Last weekend, I said goodbye to my cheap shampoo and conditioner. I used up the last of them, rinsed them out, put them in the recycling bin and swore I would never go back.
I made this decision months before it finally happened, though. I told myself I didn’t want to waste what I already had, didn’t want to spend wads of cash on expensive natural products, didn’t want to experiment with my already unruly hair — I had a lot of excuses, and plenty of excess chemicals that I just kept using.
I finished my final bottle, though, and I’m ready to go natural and never look back. Here are some steps that’ve helped me in my quest to find ways to care for my hair naturally and green my beauty routine.
1. Find new ways to shampoo and condition your hair
I found many options online for shampoo and conditioner concoctions, and none of them required expensive, unnatural ingredients — the recipes were cheap and easy across the board. The recipes I’m currently using require only baking soda and water for shampoo, and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. With these ingredients, I’m already starting to see smoother strands and less buildup on my scalp. Another option is to make soap and shampoo from everyday oils or with various plants and roots. Your hair may look and act differently at first as it gets used to your new routine, and you may have to experiment to find what works for you — every head of hair is different, but once you find a way to kick chemicals to the curb, you hair and scalp will enjoy newfound health.
I used to love changing the color of my hair from time to time, but I thought only about the visible changes, and not about the unseen chemicals that were entering my body. Now, I’m looking into new ways to add vibrancy to my locks without the toxins. Henna plays a big role in natural hair dyes, and you can buy henna from many health food stores and co-ops.
3. Make sure your hair care isn’t hurting the Earth
Considering the chemicals I was putting into my hair was my first priority, but another important part of caring for your hair — and the planet — is making sure that you’re using efficient appliances and tallying how many resources your routine eats up. Most hair cair products come in plastic bottles, so if you want to buy your hair care products from the store, keep an eye out for those that are creatively packaged, such as shampoo bars that come in cardboard. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative! Consider curling your hair the old-fashioned way — with paper — or try saving money by cutting and styling your family’s hair yourself!
Keep in mind that you can’t make every change all at once — nor should you have to. Like I said, it took me many months to finally embrace my chemical-free routine. But now that I have, I can rest easy knowing that my hair is healthier — and knowing that I won’t have to stand in the store for many long minutes trying to choose which shampoo is cleanest or greenest. So take whatever small steps you can take, and eventually they’ll add up to a cleaner routine for yourself and for the planet.
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