Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weird Product Wednesday: Deva Curl One Condition


One Condition is weird, you ask? Since when?

Since they decided to change the ingredients, of course.

The original product -- which smells more divine than any conditioner I have ever experienced -- contained the following:

Aqueous Extracts of: Achilea Millefolium, Chamomilia Recutita (Matricaria), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus, Humulus Lupulus (Hops), Melissa Offcinalis (Balm Mint), Rosmarinus Offcinalis (Rosemary); Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Olive Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Propylene Glycol, Trideceth-12, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Fragrance.

Lots of people loved it, despite the fact that it contained a silicone (which Massey made her millions railing against) and had no protein (which Massey says in her book that a good conditioner should have). I suppose we could argue that the hops in the formula counted as protein, but I have not been able to find anything that proves this conclusively. If you can point me somewhere to see that kind of proof, by all means, do so.

Please note that the above list of ingredients is taken directly from the bottle I possess (bought more than a year ago). The first item is misspelled. It should be achillea (two l's) millefolium. So right off the bat, it's clear that somebody wasn't doing their due diligence on ingredient fact-checking. By the way, achillea millefolium is yarrow, another fact that the label does not disclose.

The next item, Chamomillia Recutita, also goes by Matricaria Recutita, and is basically chamomille. Cymbopogon Schoenanthus is also known as "camel grass" (so you can see why using the Latin name is preferred) and also as lemongrass, and it is a fragrant herb with no medicinal uses. The rest of the ingredients before the semi-colon are explained in parentheses and we can see, thanks to the semi-colon, that this list represents an herbal blend. And because this blend is at the top of the list, we can deduce that it figures prominently in the formulation. (To learn more about how to read an ingredient list, check out this blog post by the Beauty Brains.)

So now we are told that the new product contains the following ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Cetyl Esters, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Oleo Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricia) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Propylene Glycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum).

Do you see what has happened? What is the main ingredient in this product now? Why, it's water! And after the emollients, fatty alcohols, and humectants (6 to be exact), there is some olive oil, which is nice. I've always thought that was one of the better ingredients in the previous formula, too. I am a big fan of olive oil.

But then comes the list of botanicals. And it is remarkably similar to the list from the old product.

Hey, wait a minute. Didn't Deva say that it was removing the amodimethicone because the company had finally found botanicals to replace it? Do you see any new botanicals in this list? And why, if botanicals are now so important, do they appear lower on the ingredient list than they did before? In other words, why do we have more fillers in this version of the product and a lower percentage of botanicals?

Don't you find that weird?

The parabens do appear to be gone, if those were a concern to you, and there is no mention of silicone, so that's a plus, too.

So, you're still paying $18 for 12 ounces but now you're getting fewer botanicals, a higher percentage of fillers, and the lingering memory of a labeling saga that reeks of something far less pleasant than lemongrass.

19 comments:

nattyd16 said...

I totally agree with you, and am SO glad that I held off on purchasing any Deva products. Now I most certainly never will!

Amy said...

I definitely won't be buying any more Deva products and may put my Angell on NC to swap out. Too bad because I love the LowPoo.

Alice said...

Have they showed any signs of lowering the price now that the main ingredients is nothing special (not that water isn't special, it just isn't anything awe inspiring)?

kathymack said...

Another great post, jillipoo!

Julie said...

OK, my inner "isn't there another side to this story" is going off. I totally agree with you on this, but don't you think maybe, possibly, you might be over-reacting a wee little bit?

Sage Vivant said...

Julie: nope.

Anybody who isn't angry about Deva's consistent deceptions and disregard for customers is either not paying attention or not capable of recognizing when they're being lied to.

azalea905 said...

did lorraine ever end up calling you to clear things up?

Sage Vivant said...

Azalea: no, Lorraine did not phone me. I guess she figured, what could she really say to address our concerns. Talking to us all through the relative safety of NC.com allows her to stay on message and keep things relentlessly cheerful. I wish she had made the effort, though.

Jess said...

