I originally was going to label this “Low Waste Hair Care Products,” but soon I realized that there are a ton of different types of hair care products and as someone with very thick, straight hair, I didn’t want to leave out anyone with curly, natural, or fine hair by just unknowingly only talking about products that I would use. So I’ve widened this post to be about brands rather than individual products.
My definition for a low waste brand is something that isn’t perfectly zero waste, but has other qualities, like recyclability or packaging materials, that make it a better option than others.
You might be surprised to know that Herbal Essences has actually made some big strides when it comes to sustainability. In 2016, Herbal Essences began purchasing RECs (renewable energy credits) in order to add more renewable energy to the electricity grid. They also have a facility in Iowa City that has been certified Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill, which is huge. They also have been working on lessening their use of water and have partnered with Terracycle in order for people to recycle their packaging for free, and create bottles made from 25% beach plastic. Their newest “botanicals” line is also sustainably sourcing their ingredients.
Like Herbal Essences, Garnier also has a partnership with Terracycle in order for consumers to recycle their packaging for free. They are making their new bottles with 50% post-consumer plastic and have helped divert over 11 million bottles from landfills. Garnier has also started to sustainably source ingredients for product lines like their Whole Blends products.
Living Proof is another haircare brand that has partnered up with Terracycle to help reduce the amount of their packaging that ends up in landfills. Their goal as a company is to decrease their use of virgin plastic in all of their global packaging by 50%, increasing the use of post-consumer recycled material in all packaging to at least 50%, and having 100% recyclable packaging worldwide by 2025.
L’Oreal itself actually has a very detailed plan of all of the things it wants to achieve in the name of sustainability by 2030. I don’t think I could do it justice by regurgitating it up here, so I will link to their sustainability plan here so you can look at it yourself.
I was surprised to see what Aussie has done in the name of sustainability. To start, they use 25% recycled plastic to create their bottles, which I wouldn’t say is the best out of the other brands on this list, but where they shine is in their energy. The claim that they use 100% renewable energy to make their products, which I had no idea about, and they are making sure that no manufacturing waste goes to landfill and have cut their water usage by 35%. They are also working to sustainably source their ingredients from Australia and don’t use any palm oil in their products.
Love, Beauty, and Planet
I’ve discussed before why I don’t enjoy a corporation like Unilever, one of the main contributors to plastic waste, having an “eco-friendly” brand like Love, Beauty, and Planet, but I’ve got to say… they actually are doing some good things. They sustainably source their ingredients and also make their bottles from 100% recycled plastic that are also recyclable themselves.
Like with L’Oreal, I’m just going to link to Dove’s sustainability page, because there is just a ton to unpack from it. Just know that Dove is doing a lot to end their use of virgin plastic by 2025.