Haircare Sustainability

By Angelo Balagtas, GLOBUS Correspondent

It’s been said that your hair is your crown. It’s then unsurprising that we love to take good care of our hair. We may forget in these efforts, however, that we maybe forming unsustainable habits. In fact, did you know that a 10-minute shower can use the same amount of energy as leaving your TV on for 20 hours, or that running hot water is typically our most energy-intensive activity in the home (University of Southampton, 2019). Much of that hot water, moreover, washes our hair. .  

In a study conducted in 2012, it was found that three out of four scrubs and peelings contain micro plastics, as well as commerical shampooes and conditioners (North Sea Foundation, Marine Conservation Society, Seas At Risk & Plastic Soup Foundation, 2012). Moreover, micro plastics that have originated from personal care are currently not able to be removed from waste water, due to the PE beads being too small to be filtered out (ibid, 2012). This can form ripple effects, from marine to terrestral environments. This then presents a growing concern within the beauty industry, forming them as detrimental not only to the environment, but to human health. 

With this in mind, this article presents a few suggestions to reduce our waste and avoid using products that may contain microplastics.  

  1. Use tepid water to save energy (it’s also better for your hair and skin) 
  2. Make your own Zero-Waste DIY conditioner. I assure you it’s super easy! (Click here for a tried and tested recipe)
  3. Search for eco-friendly hair salons in your local area. You can use this website to help you get started: http://ecohairandbeauty.com/salon-locator/ 
  4. Wear your hair up in styles such as buns, ponytails, so you won’t feel the need to wash your hair everyday!
  5. Check the ingredients in your hair products – Polyethylene and Polypropylene are the most common plastic particles found in beauty products.

Header Image: Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

References

University of Southampton. (2019) Building sustainability into hair and beauty. https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2019/02/building-sustainability-into-hair.page. Accessed 4 January 2020.  

North Sea Foundation, Marine Conservation Society, Seas At Risk & Plastic Soup Foundation. (2012). Micro plastics in personal care products. https://seas-at-risk.org/images/pdf/archive/PositionPaper.microplastics.August2012.pdf Accessed 4 January 2020. 

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