Zero Waste Hair Care

Pre-zero waste, my hair care routine consisted of so many different products that honestly didn’t do much for it. Plus, most of them were packaged in plastic and full of questionable ingredients. 

It was an ‘ah ha’ moment, when I realized most of the products I was using weren’t necessary.

Your hair care routine doesn’t have to wasteful (or elaborate) to be effective. While I acknowledge everyone’s hair is different, there are tons of low waste options to choose from and these are some of my favorite!

Zero Waste Hair Care from www.goingzerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly #zerowaste

1. shampoo and conditioner:

Before I went zero waste, I’d go through at least one shampoo and conditioner bottle every month. That’s about 24 plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner every year, give or take. 

Not to mention, where I live, squeezable plastic tubes cannot be recycled at all (and, of course, my favorite shampoo brand happened to package their products like this).

I’m so glad I made the switch to zero waste shampoo and conditioner instead. There are loads of options to choose from, but I really enjoy Plaine Products

How to find your perfect zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly

They’re a zero waste brand that packages their products in refillable aluminum bottles.  When you’re finished with their products, you can just ship it back to them and they’ll send you a refill (how cool is that?). 

Related: My Top 5 Zero Waste Shower Essentials

Aluminum can be recycled over and over again without any quality loss. In fact, recycling aluminum requires less energy than was needed to make the bottles in the first place.

As if that’s not enough to love, my hair absolutely loves their products. No other shampoo or conditioner I’ve tried has made such a difference in it. 

My favorite scent from them is citrus lavender. I use just three to four pumps of each the shampoo and conditioner on my hair and it comes out looking so soft, sleek and voluptuous.

Plaine Products are definitely a pricier option, but I think it’s worth it. Just one bottle lasted me months (seriously – I had it for at least 5 months!). 

You can also try using shampoo and conditioner bars. Two of the most popular places to pick shampoo bars up is Lush and on Etsy. They might take a little getting used to, but they’re pretty straight forward.

Related: How to Make a 4 in 1 Soap Bar

All you have to do to is wet your hair, then gently rub the shampoo bar directly on your scalp. Make sure a good lather forms and try to work from the top down to prevent tangles. When you’re ready, just rinse like you normally would.

How to find your perfect zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly

If you prefer, you can also create the lather in your hands, and then apply it to your hair (so you’re not rubbing the bar into your scalp).

For a conditioner bar, you use it the same way, but only apply to the ends of your hair.  Pretty straight forward, right?

Here’s a few no-waste and low-waste options:

How to find your perfect zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly

2. dry shampoo:

While whittling down my hair care products, I found I could not part with dry shampoo. It’s great for the in between days you go without washing your hair. 

For most people, it’s not super health to wash your hair everyday because you’re stripping it of beneficial oils. It’s good to try to stretch washes which means saving water, product, and healthier hair.

3. wooden brush:

Anyone else have their plastic hairbrushes fall apart on them?

The little bristles used to come out when I brushed my hair and it drove me NUTS!

I’ve since switched over to a wooden brush and comb. With these items, make sure they’re kept in a well ventilated area since wood is a natural material it can grow mold.

If your bathroom is constantly steamy, either keep your brushes in your bedroom or plastic may be a better option for you.

4. hair spray:

I used to use hairspray like it was going out of style! I used to think fly away hairs were so gross, but now I embrace the frizzies!

That said, I know there are several occasions that call for a more polished look.

There are several more natural options to choose from out there, but you can whip up your own DIY hair spray relatively easily and you can find the DIY recipe in 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste!

If all you’re looking to do is give your hair a little texture, volume, and lift, you can also try a sea salt spray.

5. serums:

If you feel like your hair needs a little extra TLC, serums could help do the trick. While you could run out to the store and buy one, they’re incredibly easy to make at home.

But before you make your own, I recommend getting to know your hair first. A serum’s effectiveness will depend on what oils your hair loves.

Here are some oils I recommend experimenting with:

  • Aragan oil

  • Olive oil

  • Coconut oil

  • Grapeseed oil

  • Jojoba oil

  • Sweet almond oil

Just add a few drops to your wet hair right after a shower and leave it in as you blow it out. 

I like to create a serum using coconut oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil. I use 3 teaspoons for each, put it in a small glass dropper bottle and shake it up. 

I add a few drops to my hair after showering, and it works like a charm. It does a nice job of moisturizing the hair follicles and preventing frizz.

But if DIY isn’t your style here are a few of my favorites some of them are face oils but wound up working better for my hair!

How to find your perfect zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly

6. hair rinses:

Every once and a while, I like to treat myself with a hair rinse. It does wonders for the hair and is super easy to do.

My particular favorite is a green tea hair rinse. I just take two teaspoons of loose leaf tea, and I let them steep for 30 to 45 minutes, or until cool, and then apply it to my hair (wet or dry).

The key is to let it stay in the hair for five to fifteen minutes, gently massaging in a circular motion. Then, you rinse out with cold water.

