Gifts,  Hair,  Health & Beauty

Eco-friendly, natural hair treatments

Still got unruly lockdown hair? In the UK, hairdressers re-opened in April and the waiting lists are finally no more. Sometimes all you can do is cut off those frazzled ends and start over.

Haircare is such a big market. And yet, somehow, decent eco-friendly haircare is still a bit of a mystery.

For those of us with more than a wisp of hair, shampoo is the bare essential here. Unless you enjoy channelling your inner Worzel Gummidge, you’ll need conditioner too. It’s pretty non-negotiable.

If you’re feeling generous (or need to reverse that scarecrow hair), a decent hair treatment also wouldn’t go amiss.

Today’s post is about just that: eco-friendly hair treatments. Ideally to be used once a fortnight or monthly. But even if you manage one just a few times a year, that’ll make a difference.

What’s wrong with conventional hair treatments?

There are probably hundreds of products out there you can turn to for a deep hair treatment. Sadly, the majority of these come in non-recyclable packaging. Mainly those plastic tubs which look like they should be recyclable but actually aren’t.

Or those little oil-filled single-use plastic vials (I like to call them ‘viles’).

So packaging is a big issue that really hasn’t improved much over the years.  From what I can see of the mainstream brands, only Garnier have made the effort to use containers made out of recyclable PET or PP plastic.

The other key issue is that most mainstream hair treatments are packed FULL of chemicals. The usual er-how-do-I-even-pronounce-it suspects. Things like:

  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Phthalates
  • Dimethicone
  • Triethanolamine
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan

Also, the ‘higher end’ conventional hair treatments can cost a lot. £20 – £30 per pack is not unheard of. Even more annoying if you forget to use them up.

And there’s always the risk that you invest in one and it turns out to be a dud. Philip Kingsley, Elasticizer, I’m talking about you.

Greener haircare

So, there are two main products I turn to when I feel like treating my hair without breaking the planet or my wallet.

The first is good old apple cider vinegar (ACV). Have you tried it on your hair and scalp yet? It really does work wonders.

I use the Aspall brand which you can pick up in most UK supermarkets. You just need to measure out in a jug and then add filtered water in a ratio of 1:3.  Then add the mixture to a spray bottle or other bottle if you don’t have one with a spray mechanism.

ACV is a great astringent. Just apply the diluted version on your scalp and hair after shampooing, leave for about 5 minutes and then rinse. When your hair dries it’ll be super soft, shiny and silky.

The ACV mix also works wonders on soothing and clearing up flaky, dry scalp.

The only downside is the vinegary smell! It’s not great. You might want to add a few drops of essential oils into your mixture to combat it.

Taking things up a notch 

So ACV really helps to balance your scalp and soften and strengthen your hair. But if you need a more intensive treatment, a good hair oil makes all the difference.

I really like Lani’s tropical hair treatment. It’s made up of coconut oil, camellia seed oil, kukui nut oil and macadamia nut oil. No nasties.

As you can see from the pic, it comes in a cute glass bottle with an aluminium screw-top lid. It’s definitely lovely enough to be a gift for any eco warriors you know (who won’t think you’re suggesting they have scarecrow hair 😬).

How to use it

A little goes a long way, so although the bottle is dinky, it really lasts. For shoulder-length hair, you’ll need about a tablespoon full. Just pour into your palms and massage in to your hair and scalp. I tend to apply before a bath as the heat really helps the oils.

You can leave it in for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you want a more intense hair hit. I’ve not tried the overnighter for the sake of my pillow cases. But if you have one you don’t mind getting oily, it might be worth a go.

Be sure to shampoo out thoroughly after use. You might need to cleanse your hair twice to remove all the product.

After use your hair will be smoother, silkier and stronger. Your eco-credentials will be higher. And your bank balance will have suffered less.

You can also use the treatment during the day to tame frizz and fly-aways by applying a tiny amount to smooth over your hair. Very handy, given the UK’s rainy forecasts.

Does it smell really tropical?

The fragrance of the Lani oil is coconutty but as it’s all natural, it’s very subtle. There’s no over-powering sunshiney scent. If you enjoy the (fake) luxurious smell of mainstream hair products, this might take some getting used to.

I have tried pure melted coconut oil on its own and I know some people who swear by this for hair strengthening. If you want to try that out first (and be even kinder to your bank balance), it might be worth a go. Especially if you have multiple long-haired people in your family who’d like to try a treatment.

More about the brand

Lani was set up in the UK by Vi in 2014. This treatment oil was its launch product! Since then it’s gone on to become a global best-seller and won loads of green beauty awards.

All Lani products are natural and made from high quality, food grade ingredients. They’re cruelty-free and suitable for vegans.

Lani is currently supporting four fantastic animal charities:

Amicii Dog Rescue, a UK charity set up to support a dog rescue shelter in Transylvania, Romania

Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary, a farm animal sanctuary in Kent, UK

Gut Aiderbichl, an animal rescue in Austria

Slaughterhouse Survivors, a dog rescue in China

Packaging

Lani products come in bright, cheerful, glass containers. Some products have plastic droppers but these are in the process of being phased out.

If you order directly from Lani, items are delivered in cardboard boxes, wrapped in acid free tissue with recycled paper stickers and paper tape. In other words, plastic-free.

So what are your thoughts on greener haircare? Have you tried this treatment or any other Lani products? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

Lani Tropical Hair Treatment Oil, 100ml for £14.99, available directly from Lani here (5% off orders if you sign up to the newsletter). Also from other good eco-friendly online shops.

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