Hello and welcome to another blog post!
Today, I thought to switch it up and chat a bit about hair care. This may seem far removed from anything planet related, but actually our hair care and overall body/personal care routines have a massive impact on the planet! Again everything in life is connected and you really can't isolate one single aspect or group, if that makes sense. So our hair care routines and the products we use will have an impact on the planet as well as on ourselves.
Lets Talk Products
First off, I want you to go and take a look at the number of products you use for your hair. Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, gel, heat spray, hair masks etc. Gather them all up and make a list of how many different products you use for your hair. Now take a look at the backs of all these products and find the ingredients list. How many different ingredients are in your products? Can you even pronounce any of them? Do you know what any of them are?
Most of the time we don't bother to look at the backs of product bottles, if you read 'nourishing' and 'moisturising' on the front of the bottle you're good to go. Wrong! And this is not to say this is your fault or that you're a bad person, it simply means its time to educate yourself and maybe make a few changes to your usual routine.
The majority of products available on the shelves of the self care isle are packed with chemicals that will make you question how 'caring' they really are for you or the planet. Things like Sodium Laureth Sulfate, one of the most popular ingredients in shampoos and conditioners (you can find it at the top of the ingredient list), caused mutagenic effects on rats when tested in the lab. Cocomidopropyl Betaine contains chemicals linked to cancer and Ammonium Chloride is harmful when swallowed, do these sound like things you want to be putting on your body. Our skin is permeable and can absorb many of these chemicals resulting in them accumulating in our blood stream. Plus shockingly many of these ingredients haven't even been assessed by Cosmetics Ingredients Review board for their safety. And remember all these chemicals and toxins run down our drains and into the waterways and oceans.....
The self care and beauty industry is a cornucopia for plastic. Take another look at all those products you just gathered up, are any of them not packaged in some form plastic? Its pretty scary. Plastic doesn't degrade and rather goes through the food chain, slowly breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics. Plastic consumption causes the deaths of more than 1.1 million sea birds and animals per year and studies even show that humans consume between 70,000 and 120,000 pieces of microplastics per year! Plus the toxins that leach from plastics causes more damage and destruction to the planet and animals.
So What Can We Do?
So now we know all the facts, but what can we do to reduce the impacts our hair/self care routines have on the planet? Here are my top 5 tips to get you going towards a more planet and hair friendly routine!
Minimise Your Routine: first of all its time to re look at your routine and minimise it. Is really necessary so many different products? Try to narrow it down to just shampoo and conditioner if you need it. Our hair really is much happier when we use less.
Invest in Planet and People Friendly Products: there are many options now available that use ingredients that are much gentler on the planet and on your hair and skin. Make sure that the products you buy are certified as cruelty free as many products or the ingredients in the products are tested on animals. But be mindful of brands or products that are green washing you with false information. Try to go for locally made products and always read the backs of your labels.
Don't Wash Everyday: okay wash your body but not your hair everyday! When you wash your hair everyday you strip it of its natural oils and this can cause your hair to become dry and brittle - hence why you would then reach for more products!
No Heat: heat damages our hair and really just isn't good for it on the whole. Embrace your hair as it is and you'll probably find that if you leave to be natural it'll be much happier and healthier!
Oil: now some of you might be like - What?! Why would I put oil in my hair, the whole point is to not have greasy hair! But oiling your hair with a hair oil or coconut oil about once or twice a month is very beneficial to the hair. It moisturises and softens it and basically does what any other 'conditioning' product would do, just without the chemicals! Simply massage a bit of oil into your hair from the roots to the tips. It doesn't need to be too oily. Leave the oil in for a few hours or overnight and then rinse it out with shampoo like normal. You may have to shampoo it 2 or 3 times to get all the oil out, but I promise your hair will love you for it afterwards!
Alrighty then, I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know if you have any natural hair care tips and share them with me on social media - my handles are below.
Have a beautiful rest of your week and get cracking on that hair care routine of yours!
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