Doing this helps add shine to my hair and promotes hair growth! Plus, it’s a lot of fun, if I’m being honest.

You can try it using different kinds of herbs too, not just green tea. Chamomile, rose petals, lavender and rosemary all work well and promote healthy locks.

If you do decide to use tea bags for this method, and not loose tea, here’s how to avoid plastic tea bags. Not all tea brands are created equal, and you want to make sure you can compost your tea bag after use!

Check out this post for tips on making iced tea from loose leaf tea.

How to find your perfect zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly

7. hair gel:

I’m not a fan of conventional hair gel because it’s usually loaded with nasty ingredients. That said, it’s really easy to make your own that holds up just as well!

I recommend flax seed hair gel.

  • 2 cups of water

  • ¼ cup of whole raw flaxseeds

  1. Put the flax seeds and water in a sauce pan

  2. Bring the water to a boil

  3. Let the flax seeds simmer for about ten minutes until it starts looking gooey and sticky

  4. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for about 30 minutes

  5. Strain the flaxseed mixture through a nut milk bag

  6. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar - you now have hair gel!.

  7. Store the hair gel in the fridge, and it should last 3-4 weeks.

You can save your flaxseeds and add them into smoothies in the morning!

Related: How to Freeze a Week’s Worth of Smoothies

How to find your perfect zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #haircare #ecofriendly

8. hair ties:

Love putting your hair into ponytails, buns, or braids? You don’t have to give up hair ties.

There are eco-friendly hair ties available. Kooshoo makes organic cotton hair ties that are naturally dyed and are fully compostable at the end of their life. 

They are a bit on the pricey side though. Another option is to pick up hair ties off the ground, wash them with some soap and reuse them. 

You can also just reuse any old hair ties you have lying around your house until they break. I’ve been using the same scrunchie for the past year now, and it’s still holding up!

How do you keep your hair care routine zero waste? 

Guest Post: Ariana Palmieri is the founder of Greenify-Me.com, a blog dedicated to zero waste living and sustainability. Her work has been featured on MindBodyGreen, Green Matters, The Penny Hoarder and several other publications. Get her free e-book "10 Ways to Reduce Trash" by signing up to her newsletter and learn how to reduce your waste today.

8 tips for nailing your zero waste hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #ecofriendly #haircare #zerowaste
how to find your perfect eco-friendly hair care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com #ecofriendly #haircare #zerowaste

Organic, Morning Skin Care Routine

I have had SUCH a tumultuous relationship with my skin. I've talked about it in depth on one of my DIY zero waste face mask posts. 

I experienced full blown cystic acne all over my face which later I found out was linked to hormonal issues. You can read more about my hormonal imbalance and the ways I'm working to rebalance them. 

Organic, Morning Skin Care Routine from www.goingzerowaste.com

I've managed to get rid of 99% my cystic hormonal acne. Now, my struggles are all under the skin. It's all of these little tiny bumps that will just NOT go away. It makes my skin look very textured.

Last year, almost a year ago to the day, I went back home to visit Arkansas, and boy was it humid. Every single under-the-skin bump was surfacing due to the humidity.

I realized not only were my skin issues hormonal it also had to do with the weather! 

I originally thought the hard water in California was responsible for all of my under-the-skin bumps, and I'm sure that plays a part too... but I think the main problem is dry air vs. humid air. 

Organic morning skin care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com

If I lived in humidity now, my skin would be clear and smooth. Unfortunately, there's no way I'll ever be able to experience Arkansas humidity here, but a girl can dream. 

I'm also pretty positive 90% of the Bay Area would riot if Arkansas style humidity rolled into the bay... 

Anyways, I have tried a number of plastic free skin care routines that have been nice, but just haven't worked for me.

 In April of this year, I had my face examined by Marie Veronique and had products selected specifically for my problems. It’s a free service they offer just use the contact form on their website.

I was also given this book Acne Answer which helped me understand the nuance of skin care a little better. 

To be frank, the book is a bit hokey, but they delivered a lot of in depth scientific information in an easy to understand way. It definitely helped when it came to understanding acne especially adult acne a little better. 

I also found out that several of my problems were from internal inflammation which can't be healed from topical products on the skin.

To try and combat the problems I've been eating a diet high in good fats and reducing my gluten and legume intake. I've known that soy is a trigger for me, so I've completely cut all soy products. I've also known that caffeine is a trigger for me so I've cut out coffee and matcha. 

Organic morning skin care routine from www.goingzerowaste.com

I will occasionally have a cup of black tea, but try to stick to herbal. Every now and then I'll also treat myself to a matcha which doesn't affect my face as much as coffee, but coffee is a no-go right now. 

I'm working on a blog post all about how i quit coffee. I went from drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day to being almost completely caffeine free! 

My skin was looking really amazing about a month ago, and I decided to try a new product but it triggered a major breakout and my skin looks just like it did before starting the line…

But, at least, no I know what I need to do so I’m going back to strictly Marie Veronique.

