’m grateful to have discovered the truth but it took two years to realize. I was just admiring their Chakra line today, but noticed they do not display their ingredient list for this product online. After doing a google search for their “Aveda Chakra label”, I’ve discovered their ingredients which state “Parfum” along with a bunch of other things that are not natural even though they say “100% naturally derived
    aromas”. Wow, I actively avoid synthetic fragrances, so much so I started a business around it but there I was a click away from almost buying this misleading product. That’s what led me to this post and I’m grateful to have found more insight into the company. No more Aveda for me. Thanks and keep writing!!

    • Thank you Jess for doing this homework and research. What appears to be healthy on the surface turns out to be the opposite for those who take the time to dig like you did. Truth and transparency in the personal health care industry is badly needed.

  87. It is very important that companies have complete transparency when it comes to their products. The information detailed on the Aveda website is misleading. Also, Aveda, as of 2012, is not cruelty free. This is a very disappointing fact of the Estee Lauder company. We need to take a stand against companies that are using harmful ingredients. I’m sure the animals that they are testing on would appreciate it too.

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