sustainable hair products

What Are Sustainable Hair Products?

Rachel Lark - February 16, 2023

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Many brands are ditching their plastic packaging by jumping on the bandwagon of the sustainable product movement. The beauty industry is following suit with some hair products that are healthier for the environment. 

Some brands changed their packaging to contribute to the plastic pollution crisis and some don’t contain nontoxic chemicals. Depending on your preference, you can make the switch to become as eco-friendly as you want with these varied options that are now available to consumers. 

Ditching Plastic Packaging

Packaging alternatives to plastic are making their way into our most essential household items, such as shampoo. Similar to bars of soap, there are shampoo bars that you can use to wash your hair. Creators of these shampoo bars are upping their game to make them have better quality to entice more customers to prefer them over traditional liquid shampoos since they can be a more eco-friendly alternative.

Brands such as Lush have products that are entirely free of plastic. Lush products last longer than average bottles of liquid shampoo would, often getting up to 80 washes out of one shampoo bar. That’s equivalent to at least two bottles of traditional shampoo bottles. A brand called Captain Blankenship uses recyclable glass bottles for their products, making them a more sustainable option than companies that use plastic for their product. 

Why Is Plastic So Harmful?

We have become accustomed to using plastic products in our daily lives, but the reality is that plastic is causing a massive problem for our environment. We need to make necessary changes to play our part in contributing to a healthier and more sustainable world. 

Plastic does not break down easily and it doesn’t disappear. It just keeps getting smaller into the tiny pieces floating around. Plastic pollution from rivers and lakes flows into the ocean and significantly contributes to ocean pollution. There are 75 to 199 million tons of plastic in our oceans today. Plastic is being produced more heavily than ever and is a growing concern for our habitat. Around 85 percent of products packaged in plastic are not recycled and end up in landfills. 

The products we love packaged in plastic bottles can be converted into more sustainable packaging by the companies that package them. Until those companies become more eco-friendly, we should look outside these businesses to convert to better and safer options for our environment. Who knows? We may even find a new favorite product. A wealth of companies are taking active measures to ensure that their products are not only free of plastic but also from toxic chemicals.

We should dive deeper into the ingredient portion of the products we are putting on our skin and our bodies. We care about our diets and the food we are putting into our bodies. So, why don’t we care more about the active ingredients that are absorbed into our skin as well? 

Harmful Beauty Product Ingredients 

The beauty industry largely contributes to the production and consumption of global waste. There are many ways to combat these wasteful tendencies, but it all starts with a bit of understanding and action. 

Looking at our beauty products will help if we can identify the harmful ingredients we are putting on our bodies that can be equally harmful to nature. Conventional hair products use some of these harmful ingredients and we need to be able to recognize them so we can avoid using them They have adverse effects on our environment, and they aren’t good for our hair either. 

Some ingredients to watch out for are parabens, which is a preservative that has been linked to breast cancer. Formaldehyde is another one that can potentially connect to cancer and cause skin irritation. Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that act as a gelling agent in some shampoos. 

The chemicals in these ingredients can coat your hair and make it seem soft when it is the opposite. Think of it like when you put acrylic on your nails. They seem more substantial because of the acrylic, but the fake nail covers your natural nails and can harm them because they aren’t real. They are synthetic, coating your nails like these chemicals coat your hair. 

The Best Sustainable Hair Products

Many companies that provide natural beauty products have emerged and are helping us make more conscious, eco-friendly decisions regarding our hair care. Upfront Cosmetics prides itself on minimizing its ecological impact and encourages others to do the same. They use biodegradable packaging and offer cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner bars for different hair types. 

Besides shampoo and conditioners, we should consider many cruelty-free options for hair oils, masks and styling products, like Captain Blankenship’s Mermaid Hair Oil example. This hair oil contains sustainable ingredients like argan oil that add shine and prevent breakage. Belle Bar has an Organic Restorative Hibiscus Hair Mask that uses shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and hibiscus to strengthen and add shine to your hair, prevent keratin depletion and soften dry ends. 

Rahua Hydration Detangler and UV Barrier are on the list of excellent alternatives to harsh hair treatments. Playa Endless Summer Spray is an organic salt spray for your mane with the freshest scent of combined sandalwood, coconut and orange blossom. Beneath Your Mask Nourish Skin and Hair Serum are jampacked with organic oils that repair heat damage, tame flyaways and nourish dry ends. It can also be used on your skin to give you a radiant glow. 

Refillable Beauty Stations

Switching to eco-friendly and sustainable hair products can be a game changer in your beauty routine. Not only will you be confident that you are assisting in the plastic pollution crisis contributing to climate change, but your locks will also thank you. 

Some sustainable products are not the right fit and leave you feeling like you didn’t make the right choice. Don’t fret and switch back to your old ways. Try some of these fantastic products that can cater to your needs instead. These products are highly ranked and sure to make you want to continue using them. 

If you make an effort to try them and you don’t find one that works for you, there are other options. Many companies within the beauty industry are making efforts to be more environmentally friendly. 

Some beauty supply stores offer refill stations where you can refill your shampoo bottles rather than buying another one and contributing to plastic waste. This is an excellent option to continue using products you love that don’t yet offer sustainable packaging. 

What’s Right For You?

Finding sustainable hair products isn’t as challenging as it once was. There are sustainable options everywhere. It’s all about finding what works best for you and knowing that you are making a conscious effort to change your carbon footprint and the adverse effects we can have on our environment. 

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About the author

Rachel Lark

Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.