View Full Version : hair and ecological footprints

May 11th, 2011, 01:57 AM
Anyone else feel that your hair is getting in the way of your lifestyle?

I'm almost religious when it comes living so that I wont use up too much of natures resources, but when it comes to my hair I make exceptions quite easily :o

Like my bottle of clarifying shampoo, who knows what's in there and how troublesome it was to manufacture it? And my luxury Eliah Sahil shampoo that is shipped here all the way from India so that I can have nice hair. Not to mention all the essential oils I own, or oils and other Indian herbs...

Seriously, why can't my hair just be happy with some really low impact poo bar and ACV? :wail: Or just some local herb that washes somewhat. Or WO? These things may work a week or two, but after a while my hair gets full of build up and gets so tangly I have a hard time brushing it.

At times like these I would rather just get some dreads and be over with it. With dreads I could use a quite cheap ecological shampoo (which has a "your own bottle filling system" also btw) and nothing more and my hair would look the same. Heck, my hair would dread very easily that way.

Anyone else feel the need to rant over your hair stash? :p

May 11th, 2011, 02:53 AM
I actually see my hair as moore environmental friendly than many other styles. I don't use heat or styling products, for example. But yes, the shipping is an issue. I think being totally ascetic would be out of question for myself, but I try to not overbuy on anything, wich includes hair products.

May 11th, 2011, 04:03 AM
I think my hair is actually lower impact now. I wash weekly (with shampoo and conditioner), and do WO in between, with a small amount of leave-in on the length. I'm going to start experimenting with camellia nut oil from camellia nuts that I can find where I live. Compared to washing every 2nd day and using products and heat, that's got to be an improvement! I'd love to be able to use indian herbs, then I could just compost them like I compost my face wash grains (rice, adzuki or barley bran).

May 11th, 2011, 04:28 AM
I know what you mean, I worry about what's going down the plughole. I did try WO to no avail; my scalp wasn't having any of it. I can't afford to buy entirely natural products right now; and even if I could for my hair, then there's the rest - toothpaste, facial wash, hand soap, deodorant, etc. :(

But still, I definitely think my routine with longer hair is kinder than it was with short. Although I use more conditioner at once, I use it about three times less often. I used to wash my hair every other day, taking about 20-30 minutes in the shower. I still take long showers when I wash my hair, but now that's once a week, with much quicker showers during the week to keep the rest of me fresh. I don't heat-style or blowdry at all, so no electricity use there. And many of my hairtoys are wooden, not plastic (so no nasty manufacturing process, and if it ever did go to landfill, it'd biodegrade faster). Environmentally, my hair could be a lot worse.

Milui Elenath
May 11th, 2011, 04:47 AM
I understand your difficulty.

I am very ecologically thoughtful and that is one of the reasons why I am WO (and it works well for my very dry hair) but I have used and still use things that have been imported such as hairsticks, henna and oils as well as other things I probably haven't even considered.

Years ago I tried being very purist and I almost drove myself crazy looking for things completely natural, one of which was shampoo.

Before too long I began to see everything as an environmental issue / problem. It became overwhelming and I realised that I had to focus on what I currently did, what I could do better and what I could change. Environmentalism is all about empowerment these days :D

When living in the society we do, it's all about doing the best you can.

If you can't give a particular product up look at ways of minimising it's impact. Look into the products your using, see what's in them, where they come from, what kind of policies the company has for the environment and packaging. Contact the company and let them know your concerns too.

I used to use a shampoo that came in a bio-pack (plant made plastic) bottle. If companies know their customers are interested in these things it becomes a selling point.

The one thing I hate about being concerned about the environment is that sometimes it all feels like a nasty compromise. :( :( but the more we question things the better for that is most often what brings about positive change. :)

ETA: and a thread like this gives us all a moment to critically reflect on what we do and what we can do better. So thankyou!

May 11th, 2011, 04:51 AM
Awwww, I wish I could commiserate, but my hair IS happy with low impact 'poo bars and ACV rinses, oils and the occasional baking soda clarifying.

I don't own a car, I recycle if asked to, I don't run lots of unnecessary machinery, I buy used/secondhand things. My ecological footprint is about as minimal as is possible, short of running out into the forest and living off the land, eating twigs and berries, dressing in leaves, sleeping in a hole in the ground, etc.

And the worst part about all that is that I don't really care about the environment any more than your average bear in the woods. No more than a passing curiosity. The only reason I stick with the low impact hair care is because I find it interesting, in some oddball sort of a way, not in the least concerned with how many chemicals didn't go into their production or even about potential health issues that come from those nasty evil chemicals. I could switch back to conventional products and not bat an eye.

May 11th, 2011, 05:01 AM
My big crime is arguably permanent hair dye! One thing we can all do is use less of whatever product we choose; there is a lot of that on LHC with the swap board, use up your stash thread, suggestions to dilute shampoo, using leave-in instead of wash out conditioner, stretching washes. :)

May 11th, 2011, 05:16 AM
Actually, my hair now is more environment-friendly than it was - now I use no SLS no cones shampoo and condish of a local brand (that means less shipping, and less nasties down the drain), and natural coconut oil as a leave-in instead of serums full of cones, so I'm not really worried...

Perhaps you could experiment with the CO or WO methods, or even the NW/SO (no water / sebum only)? The WO and the NW/SO are probably the most environmental friendly of all methods, but they don't work for everyone...

May 11th, 2011, 07:39 AM
Thanks, discussing about it helps a lot.

The thing is that my hair seems to be the only thing that I feel makes a bigger impact these days. All my beauty products are for my hair and my hair only :D It's kinda funny.

But yeah, you are right that it could be much worse. It is hard to live in a rich society and not to have some negative impact on our environment, unless one just goes to live in a hut somewhere off the grid (which I admit is something I've considered. lol).

Contacting companies is a great idea, I have noticed that a small thing like that can indeed make positive changes.

May 11th, 2011, 07:41 AM
I'm lucky in that my hair needs very little and loves henna.

Is it possible for you to buy your shampoo in bulk? DH and I use Max Green Alchemy and you can get larger bottles, reducing packaging :)

May 11th, 2011, 07:42 AM
Oh man, I just noticed that it says "footpring" on the threadtitle. Heh. :D Well you all know what I meant with it anyway.

Nightshade - Well, there is one shampoo I can get in bulk overhere, and it's very enviro-friendly, but unfortunately it's a disaster for my hair. But I could try and search further to see if there are others.

May 11th, 2011, 09:22 AM
Oh man, I just noticed that it says "footpring" on the threadtitle. Heh. :D Well you all know what I meant with it anyway.
It does? Really?
:magic: :whistle: :wink:

I think being 100% ecological correct all the time would be great, but it is pretty impossible. You are already trying to lower your ecological footprints the best you can and that is already more than most people do. You really don't need to feel guilty for using one product which isn't totally green, while you are aware of it and searching for better alternatives, but just did not find anything yet. Or as grandma always said: "Be as good as you can, but don't despair when you're not growing wings immediately." :wink:

My hair routine is pretty green, my house and work place are as green as I was able to make them at the moment, but there are still a lot of things left which are not exactly environmetally friendly. I'd love to change that when the possibility arises, but until that I'll work with what I have. :meditate:

May 11th, 2011, 09:36 AM
Like someone else said, it's about doing the best you can. But I sympathize. I hate what all these bottles are doing to the environment. :( I use a lot less, though. I don't wash every day like I used to.