How Green Is Your Hair? Non-toxic Hair Care for the Entire Family



We are a family of very thick, very curly hair. I am particular about hair products (I never use whatever happens to be in the shower when I stay at hotels or with family), and it always takes me a while to find non-toxic products that I like and that work for me and my family. I go through a period of mourning when a product I love is discontinued.

I last wrote about my favorite non-toxic hair products in 2013. Most of those products have been discontinued (sadly), or in some cases I have found something better. So here is an update. This post addresses the hair products my entire family uses.

If you are interested in the nitty gritty of my approach to choosing personal care products and the reasoning behind it, check out this post.

Thick curly hair runs in the family.

Shampoo Bar


I have been using shampoo bars since around 2011. A shampoo bar is simply a bar of soap that's for your hair. I did not have any transition period from liquid shampoo to shampoo bars. I simply started using one and it worked great! The first ingredient of all liquid shampoo is Aqua (aka water), which is why shampoo bars make so much sense. Shampoo bars use less packaging, use less energy to ship, create less waste, and are super convenient for travel. Even if you love your liquid shampoo, I would consider buying a shampoo bar just for travel. I have also found them to be very cost effective.

My husband started using one soon after I did and now all of our kids use shampoo bars too. My kids and I wash our weekly, while my husband washes his hair daily. Currently we are using shampoo bars made by Aquarian Bath, a small eco-minded company recommended to me by both Beth Terry of My Plastic-free Life (and author of the fabulous book Plastic-Free) and Brenna Burke of Almost All the Truth.  Another company worth trying is Cheshire Fields, recommended to me by Dr. Karen S. Lee. I’ve also tried a locally made brand available in my Whole Foods. There are also several options now on Amazon (I have tried J.R. Liggetts shampoo bars and like them fine). There are shampoo bars with iffy ingredients, so be sure to look for short ingredient lists free of the usual suspects.

Conditioner


My kids and I use Honest Sweet Orange Vanilla Conditioner. We need thick and goopy and this fits the bill. My husband doesn’t need any conditioner, which is true for many people who use shampoo bars.  I rarely need detangler, since my kids usually only comb their hair when it’s full of conditioner in the shower, but when I do need a detangler for them, I’ve used the Honest detangler.

Liquid Shampoo


Before I trusted my kids with the shampoo bar, which will sting your eyes, I used shampoo and body wash by Honest, California Baby, or Burt's Bees on my kids’ hair. My kids still use one of these liquid shampoos when they need to shower themselves at the swimming pool. But I find that the liquid shampoos do not get the kids’ hair as clean and grease-free as the shampoo bar.

Styling Products


My favorite leave-in hair product is EO’s Everyone Tame Hair Cream. I love it. Not too heavy or stiff but very effective against frizziness. I’ve also used and liked John Master Organics Detangler, Citrus/Neroli, which I use like a leave-in conditioner on wet hair. My husband prefers the slightly stronger hold of Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel. My sister (also curly-haired) likes Kinky Curls Curl Custard.


What are your favorite eco-friendly hair products?


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