I actually just came across this commercial not too long ago and thought that it would be the perfect idea for a blog post, especially to give an example of greenwashing. This woman is washing her hair with Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner in the wild in a waterfall with a beautiful jungle surrounding her. The background in which the commercial takes place is in itself setting a “natural” tone because apparently Herbal Essences products are made from “all natural ingredients”.
Although there are a multitude of Herbal Essences ads and commercials all claiming these natural ingredients, there are many ingredients in these products that aren’t natural. For example, sodium laureth sulfate is a lathering agent that is present in many shampoos including Herbal Essences. Instead of being nourishing and “natural” for your scalp and skin, this agent is actually harmful and drying to it. Another ingredient that is included is called cocamidopropyl betaine or stearamidopropyl dimethylamine which helps to thicken the shampoo and strip the natural oils from your hair.
This company definitely uses some degree of greenwashing by their advertisements. From personal experience, the products do not work like they are advertised to and actually make the hair feel more dry and brittle; but that is a personal opinion and everyone’s hair is different. Although everyone’s hair and skin may react differently, greenwashing in the media is everywhere and affects everyone in the same way. It is deceitful and people need to be able to distinguish the real natural things from the phony.