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What to Know About Zero Waste Hair Care

January 11, 2021 3 min read

What to Know About Zero Waste Hair Care


All Earthlings know that the waste that accrues from daily life can be pretty substantial. When you think about the fact that the average person generates over four pounds of trash per day and about 1.5 tons per year, it’s no real surprise why we’ve got landfills overflowing with garbage all over the globe. 

We don’t want to call anyone out, but, we will say that the hair care and cosmetics industries are pretty hefty contributors to global waste. These industries produce more than 120 billion units of packaging annually, which translates to a loss of over 18 million acres of forest. Thankfully, most of us recognize the need for change, which is why so many of us have made the commitment to using lower waste products.

One great way to lessen your carbon footprint — and your eco anxiety — is to make the switch to zero waste hair care. Here’s what it’s all about.

  • There’s No Such Thing as Zero Waste — The reality is that, as humans, we produce waste as a byproduct of daily life, so there’s no genuine way to live 100 percent waste-free. With that being said, we can absolutely live a low waste lifestyle by switching to products that use less plastic, water and natural resources to produce and ship. For example, if everyone swapped out their standard shampoo with a shampoo bar, we could drastically reduce the amount of plastic, oil and water consumed.
  • Low Waste Is Better for Your Hair — One of the best parts about low waste hair care products is that, in order to lessen the impact on the environment, most of them are made with no harsh ingredients to avoid adding them to waterways. Naturally, most of these ingredients aren’t great for our hair or bodies anyway. Earthling-friendly products should not contain SLS, preservatives, parabens, fillers, silicones and other harsh ingredients that can be harmful to Earthlings and Earth.
  • It’s Surprisingly Easy to Go Low Waste — One thing many people don’t realize is that there are actually a ton of excellent low waste alternatives to many of the best hair care and cosmetics products, so you really don’t have to compromise much in terms of quality or performance. For example, you might think there’s no way to make a quality dry shampoo without the excessive packaging and aerosol, but there are plastic-free dry shampoo options that do just as good of a job without all the bad stuff.
  • Low Waste Means Consciously Sourced — Low waste isn’t just about ditching packaging. It’s also about switching to products that are made with consciously sourced ingredients. Consuming consciously helps eliminate waste all along the supply chain and ensures that products are sourced ethically. Often, this means prioritizing the use of locally made ingredients in order to help eliminate the high environmental cost of long transport.
  • Low Waste Means Less Shipping Packaging — Good news: You can still buy low waste hair care online and not worry about blowing it with the packaging. Just make sure to prioritize shopping with conscious brands that use 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable shipping products. Look for companies that use “end-of-life” packaging for their products and shipping. 

hand holding natural shampoo bar

Low Waste Is Good for the Earth and Earthlings

Ultimately, switching to a low waste lifestyle isn’t just about bettering the planet. It’s also about bettering yourself and your family. Low waste products contain fewer of the harsh chemicals, toxins and other additives that may be detrimental to human health. Whether it’s something as small as switching to a conditioner bar or using a wooden brush instead of a plastic one, going low waste is a great way to contribute to a better future on both the small and large scale.