When I recently shared my updated curly hair regimen, my main focus was to share my hair care techniques and methods for healthy curls. My focus for this regimen was to create zero waste, or as close as possible. It was also important for this regimen to be extremely simple and free of toxic chemicals that pollute our water supply. I’ve mixed some of the principles of water only hair washing for extra moisture with four all natural “products”… an olive oil soap bar, a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse, shea butter, and my henna/coconut milk hair treatment. Let’s now get into the product brands, where I purchase everything, and the average monthly/yearly cost of this regimen.
Pure Olive Oil Soap–Shampoo
I purchase Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap wrapped in recyclable paper packaging from Whole Foods or Sprouts. I use it in the place of fancier shampoo bars because it works better for my curly hair. While doing some research, I learned that pure castile soap traditionally only contained olive oil where now other brands use various carrier oils. Pure olive oil soap is said to be the most gentle kind of soap that can be used on skin and hair. Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap is fragrance-free, phthalate-free, GMO-free, free of artificial colors, and has no animal testing. It only contains three ingredients… saponified olive oil, water, and sea salt.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar–Conditioner/pH Balancer
I dilute apple cider vinegar with water to create a simple hair conditioning rinse after I wash my hair with the pure olive oil soap. I purchase organic apple cider vinegar from Trader Joe’s, and it comes in a recyclable glass bottle. Infusing apple cider vinegar with herbs or adding a few drops of essential oils to this rinse is wonderful.
Supporting fair trade is important to me. Mountain Rose Herbs only sells organic and fair trade ingredients in bulk, so I bought a gallon of shea butter to minimize the quantity of packaging over time. This gallon will last me for possibly two years. I’ve decided that I could repurpose this gallon container to collect food scraps for composting. Hard plastics can also be down-cycled much more easily than flimsy plastic packaging.
Henna + Amla + Coconut Milk–Hair Treatment
I’ve been using henna for hair since March 2010, so six years now. I’ve always mixed henna and coconut milk for the best results. I’ve recently been adding amla powder to my henna mix. I have yet to find a local store that sells henna loose in the bulk section in Los Angeles like the organic co-op I saw in Portland, Oregon yet I am hopeful. In the meantime, I currently purchase henna and amla from my local Indian grocery store. The packaging for this henna and amla powder is sadly not zero waste at all, yet one of each will last the entire year. Inside the paper box, the amla is packaged in plastic. I purchase organic canned coconut milk from Trader Joe’s which is recyclable.
Extremely Cost Effective Hair Care
I’ve spent ridiculous amounts on curly hair care in the past. Now that I have a simple regimen that works well for me, I’ve also greatly reduced my hair care budget. I would say that this almost zero waste hair care regimen will cost an average of $96 for the year, or $8 per month. You can see the financial breakdown below of the items I purchased locally aside from the shea butter which was ordered online.
Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap (8 oz)–$3.99 each or $11.97 for three bars this year as it lasts a very long time.
Trader Joe’s Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (16 oz)–$2.49 each or $7.47 for three during the year using 2 oz of apple cider vinegar to 6 oz of water for each rinse.
Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Fair Trade Shea Butter (1 gallon/128 ounces + shipping)–$113.00 (or $56.50 for the year) This will probably last me two years! I will freeze half to extend the shelf life.
Dulhan Supreme Henna (500 g)–$6.99 for 6 treatments by using 0.75 cups per treatment.
Hesh Amla Powder (100 g)–$2.99 by using 2 tablespoons with each treatment.
Trader Joe’s Organic Canned Coconut Milk (13.5 oz)–$1.69 or $10.14 for six full cans for six treatments.
If you have not read how I incorporate these “products” into my curly hair regimen along with daily water only hair rinses, then check out My Zero Waste Curly Hair Regimen. I share so much detail about my daily, bi-weekly, and bi-monthly techniques to makes these simple products do wonders for my hair in that article!
(Images by Briony Albert & Dawn Michelle)