Organic and natural skinc' />

The big brands in the hair industry are discovering environmental awareness, with the launch of several "green" ranges.

Organic and natural skincare has been a fast-growing sector of the beauty business over the last decade, so it's no surprise haircare should follow, though in the chemical-laden industry it's a tricky ask. The beauty industry generally has a long way to go to claim to be green, and it's hard not to be cynical that some moves appear heavy on the marketing rather than company-wide sea changes, but it is a start.

Hair salon owners report increasingly being quizzed about product composition. Hue specialist colour salons are some with an ammonia-free dye range and with Schwarzkopf now behind one of its own, this trend will spread.

One hairdresser with a personal interest in being environmentally friendly is Lucy Vincent-Marr, but she's the first to admit it's easier said than done in her industry. While she has been exploring new ranges, she does use dyes and performance styling ingredients that aren't all natural. Being green, says Marr, isn't just about getting nasties out of products, something that has improved a lot in recent years, recycling and carbon miles also come into the equation.

Coming here in a month is Pureology, a much-lauded US brand, known for colour care, plus it's vegan friendly. Check out for an overview.

Outside of professional salon ranges, there are organic options, especially in shampoos and conditioners. Check out Auckland-made olive-rich Tebe, Australia's Sukin and Avalon organics, Samy, Organic Surge and the EcoShop for starters.

For other hair care items the choice is more limited. I, for one, admit to liking a little silicone smoothness in my styling product.

1 Schwarzkopf Professional Essensity Fragrance-Free Shampoo $29.90
The giant German company launched Essensity, its green range, last month and has shampoos and conditioning treatments for a range of hair types, including this scalp care one for sensitive skins, with organic essence of calendula. There's a good selection of styling products, plus the ammonia-free in-salon dye selection in 20 mixable shades. The entire range contains is free from artificial fragrances, parabens, paraffin and mineral oils, and silicones. Packaging is recyclable.

2 L'Oreal Professionel Nature Serie Source de Richesse $33
L'Oreal's green range is in salon from next week for a range of hair types, including its first dedicated offering for children, which smells of peaches. Nature Serie is described as "naturally focussed," so like Schwarzkopf's it is not 100 per cent natural. Fruit oils and anti-oxidant rich tomato lycopene are among natural conditioning ingredients.
Fragrances are delicate and there are in-salon conditioning treatments available.

3 O&M Shampoo, Coloured Hair $30
The initials stand for original and mineral and this well-regarded niche Australian salon range is free of sulphates, parabens, ammonia, propylene glycol, MIT, phthalates, and triclosan. This soothing shampoo contains almond oil and Vitamin C and green tea for anti-oxidant benefits.
Stephen Marr and other leading salons.

4 Trilogy Botanical Moisture Masque for Dry Hair $29
New from the New Zealand natural beauty care experts, this masque for dry, damaged hair contains certified natural ingredients, including rosehip oil. It adds moisture to ends.
From leading department stores, pharmacies and health food stores.

5 Giovanni L.A Hold Hair Spritz $22.50
This American range is one of the largest certified organic offerings around, offering good performance standards, with vitamin-infused styling products, some heat activated. There's no parabens, sodium laurel sulphates, artificial colours or fragrances and it's free from animal products or animal testing, plus its biodegradable and pH balanced. This spritz gives strong hold and shine and out and I also like the Frizz Be Gone serum.
Farmers, health stores, Ph 0508 423737