Happy Wednesday Everyone!
So I have been toying with the idea of doing a series called “A Tour of our Green Life” being our pantry, kitchen, living room, garage etc to give you guys an idea of how normal sustainable living can be. Although our household is certainly far from perfect and there is always room for improvement. But just recently the fabulous @jewels_0 chopped off all her hair into the most adorable pixie, following up with the cut by asking me what products I use in my short hair arsenal. Happy to share my hair wisdom I went upstairs to the bathroom to photograph all my hair products to send to her. To my dismay, I realised I had some serious work to do in Greening my styling routine! I had long ago converted my shampoo, conditioner and body wash to sustainable options, but hadn’t thought about replacing my styling products.
The problem is, when you have short hair, you don’t use a lot of product at a time, meaning you have the same stuff forever. So as my hair spray runs low and my wax dries up, I decided now was the time to make those essential changes!
So, what criteria does one use to determine if a hair product is sustainable?
Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a product:
- Cruelty Free. Look for the Leaping Bunny certification, or other labeling for cruelty free.
- Organic ingredients. “Natural” as a term doesn’t mean anything, and is simply greenwashing. So look for labels stating that all or majority of the ingredients are organic. Your choice if you want to go 100% organic or not since it determines the cost.
- Vegan. Industrial agricultural production is one of the leading causes of climate change, and therefore because I cannot cut meat out of my diet entirely due to food allergies, I try and limit it in my products. You’re saying “Meat in hair products?! What?” Many of you will be surprised to know that rendered animal fats are in most personal care products. Stearic Acid, for example is commonly made from animal rendering (being the boiling of animal fat, feet and bones) and is found in numerous hair and skin care products. So I steer clear of non-vegan products.
- Parabens, acrylic copolymers and other synthetic plastics. Many are surprised to know that there is plastic in their mousse and hairspray, but it’s true! But many of these chemicals are linked to hormone disruption, potentially affecting you and the environment. So what might be “safe” levels of chemicals for you, are generally not safe for marine animals who are exposed to them once washed down the drain.
- Aerosols. Hairsprays, mousses and texturizers are normally contained under pressure to provide optimal dispersion. However, chemicals like isobutane, butane, propane, dimethyl ether and hydroflorocarbon etc. contribute to localised and widespread greenhouse gas emission. While what you use in one bottle is marginal, there are billions of men and women spraying away releasing them into the atmosphere, they add up.
If you love to shop online, then this is the best place to find your new sustainable hair products. www.well.ca has a whole online section dedicated to Green products, so I would start there if I were you. With free shipping with purchases over $35.00, it’s sure to be your new best friend.
I personally suck at shopping online. Maybe because I am impatient or just getting old, I like to purchase my products in person. So when looking to upgrade my routine, I hit up my three “go to” places for my green products Pomme Natural Market, Winner’s and Superstore (yep, the last two actually have a huge variety of products to choose from!)
The Giovanni products are made in southern California, are all vegan (except for one line called the Magnetic line, which these isn’t part of), are SLS and SLES free, Phthalates free, paraben free, and never tested on animals.
As for the Decode hair texturizing paste, it is actually for men. Apparently women don’t ever have short hair (sarcasm), so I only found men’s hair paste. Fortunately because Decode has no synthetic fragrances, in addition to sulphates, parabens or DEA, it isn’t particularly manly smelling. Another reason I like this product is that it is vegan and not tested on animals AND it is Canadian owned and produced in Ontario.
As for the style test, the question is does it stand-up to salon quality products? I would say so! Here is my hair cut styled with AG Natural product line (which I love by the way, and there is a post coming soon about that, stay tuned.)
Here is my hair styled several days later with my new green routine! It has volume, texture and it held up really well in 30 degree weather for hours. I am truly impressed.
So let’s talk cost. Many are afraid of changing to organic or green products because of the cost, but honestly, I have spent way more money on salon-grade products. The Decode product was $9.99 in a three part box set from Superstore which came with shampoo and a bar of soap, which I gave to the hubs. The only downside is that it came with both paper and plastic packaging.
As for the Giovanni products I purchased the mousse from Winners for $9.99 and the hairspray was $12.99 from Pomme Natural Market (which also carried all of the Giovanni hair care lines so I could have purchased all of them there.) Overall very reasonable cost except the hairspray, as I think the amount of hairspray you get for $12.99 isn’t a lot. However, I personally don’t use a lot of hairspray, so I won’t be powering through the bottle anytime soon.
Overall, I am pretty excited about my transition and I really enjoyed writing this post, so in the future I am going to profile several other aspects of my beauty routine including my shower and face care , make-up, shaving and personal care routines. Stay tuned for my series “A Tour of our Green Life” .