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Q & A

Here are some of the commonly asked questions we've received over the years.
We've organized them by category so you can easily find answers.

ISSUE: The heavenly scent in your Lovin’ Leave-in Conditioner – what is it?

July 13, 2011 | Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

I recently discovered your Lovin’ Leave-in Conditioner and found it not only to be great for my hair, it also makes my hair smell like heaven. I would love to have a perfume or eau de toilette like that!

Is there a key component (maybe nettle? or chamomile? I don’t really know these ingredients!) that is responsible for the scent? Or do you have a perfume or eau de toilette in your product line with a similar fragrance that I can use on my skin?


Dear Danny,

Thanks so much for your message. The key note in our Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner is fresh green tomato mingled with lemon peel extract, passionflower and chamomile. We don’t have a perfume version, but you’ll find the same lingering, botanical scent in our Lovin’ Hand & Body Crème. We think both products smell intoxicating and are thrilled that you agree!

Kind regards,
Philip B.

ISSUE: Rejuvenating Oil/Ingredients

July 13, 2011 | Product Ingredients, Sodium Lauryl Sulfates

Dear Philip,

I noticed a slightly different ingredient list for this product. If you go to, their list is not the same as yours. Their list is the same as what was on an old bottle I bought years ago. Yours now has all but one ingredient, that being Ylang Ylang flower oil and others that were not on the original list. Why is the list different now and is the original ingredient list better or worse than the newer one?

Also, I noticed 2 ingredients I am familiar with on 2 other products. Why would you use propolene glycol and sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfate? These are really unhealthy and I was surprised to see them in your ingredient list. I will buy the Rejuvenating Oil but will not buy anything containing harmful ingredients.


Dear Eva,

Thanks for your thoughtful message. As you noticed, we’ve recently reformulated some our products to improve their quality and to reduce their carbon footprint. That’s reflected in our new ingredient lists.

Now, to the two ingredients you cited:

  1. You’re right to be wary about sodium lauryl sulfate. SLS alone is very destructive to hair and skin — it’s as harsh as some dishwashing liquids. If you want to burn your hair, destroy your color and get a skin disorder, go right ahead and throw straight SLS on it.That said, in some cases, SLS can be amazing. It’s all about balance. I buffer down the SLS in our shampoos with such a high level of essential oils that it becomes gentle and creamy — the best possible way to clear away any dirt or build-up while distributing conditioning oils throughout your hair, even to the ends. In some cases, I use so many plant and flower oils that the SLS is rendered all but inactive: It’s just there to carry the oils and help you lather up.

    That’s because my shampoos aren’t the conventional detergent-water-fragrance mix. They’re made from intensely conditioning oils used at active, therapeutic levels and gathered from exotic places around the world. So, in this case, fear not. The sulfates we do use are specifically designed to deliver nutrients and potent conditioning agents to your hair, not to counteract their effects!

  2. Most of our formulas were created years ago, when there was no question about propylene glycol’s safety. Even today, the Food & Drug Administration maintains that propylene glycol is “generally recognized as safe,” and it’s used in everything from toothpaste to baby wipes. We use a touch of propylene glycol in a few of our formulas as a carrier for botanical essences. Again, it’s hugely buffered with essential oils and other nurturing and beneficial ingredients. As we modernize the formulas going forward, however, we may phase out propylene glycol altogether. Either way, we’ll definitely keep your comments in mind. Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

Kind regards,
Philip B.

ISSUE: Question About Ingredients

December 7, 2010 | Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

Why on earth would you use Peanut Oil as an ingredient in your products? Now I understand that there are millions of allergies to millions of things (there are people who are allergic to cold water. Yes. Look it up if you don’t believe me), and they have to make the choice of what they buy and use and it’s their responsibility. But seeing as peanut allergies are practically an epidemic these days, I’m just curious about who made the choice that it would be a good idea to put this in your product?

I think the LEAST thing you could do would be to BOLD the font on the word “PEANUT” in the ingredients list. Not everyone is as careful as me.

My entire line is based on healing essential oils from fruits, nuts and plants, and the reason that I use peanut oil in some of our products is because it’s wonderful for moisturizing. It also works beautifully in synergy with other botanical oils like almond, walnut, sesame, olive and jojoba. That said, the percentage of peanut oil I use is very low, and I’ve never heard a report of anyone having a bad reaction to it. But I’ll keep your concerns and thoughtful suggestions in mind. Thanks for writing.

