My Low-Waste Hair Care Routine

Since I already made a post about my low waste skincare routine (read that here), I thought it would also be a good idea for me to go over my low waste hair care routine. I’ve talked about my hair care sparingly in other posts, but I thought that this would be a great time to put everything in one place for you to easily find and see just what it is I do for my hair. 

I’ve talked before about how I don’t wear makeup anymore, and since I’ve made that change, I’ve taken a lot more pride and care in my skin and my hair. I’ve also found that I’ve switched my buying habits towards more things for my skin and hair, which isn’t really the best thing on a budget, but I make sure that I use everything up and don’t throw away and/or recycle anything that isn’t fully used. I also am calling this “low waste” just like my skincare routine because I have yet to find fully zero waste options for everything that I use, but I have found products that have recyclable plastics. I am also not going to put this into steps, but more just listing products that I use because depending on the day, I use different products for different reasons. 

Shampoo Bars

I’ve been switched to a shampoo bar from regular liquid shampoo for about a year and a half now, and I never want to go back. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I like bar shampoo just because I know that I am using the right amount, and I don’t really have to worry about overusing the bar. There’s no guessing the measurement of the product that I use, I just swipe the bar over my hair until I get the amount of lather that I want.

For brand recommendations, I of course have to shout out the first brand that actually worked for me without leaving any residue on my hair, and that is Ethique. Not only do they use sustainable ingredients, but their bars last a long time and make your hair feel great. The second brand that I want to shout out is one that I found on Etsy from when I bought zero waste skincare and hair products from small businesses, dirtydivasoaps. This small shop has a huge selection of shampoo bars and scents. I have two bars from them and I am definitely going to reorder when they are gone because I just love the formula and the amazing scents that she has. Whenever I use my Flamingo Beach or Waikiki bar, I feel like I’ve been transported to Hawaii or the Caribbean. 

Both Ethique and dirtydivasoaps have conditioner bars for you to try as well. I personally don’t use conditioner bars because I just didn’t really see a difference in my hair when I did and didn’t use the conditioner bar.

I should preface that finding a shampoo bar or conditioner bar that works for you is a journey in and of itself, and just because these bars work for me and my hair type, doesn’t mean that they will work for you. I’m looking at buying and trying out some other popular brands of shampoo bars, like Meow Meow Tweet and Lush, just to give you guys an idea on what they are like and how they work out for me. Just know that your hair may have to go through an adjustment period to get used to the lack of parabens, sulfates, and even paraffin wax found in normal liquid shampoos.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinses

So I am someone that deals with dandruff, and it doesn’t matter if I wash my hair more or less than I normally do, my scalp gets flaky. I’ve gone weeks without washing my hair before trying to get my scalp to reach equilibrium and tried all the other natural ways to stop dandruff and nothing has worked for me. I read online about apple cider vinegar rinses and all the good that it can do for your scalp and hair health. I went out and bought the small glass bottle and put half water, half apple cider vinegar solution into a spray bottle that I keep in my shower. About once a week in the shower, I spray my scalp and hair good with the solution, give myself a good, long scalp massage, and rinse like normal. I can either do this after shampooing or just by itself, it really depends on whatever day I decide. I would say that it has really helped me control my dandruff.

One thing I get asked a lot is whether or not it makes my hair smell, and the answer is no. From what I’ve read,any of the apple cider vinegar left in your hair after rinsing basically evaporates as your hair dries so it doesn’t leave a smell. 

Hair Oil as Leave-In Conditioner and Texturizer

Once I get out of the shower, I lightly towel dry my hair and then apply some hair oil to my mids and ends. I’ve used a bunch of different brands in the past, and this is the real spot in my routine that isn’t perfectly zero waste. I have tried just using straight coconut or jojoba oil onto my hair after showering, but they just made my hair super heavy and greasy, no matter how little I tried to use. Right now I have several different products that I use as a leave-in conditioner. Two are from Garnier Fructis, which has a free recycling program partnership with Terracycle (read about them here). The other that I use frequently is the biotin and collagen hair oil by Organix, who makes their bottles with post-consumer plastics and is also recyclable. 

I just put a dab of the oil onto my hand and run it through my hair when it’s still damp to use it as a leave-in conditioner. It seems to help a lot with all of the frizz that I have from past hair damage and also with making my hair easier to detangle. When my hair is dry, the hair oil helps a lot with taming frizz but I can also use it as a bit of a texturizer whenever I need to. I’m not only trying to grow out my hair to be its natural color but its natural texture as well. 

Air Dry Hair

So lastly I air dry my hair almost always. My hair has a lot of damage from when I used to dye my hair, so I try to baby it as much as possible by eliminating heat damage from the equation. If I’m really in a bind and need to, I will blow dry my hair, but I make sure that my blow dryer is on the lowest heat setting possible. I also like to lay down on my bed with my hair hanging over the edge and just let a fan blow on it until it is close to dry or barely damp anymore. 

I’ve also been trying to get used to my natural hair texture which I’ve deemed “barely wavy.” I used to flat iron my hair all the time in high school, but I am just trying my best to get my hair to the healthiest point that it can be.

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