Jessica R Wants To Know…What do you think of Jonathan Antin’s “Jonathan Product” line? Is it worth the money, or should I stick to my Suave? Thank you!
The Left Brain Enlightens:
Jonathan Antin is one of a long line of celebrity hair stylists that have gone out and created their own line of products. They learned what marketers have known for a long time. You can get people to spend a lot of money on something as long as you put a famous name on it. It’s like the Kate Spade purse. A fine bag, but is it functionally $200 better than a regular bag you pick up at Target? Sure it’s much cuter, but we’re talking about how it works as a purse. Does it really hold your wallet, lipgloss, and cell phone better?
And so it goes with product lines from celebrity hair stylists. They put out products with high price tags but functionally, they are not much different than the cheap stuff. In fact, the products are often made by the same manufacturers, called contract manufacturers. Someday we will do a post about that racket. But suffice it to say that many of the chemicals put in Jonathan Antin’s products are the same ones that Unilever puts in their Suave line.
But unlike Kate Spade who is actually a designer, Jonathan Antin is a hairstylist, not a chemist. It’s quite unlikely that he knows anything about cosmetic chemistry. It’s doubtful that he personally had anything to do with creating the formulas except maybe to tell the chemists he hired what “bad” chemicals he didn’t want them to use. Just because someone can cut and style hair doesn’t mean they can formulate products.
Let’s do a comparison and figure out whether Jonathan’s stuff is 20 times better than Suave.
Jonathan Shampoo Serious Volume Volumizing Shampoo – $20 for 8 oz
Water, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trideceth-9, PEG-150 Distearate, Lauryl Glucosides Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate, Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Laurylglucosides Chloride, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Sodium Polyaspartate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Protein, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Palmaria Palmata (Dulse) Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Hedychium Coronarium (Hawaiian White Ginger) Root Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Pyrus Communis (Pear) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Water, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Water, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Citric Acid, Fragrance.
Suave Amplifying shampoo – $1.95 for 14.5 oz
Water (Aqua), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Panthenol, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Ammonium Chloride, Fragrance, PEG-5 Cocamide, Propylene Glycol, Dimethiconol, TEA Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Laureth 23, Cyclomethicone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, FD&C Green 3, D&C Yellow 10
The first obvious difference is the number of ingredients. There are a lot more in the Jonathan shampoo. Always be suspicious of a long ingredient list! Most of the materials are just in there to support their label claims, not because they do anything. Strip away the ingredients that don’t do anything and the ingredient lists look more like this.
Water, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trideceth-9, PEG-150 Distearate, Lauryl Glucosides Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate, Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Laurylglucosides Chloride, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Citric Acid, Fragrance.
Water (Aqua), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Ammonium Chloride, Fragrance, PEG-5 Cocamide, Propylene Glycol, Dimethiconol, TEA Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, DMDM Hydantoin, Citric Acid, Laureth 23, Cyclomethicone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, FD&C Green 3, D&C Yellow 10
Alright, that’s more manageable. Both formulas contain water, surfactant, conditioning agents, preservatives and fragrance.
Water is all basically the same. The manufacturer just uses city municipal water to make the products. It’s no different whether they are making Suave or Jonathan’s stuff.
The surfactants are a bit different. Suave uses the industry workhorses ALS, ALES and Cocamide MEA. (The same ingredients that Pantene uses). Jonathan claims “sulfate free” and goes with polyglucosides. These surfactants are more expensive and some people will find them less irritating. However, they do not clean or foam as well as the Suave surfactants. That may be fine for a moisturizing shampoo but if you’re looking for volume, Suave is the way to go.
The conditioning agents in these formulas are different but functionally the same. The main difference is that the conditioners in the Jonathan product will not stay around on the hair after rinsing as well as the Suave ones. It’s not a thing you will notice if you use a conditioner.
The Jonathan product is loaded up with preservatives complete with every paraben you can find and even some formaldehyde. Diazolidinyl Urea turns into formaldehyde when put in water. Suave uses Methylchloroisothiazolinone or Kathon as we call it in the Biz plus formaldehyde in the form of DMDM Hydantoin. Both are effective, although the Jonathan product seems like overkill.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
While your celebrity hair stylists know a lot about creating fabulous hair styles, they don’t know much about chemistry or how to formulate products. Leave that to people like the most famous cosmetic chemist. Jonathan Antin has created decent products, but they really aren’t much better than store brands like Suave, Herbalessences, Tresemme, or Pantene. You can do what you like, but this Brain would go with the Suave and put the $18 saved towards the purchase of a hot new pair of jeans.