Kate Hudson's hair has been through a lot lately, but she says it's all for a good cause.
The actress is collaborating with friend and hairstylist David Babaii on a line of cruelty-free, good-for-the-Earth hair-care products that she hopes will eventually expand into a skin care and color cosmetics.
David Babaii for WildAid has been in the works for more than two years with Hudson serving as both muse and lab assistant. It was on her head only that products made of volcanic ash, blue algae and white ginger were tested, since the brand is opposed to animal testing.
"We're trying to come up with a way to make a product that everybody could get and afford — and actually make it a conscious product," Hudson says. "We'd go to these labs and you start learning about regulations and how to make a product that's sustainable in a market with people who want to buy things with longer shelf lives."
The products will be paraben-free and packaged in containers made from 10-percent recycled plastic, and they're striving for more. One thing they're exploring is using 10-recycled plastic for a liner, to ensure sturdiness, and using a greater percentage of recycled material for the outer packaging.
The company will donate 10 percent of profits to the animal conservation group WildAid.
"I'm not preaching about the environment, I'm just trying to educate people," Hudson says.
Hudson, 29, was Babaii's first celebrity client back in 2002 and they hit it off right away.
She will also appear in a series of ads for the products filmed in Madikwe, South Africa, with elephants, lions and cheetahs. Hudson says her experience shooting the ads cemented her love and respect for animals.
"Watching animals in their most primal form, in their environment was an amazing experience," she says, recalling the thrill of sitting next to a purring cheetah.
David Babaii for WildAid products are rolling out now in mass-market drug stores and are available at davidbabaiiforwildaid.com.