eco swap: hair care

About seven months ago I started working towards a low waste lifestyle. I read some books on the subject (more on that latter) and started to make some changes around the house. Throughout the process I realized that some things were very simple, like not using plastic bags, but others took time getting used to, like hair care.

The first thing I noticed was how much hair product I owned and didn't use. I had hair masks that I bought with the promise of doing weekly treatments, different shampoos and conditioners each with a promising result, products to style, clean, heat protection, permanent dye, semi-permanent dye, split end repair... The list goes on. After checking for expiration dates (yes, hair products do expire) I moved them all from the cabinet to the counter so I wound't forget to use them, and promised myself not to buy new products until I was done with all the ones I had.

It took me four months to go through all of them (except for the dyes, which I ended up selling), and then it was time to choose a low waste option for my hair. I did my research and came up with a few options:

I decided to give bars a try and bought the avocado co-was from Lush (also got the reusable tin). I've been using the bar for two months now and have mix feelings about it. I love the fact that it will completely disappear and leave no waste behind, but... it was quite expensive ($22) and it didn't last as much as promised. The website said it could last up to 80 washes, but mine is almost over and I've used it less than 20 times. The bar smells amazing, but I feel like my hair is never truly clean, it doesn't foam up as much as regular shampoo does, so maybe that's why I got that feeling. I had to use a lot of product to get all of my hair washed and I felt like the bar didn't have enough conditioning power, I have very fine curly hair and it was hard to comb it after rinsing.

Overall I wouldn't buy the co-wash again, but I would give their bars a second try. They have a good selection at more affordable prices and for different hair types and needs. Next time I have to buy hair products I'm thinking about doing refills or trying out plaine, but I haven't decided yet! A great thing I learned about going low waste with my hair care routine was that I realized I didn't need all those products after all. We become so used to the beauty industry telling us what we "need" in order to have the perfect hair, that we become blind to their marketing strategies and spend hundreds of dollars in useless products. Not only that, but by consuming so many of those products we create an incredible amount of trash that ends up in landfill and polluting our oceans. Creating an endless cycle of waste!

Ready to change your hair care routine and try some low waste alternatives?