How to Reduce Your Hair’s Carbon Footprint

A lot of us are becoming more mindful about our impact on the environment. Now, more than ever and it’s important to make eco-friendly choices for the environment and our oceans.  The beauty and hair industry has not previously been at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to low pollution, but a lot more brands are now making sustainable and eco-friendly changes to their products and packaging.  If reducing your carbon footprint is something you might be interested in, we’ve put together 10 simple ways you can make small but significant changes towards having a greener beauty routine.

  1. Try a Shampoo Bar

Making the switch from liquid shampoo to a bar is a great way to do your part for the environment.  Many of them are bio degradable and don’t come in plastic packaging.  Most are also made using all-natural ingredients and are toxic free, meaning they won’t send chemicals into our waterways and harm animals.  

Bars essentially are the same as liquids, apart from the fact that it comes in a solid bar, and are packed with nourishing ingredients like essential oils.  They were actually what everyone used to wash their hair before liquid shampoos were brought in.  They have so many benefits including reducing your carbon footprint, being compact and easy to travel with, removing product build up and dirt and being formulated for all hair types.  

We love this lavender and geranium bar by Friendly Soap which is not only super nourishing and creamy, but is paraben, palm oil and plastic free.   

2. Wise Up 

There’s nothing better than going on the hunt for gorgeous new hair care products once you’ve used up your favourites, but it’s always a good idea to question what you’re putting on your hair rather than just assuming it’s safe, especially if you’re concerned about your carbon footprint.  Many products out there contain nasty chemicals that are harmful to both the environment and your health.  Make sure you read the label carefully and avoid products that contain phthalates, mercury, toluene, lead, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, parabens or BHA.  

Each ingredient has a certain effect on our hair, so it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’re signing up for.  

3. Upcycle Your Packaging

This may sound crazy, but upcycling is a great way to both get creative and reduce your carbon footprint.  Instead of throwing away your empty bottles, give upcycling a try and turn your waste into something useful, like a makeup brush holder or a soap holder for the gym.  Billions of plastic bottles get sent to landfills every year and the average time for just one to biodegrade is 450 years!  

4. Speed It Up

If 50 people rinsed out their conditioner just 10 seconds faster, we would save 9000 litres of water.  Changing the way you wash your hair can seriously reduce your carbon footprint.  Fast rinse conditioners will make sure your hair is still hydrated, like this coconut oil and ylang ylang conditioner from Love Planet.

5. Try a Heatless Hairstyle

Skipping time with your heat styling tools not only reduces your carbon footprint but is also great for your hair.  Using heat on your hair constantly can lead to dryness and damage.  Luckily, there are plenty of great heatless styles you can try out, like these gorgeous waves modelled by our very own Callie.  Click here for how to do it.  Clip in hair extensions are a great way to add instant length and volume, no blow dryer required.  

6. Look For Eco Friendly Products

One of the reasons we are a Kevin Murphy session salon at Victoria Hutchinson & Co is because we love their eco-friendly ethos and packaging.  They have committed to reduce plastic waste by cleaning up the oceans and reclaiming that plastic to package their hair care products.  Their packaging is now 100% ocean waste plastic and it’s projected that by doing this they will save 360 tons of plastic from the sea each year. 

7. Hell No H20!

There are plenty of ways to keep your water use down and reduce your carbon footprint.  One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a washcloth or flannel when you wash your face, rather than leaving the water running.  Not only does this save water, the rough fabric also helps to exfoliate the skin.  While we know a bath is super relaxing, just one bath can use 150 litres of water!  Swap out your baths for a shower or only fill the tub halfway.  We love these pads by Face Halo that are non-toxic and reusable.

8. Spring Clean Your Product Stash

Gather up any harmful, old or expired products you may have lying around your bathroom.  Start with anything that contains synthetic chemicals or harmful hormones, as even trace amounts of chemicals can accumulate in our bodies over time.  It’s also a good idea not to use products that are past their best as they may be full of bacteria and irritate your skin.  If you have unopened products that you don’t want, don’t just throw them away.  Take them to your local food bank or go to The Beauty Bank to find out how your donations can help those in need.  

9. Take Cold Showers

Heating hot water is typically the most intensive activity that can affect our carbon footprint the most.  A ten minute shower powered by an electric immersion heater is the same as leaving the TV on for 20 hours.   The longer and hotter your shower is, the more impact on your purse and the planet.  

10. Invest in Some Cotton Towels

There are so many environmental benefits of switching to cotton towels.  The textile industry is responsible for 10% of the planet’s carbon footprint, so when it comes to replacing your linen, go for organic materials.  They are made with crops that haven’t been treated with pesticides and insecticides, which reduce soil erosion, lowers water and energy use and reduces run off chemicals in waterways.  They are also perfect for sensitive skin. We love this 100% cotton organic hair wrap from Amazon.  

If you’re feeling motivated to make a positive rather than a negative impact on the planet, your hair routine is a great place to start. There are so many simple and easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and some of them are great for your hair too.   If this feels like a lot, start small with reducing your heat styling and work your way up. Each little bit can make a huge difference.   

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