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Head Organics Puts Sustainability First

By Marshall Pearson, Assistant Editor | September 2, 2009

Hair care line is all-natural, organic and vegan-friendly.

Head Organics stays true to its roots. As a company founded at the tail end of the hippie era, the hair care marketer has managed to stay successful for 40 years by fostering sustainability and quality throughout its salon hair care line.

The company, based in Carson, CA, produces a full line of all-natural, organic and vegan-friendly hair products, all of which are developed at its in-house laboratory by a team of 15 research chemists. Head Organics’ wide range of products includes a shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, styling wax and shine/anti-frizz serum priced between $13.50 and $16.50. All of Head Organics' products do not contain sulfates, 1,4 dioxanes and other carcinogens, paraben-based preservatives and alcohol-based chemicals. The decision to leave these ingredients out is not only a company philosophy; it represents a commitment to the health of consumers and stylists, according to company president and chief sustainability officer Tommy Dionisio.

Sustainable and attainable. Head Organics are made with natural ingredients and priced far below other salon brands.
“Consumers are finally realizing that they want something healthy and natural,” he said. “Stylists went away from that for a long time and they didn’t care what they put on hair, but now people are starting to realize that it matters.”

Head Organics’ sustainability mantra extends far beyond product formulas. Bottles are either recyclable or made using recycled material, labels are printed with non-GMO (genetically modified organism) soy ink and all formulas are biodegradable. Further, manufacturing is offset with wind power, and the company officials note that they pay six cents more per bottle to have all them produced and shipped from a factory within 10 minutes of the laboratory in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Mr. Dionisio told that the company’s embrace of sustainable practices embodies an overarching ideal that is much more than an industry trend.

“Sustainability is no longer a fickle personal decision but a conscious lifestyle decision. The concept is a deep and wide one that we have to pay attention to,” he insisted.

While there may be many organic hair care products available to consumers, most do not provide the salon-quality performance that both consumers and stylists demand, according to Mr. Dionisio. By formulating their natural ingredients to maximize effectiveness, Head Organics is able to create a quality line that has propelled the company through its 40 years of existence. According to Mr. Dionisio, this quality has driven the use of Head Organics by hair care professionals, who are often introduced to the products by customers before choosing to stock the products in their salons. The company’s sales have increased during the past few years largely due to word of mouth publicity, and he attributes this success to the products’ balance of effectiveness and healthiness.

Tommy Dionisio, president and chief sustainability officer.
“Consumers want quality but have been disappointed. Most ‘green’ products suck in terms of performance,” Mr. Dionisio said bluntly. “We have married the type of permanence a salon wants with a product that doesn’t have parabens.”

In addition to providing environmentally sustainable products, Head Organics emphasizes economic sustainability by pricing products accordingly. According to Mr. Dionisio, many competing salon brands offer a 250ml bottle for$45—a price point insults the intelligence of consumers by getting them to pay more for a product that is likely “over-priced, over-packaged and over-publicized.”

By not forcing customers to pay an excessive amount, Head Organics is encouraging the consumer’s financial sustainability. Mr. Dionisio hopes that this will give consumers a great value and ensure the company’s continued success.

“Being conservative, sustainable and intelligent with money is good, and brands that don’t insult the pocketbook seem to be working,” he said. “We are giving customers twice as much as our competitors at a livable price.”

The Head Organics team is not content to rest on its laurels. A fine fragrance that embodies the company’s commitment to sustainability and quality will debut in March.

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