ISSUE: Gluten-Free?

December 7, 2010 | Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

I recently found out I have celiac disease and I need to be using gluten-free hair products. I love Philip B products. Are any of them gluten-free???

No gluten ingredients are intentionally added to Philip B® products. However, since you have a gluten allergy, we recommend doing a small patch test before trying any of our products, just to make sure that you won’t have any kind of reaction. Best of luck!

ISSUE: Paraben vs. Paraben-Free Formulas

December 7, 2010 | Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

What’s the difference between the regular and paraben-free conditioners?

Parabens are a group of chemicals often used as preservatives in cosmetic formulations. They’re often found in shampoos, toothpaste, and moisturizers. Since our company is dedicated to using natural alternatives as much as possible, we made our line paraben and phthalate free two years ago. The only exceptions are Classic Formula Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Crème Rinse (also part of our Four-Step Treatment), White Truffle Ultra-Rich Moisturizing Shampoo and Classic Formula Crème of the Crop Finishing Creme. They had a lot of devoted followers who begged us not to change a thing about the formulas.

ISSUE: Brazilian Keratin Treatments

July 5, 2010 | Product Ingredients, Sodium Lauryl Sulfates

Dear Philip,

Are Philip B. shampoos suitable after a Brazilian Keratin treatment? I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use shampoos containing sulfates.

Good question. Unlike permanent straighteners or chemical relaxers, Brazilian Keratin treatments condition hair, and can leave it feeling silkier and smoother. The effect washes out after several weeks, so — to help the treatment last longer — experts recommend using very gentle, non-stripping, sulfate-free shampoos.

Many shampoos containing high concentrations of sodium-lauryl sulfate (SLS) are indeed stripping and drying. But in our case, because Philip B. shampoos contain such a high level of healing plant oils and extracts, we have to use a touch of SLS simply as a emulsifying agent, to make the formulas feel velvety and creamy.

So, the short answer is that yes, most Philip B. shampoos are suitable for use after Brazilian Keratin treatments. To be extra careful, I’d avoid clarifying and volumizing formulas like Peppermint & Avocado, Scent of Santa Fe and Nordic Wood. But Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo, African Shea Butter Gentle & Conditioning Shampoo and White Truffle Ultra-Rich Moisturizing Shampoo would all be ideal.

ISSUE: No, We Don’t Use Phthalates

March 25, 2010 | Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

Do Philip B. products contain Phthalates?

No. The entire Philip B® line is phthalate-free.

ISSUE: Nanoparticles

February 24, 2010 | Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

Does your Jet Set hairspray contain nanoparticles?

No, Jet Set is ultralight enough to use every day, but it doesn’t contain nanoparticles. They aren’t something you’d want in an aerosol spray anyway: Particles that small could cause lung problems, so it’s best never to use them in a spray.

ISSUE: Does the Clarifying Shampoo Cancel Out an Oil Treatment?

February 24, 2010 | How to Use, Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

In the Rejuvenating Oil instructions it states to use the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing and Clarifying Shampoo afterwards to remove the excess oil. Since it is a clarifying shampoo will it wash away all the benefits of the oil treatment? I usually use a clarifying shampoo to remove all residue and build-up on my hair. Will removing all the oil with the clarifying shampoo cancel out its benefits?

It sounds counter-intuitive, but no — using the clarifying shampoo post oil-treatment is actually ideal. That’s because my Rejuvenating Oil isn’t like most oil treatments: It’s made with such fine plant, flower and carrier oils that they actually impart into each strand, rather than simply coating it. Using heat helps the oil sink in. When you shampoo, just the excess is lifted away. I like to use some Lightweight Deep Conditioning Creme after that. But if your hair is very dry and coarse and you want more intensive hydration, you could always follow the oil treatment with the richer Russian Amber or White Truffle shampoo. Or mix a few drops of the oil into your leave-in conditioner.

ISSUE: No Animal Testing, Part 2

January 20, 2010 | No Animal Testing?, Product Ingredients

Dear Philip,

I understand that your products are not tested on animals. Does this apply to the ingredients as well?

Yes. None of the raw materials in our products are tested on animals.

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