Even if composting or going vegan isn't your thing, you can take a few baby steps in the beauty department that can lower your impact on the Earth and boost your style all at the same time. Start by giving your hair routine a green-over with natural products.
While there isn't a strict industry-standard for the term "natural," natural hair products typically lack the harmful chemicals that many beauty products contain, such as the hormone disruptors parabens and phthalates, drying and irritating sodium lauryl sulfate, petrochemicals derived from oil and synthetic dyes, and fragrances. These ingredients can strip your scalp of the natural oils that help protect and nourish your hair, according to Sarajane Lynch, a hairstylist at ION Studio, an ecofriendly salon in New York City.
So what happens when you treat your hair to more natural products that don't contain these nasty ingredients? "After a while, you may notice your hair becoming shinier and less dry," Lynch says. "And you will see the buildup of unnatural products diminish. Overall, you'll be healthier by knowing you aren't lathering up with stuff that does no good for you."
Start by infusing these natural products into every part of your hair routine:
Rid your hair of dirt and residue with a natural shampoo and conditioner. Check ingredient lists to make sure the natural duo you choose is free of sodium lauryl sulfate. Try Renpure Organics I Love My Hair! Body & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.
After you shampoo, the last thing you want to do to your clean hair is to slather on a chemical-laden hair product. Set your hair up for a smooth blow-out with Aveeno Active Naturals Nourish + Style Smoothing Shine Crème. Wheat protein helps to infuse moisture and control your style, keeping it frizz and flyaway free.
Tame flyaways and hold your style in place with Phyto Phytolaque Hair Spray. Traditional hair sprays contain alcohol that can dry out your hair and other ingredients that leave behind a dulling residue and weigh down your style. This lightweight formula nourishes hair with olive oil and beetroot alcohol, a less-drying, natural alternative.
Repair the damage of chemical products or environmental stressors by using plant oils to give your hair healthy shine, naturally.
"Most products use artificial moisturizers that have large molecules and do not penetrate into the hair shaft easily and wash away with every shampoo. Then we apply another topical moisturizer to make the hair look healthy. You can see this can be a vicious cycle," Lynch notes. Instead, try Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque. It combines macadamia oil, argon oil, tea tree oil, and chamomile oil with aloe and algae extracts to nourish and repair your hair without a plethora of chemicals.