In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic and general waste I produce I’ve been looking into eco-friendly hair care alternatives for the past few months. Initially a bit skeptical, these natural goodies have become my best friends lately and are responsible for my shiny and soft hair! 🙂 Hair is a very delicate topic, as different hair types require different products, but below I’ll share with you what works for me and which products are amazing to use in general! Just thinking about how many shampoo, conditioner, hair mask bottles and brushes we go through in our lives is crazy – and most of them don’t get recycled. However, there a a few small but effective steps we can do to have healthy, shiny hair without adding to the plastic problem!
As a child I used to have very thick and curly hair but the older I got, the thinner my hair became. While oftentimes it might look voluminous, it’s actually pretty thing for my length. Every other summer I decide to cut it short (barely touching the shoulders) which I found really helps with repairing any damaged hair and making it thicker in general. Because I live in the south of Europe on an island, my hair is constantly exposed to sun light and salt water. Hence it can dry out super quick and especially in the past year I have been battling dandruff resulting from dry scalp issues (which I never had before). Especially during the summer it’s super important for my hair to have a healthy routine, which you’ll find below. 🙂
Although at the moment I’m still using my last remaining shampoo plastic bottle (from a German vegan + natural brand) that my mother brought me to Cyprus, I’ll go with shampoo bars from here onwards. Shampoo bars are such a great alternative to their plastic counterparts. My two favorite brands for shampoo bars are Biome and Lush. Usually you can also buy them with a shampoo case which is great for traveling and keeping in the shower.
As mentioned above, I’ve been dealing with some dandruff issues this year. To my surprise, apple cider vinegar is not only great in you morning drink, but also has anti fungal properties. The outer layer of the hair shaft, also known as the cuticle, is composed of tightly packed overlapping scales. The ACV makes these cuticle scales lie flat, which gives the hair a shiny, smooth appearance, and protects from moisture loss. So it’s not only a great remedy against dandruff but also acts like a conditioner for your hair, giving it that shiny bliss.
1 cup water
3 Tbsp raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
3 drops lavender/rosemary essential oil
Don’t worry – you’re not going to smell like a salad dressing after! Once the hair is dry there won’t be any vinegar smell left. I always just mix everything together and put it into a reusable glass spray bottle which I keep in the shower or bathroom cupboard. You can either use it as a conditioner, leave it in the hair for 1-2 minutes and rinse, or alternatively keep in in your hair longer. Because of my scalp issues, about once a week spray the mixture all over my scalp and gently massage it in. Then I put my hair in a towel turban and leave it on for about 1 hour before I rinse it off.
Moisture hair mask:
To keep my hair smooth and shiny, about once a week I make a hair mask which I usually leave on over night (place a towel on the pillow as oils stain). I used to have it all wrong and use coconut oil for a long time to treat my hair and scalp issues. I never experiences any hair loss but I ended up having more dandruff than before. Turns out that a) I used the wrong oil and b) I used way too much of it. Coconut oil is NOT good for every hair type. Same as we have different hair types, these types work differently with different oils. Certain oils do seem to be pretty much universally beneficial for hair, but coconut oil isn’t always one of them. After a bit of research I’ve found out that coconut oil helps the hair retain its natural protein. Hence, typically, those with fine to medium shiny hair will see good results from coconut oil while those with dry hair may not struggle with low protein at all and coconut oil may lead to more brittle hair and hair loss.
As my hair is naturally very dry, coconut oil seems to not work for me that well. Hence I switched to different oils that I’ve found are more beneficial for my hair like jojoba/castor/olive oil. For the mask I simply take about 2-3 Tbsp of oil and mix them with 1-2 drops of my favorite essential oil before I gently massage it onto my scalp and through my hair. Then I just put it in a bun or towel and leave it overnight.
This one was such a big breakthrough for me! I never would have though that the type of hair brush I use can have such a MAJOR effect on my hair and scalp. Thinking about it, it totally makes sense, but oh well, better late than never. A friend of mine who saw that I was struggling with my hair recommended this bamboo brush by WOOD to me and I haven’t looked back since. Here are just a few benefits that I’ve found:
the brush is made off 100% natural bamboo bristles meaning it’s super eco-friendly and sustainable (plus there’s a life long guarantee on the bristles!)
it disperses your natural hair oils (also know as sebum), repairing and strengthening your hair
it gently massages your scalp, which speeds up blood circulation
it detangles knots super delicately and easily – I used to struggle so much brushing my hair and this one makes it so much easier
it comes with a cute cotton travel bag which is perfect for my travel-heavy lifestyle
It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime products which I highly recommend to anyone! The company that produces them is located in Israel but has FREE shipping to Europe, North America and within Israel obviously. By the way – if you use the code TASTYK at the checkout you’ll get a small discount! 🙂
I also use a small wooden bamboo comb that I got while traveling in Thailand from time to time, which is great for styling purposes!
To keep the baby hairs and frizz in check I use very small amounts of coconut oil. While coconut oil may not be wonder cure for the deeper treatment of my hair, it works great on a more superficial level. I usually take a small amount of coconut oil (like 1-2 drops), rub it in my hands and gently go over my hair a few times.
Hydration + diet:
Possibly the biggest contribution to hair health is proper hydration and diet. I usually drink a minimum of 3-4 liters a day (depending on the season and if I work out) and eat a plant-based diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy oils and everything my hair needs to thrive!
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