So let's talk about this biodynamic farm (Ortofficina) first. Biodynamic farming is a very special organic way of farming that respects nature's balance. What exactly does this bring to the brand? Oway believes that by growing and processing their own medicinal plants, they are certain of the value and purity of the plants that are full of active ingredients. They distill essential oils from these plants, using these to give a natural scent to their products. The waters they obtain during the distillation of the essential oils are also used and can be found in the formulas of their lotions, elixirs and serums. For the hair baths, masks, conditioners & styling products Oway uses solubilised (which means they have been formulated to be soluble in their destination product) extracts from these same plants. It's important to note however that not all of the extracts used in Oway's products are grown here. The farm is situated on the Bologna hills and the climate does not allow to grow every plant needed for the products. Whatever can't be grown there is sourced carefully through certified farms throughout the world. In Ortofficina, twelve plants are grown and distilled.
The packaging of the products is very green too. Most products come in amber coloured glass bottles that protect the formula, while being fully and endlessly recyclable. The squeezy tubes are made from aluminium, which is also 100% and endlessly recyclable. While the tubes are not that much different in use than regular plastic tubes, the issue with the glass bottles is that they are not travel friendly. Although I did take my little bottle of Nurturing Drops with me to the French riviera because I really insisted on bringing it with me. I couldn't have done the same with the much bigger shampoo bottle though..
I received a selection of volumizing products for thin hair: the Volumizing Hair Bath, Volumizing Root Spray, Flux Potion, Nurturing Drops & I also got a tube of their remedy hand balm (which is now my favourite hand balm in my handbag - FYI). I didn't receive a conditioner or hair mask - which are products I always need after washing my hair - so I went ahead and used a conditioner from a different brand while using these products. I did try and keep it as natural as possible so I wouldn't lose that Oway effect. Talking about the effect of these products I must say that I really love how my hair feels and reacts while using these. As they're volumizing products they will add some grit to your hair so it's lifted easier and has more bounce. My hair definitely feels less sleek then when I'm using a set of nourishing or de-frizz products, but it doesn't feel unhealthy as long as you use a light conditioner and a leave-in oil on the ends. Some volumizing products can make your hair feel all crispy, but luckily these don't do that.
The Volumizing Hair Bath is a great shampoo that cleans my hair thoroughly although it doesn't really lather up much. It's just an idea that we need a lot of foam in order for the product to be efficient at cleansing - it takes some getting used to but it cleanses hair perfectly. Flux Potion is quite versatile and offers medium hold to your hair style - you could also use this one when you want curls to stay put, or when you're after that sculpted wavy Hollywood style blow-out. The Volumizing Root Spray functions like any other root spray and offers some more volume, but on my hair these sprays never have a wow-effect. The Nurturing Drops are amazing, I love the smoothing effect it has on my hair ends and the scent is so yummy! I prefer using it on dry hair, but it can be used on towel dry hair too.
The labels are very clear: it's carefully described which ingredients are either a biodynamic active ingredient, an organically grown ingredient, an essential oil, a fair trade ingredient, a naturally derived ingredient or none of those. In the root spray you'll find a few synthetic preservatives and solvents, they are on the bottom of the ingredient list and are preceded by a bunch of categorised natural ingredients. I guess this does mean that it's very hard to obtain a fully green product. Oway's formulas always contain at least 98.8% of natural ingredients or of natural origin. This is a good number: a lot of green brands show the actual green ingredient percentage on their bottles and it's definitely not always the full 100%. Transparency is great - I love how everything is carefully classified so you can do your own maths and figure out if a product is what you're looking for. On the front label it also states which ingredients the product is formulated without: it differs from product to product, so it's quite honest. A small side note though: even though the shampoo is free of SLS, it does contain another sulfate that is quite similar: Sodium Coceth Sulfate. Don't confuse the shampoos for sulfate free shampoo - this is especially important if you have treated hair that needs a sulfate free rinse. That said, I have no issue with sulfate shampoos, just like I am not put off by using silicone products. The two actually go hand in hand and your preference or hesitance towards them will be quite personal as it depends on how your scalp and hair reacts to them. To each their own, as I always say. If you want to learn more about beauty product ingredients, I strongly suggest browsing this website.
I have been using this set of products mostly when I am curling my hair. It keeps the curls around much longer and gives my thin hair quite the extra volume. I'm a big fan! I'm now about half way through the shampoo, used about a fifth of the Root Spray but have used very little of the Flux Potion as you really don't need to use much for a good effect. The Nurturing Drops are a little hard to dose, but other than that I've been fondly using it on the ends of my hair with pretty much with every hair style I do. It makes my hair smell so good too! I'm positively impressed by this green brand and am keen to try more. Next up on my to try list from Oway? I am definitely going to give one of their conditioners a go to see how those perform. And I'm not usually one to cheat on my hairdresser.. but I just might pop into an Oway salon for a hair treatment with special Oway extracts. It sounds too amazing not to!
Courtesy of Oway:
All products are priced between 17.50 and 25 euro
Find Oway in Belgium in:
Ghent at Signature (right across the Opera house) and at Clientology
Antwerp at Clientology, Caroline Rens & Natuurlijk Mooier
Brussels at Hairway
Give me a shout if you're looking for other Oway salons in Belgium so I can find out for you!