Zero waste hair care brands are made from plant-based, biodegradable ingredients, and sold either in aluminium bottles, or as shampoo bars, wrapped in paper. They are unscented (best for pregnancy/nursing) or use real essential oils that biodegrade safely down the drain.
There are also good natural hair dyes, and natural styling products like bamboo combs and brushes. Another little item to choose if you have long hair is a set of biodegradable hair bands (most are made from nylon, and don’t biodegrade if they drop off your ponytail or wrist, and disappear down storm drains, and into the sea).
Trichologists (hair doctors) say pooh-pooh to no-poo (not using shampoo) as it’s a myth that hair cleans itself – you’ll end up with an itchy scalp. Dry shampoos in shops are usually packed with chemicals. These work naturally by absorbing oil using ingredients like arrowroot (don’t put cornstarch on your head – if it rains, you’ll make porridge
The state of your hair is usually determined by what is going on inside (food, drink, sleep, stress). Feel Beauty Probiotic offers quality vegan hair/skin/nail supplements, in compostable packaging.
Zero Waste Shampoos & Conditioners
This hair rinse helps, while transitioning to natural shampoos.
Fulfilled makes shampoos & conditioners sold in aluminium bottles. At end of use, either recycle the can or buy a refill pouch (plastic, but you can send it to them for recycling).
SOP (Norfolk) offers shampoos & conditioners (including travel sizes) in aluminium bottles. All names are inspired by local Norfolk words.
Ksoni (London) was founded after the couple (keen divers) saw first-hand the effects of plastic pollution. These shampoos look like cans of beer, and the conditioners are sold in little tins. Choose from floral, citrus or spicy.
Awake Organics Shampoo Powder is sold in an aluminium tin. It contains oils of lemongrass and rosemary, with caffeine to stimulate the scalp and hair follicles.
Zero Waste Shampoo Bars
Balade en Provence (France) offers beautiful shampoo bars with quick cheap shipping. Choose from Enriched (normal hair), Lavender (fine hair), High Shine Citrus (all hair types), Citrus (for men) or a conditioner bar. Use voucher code PROVENCE10 for 10% off orders above 25€.
Authentic House Organic Shampoo Bar (Wales) is made with a powerful blend of natural oils, clays and essential oils. Choose from Citrus Ylang Ylang, Mint Tea Matcha or Rosemary Lavender. For dry hair, use with conditioner.
Alternative by SUMA is a new range of soaps by a health food wholesaler. Free from palm oil and packed in paper, there are several scents available, and the range includes shampoo bars: lavender or rose geranium, patchouli hemp or coconut & argan oils.
Beauty Kubes also come in cubes, wrapped in paper. Just crumble in the shower (only need half a cube for short hair). Includes travel pack and versions for men.
Friendly Soap (Yorkshire) is found in most indie health shops. Packed in cardboard boxes, buy a travel tin to store them in. Range includes Unscented, Lavender Tea Tree & Lavender Geranium (also as hair & body wash bar).
Zero Waste Dry Shampoos
These are good if you are not near a shower, or for camping. Kitenest Organic Dry Shampoo is sold in a tin that lasts for life (for dark or light hair, made from plant powders, clays and oils of grapefruit and lime). Primal Suds Dry Shampoo is sold in a brown paper bag, in versions for blonde, brown or red hair (made from clay, ehmp, aloe vera and fruit powders).
Zero Waste Hair Styling
If you can, try to avoid the hairdryer, though you may need it in cool weather or to style hair. Using a microfiber hair turban can absorb a lot more water, so it dries naturally much faster.
Kohr makes organic scrunchies from organic cotton, hemp or bamboo and biodegradable elastic, sent in plastic-free packaging (pop the recycled polyester labels in the bin).
Rosana Expósito Burnt Orange Linen Scrunchie is made in Glasgow from recycled fabric.
Moohair (Scotland) makes natural styling products (recycle containers with plastic household waste). Made with Icelandic moss: Volumising Spray, Non-aerosol hairspray, Moohair Sea Salt Hair Spray (messy beach hair) and Moohair Miracle Hair Mask.
No Gunk is a styling wax for men, made with mineral-rich Moroccan Lava clay in a metal tin. It offers a matte finish, with no sticky residue. Ingredients include organic argan oil, essential & cactus seed oils & shea butter (not for latex allergies). Also a soothing beard balm for ‘funky fellas (The Natural Barber Co Matte Styling Wax can also be used for beards).
These organic cotton & rubber hair ties are ideal to replace conventional hair ties. Most are made from nylon, which means if they fall out of your hair and go down storm drains, they can harm marine wildlife, as they never biodegrade in the ocean. These are also sent in zero waste packaging. Good for thick or fine hair, these fit most adult wrists. And if you do lose one, it will biodegrade. Sold in a set of 5 in natural or black.
This beautiful bamboo hairbrush is completely plastic-free, even the bristles are made from bamboo, with round ball tips that are comfortable against your scalp, and easy to clean. This hairbrush will enhance blood circulation and spread natural oils through your hair. You can also personalise it with up to 15 characters if wished. Sent in a cardboard box. Sold with a matching bamboo comb, which just biodegrades at end of life. Another company sells a square bamboo hairbrush or oval bamboo brush.
This natural matte hair clay is sold in a zero waste metal tin. It’s made with kaolin clay and shea butter (not for latex allergies) and offers a healthy hold. Choose from Cedarwood, Lemongrass or Sandalwood. Just apply a small amount to your fingertips, and work into your hair. Suits all hair types and lengths. Includes apricot kernel oil. Do a patch test on inconspicuous area first, stop if any reaction and rinse immediately with warm water.
Natural Hair Dyes
Always do a patch test (add a little dye to the inside wrist and wait 48 hours, for any reaction). Experts say to avoid all hair dyes for pregnancy, nursing or chemo. Never use henna, if you have G6PD deficiency.
It’s Pure Organic offers henna dyes in 9 shades from golden blonde to indigo black (it’s messy and takes a long time, so use the bathroom and take a book in with you). They say to wait 6 weeks after using chemical dyes. Sante Natural Hair Dye is another henna brand.
Logona Colour Creams are squeezed from the tube (people with short hair can use leftover cream within 3 months). The powders use organic henna, walnut shells and buckthorn bark (careful: may go blue on white hair!)
Natural Hair Coloring is a book by a woman who runs an organic beauty salon. She shows you how to use henna, indigo, amla and cassia, for beautiful results. These pigments are sold at good health stores, apply alone or together for nice shades of brown, black or red.