Zero Waste Hair Care Tips & Tools for curly hair

Sometimes less is more. Hair care for example. Sometimes what we need to do is not find the best product or routine to make our hair look like someone else’s, but the best routine for us to be happy with our own hair, just the way it is. Being happy with what we have is good for the environment because we don’t feel driven to try every new product or hair trend that comes along.   

It’s also good for our own health, because it means minimising exposure to dangerous synthetic chemicals and being grateful for what we have. 

Here are our favourite 10 tips & tools for a zero or low waste hair routine:

  1. Fingers. As in finger combing and detangling. Impossible to leave behind, actually zero waste. Especially great for curly and coily hair, and making curls and waves last longer.
  2. Shampoo Bars – like soap but made just for hair with extra hair-loving butters, oils, & herbs if you pick a good one. These work best with an ACV (see no. 8 below) rinse afterwards.
  3. Hair Oil & Hair Butter – use a little just on your tips or soak your head in it for an overnight treatment. Either way if you’ve never tried this traditional hair care routine, you’ll be surprised at how soft and string it will leave your hair. 
  4. Hair herbs – try a pre-blended tea or just get yourself some hair-loving herbs, like rosemary, horsetail, nettle, chamomile and make yourself some tea. Allow to cool, then pour over hair after washing.
  5. Hair forks – we love the ones from Cobraluxe. Stylish, simple and sturdy, with great hold. Also customisable lengths and Australian made. Their low profile makes them great for wearing under hijabs or head scarves, or just hiding in a bun.
  6. Chopsticks and their more stylish cousins, hair sticks. You probably have some already and they look great and hold surprisingly well in most hair types. Search on Etsy to find a world of handmade functional hair art
  7. Flexi 8s, metal claw clips, spin pins, u pins. There are so many ways to tie a ponytail, updo or braid that are not elastics that break, stretch and do not decompose. 
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar. A simple healthful addition to your hair care that won’t break the bank. Infuse it with herbs to give your hair extra strength, shine or detangling. Also great for dandruff or dry scalps. 
  9. Wooden combs and brushes. Beware the cheap ones that break quickly and have a plastic base. Look for all wood and rubber. We love the ones with wooden bristles for giving you a quick gentle scalp massage and helping distribute sebum down the hair.
  10. Hair band alternatives. Sometimes you need a hair band. Most hair bands are made from products there are either hard on your hair and/or not biodegradable. Look for rubber and cotton hair bands, or crochet your own scrunchie around a rubber band. We’ve also heard of hair bands made of upcycled socks, stockings & bicycle tubes.
Avocado Shampoo Bar for zero waste hair washing
Barakah Botanicals Curly Kinky Coily Hair Oil
Natural hair butter for curly coily and kinky hair
Dark Hair Herbal Hair Tea Blend
Copper Hair Fork for thick hair
Apple Cider Vinegar Detangling Hair Rinse

Some of these are easy to do on any budget. Some of them are a bit more of an investment. Which ones have you tried? Do you have any other low or zero waste hair care tips or tools?