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How to Make the Switch to a Zero-Waste Haircare Routine

If there ever was a time to make the switch to a zero-waste haircare routine, it’s right now. With the world flipped upside down and sideways, the day-to-day routines we all cherished have all but been dismantled. So, I figured if I had to get used to this “new normal,” I was going to shake up my process myself. The first one I started with? My hair, of course.

As a vegan for over 11 years, I’m continually trying to stick to practices that are eco-friendly. Again, given the state of the world, there was no better moment for me to make my attempt at a zero-waste haircare routine. Are you ready to do the same? Keep reading on for my tips on going eco-friendly and what I learned from my week-long experience!

How to Switch to a Zero-Waste Haircare Routine

Find the Right Shampoo and Conditioner Bars for Your Hair

Shampoo and conditioner bars are the way to go for a zero-waste haircare routine. They don’t come packaged in loads of plastic, like other haircare products, meaning you won’t feel bad ordering a ton of them. The only difference between your preferred shampoo and conditioner is that these bars are, well, bars. They’re solidified, so they don’t require unnecessary packaging that can’t be recycled. Once they’re done, they’re done.

Shampoo and conditioner bars do require a little extra getting used to, but it’s the same for any new product. Knowing that they don’t add extra waste into this world really makes it all worth it though. If you’re not sure where to shop for these, Lush has a ton of shampoo and conditioner bars for every type of hair.

Buy a Wooden Brush

Once you’ve picked out your eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners, the next step is to buy a wooden brush. I want to make it clear that you’re not just buying any wooden brush, it should be one that’s 100% compostable. You can even purchase a wooden comb, if that works better for your hair.

Bamboo is a favorite among many brands, as it’s fast-growing, safe, durable, and offers a ton of other benefits. The only thing is to make sure you keep it in a well-ventilated area, as it can grow moldy in steamier environments.

Opt for Eco-Friendly Hair Ties

Next, you’ll want to purchase eco-friendly hair ties. This wasn’t even something that crossed my mind when I first tried to make the switch, so I’m glad someone brought it up. Had they not, I would’ve kept using my regular ol’ rubber hair ties.

Organic cotton hair ties are the most recommended by almost everyone who follows a zero-waste routine, given they’re biodegradable and sustainable. Kooshoo is by far the most recommended brand, so if you need eco-friendly hair ties and more, start there.

Learn How to DIY Hair Products at Home

Shampoo and conditioner likely aren’t the only products you use on your hair. Chances are you also utilize dry shampoo, serums, hair gel, and more. Obviously, that packaging contributes to a ton of waste in the world.

One easy way around this is to make your own hair products. Some are easier to whip up than others, but now’s the time to be a mad scientist and use products you already have to make what you may need. In the process, you may even realize that you don’t need as many hair care items as you thought.

There are a ton of DIY recipes for various hair products here, so chances are you’ll find one you can work with.

My Switch to a Zero-Waste Haircare Routine

Because the world is currently the way it is, I’m trying to stay inside as often as possible. Rather than going into stores, I’ve been shopping a lot more online and having essentials delivered.

That being said, I’m still doing the absolute most to pinch pennies wherever possible, so splurging on zero-waste haircare products wasn’t exactly in my budget. Thankfully, I was able to order a number of products from Package Free for a reasonable price.

I ordered a shampoo bar, conditioner bar, bamboo hairbrush, and dry shampoo, because these are the essentials. As I’m not really doing my hair during quarantine, all I need is shampoo, conditioner, and a brush.

Once I received the products, following a zero-waste haircare routine was fairly simple. I obviously took the easy route, so I’ll still need to figure out how to DIY some serums and such, but isolation leaves plenty of time for that.

With any shampoo and conditioner bar, they take a little extra elbow grease to get going. But once they’re lathered up, it’s the same as using regular shampoo and conditioner.

I’ve used Lush shampoo bars before, but these ones from Package Free actually lathered up a lot quicker than expected. That’s always a nice little bonus. Both the shampoo and conditioner felt great on my hair and I’ve noticed my hair is a bit more moisturized than usual. I absolutely credit the product, as I haven’t done much for my hair besides wash it.

To be honest, I used the brush like once and didn’t even touch the bottle of dry shampoo. The brush worked, though it did pull a little bit on my wet hair. My hair is thick and straight, so just about any brush will work for me. I think if you have curlier hair or thin hair, you may need to do a little research to find the zero-waste brush that’ll work for you.

Ready to go zero-waste? Check out THESE brands that use sustainable packaging!



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