Hello Beauty Brains
While shopping the hair care aisle I was intrigued by the new John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder line. The shampoo and conditioner bottles claim to make hair two shades lighter. At first I assumed that the shampoo and conditioner would be like a 'bleach wash' (a hairstylist technique of lightening hair by mixing one part powder bleach, two parts 20vol developer, and three parts shampoo; lathering the mixture into wet hair and letting it sit until the desired levels of lift are achieved). But unlike other comparable products that gradually lighten hair (Sun In or L'Oreal Sunkiss Casting Jelly) the shampoo and conditioner contain neither ammonia nor hydrogen peroxide. How can John Frieda make such claims without including bleaching agents?
Claims specified on the bottle
- Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner gradually lighten blonde hair for a year-round sun-kissed look while restoring moisture and healthy softness
- The formula, containing a natural Lightening Complex, gently reduces the color pigments in the hair
- Ammonia and peroxide-free
I suspected the brand wouldn't make such bold and objectively testable claims like lightening hair two shades unless the products could do so. Perhaps the shampoo and conditioner contained a more obscure sort of bleach I wasn't familiar with, so I looked up the Wikipedia page on bleach. There are three types apparently: peroxide based (hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, sodium perborate), chlorine based (sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide), or reducing (sodium hydrosulfite). The shampoo and conditioner don't contain any other sort of these bleaches as far as I can tell. I was hoping you, the Beauty Brains could shed some light on how exactly these products can lighten hair as claimed.
There is also a similar line of products for brunettes called Brilliant Brunette, Visibly Brighter Shampoo/Conditioner. There seems to be more equivocation in how the product describes how it works, even though it's called "visibly brighter" the shampoo and conditioner don't directly state that they will make the hair any shades lighter. The bottle states:
- Give your brunette hair a natural-looking, illuminating glow.
Formulated with honey and marigold flower extract, our Brilliant
Brunette Visibly Brighter Subtle Lightening Shampoo
cleanses and gradually infuses golden tones to illuminate the spectrum
of your brunette color.
- Hydrate your hair with a natural-looking, illuminating glow. Formulated
with honey and marigold flower extract, our Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter Subtle Lightening Conditioner moisturizes your hair and illuminates the spectrum of brunette tones.
The shampoo and conditioner do contain color pigments in the ingredients (yellow and violet: which are complementary, so I assume they combine to create neutral brown). Unlike an anti-brass blonde toner that temporarily adds violet-blue to neutralize yellow-orange, the Visibly Lighter products don't seem to be gold toner for brown hair because they would need to have warm tones to overpower ash toned brown hair. But I suspect these colors in the ingredients cannot deposit permanently
or temporarily on hair, and exist only to make the product brown
colored. I guess the product being a brown fluid would lead more people to believe that when spread into the hair, it will make hair brown too.
Same goes for the Visibly Deeper shampoo and conditioner that are supposed to "infuse rich, dark tones so you can deepen the spectrum of your brunette color." These products remind me of a now discontinued product from John Frieda from the Radiant Red collection that was marketed as a color refresher for hair that was dyed red, the shampoo and conditioner had a red color, but the bottle had a disclaimer on it stating that it was non-depositing. Is this the same case? Can John Frieda brunette deepening and brightening products deposit gold or dark tones? How? If not, how can they get away with making such claims?
Ingredients, for your convenience:
Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo
WATER, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, LACTIC ACID, GLYCOL DISTEARATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, BETAINE, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL EXTRACT, CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT, CROCUS SATIVUS FLOWER EXTRACT, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED EXTRACT, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) JUICE EXTRACT, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, BENZYL ALCOHOL, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, COCAMIDE MEA, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, GLYCINE, ALCOHOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM CHLORIDE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM XYLENESULFONATE, MALIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL, DISODIUM EDTA, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, FRAGRANCE, YELLOW 10
Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner
WATER, GLYCERIN, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, DIMETHICONE, BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, FRAGRANCE, DIMETHICONOL, PEG-14M, AMODIMETHICONE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, TRIDECETH-12, GLYCINE, MALIC ACID, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, YELLOW 5, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LACTIC ACID, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) JUICE EXTRACT, ALCOHOL, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL EXTRACT, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED EXTRACT, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT
Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter Shampoo
WATER, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, BENZYL
ALCOHOL, GLYCOL DISTEARATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, CETYL
ALCOHOL, BETAINE, FRAGRANCE, CARAMEL, COCAMIDE MEA, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM CHLORIDE, YELLOW 10, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, MALIC ACID, IRON OXIDES/CI 77491, MICA, GLYCINE, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, BENZOPHENONE-4, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, YELLOW 5, EXT. VIOLET 2, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, PPG-9, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, PEG-12 DIMETHICONE,
METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, HONEY EXTRACT, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS
FLOWER EXTRACT, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) LEAF EXTRACT, CAMELLIA
SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT
Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter Conditioner
WATER, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, BEHENAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, CETYL ESTERS, FRAGRANCE, STEARYL ALCOHOL, LACTIC ACID, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, SILICONE QUATERNIUM-22, MICA, PPG-3 MYRISTYL ETHER, CARAMEL, DISODIUM EDTA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, GLYCINE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, STEARALKONIUM CHLORIDE, GLYCERIN, MALIC ACID, YELLOW 5, TIN OXIDE, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, HONEY EXTRACT, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) LEAF EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT