I like using and talking about products that are safe for the environment, animals, and ourselves!
How Natural Is Schwarzkopf Essensity?
Schwarzkopf claims to have a "natural hair color line," but is that really the case? In this article, you will find the full ingredient list for Schwarzkopf Essensity, followed by my review of the product. Let's dig further into their ingredient list, shall we?
Schwarzkopf Essensity Full Ingredient List
|Ingredient||Function||Skin Deep Hazard Score (1–9)|
Opens Cuticle (Synthetic)
Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate
Salt and Cetyl Blend (Synthetic)
Grape Seed Oil
Conditioning Agent (Natural)
Toluene 2,5-Diamine Sulfate
Preservative (Natural Salt)
Buffering Agent (Synthetic)
pH Adjuster (Synethetic)
Vitamin C (Natural); pH adjuster
Viscosity Agent (Synthetic)
Coat Tar Pigment (Synthetic)
Essensity Isn't Even Close to Natural
As you can see above, Schwarzkopf Essensity has about three natural ingredients. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and said their salt-based preservatives are natural, even though I couldn't officially confirm this. Without that leeway, they only have one natural ingredient: grapeseed oil.
I was very disappointed to come to this conclusion, but in terms of au naturel ingredients and transparency, I give them a 2/10.
Can Any Hair-Color Product Really Be Natural?
If you're a knowledgeable hairstylist, you know that no professional hair-color line can be 100% natural (at this point in time).
Because hair stylists have some of the most dangerous jobs—in terms of exposure to chemicals—many companies are striving to create a color line that is safe for the stylist and the client, and still works as a professional-grade product should. In other words, in addition to being non-toxic, it should also cover grey hair and be predictable.
While I can appreciate the strides made by some companies to be transparent and forthcoming with their ingredient list and marketing, the majority of them still partake in "greenwashing." This means that companies will spread misinformation about their ingredients and practices to convince the public that they are environmentally responsible.
For stylists, this means that a sales rep comes in to tell you about this "amazing, natural hair color line" that "every hairdresser with a conscience is buying." So, you unknowingly swallow every piece of garbage information this salesperson peddles because, well, they are the one with the donuts.
Most of us will try to work out some deal with our rep on the spot, and not even think to research the claims made by our "trusted" manufacturers.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Rosey
Roseanna Brookhouser on April 13, 2020:
You need to be corrected on this subject matter. They don’t claim to be “all natural”, their natural line,TBH, refers to the color APPEARS more natural and they have some ingredients that are naturally derived.
True colors on September 04, 2018:
I have autoimmune hepatitis. This is when the immune system attacks the liver. I believe hair color is a big reason why I have this terrible illness. No one warns cosmetologists about the dangers of color chemical exposures.
Al on September 02, 2018:
Thank you! very much for your intelligent, knowledgeable assessment of something that is so important to us, because of the risks involved. I nearly landed at the Emergency Ward due to excruciating meninges inflammation that the the contact of the hair dye caused in my scalp. It lasted for 3 days where I could not move my head without feeling as my brain was floating and bumping against my skull. Awful sensation. These companies are evil. A test on the skin will prevent nothing. The effects are internal, as the liquids infiltrate the skin and get into your blood stream and membranes like the meninges. Once that poison has entered your body, it will stay there forever, and that is the reason 1 out of 8 women gets breast cancer and 1 out of 7 men gets prostate cancer, because we have poison circulating inside us, that the liver can't process and get rid of. (By the way, I am a pharmacist)
Schwarzkoph user on February 03, 2018:
Does anyone k ow how to read and interprete anymore...essensity never claimed to be natural and could not call it organic because it is not!! It is ammonia free and parabin free. It is also a permanent color that does not contain ppd.
CP on November 04, 2017:
I couldn't agree more with the fact that they are calling this "natural" and the list sure does not contain natural ingredients. This product caused my hair to break. I was trying to hide gray and trying to add some blond colour and therefore they also have to add Hudrogen peroxide. I sure wouldn't call that natural! I continued to loose more and more hair while using this product. It would become cut so that I had 2 to 3 inch pieces sticking up from a head of hair that is quite long (goes just past my shoulders). Really bad that they are so deceiving in calling themselves natural!
Liz on June 29, 2017:
I used Schwarzkoft Brilliance range. Used it once no problem. Second time had adverse reaction. My eyes and cheeks swelled up dramatically. On anti-histamines, eye drops and cream. My eyelids are still red and sore and flakey. Definately the formula is not Natural.
Rosey (author) from Austin, TX on March 13, 2017:
Aundrea, Oway gives flawless grey coverage, but you may need to know these tips and tricks that truly do not add extra time to your service. Are you dropping the .0 Natural part of your formula down a level in those super resistant grey situations? Are you pre-shampooing with htech shampoo from Oway?
Aundrea on March 13, 2017:
I love Oway, but can't seem to get it to cover my resistant greys. I've tried everything.
Deanna on October 14, 2016:
I would love to read your review on O&M when you get it done! I don't know how to subscribe to this article. :-(
Rosey (author) from Austin, TX on September 23, 2016:
Laura... I am so sorry to hear that. Have you looked into some natural nontoxic scalp treatments to help it heal? You may have a sensitivity to pigment. ALways be sure to patch test in the future and get some allergy tests!
Hi JP! I actually just did an Oway hair color review recently. You can read all about it right here https://bellatory.com/hair/Oway-Hair-Color-Review
JP on May 19, 2016:
Can you share the ingredient list for oway?
Sounds like a promising product.
Laura on March 21, 2016:
This product could be used in war its so toxic! I have a horrific rash down my back. My ears have blisters all over them. It has been 5 weeks and taking 20k in biotin a day to get the growth speed up in my hair. I have an apt in hopes to strip this out as every wash makes it worse. I am so upset and in pain. I am very sad I didn't do a patch test. However, I am not sure that would have stopped me as the symptoms only get worse over time. Initial it wasn't too bad.
rea on December 16, 2015:
I would love to hear the answer to Tanz's questions.
What other hair colour lines do you recommend (O&M not in Canada)..
What are your thoughts on Organic Color Systems?
Thank you for your time!
Tanz on October 09, 2015:
Thank-you for your article with details on ingredients it's super helpful! I was considering Essencity but now that I know the ingredients it's a definite no no. I searched for O&M salons here in Canada but unfortunately there don't appear to be any. Can you please recommend some other hair colour lines? I can then search them to see if I can find a salon that does them. Where can I find the rest of your hair colour product reviews? Lastly what are your thoughts on Organic Color Systems hair colour and products? Thank-you!!
Rosey (author) from Austin, TX on September 22, 2015:
@Sandi, I really like Original & Mineral professional hair color. It's ppd-free, resorcinol-free, ammonia-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, propylene glycol-free, and had 10 solid natural ingredients.
I don't blame you @Diane. It's very harsh on the hair
Diane D on June 11, 2015:
Very angry and disappointed!
Waste of time and money
Too long a time after mixing b/4 color
Starts activating in bottle and then on hair. (1hr) color faded drasticly after 1wk
Sandi Wilson on May 27, 2015:
So you never answered the question...what is your go-to hair color?
Michelle on April 01, 2015:
I have been using Clairol's grey formula rinse and it works well for me. It lasts about 3 months before i need to get another one. My stylist is trying to encourage me to use Schwarzkopf Essensity and I can't find a good reason to switch. What are your thoughts about Clairol's rinse and the ingredients?
Amber on February 17, 2015:
so what is your go-to hair coloring product? do you use henna? and even though you give this a low score (2/10), does it still rank better than traditional hair coloring products (aveda, l'oreal)?