4 Ways to Make Your Hair Care Greener

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Treehugger / Caitlin Rogers

It all comes down to using less of everything.

If you're wanting to make your beauty routine greener, start by assessing how you take care of your hair. Washing, conditioning, rinsing, and styling hair is a resource- and energy-intensive process that can usually be pared back. Not only will it be better for the environment, but you'll also gain valuable time in your day. Here are some things to think about:

1. Cut down on the frequency of your washes.

A woman lathering shampoo in her hair.

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This is the easiest way to save on everything – time, water, product, energy – but it can be a hard adjustment for people who have been conditioned (sorry) to wash their hair daily. Nevertheless, you should try to train your hair to go longer. Your hair will be healthier if you wash it less. Over-washing strips the hair shafts of their regular oils and triggers extra oil production to compensate. The result is a self-perpetuating cycle in which greasier hair makes you want to wash it more, which makes it greasier.Check out this guide for advice: 9 steps to washing your hair less

2. Turn down the heat.

A woman tests water temperature in the shower.

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Hot water is expensive and energy-intensive to produce, and we should all be trying to use less of it. Wash your hair in cooler water and you'll find it helps the texture, resulting in less frizz. Take this one step further and turn off the water completely when you're shampooing.

3. Choose green products.

Baking soda in a measuring spoon spilling on a table.

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What goes onto your scalp and into your hair will get absorbed by your body, and the rest will get washed down the drain, so it's important to choose shampoos and conditioners that are clean and safe. Pick ones with short, legible ingredient lists that score well on EWG's Skin Deep database. Look for minimal, plastic-free, refillable packaging or zero-waste bars, if possible, or simplify further by using only baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Whatever you choose, use less of it – and ignore the outdated advice to "wash, rinse, repeat." That's a marketing lie.

4. Style less.

A black woman touches her natural hair in the mirror.

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Ditch the plastic bottles of fancy product and the energy-guzzling blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. Embrace a more natural look by letting your hair air dry (its overall health will improve over time, too) and using a bit of coconut or organ oil to combat frizz. Play with hairstyles that don't rely on numerous inputs to make you look and feel great.

Hat tip to Inhabitat: Help save the environment one hair wash at a time