In an effort to reduce the amount of toxins and minimize our exposure to unnecessary chemicals, more consumers today are conscientious of what they put onto their body. Ads for personal care try to lure us in with lavish promises but nothing beats creating healthy skin and hair from the inside out. Externally used products should be effective in their cleansing abilities and support, not harm our health. An example of such natural shampoos comes from Hugo & Debra Naturals, about which I will share with you in this review.
About the Company
Hugo & Debra Naturals was founded as the name implies by Hugo and Debra Saavedra. Originally marketed as “Hugo Naturals”, the company has recently switched to the double name. The founders have experience, passion and commitment to creating the most luxurious and natural products, from the best raw materials the Earth can give sustainably. The company is conscious of sourcing and working sustainably with the Earth, farmers and the production process.
Their philosophy is based on using food-grade ingredients from highest quality soils to create products that are truly natural for our body. The products are naturally scented with essential oils and plant essences, and the company prides itself on them providing a spa-like experience. All of the products are created in the US, in their facility outside of Los Angeles, California.
The company has an extensive personal care product line that includes natural soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorants, body washes, scrubs, salts and more. They also have a specific natural product line for babies.
When it comes to their shampoos, they have 5 different varieties, which are as follows:
- Balancing Tea Tree & Lavender
- Color Protecting Geranium
- Moisturizing & Restoring Red Tea and Ylang Ylang
- Volumizing Vanilla and Sweet Orange
- Smoothing & Defining Coconut
About the Shampoo
Although I have mainly stuck to the same shampoo for the past several years, every so often I like trying a new product that catches my attention to experience something different and keep up with how the natural product market is evolving. In this way I am also able to share with you what is truly natural, effective and worth the investment of our time and money out there. As we know the natural personal care market today has rapidly grown and is saturated with numerous companies and products. However, they are far from all equal. Many cut various health and environmental corners, and simply hide behind nice sounding and looking product names and labels. So it is really worth our time to know what is really worthy of our support.
This is where I was greatly pleased with my choice to try the Hugo & Debra Naturals. Being a regular user of Well.ca’s natural product categories, this line caught my eye one day when it was featured, and so I decided to try one of their shampoos—the Smoothing & Defining Coconut variety. Before I buy anything nowadays I always check the ingredients (and recommend you do the same), and this product seemed to pass with flying colors. So next was trying it and learning more about the company, which were also both favorable experiences.
In terms of effectiveness, the shampoo can be easily compared to any high quality, commercial type. What stood out the most for me while using it, was how very well it lathers, which can be rather rare for natural shampoos. Having gotten used to the less or low lathering natural varieties of shampoo, this one was a pleasant surprise. The shampoo was not drying and did not leave any residue. It was very effective at cleansing and a pleasure to use all around.
The coconut variety is specifically marketed as a “smoothing and defining” shampoo, which would work best for frizzy or curly hair. As the description states, “Tahitian monoi oil and quinoa protein help calm frizz and define curls.” Being someone who never pays attention to how shampoos are marketed, this had no impact on my choice for purchasing it or using it, especially that my hair is naturally silky, straight and smooth. Therefore I cannot comment whether it actually lives up to the specific claim.
In terms of scent, it is of a delicious nature, assuming one enjoys a sweet, vanilla-like, coconut aroma. Normally I choose scent, or fragrance-free personal care products, but the odd time opt to try a naturally scented product. And when it comes to coconuts, they are my weak spot, as I can have everything “coconut”, when it comes to both food and personal care. The scent of the shampoo can be considered very prominent, and so it is not a suitable choice for those who wish to avoid all scents, or prefer very gentle scented products.
In terms of the ingredients, the shampoo has an outstanding rating from EWG’s Cosmetic Database, with the most perfect score possible, that being a “0”. All of the ingredients are naturally derived and although the data listed is limited, Hugo & Debra Naturals provides more information about their ingredients on their site, so that each person can learn more about the ingredients they are using.
The shampoo does not contain any of the known or suspected harmful chemical ingredients, like parabens, sulfates (SLS), phenoxyehtanol, PEGs, propylene glycol, petroleum products, silicones, phthalates, synthetic surfactants, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances. All of the ingredients are also sourced from plants and the product does not include any animal testing.
This group of shampoos is one of the top choices in the natural personal care market today, worthy of the designation “natural”.
- Aqua/Purified Water
- Decyl Glucoside
- Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
- Sodium Cocoamphoacetate
- Lauryl Glucoside
- Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
- Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate
- Plumeria acutifolia* flower extract
- Hydrolyzed Quinoa
- Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil
- Coffea arabica (coffee seed) oil
- Bulnesia sarmientol wood oil
- Citric acid
- Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract
- Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract
The shampoo comes in a clear, plastic #1 bottle, which is fully recyclable once product is finished. The regular size is 355mL (12 fl oz).
Availability & Price (as of this posting)
- $7 - $12 US/CAD per bottle at local and online health food stores in US & Canada
- $9.99 US per bottle from The Vitamin Shoppe
- $10.99 CAD per bottle from Well.ca
- $7.32 US per bottle from Amazon.com (see below)
- Excellent cleaning ability
- Excellent lathering ability
- No residue
- Made from 100% natural ingredients
- No SLS, parabens, petroleum, and other harsh chemicals
- No artificial or synthetic colors, fragrances or dyes
- Vegan (no animal by-products)
- Cruelty free (no animal testing)
- Gluten free
- Soy free
- Fair price
- Easily available
- Not suitable for people who need fragrance free option
- Nothing else that I am aware of at this time
Given the company’s dedication to health and sustainability, as well as the qualities of this shampoo, it is one I feel comfortable using myself and recommending to others.
Just remember that even when we enjoy or get comfortable with a particular product, it is still important to be vigilant and check in with the ingredients on the packaging every so often. Companies often re-formulate, or change their products, or they may be bought out, which can result in the product’s change, for better or worse.