ALMOST HALF THE PLASTIC BOTTLES WE USE AT HOME END UP IN LANDFILL.
THAT’S 16 MILLION BOTTLES - EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Here is a selection of the different things I’ve tried over the last year. Like any change in hair products, it might take a bit of trial and error to find something that’s right for you. Worth noting it can take a few washes for your hair to get used to the most uber-natural products, so give them a proper chance.
LUSH solid BARS
Solid shampoo and conditioners bars are the ultimate zero-waste heroes. Just like soap, but for hair.
I’m pretty sure Lush can take at least some of the credit for how popular these are becoming. To my mind, they are the bar trailblazers. A store assistant told me a story about how the Lush NPD team apparently made a soap that foamed too much - waaaay more than normal - and a wise pixie suggested it might work for hair. And the rest, supposedly, is history.
ANYWAY. There are now loads to choose from, whatever your hair type. Invest in the matching tins (or embrace a messy shower shelf). They last for ages and are mostly vegan. For an easy, high-street option, these are hard to beat.
Beauty Kubes are a new discovery for me.
It’s a big cube of 27 small cubes (sorry, kubes) - individual portions of solid shampoo or conditioner, that you smush in your palm and mix with a little bit of water to form a paste. And voila! Just the right amount for a single wash.
I’ve decanted mine into an up-cycled glass jar to keep them nice and dry.
Available for different hair-types, including a ‘for men’ version. I love them. The shampoo Kubes, plus the Wild Sage & Co conditioner is my absolute favourite plastic-free combo.
WILD SAGE & Co.
Wild Sage & Co products are ALL lovely.
Whilst I’ve been happy with lots of different shampoo bars, I’ve found solid conditioners a bit trickier.
So this is a combo I really like - a shampoo bar, and a more traditional liquid conditioner, made with broccoli oil, of all things.
I’ve read it’s a complicated piece of alchemy, hence the hefty price tag. But for handmade, natural, shelf-worthy-plastic-free products - this range of gorgeous body, skin and hair is definitely worth a stretching the budget a little bit for.
FUNKY SOAP REFILLABLES
I think (hope) this is going to be the future of all toiletries.
You just post the empties back (at your cost) and they'll refill and return them (at theirs).
If you're ever in North East London, they also have a ‘factory shop’ that you can visit in person.
These are all really good value too.
If the craze for bars is not your thing, you can stick to more traditional shampoos and conditioners, and find a way to have the bottles refilled.
Faith in Nature and Suma products are often available in 'green'/bulk stores where you can BYO bottles and fill up as and when you need to.
Or, if you’ve got space to store a biggie yourself, both brands sell in 5 litre mega sizes. Versus buying the equivalent twelve 400ml bottles, this saves money AND a lot of plastic waste.
I’ve also heard of folk having bottles refilled by their hairdresser - it’s definitely worth an ask!
If you’re a fan of hair serums, then you might find an easy switch to a pure plant oils (different oils suit different hair types).
I’ve been using Argan Oil, partly because it’s what I use on my face, but mostly because it has a reputation for being ‘liquid gold’ for hair. I don’t know about that, but it certainly tames frizz and seals split ends pretty well. Just don’t overdo it. You just need a tiny drop.
If you’re looking for regular products, keep your eyes peeled and scan the shelves - there ARE options in standard ranges that come in aluminium tins and glass pots. Check out this Lush naked hair-tamer is designed for curly / afro hair, or this Kite hair wax for all hair-types.
BRUSHES AND HAIRBANDS
Anyone else think there must be a black hole where hairbands disappear to? (They must be hiding with all the missing socks).
But, since ‘investing’ (they are expensive!) in these KooShoo one’s, I’ve hung on to all five for over two months. Maybe there’s a lesson in that. Buy things of value, and value them. Or maybe I just got lucky. The ties are made of responsibly sourced rubber and organic cotton, and come in neutrals or jazzier brights.
These brushes and combs are made from responsibly sourced wood or bamboo, with soft-ended wooden pins and are a less galling price. I spotted some other ones that look good at Acala, a good resource for lots of plastic free beauty products.
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