Shampoo. Some people use it daily, others once a week and some don’t use it at all (yes, really!). Most people buy shampoo in plastic bottles. So, for those people the following rule applies: the more you wash your hair, the more plastic waste. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. Washing your hair can be done with zero waste!
Multiple plastic-free ways
This may surprise you, but there are a great number of ways to wash your hair without (plastic) waste). In this post I will tell you about the ones I know of. And yes, I have tried all of them.
‘Why create waste when you’re going to throw it away anyway’ – Loesje
1. Water only
This is my absolute favorite, no shampoo! It is possible, a life without shampoo. You might be thinking: heh? That’s what I thought at first too, but the more I read about it the more it made sense to me. People who don’t use shampoo wash their hair with water only. Just water. But this comes with a transition period. At first your hair will become really greasy (you probably are familiar with this when you use shampoo). But for most people this goes away after a certain period of time. How long this takes, differs per person. It takes some people a months, others a year. If you’ll get through that period your hair will find its way back to natural and you’ll never have to use shampoo again. Unfortunately, I never managed to get this far. After three months, I gave up. It is a matter of dedication I guess. A big plus: zero costs too!
2. Baking soda
When the water-only method didn’t work for me, I tried something else. Baking soda! This method is also called the no-poo method. You take a bit (you’ll have to experiment with the amounts) of baking soda and mix it with water. I used an old shampoo bottle to do this. Shake it up and tadaaa, you can use it as shampoo! Baking soda is packed in paper, a renewable resource. A box of baking soda lasts me very long. This depends however on how often you wash your hair. Unfortunately, this method made my hair really dry (this differs per person) and so I went on to option 3.
3. Baking soda with apple cider vinegar
The baking soda part works the same as above. But now, the apple cider vinegar is your conditioner. This stops your hair from getting dry. You put the (preferably organic) apple cider vinegar in the ends of your hair (not on top of your head) and let it sit for a while. Don’t be scared of the smell, this will go away once your hair dries. You wash out the apple cider vinegar and you’re done! Organic apple cider vinegar can be found in glass, which is 100% recyclable.
4. Shampoo bars
I was quite happy with option 3, the baking soda with apple cider vinegar. However, there is still waste at the end with that proces. Paper and glass, both 100% recyclable, but I wanted better. I found zero waste shampoo! At first I bought it at Lush. They have shampoo bars online and in their shops. But then I found the shampoo bar from Zaailingen. She’s a fellow blogger who makes her own shampoo. Big plus: they are better than the shampoos from Lush because they don’t contain SLS (damages your hair) or palm oil (causes deforestation). Also, you’re supporting a local entrepreneur and the product you buy is from the Netherlands (less emissions). Shampoo bars are really efficient, since they are pure shampoo. Liquid shampoo is 80% water and so water is shipped around the world for this purpose (which causes more emissions). I find a shampoo bar very easy to use. You rub it on your skull and then massage it further with your hands. Easy.
5. Aleppo soap
Recently I found out that Aleppo soap can also be used as shampoo. I have tested it and for me it works the same as the shampoo bars from Lush and Zaailingen. It’s great! However, I haven’t been able to find an Aleppo soap zero waste and so I don’t use it.
Since testing all these methods, I use method 4, the shampoo bar from Zaailingen. I wash my hair once a week with it. I have read multiple times that the less you wash your hair, the healthier it gets. I just stretched the period of not washing it slowly. First I washed my hair every day, then every other day and so on until I needed to wash it only once a week. If you do this your hair will stay clean for a longer period each time. You just need a little bit of patience. Good luck!