Morning Skin Care Routine: 

  1. I start the morning off by rinsing my face with water

  2. I use the Balancing HypoTonic* which uses a blend of humectants to hydrate and prep the top skin layer for the serums. AHAs rebalance pH, pre/probiotics rebalance skin microbiome.

  3. Soothing B3 Serum* which calms inflammation, reduces redness/blotchiness.

  4. Barrier Restore Serum which Balances moisture levels and corrects inflammation, including acne, dermatitis and even aging.

  5. Treatment Oil which penetrates clogged pores, and breaks up congestion and calms inflammation.

  6. Finish with my fav tinted sunscreen* which I use as my foundation!

If you liked this post be sure to read more about eco friendly hair care and 10 organic makeup brands

This post contains affiliate linking. It's denoted with an asterisk. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a slight commission for referring you. You can read more on my disclosure page.

DIY, Zero Waste Toothpaste

You will find a common theme throughout my instagram feed - smiles! Lots and lots of smiles. 

When I say "Breaking zero waste living down into a step-by-step process with lots of positivity and love," I mean it! And, I got the smiles to prove it. <3 

DIY, Zero Waste Toothpaste from www.goingzerowaste.com #toothpaste #zerowaste #DIY #allnatural

Dental hygiene and having a bright, white smile is sooooo important to me. 

I have been using a Brush with Bamboo toothbrush for three years and I couldn't be happier!! I've also been using it right along side my original toothpowder recipe.  But, I figured it was time for a little bit of a refresh.


This post was sponsored by Brush with Bamboo. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my full disclosure for more information.


DIY, Zero Waste Toothpaste from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #diytoothpaste

Brush with Bamboo was my very first sponsored post two years ago, and they are still one of my all-time favorite companies! 

Brush with Bamboo is an amazing family run business, and I am so happy to have built a relationship with them. I met Ro, the founder of Brush with Bamboo, at the Zero Waste Youth Conference in 2016.

I was in their short film The Life of a Toothbrush last year which was so much fun! They invited me to their home which has been converted into a huge permaculture farm.

It was so amazing to spend time in the garden, pick fruits, and make fresh meals. I have been such a fan of this company for so long. Check out the unboxing video I did with them below to celebrate their new Organic Certification.  

Brush with Bamboo has thought about everything. The box is held together using locking tabs without any tape or glue so it's 100% compostable and recyclable.

The inside sleeve is made of cellulose which will break down in your backyard compost or an industrial setting. They use the sleeve because it has to be there for sanitary reasons. 

DIY, Zero Waste Toothpaste from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #diytoothpaste

The handle is thin and made from one piece of certified organic bamboo making it more eco-friendly than other wider bamboo toothbrushes.

If the handle is wide, then multiple pieces of bamboo have to be glued together. Using one thin piece of bamboo avoids the whole glueing process.

They're also pioneering the way with their bristles made from 62% castor bean oil which is the most plant-based bristle on the market. The bristles are fairly soft making them perfect for more sensitive gums. 

The ONLY compostable bristles available are pig hair.... and I'd just rather not brush my teeth with pig hair, ya know? 

DIY, Zero Waste Toothpaste from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #diytoothpaste

One of the best things about choosing a bamboo toothbrush over a plastic one is that you can compost the toothbrush at the end it's life, but you will need to pluck the bristles from the handle.

The bristles will be trash, but before you even get to the composting part you should save your toothbrushes to clean grout! 

Related: Zero Waste, DIY Grout Cleaner

After the bristles are no longer functioning, you can upcycle the base of the toothbrush as plant markers, kindling in your campfire, etc.

Bamboo toothbrushes have the same lifespan as a plastic toothbrush around four months, and have a similar price point. I think it's one of the best, and easiest beginner swaps. 

Plus, they look très chic. ;) 

DIY, Zero Waste Toothpaste from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #diytoothpaste
DIY, Zero Waste Toothpowder from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #toothpaste #DIY #allnatural

This is my tried and true toothpowder recipe that I still use three years later. I also use a whitening tooth powder, but you'll have to pre-order my book for that one! 

Tooth Powder

  • 1 Tablespoon of Xylitol: It's a natural sweetener. It prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth and neutralizes the pH to help avoid tooth decay.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda: A very mild abrasive (less abrasive than commercial toothpastes) that dislodges plaque on teeth, breaks down stain causing molecules, and neutralizes pH.  
  • 1 Tablespoon of Bentonite Clay: Draws out toxins, contains calcium, and is often used to help remineralize teeth.

Stir together. Avoid using metal with the clay, it will deactivate. I used a wooden or ceramic spoon and store it in a glass mason jar.

This is will leave you with clean breath, and doesn't really taste like anything. The sweetness in the xylitol cancels out the saltiness of the baking soda and the clay is very neutral. If you want some minty freshness, you should check out my zero waste, all natural mouthwash recipe.