This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my terms & conditions for more info.
Trying to live a zero waste lifestyle can often be overwhelming. After many years of trial and error, I’ve definitely found that focusing on one thing at a time makes a huge difference in whether you succeed or not.
When I first started to make sustainable changes in our home I focused on our bathroom waste. It took me a good 2 years to develop a zero waste beauty routine that I was happy with and even now I still make small changes here and there.
Zero Waste Hair Care
Today I thought I’d talk about zero waste hair care as it’s a question I get asked a lot.
The No-Poo Method
When I first started out I was desperate to follow the ‘no-poo’ method for washing my hair. Basically, it means you stop using shampoo altogether as your hair self cleans, you just wash it with water. I managed 7 months without washing my hair and then caved. I just couldn’t get it to work with my hair which was really frustrating.
That’s not to say it wouldn’t work for your hair though so it’s certainly worth giving it ago. I’d highly recommend reading *Happy Hair: The Definitive Guide To Giving Up Shampoo by Lucy AitkenRead and also checking out her blog as she has lots of tips about no-poo hair care on there.
I documented my no-poo adventure in various blog posts. I gave up after 7 months and then later on decided to give it another go. I’ve included the links below for you in case that interest you.
The next thing I tried was shampoo bars. I tested hundreds of different ones as they are all different and not only do you have to find one that actually cleans your hair but you also have to find one that works with your hair type.
In the end, the LUSH shampoo bars were the winners for me. They were the only ones that didn’t leave my hair with a film of what I can only describe as grease.
They have a whole range of different types to suit different hair types. If you go into the store an assistant will help you to find the best one for your hair.
I switch between three different ones, the Montalbano, the Honey I Washed My Hair and the Jason And The Argon Oil. I have very thick, long, blonde, curly hair and these all work really well for me.
The bars are quite expensive but one bar would last me months so I felt it was worth it.
Some people don’t like the LUSH shampoo bars because most of them contain Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) which is a chemical that’s commonly used in soaps, shampoos and shower gels. Personally, I found that all of the shampoo bars that didn’t contain SLS just didn’t clean my hair properly so I weighed up having the SLS against having disgusting hair for the rest of my life.
I would suggest doing your own research on it and making your own decision.
Refillable Shampoo & Conditioner
Recently I have started using refillable shampoo and conditioner. My local health food store has a Faith In Nature refill station which I love!
I started using these instead of the shampoo bars for 4 reasons…
- I can walk to the shop to get my refills so no travel footprint.
- I’m supporting a local business by buying them there instead of a big company like LUSH.
- My other half didn’t get on with the shampoo bars and wanted ‘normal’ shampoo in a bottle.
- I can reuse the same bottles again and again so no waste!
That’s not to say I won’t go back to the LUSH shampoo bars in the future though.
As well as the Faith In Nature refillable shampoos there are also companies online that offer this service, although I haven’t used any of them myself. You’d have to way up the travel footprint though as they would need to be posted to you.
Other Zero Waste Hair Care Washing Options
I’ve been told by quite a few people now that *Beauty Kubes are really good for washing your hair although I haven’t used them myself. They may be an option for you though?
Every now and then I feel that my hair needs a bit of extra TLC so I’ll make a homemade hair mask. My favourite by far is one I originally started using when I was doing no-poo.
It only requires two ingredients… lemons and eggs. Yes, you read that right eggs! I use the juice from one lemon and 1 egg. Simply whisk them up together and it’s good to go.
Homemade Hair Mask
So simple! Whisk together & it’s ready to use.
Wet you hair and pour on the mask. Rub it in for even coverage.
Now either leave on the mask for a few minutes and rinse of with warm water. Or wrap your head in a towel with the hair mask still on and leave for longer. The heat makes it work better. Rinse again with warm water.
Just make sure the water isn’t too hot or you’ll end up with a scrambled egg situation on your head, which speaking from experience, is not fun!
Your hair will be really lovely and soft afterwards. I’d only recommend this hair mask for people with light or blonde hair as lemon can change the colour of your hair if you’re going to be out in the sun.
A few months ago I decided to stop dying my hair. More out of curiosity than anything else. I’ve been dying my hair since I was about 15 so I didn’t actually know what my natural colour was any more.
Turns out it’s a mousy blonde-ish colour with random grey hairs! Not sure how I feel about that at the moment so I may well dye it again. I can’t find a zero waste hair dye, I’m not even sure such a thing exists but I did find a natural hair dye that works really well. It’s called *Tints Of Nature.
Read my review here
One thing I have been doing with my hair is making my own hair lightener. Similar to the hair mask it only contains 2 ingredients (no eggs this time though).
Homemade Hair Lightener
1 cup of chamomile tea
Make a chamomile tea like you normally would. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon and mix. Transfer the mixture into a reusable spray bottle and spray onto your hair before you go out into the sun. You can brush it through for a more even coverage.
The lemon lightens your hair while the chamomile tea conditions it. It works on a similar principle to Sun-In.
If you were a teenager in the 90’s you’ll know what I’m talking about. For anyone that doesn’t know it was a hair spray that you could buy that you put in your hair before going out in the sun. The resulting effect was dry and slightly sticky orangey hair but we all thought we looked great!
By mixing the lemon with the chamomile I’ve found my mixture works a lot better and doesn’t dry out your hair.
For more homemade zero waste hair care remedies check out this guest post:
Plastic- Free Hair Ties
I’ve found that when you really start getting into zero waste living you start to question everything that comes into your home. Things that you hadn’t really thought about become a problem item, like for example hair ties.
Almost all hair ties are made from plastic which means when they break, which they all seem to do eventually, they can only go in the landfill bin.
However, I’ve recently come across an eco-friendly alternative called KOOSHOO. They are plastic-free and made from organic cotton and natural rubber. When they come to the end of their life they are biodegradable which doesn’t necessarily mean you can put them in your compost but they will break down in the right environment.
I plan to contact the company to find out exactly what can be down with them when they are no longer usable. I’ll keep you updated.
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.