The Complete Guide to Sustainable & Ethical Haircare

3 May 2020 United Kingdom

*This post contains gifted items from Authentic House, however, all opinions remain my own*

After recently talking to the lovely Alice at Authentic House, I was keen to delve a little more into sustainable and ethical haircare, and how a brand can really be just that. Today, I've put together a quick guide of things worth considering when buying your next shampoo, condition or haircare product.

Thoughtful, low waste packaging

Of course, most hair care products come in a plastic bottles - while these can be recycled in many areas of the country, this isn't necessarily definitive for all and can vary from area to area. While most places do recycle plastic, there is still better, more sustainable alternatives. 

Shampoo bars are a great alternative to a bottle of a hair product - they lather just as well, clean the same and smell just as fab as a regular shampoo. These are great alternatives as it cuts out any plastic packaging. I also find them to last a lot longer than the usual shampoo. 

And, it's not just the actual packaging - do the company deliver? What I loved about my Authentic House package was that everything could be recycled - completely cardboard packaging that's much more easily recycled than certain plastics. 

Cruelty-free & Vegan

Looking more closely at the product ingredients, it's great to be able to locate that a little cruelty-free bunny on the packaging - a great indicator of the cruelty-free status of bigger companies. For smaller businesses who may not have this, it's great to see a clear list of ingredients; no beeswax, no other animal-derived ingredients that maybe be lurking in your shampoos.

It's also worth checking where the product is being sold. Big-name companies like L'oreal who still in China (where it's required by law to test any products entering their market on animals) still test on animals and therefore are not cruelty-free. Some companies now even label their products "Vegan" but while their ingredient list may be clean, the company really isn't. 

It's great to check the status of the company as well as where they sell their products. If it's a smaller company, don't be afraid to reach out and ask them to find out for yourselves. Bloggers like Ethical Elephant and Cruelty-Free Kitty are great places to consult as to if a brand is cruelty-free and/or vegan. 

Palm Oil

While you're consulting the ingredients, this is another one to look out for. The use of palm oil and the effect of its mass production are a great contributor to deforestation around the world. t is a complicated issue that I definitely recommend reading in to. You can't ignore the lasting impact palm oil production is having on the world and you'll be doing your little bit to help by simply opting for products that don't include this. 

Sustainable sourcing

It's good to take into account the products' journey - where was it made? Where was is shipped before it was shipped out to you? How many air miles has your conditioner racked up? Looking at haircare brands closer to home is also a great way to help this - local brands and business. Does your hairdresser stock their own products? Is there any specialist haircare stores near you that can help you? 

Also, checking how the products are made and who buy. How do they treat their staff? Do they use fairtrade ingredients? These are all questions worth asking before picking up your next hair care product. It really is worth questioning how is it so cheap? 

Shop small!

So many large commercial manufacturers and brands have some shady pasts when you start looking at all the answers for the questions I've mentioned. That's why it's encouraging to see so many people investing in smaller businesses who don't have the problematic backgrounds of these larger companies. They are forward-thinking, sustainable and ethical in how their products are produced. That's exactly like Alice at Authentic House - she collates some of the UK's best sustainable companies, promoting all the above into a subscription box. This includes not only hair care but kitchenware, dental products and more. This is a brand I can definitely back for really helping others shop sustainable, ethically and small. 

Be sure to check out Authentic House's website as well over on Instagram

Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

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