As for the new formula itself I do not like it. It doesn't detangle as well as the old OneC and I had to use twice as much as before which is ridiculous considering the price. Must be the water. I'd go through a bottle in a week. I'm never buying Deva again which is unfortunate because it was Deva that saved my hair last summer when I went curly before I found NC.com.

Kcurly said...

Wow I had no idea all of this was going on. How fishy...

Sandra said...

Well, I make ingredientdeclarations on a regular basis for food products, so I am giving you something to think about ;) I might be wrong, I only know the European laws for declarating food products, not American laws for declarating beauty products, but I highly doubt they differ a lot aside from some details.
The first list states "Aqueos extracts of", which indicates the base is water. I might be wrong, so correct me here.
THAT might explain why the declaration is mixed like that.
Let's think; the original extracts contained 90% water, 10% botanical. Seems like a normal dillution, right? The fillers take up 30% total, the extracts 70%.
Declaration; Aqueos extracts 70%, fillers 30% and some extra water.
Now, we (or Deva does) changes it's declaration. Both declarations seems to be according to the law, but Deva has to make a point of changing their product, so they use the otherside of the law to be able to change the declaration.
Now, we split the extracts in water and botanicals. Take 90% of 70% making it 63% total watercontent.
Take 10% of 70%, making it 7% of total botanicals.
The 30% fillers doesn't change. Putting all the ingredients in declining order; Water 63%, fillers 30%, botanicals 7%. Without changing ANYTHING but the declaration.

I am not saying I think it's fair to do this! But it could be possible that it is still the same product without the cone (and also without the "famous" and "mysterious" new botanical)..

I hope I make myself clear, it's early and my english is not that awesome :D

Sage Vivant said...

Sandra: Yes, you are correct the ingredients are largely the same, but in the U.S., the order of the ingredients indicates the percentage in the product. So, the original product had a higher concentration of botanicals (both products have this mix of botanicals in a water base). I hope I understood what you were saying and addressed your comment appropriatley -- if I didn't, please let me know!

Sandra said...

Sage, I understand what you are trying to say.
But, you can declare water+botanical as one ingredient (an extract). You may also declare them as two.

It's like declaring peanutbutter as a whole in a peanutbutter-cookie (mmmm) or declaring peanuts, fat, sugar, salt, etc..

Sage Vivant said...

Sandra: Okay, I see what you are saying now. But I'm still confused about why a company would purposely tout the presence of botanicals and then put out an ingredient list that places them lower on the list, indicating that they play a lesser role? (The first formulation listed aqueous extracts of the botanicals, but the new formulation lists water first and then later, the herbal extracts. From a purely marketing perspective, this doesn't make sense if a company is trying to look more "natural," right?")

DEL said...

on nc.com it was posted that the new formulation is simply putting the more expensive botanicals to the bottom of the list and not changing the price. The consistency is definitely changed (assuming I'm using the new formula I bought it recently) it isn't thick it is more watery and the scent is very faint. For me personally the performance didn't change on my hair but I don't need a ton of moisture. Someone who relied on this condish. in the past for it's moisturizing qualities, could end up disappointed IMO.

SimonGodOfHairdos said...

I am so glad I found this post; I thought I was crazy when my newest bottle of OneCondition seems completely watery and no longer coated my hair! I have to use tons of it now, and it's way too expensive for that. And it no longer detangles adequately. I am so disappointed with the change, and now I have to go through the arduous process of finding a new conditioner.

Mary Marxen said...

i am so absolutely disappointed with this product, and I too am glad to find out im not making up the changes in viscosity, smell, and results....bummed though cause i have no idea what other conditioner works as well as the old one condition... suggestions plz!

Mary Marxen said...

any suggestions for new conditioner please!

Hilary Heinz Luthi said...

What's maddening is the old product rated a safe 1 on ewg.org and the new formula is a not-so-safe 4 based on the new ingredients which are NOT safe. Does anybody know of a great cone-free conditioner that is rated safe on EWG? Be great if you could also get it reasonably in big family-size bottles!