Some women (and men) spend a lot of time and money on their hair. They wash, condition, and use various treatments depending on their hair type. They add gel or mousse to achieve the perfect amount of hold. They stand in front of the mirror for hours each week, using hair dryers, curling irons or straighteners to coax their hair into doing what they want it to do. Then they finish it off with hairspray.


This routine may make for perfect hair, but it’s terrible for the environment. It uses lots of water, puts nasty chemical cocktails into the atmosphere and sewer system, and uses a great deal of electricity. For those who want beautiful hair but don’t want to destroy our environment in the process, here’s what you should do.

• Wash your hair less often. Many people wash their hair every single day, but that’s actually bad for your hair (not to mention the water supply). Overwashing strips your hair of the natural oils that it needs to stay soft and moisturized. Washing three or four times a week is plenty to keep your hair clean.

• Lay off the heat styling tools. Blow dryers, curling irons and the like are very damaging to your hair. They dry it out and can burn it if used too long or too often. Let your hair air dry, and put it up in curlers if you want a curly look.

• Buy only natural and organic hair care products. Some stylists carry natural shampoos, conditioners and styling products that work just as well as those with long lists of unfamiliar ingredients. Just be sure to read the ingredients before you buy, because some products claim to be natural when they really just have a few natural ingredients added to a cocktail of chemicals that are bad for your health and the planet.

• Make your own hair care products. You can find lots of recipes for any hair care product you could possibly need online. For example, you can make a simple yet effective shampoo with ¼ cup distilled water, ¼ cup liquid castile soap and ½ teaspoon jojoba oil. Add herbs to create the perfect shampoo for your hair type and to add a nice, natural scent.

• Consider buying gently used hair care products. It’s best if you buy products that are eco-friendly, but even if you are a die-hard fan of products that aren’t as good for the environment, you can at least keep unused products from contaminating the landfill. There are websites that feature products that people have tried and decided weren’t for them, so most are nearly full and are sold at deep discounts. You could also check your local flea market.

More and more people are discovering that a more natural hairstyle suits them very nicely. And those who still like to dedicate a lot of time to their hair are finding out that natural products work just as well as their not-so-natural counterparts. By making your hair care routine more eco-friendly, you can protect your health and save time, money and the environment at the same time.

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