Did you know that the environment and our hair are intrinsically linked? If we’re unkind to our planet, our hair will suffer and vice versa. Pollutants, harsh chemicals and microplastics are all terrible for hair and scalp health, not to mention our green spaces, streets and waterways. But there is an antidote: switching to sustainable and eco-friendly hair products such as henna.
Why is sustainability important to hair care
It might surprise you, but the beauty industry is responsible for over 120 billion units of packaging annually according to stats from Zero Waste Week – and this doesn’t even go into the impact of commercial hair dyes that end up in our seas and rivers.
At itselixir, we suggest the first step in your journey is to evaluate your existing hair care routine. Look at your products and see that you are representing a global ecosystem through every purchase and use. Are there places where you can be kinder to locks and the planet? If so, you’ll want to read on for how you can put that into practice – and it’s easy, we promise!
What is clean or eco-friendly hair care?
Clean hair care refers to an ideology in which simple, plant-based and natural ingredients are prioritised. This encompasses using sustainable hair products that are free of harmful synthetic chemicals and taking into consideration the following:
- Cruelty free and vegan credentials
- Ingredients e.g. palm oil free recipes and alternatives to chemicals such as PPD
- Carbon footprint
- Low impact packaging
Simple ways to make your hair care routine more eco-friendly
1. Go natural with your hair dye
The swathes of health benefits associated with henna powder, as a result of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, mean that the global market for henna is anticipated to grow year on year. News to our ears!
Henna hair dye is the obvious alternative to synthetic box dyes as it drastically reduces the likelihood of allergic reactions whilst leaving your head of hair vibrant and silky smooth.
What’s even better is that no synthetic preservatives are needed to keep it doing its job and smelling beautiful. Ideal if you are keen to avoid synthetic chemicals like ammonia and sulphates, which cling to the strands of your hair causing frizziness. This also means the conditioner is gentler on your scalp.
2. Use organic shampoo and conditioner
If you are only just dipping your toes into clean cosmetics and eco-friendly hair products, henna shampoo and henna conditioner are a brilliant jumping off point. Due to their organic composition, they work deep into your hair follicles, naturally strengthening them – and they couldn’t be easier to use! Simply lather them up like a regular shampoo/conditioner and watch the magic happen.
3. Nourish your mane vegan hair masks
Using a vegan hair mask between washing your hair can lead to some exciting results. They have a positive impact on the planet down to their stripped back, plant-based formula and work to hydrate your hair from tips to roots.
4. Washing your hair less frequently
How often should you wash your hair? It’s a divisive question. This being said, most people don’t need to wash their hair every day. If you leave a day or so between washes you’ll see your locks naturally reinvigorate themselves and especially if you’re taking a break from traditional shampoos.
5. Ditch heat styling
One of the most common causes of sensitive scalps and dry hair is excessive heat styling in your hair care routine. If you want to give your hair a break to relax, rejuvenate and flourish, avoid using hair straighteners and hair dryers for a while.
Not only will this, encourage growth but it will save you energy at the same time. Pair this heat detox with a soothing henna shampoo or hair mask and your hair will come back stronger, brighter and bolder.
6. Try plastic free products
Trendy but necessary, reducing our plastic impact affects both human health and the environment. You can do this by trying to buy sustainable hair products packaged in biodegradable packaging or use soap bars rather than plastic dispensers. And the same goes with hand and body soap.
7. Buy smart, not more
One key facet of low impact living is avoiding over consumption. This will look different person to person, but when it comes to caring for your hair this might mean carefully choosing the colour of your hair dye to avoid over dying it. Or perhaps taking steps to make your DIY henna transformation last longer.
8. Opt for hypoallergenic products
Hypoallergenic hair care is one of the healthiest choices you can make if you suffer from a sensitive scalp. As the ingredients are clean and pure, it often means that they are also a healthier choice in terms of the planet.
9. Choose eco tools next time
Hair care enthusiasts often ask themselves, do I need sustainable or do I need practical? These don’t need to be separate. The question we should really ask is: ‘is this hairbrush, or hair accessory, ethical or unethical?’ Practicality isn’t the sacrifice.
Opting for eco tools such as wooden combs and ethically sourced or recycled scrunchies will promote hair growth while avoiding extra plastic pollution.
10. Find your ideal haircut
Many people unwittingly opt for a hair cut that isn’t right for their hair type. For instance, wet cutting tighter curls – cutting curly hair when dry will give you a better idea of how your curl pattern will sit naturally on an average day. Also, if you want to cut down on synthetic products, shorter hair or a low maintenance style might help you out here.
Beautiful hair, beautiful planet
It should be obvious by now that traditional, over-the-counter cosmetics might make us feel beautiful, but they have an ugly environmental impact. But it’s not all doom and gloom, recent studies show a growing appetite for clean beauty, including sustainable and eco-friendly hair products. So isn’t it time you joined the henna revolution?