I received a very nice response from Veronica, who works with ABBA-the subject of this post.
Here is her reply to this blog post:
Hope you’re well!
I work with ABBA and read your post: https://gonewiththewheat.net/2016/04/21/hair-today/
I wanted to reach out and provide information on ABBA’s ProQuinoa Complex. As you mentioned in your post, one of the ingredients in this complex is Barley, however, the gluten is removed using a hydrolization process – this allows ABBA products to retain the conditioning benefits of barley while removing all of the gluten. Consumers with Celiac Disease may be familiar with Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour or Gluten-Free Beer that are made using hydrolyzed grains – ABBA’s process is similar.
I know you’re passionate about helping others. Please let me know if you have any questions about the hydrolization process or any of ABBA’s other ingredients. Thank you.
Sometimes you come across an article that makes you say, huh? Gluten free beauty products have become part of the gluten free phenomenon. Personally, I think that manufacturers will do anything to bilk people out of their hard earned cash.
In this article: Gluten free haircare is a thing, but should you care? The author writes about Abba Pure Performance Hair Care. The makers tout this product as gluten free.
To quote the article:
I did a little research and found haircare brand Abba, a line of shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that are completely gluten-free. I didn’t know there even was gluten found in those offerings. I asked Austin Baskett, Abba Pure Performance Hair Care’s chief marketing officer, how the company got started.
“Gluten is found in hair products because it provides protein, but as more consumers become increasingly mindful of the ingredients in the topical products they use, brands are finding themselves looking for alternatives,” he explained.
Now as we all know, the big three for gluten intolerance are wheat, barley and rye. Check out this paragraph from the website:
Baskett continued, “As it relates to haircare products specifically, ‘gluten free’ simply means the same thing as it does for food: that we have removed all of the gluten from the product formulas. At Abba, we use a process called hydrolization to remove all gluten from our haircare products.”
The new line is important, as it give consumers with gluten sensitivities piece of mind when it comes to choosing salon-quality cleansing and styling products. Instead of gluten, Baskett notes, Abba uses a ProQuinoa complex—a hydrolyzed protein blend of quinoa, barley, and soy—which provides reparative and strengthening qualities to your hair. Other than the fact that it tastes delicious in my kale salad, quinoa contains eight amino acids that strengthen strands, barley infuses hair with moisture, and soy boosts hair’s volume.
Yes folks, you read that right-their line contains barley. So, how is it gluten free? The makers clearly don’t know what is and what isn’t gluten free. It ain’t just wheat, baby. But does it really matter if it is or isn’t? I mean, is it just a marketing ploy?
Check out this quote from the website Gluten free dietician:
“While investigating the possible absorption of gluten through the skin, I have talked with many regulatory organizations, and research and development people in the cosmetic industry. They all agree that gluten and all proteins are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, topical care products that contain gluten do not need to be avoided by persons with CD and DH.”
This goes for shampoo and conditioner.
So using common sense, what personal care products might you ingest?
Products that you use in your mouth, such as toothpaste and mouthwash and products that you apply to your lips, such as lipstick could be ingested.
You really don’t need to worry about products you apply to your skin, such as body lotion, sunscreen, shaving cream, deodorant, makeup, and perfume.
You also do not need to worry about products you apply to your hair, such as shampoo and conditioner.
Hand lotion is one of those in-between cases. If you use a lot of it and often and don’t always wash your hands before eating (yuck!) then you could ingest some hand lotion. Or if you always apply hand lotion after washing your hands, including before eating than you could ingest some hand lotion.
Of course, everyone has a different opinion, but here is mine: it’s clearly a marketing ploy to buy “gluten free shampoo” and since this one isn’t even gluten free, I would just go ahead and buy your usual hair care products. Gluten might not even be the culprit. Considering all of the chemicals that are contained in these products, it could be anything that you are reacting to.
I have yet to have a reaction to my shampoo or conditioner. I do have sensitive skin, so I have to use certain products on my face, but I attribute that more to additives than gluten.
But, if it makes you feel better, you can check out Abba Pure products. As I always say, be your own advocate, and Google, Google, Google!!!!