Elava Botanik: Amazing Whole Fruit Hair Products

Take a look at the list of ingredients on the back of your shampoo bottle. I'm betting that among the detergents, penetration enhancers, plasticizers and preservatives on the label, you can decipher maybe one or two ingredients: water? fragrance? Ever wonder what else is really in there?

What if the ingredients in your shampoo included organic mango pulp, mango butter, olive oil, flax seed oil and vitamin E (and that's just a start)? And what if it worked really, really well? That's the case with the hair products from Elava Botanik.

Your lather and rinse hair-cleansing routine may only last a few minutes, but that's ample time for the chemicals in hair products to absorb into the body through the scalp. Although we hope that we're washing all that junk down the drain, it's just not true (and even if it were, what happens to those ingredients when they enter the environment?).

Now I've tried- and rejected- plenty of natural hair products that weigh down my fine hair with heavy oils and butters. Elava's products include oils and butters. But they really do the trick of cleansing and conditioning without leftover greasiness. I even used them during the 100+ degree heat wave and found that my hair didn't wilt or dry out (I tried the Mango Shampoo and Conditioner for fine, colored hair, $18.95 each).

What's really unique is that Elava products are made with hand-picked, 100% whole fruit and herb pulps grown on certified organic farms. The products are shelf-stable for 10 months, thanks to essential oils, but they also come with a clearly noted expiration date. Yes, these products are perishable, like real food. The idea behind Elava is that our hair, like our bodies, will benefit more form whole foods than extracts and isolated ingredients. “Our bodies are made to recognize, absorb, and utilize plant-based whole foods,” says Julian Huxley, stylist and creator of the line.

And from my experience, I can tell you that these antioxidant-rich products live up to the hype. I'll happily finish up my bottle of shampoo and conditioner before the expiration date, and hope that you'll check out the line for yourself. The moisture-packed Avocado line, for thick, colored hair, and the protein-dense Papaya line, for all hair types, look fantastic as well. Also, the shampoo bottle specifies that you should leave the shampoo on your hair for 2-3 minutes. So don't be quite as hasty to wash it away. After all, it's all good for your hair from scalp to ends.