The average UK household uses 216 hair care bottles a year. Even if you dropped that number to 50, you’re looking at 4,000 bottles if you live to 80. Just your house. Yikes.
Luckily switching your haircare isn’t tough as there are tons of options out there for every hair type- including colour-treated hair.
Making the switch to plastic-free conditioner (and plastic-free shampoo) you not only are reducing your single-use plastic usage, you will be getting better ingredients.
The companies that care enough about packaging also tend to care about using plant-based, natural ingredients that aren’t tested on animals. Many companies even donate a portion of their sales to charity.
And chances are you are also supporting a small business. Go you.
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Brand | Trawden Soap Kitchen
Features | These lovely products are handmade in the UK using vegan ingredients and are cruelty free.
The conditioner comes in glass jars and is available in two different sizes.
Brand | Conscious Skincare
Features | Conscious Skincare products are handmade in Wales and are vegan and leaping bunny certified.
All of their products are in aluminium, glass, and occasionally recyclable plastic bottles, but all of their shipping packaging is plastic-free and recyclable.
This conditioner, however, is in a plastic free bottle and is safe to use for coloured hair. It works well for curly hair, too.
Brand | Beauty Kitchen
Features | Beauty Kitchen is a Certified B corporation that not only uses sustainable, cruelty-free, vegan ingredients, they also are creating a closed loop system for their packaging.
All of their products with the ‘Return, Refill, Repeat’ stamp can be sent back to them, so they can be washed out and reused in the next batch of products. Even though the bottle is aluminium and completely recycleable, this eliminates the recycling process and goes straight to reusing.
Did I mention they donate 2% of their sales to charity?
Brand | Moo Hair
Features | Moo Hair is a family run company in Scotland that makes salon quality products without destroying the planet.
They use natural, vegan friendly ingredients and pack them in a glass bottle with an aluminium lid (though you can add a plastic pump dispenser if you need one).
Brand | Funky Soap
Features | Funky Soap London is handmade in small batches using natural, vegan ingredients.
The conditioner comes in recyclable kraft containers and a refillable option in an aluminium bottle.
You can also grab conditioner bars that come in regular and travel size which are also great for your gym kit.
Brand | Juliet Rose
Features | All the products are handmade using ingredients sourced from green companies that don’t test on animals. All of her products meet EU regulation 1223/2009 as well.
The bars are packed in recyclable, biodegradable paper envelopes making a nice zero waste addition to your hair care routine.
The conditioner bars come in various formulations for dry hair, curly hair, oily hair, etc. in a variety of beautiful, natural scents.
Brand | Fulfilled
Features | Fulfilled is a UK company doing its bit to reduce waste. Aside from their bottles being made from aluminium, they also offer a refill scheme where you get a refill pouch that’s plastic, but send it back (for free in the UK) to Fulfilled so they can recycle it. No waste. Yay.
They use natural, vegan friendly ingredients and it comes in a 500ml bottle that should last you between 3-6 months.
Brand | Foamie
Features | Foamie has created a pH balanced conditioner bar that has a handy integrated string so you can hang your bar to dry when you are finished. They also have travel packs for storage in case you don’t have space for hanging.
The ingredients are vegan and cruelty-free and will last around 90 washes.
Brand | Rowdy Kind
Features | These bars were made with kids in mind; fun colours and scents…and they float!
No nasties in this bar as all of the ingredients are vegan and cruelty free with no animal testing.
Rowdy Kind is a newer, small company with a big heart. After launching at the beginning of the pandemic, they donated the profits of their first run to the Surrey Care Trust to support their local families. Definitely a business with their hearts in the right place.
Brand | Care Bare
Features | Care Bare is handmade in Suffolk by a hairdresser wanting to create better hair products for her and her clients. She uses fast absorbing, yet moisturising oils in this bar including broccoli oil.
As they were formulated by a stylist with 20 years salon experience, the bars are safe for colour-treated hair, too.
How to Use
When using a conditioner bar you can either create a lather in your hands and work through your hair or apply the bar directly starting at the ends and working your way up. You don’t need a lot so comb the conditioner through using your fingers or a wooden come. Leave the conditioner in your hair up to 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
If you live in a hardwater area you may want to follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse if you find a lot of build up being left behind. Less is more with shampoo and conditioner bars so start by using less.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
If you live in a hard water area, you may find a build up of residue after using a bar. Using an apple cider vinegar or ACV rinse can help remove the build- up and leave your hair shiny and soft.
One part of ACV to 3 parts water is a good starting point.
Putting it in a spray bottle is the easiest application, leave it 3-5 minutes and rinse. Then condition as normal.
Funky Soap London has ready made vinegar rinses, complete with a spray top for the glass bottle. Along with the apple cider vinegar there are herbs and essential oils to make the smell a bit more pleasant.
(Not that the homemade rinse leaves a smell anyway).
You can reap the benefits of ACV without the application by taking it orally, or a much easier to stomach, gummie.
Never use ACV neat (right out of the bottle) as the high acidity can burn your skin. Make sure to dilute it and discontinue if any irritation occurs.
What is a Co-Wash?
Co-Wash stands for Conditioner Wash and basically means you are skipping the shampoo part of your hair care routine and using your conditioner to cleanse and moisturise your hair instead.
Co Washing tends to work best for those with dry or curly hair as it leaves your hair’s natural moisture intact.
Work the conditioner on your scalp first and then work through to the ends making sure to detangle with your fingers or a wide-tooth wooden comb.
Using a water-based conditioner is best as it is lighter and won’t leave build up.
You can also grab Co Wash specific products like Lush’s Avocado Wash
This doesn’t mean you can’t still shampoo occasionally but when you do, that would be a good time to use a more concentrated conditioning bar.
If you find you have some build up over time, try a pre-shampoo mask.
Zero Waste Hair Care
However you decide to use your conditioner, rest easy knowing that there are plenty of plastic-free conditioners out there to choose from so you can do good for not only your hair but the planet, too.
Just switching your shampoo and conditioner bottles to zero waste alternatives will stop you alone from sending X plastic bottles to landfill.