Hairbrushes: Easy Greening

Did you know that the earliest hairbrushes were made of materials such as porcupine quills? Although we have clearly refined the equipment used for our grooming needs, do any of us really know what our hairbrushes are made of? Here we take a quick look at hairbrushes and offer up some great green and vegan alternatives to mass-manufactured hairbrushes.

The basic inexpensive hairbrush is made of a plastic paddle (the handle) with nylon bristles—they are petroleum products with a life expectancy of several centuries in a landfill. Buying a brush with a wooden paddle is easy—slightly more expensive, but eliminating some plastic from your life should be worth the price. However, make sure you don’t overindulge and splurge on a brush made of endangered or exotic wood. That would slightly defeat the purpose.

The problem for many is stepping up from synthetic to natural bristles. The predominant material used for natural bristles comes from boars—this may seem distasteful to some, and completely unacceptable to vegans. Many stylists claim that using boar bristles helps to pick up sebum—your hair’s natural oil—and distribute it evenly though your hair. And that using a natural bristle better massages the scalp to stimulate healthy sebum production and smooth the shaft of the hair to increase shine and manageability.

So what, vegans don’t get to have shiny, manageable hair? Phooey. We found four brands of eco-friendly hairbrushes that we love—three of them green and vegan!

Aveda Ceramic Round Brush
This brush uses 100 percent post-consumer recycled content for its bristles and ergonomic handle. But has an added boost for dry hair as well as the environment: The innovative ceramic-coated barrel heats quickly, and evenly, to reduce blow-drying time.

The Body Shop Wooden Brushes and Detangling Comb
The Body Shop brushes include no animal products and the paddles are made of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. Although the bristles are synthetic, The Body Shop is dedicated to its five values which include protecting the planet, supporting community trade, no animal testing, defending human rights, and activating self esteem. There’s a lot of good intention in these hairbrushes!


As the company’s tagline says, “Tested on actresses, never on animals”! These cool brushes have wooden handle and bristles. They are all vegan, all natural, very pretty, and promise to stimulate the scalp and eliminate static.

Ambassador Hairbrushes
These brushes use natural boar bristle, but the company states that the bristles are sheared humanely from farm-raised animals. This product uses no endangered wood, and all packaging uses 100 percent recycled material and soy based ink. So if you just can’t give up the boar…

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living.


Williams G.
Past Member 4 years ago

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for the information

Mervi R.
Mervi R8 years ago

Very useful info, thanks!

Nansee C.
Nansee C8 years ago

i've wished to own a boar bristle hairbrush for a while, but i was always concerned with whether the bristle was harvested ethically. i also like the clever message inscribed on the Hamadi hairbrush (: thank you for sharing!

Ioana Vasilescu
Ioana Vasilescu8 years ago

i needed that info

Beng Kiat Low
low beng kiat8 years ago


Nicole C.
Past Member 9 years ago

Thanks for the links! I have had my plastic brush for about 10 years but I will need a new one eventually.

Raminta Sim
Raminta Sim9 years ago

please sign this petition for vegetarian food restaurants

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin10 years ago

Complete information about hair and skin care visit:

Jewel Hilton
Jewel Hilton11 years ago

Did you know they used to use boar hair toothbrushes too?