0029. tps: low waste haircare

In all honesty, I'm currently financially limited. I took a year off to travel, I want to buy land and I strongly believe that how I spend my money matters - this usually means spending more. Products from responsible companies cost more because rather than take the cheapest route, they take the ethical one and I understand and support that 100%.

But, what happens when I run out of shampoo? I can make it!

There are so many positives to a sustainable lifestyle, these are just some of my favorite: you get to protect the planet through small, daily decisions; self-imposed limitations lead to creativity; you keep gross, creepy chemicals out of your home and you save money. This is a message I want to spread from rooftops for all to hear.

Well, this is my digital rooftop so here is a tried and tested recipe I found that is also AB approved. I wash my hair thrice a week at most, but that man is very supple - not showering everyday is out of the question which means shampoo goes faster than I'd like. While bars and refill services are also wonderful choices, making it cost less than those options. Needless to say, I'm a very happy panda.

This recipe came from Low Impact Movement, an awesome, newish website with a few other DIYs - I'm excited to see what else they put out.


+  1/4 cup castille soap
+  1/4 cup organic coconut milk
+  1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
+  20 drops peppermint & cypress essential oils (feel free to omit)
+  1 tablespoon bentonite clay (steer clear of metal when using this ingredient)

+ Place all ingredients in a non-metal bowl and mix until fully combined.
+ Store in your bathroom in a bottle of your choice (I reused a hot sauce bottle). Separation will occur, shake well before using.

+  Do not use metal with bentonite clay - it will render it useless.
+  I used 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil because I was worried about oiliness.
+  If you check out the original recipe, it calls for lavender and rosemary essential oils, I used what I had on hand and really love the cypress scent, I smell like a tree and it supposedly helps with oily hair. I love that you can customize scents and oils for your hair type - different oils have different benefits.
+  I was able to get the soap and clay in bulk and it is so wonderful - I made no waste and I can buy only what I need which makes it affordable. I know lots of people don't have access to amazing coops so I was thinking of offering a shipping service - if you don't have these options where you live would you be interested in this?

Are you wondering what about conditioner? As someone who's never had hair shorter than my shoulders I always thought conditioner was necessary. At some point two years ago I ran out, couldn't find a good option (aka didn't have time to research), and ended up realizing I don't actually need it. When you wash your hair less and brush every night the natural oil your hair produces makes conditioner unnecessary.

If you're thinking 'you're the worst, I don't believe you,' I completely understand - that's how I feel when people say they don't use deodorant. Fret not, I have a rinse recipe too. I've always thought my hair felt weird when I washed it at AB's parents and then it got worse than weird, it got really gross and gunky. Turns out they have hard water and it was making my hair awful. Enter: apple cider vinegar, the holy grail of natural beauty. I used it to get the mineral residue out of my hair and woah was my hair silky. I've since made my mom and sister try it to wean them off plastic-bottled products and they like it too! Yay for spreading zero-waste methods.

ACV rinse:

+  1 part filtered water
+  1 part apple cider vinegar (the kind with 'the mother')
+  Optional: a few drops of essential oil, I like cypress

+  Mix ingredients in a spray bottle for easy application.
+  After shampooing, spray your hair - a little goes a long way. Rinse after a few minutes. If you have dandruff you can spray and massage your scalp and it will help with this too.

Update: AB found the essential oils too harsh so I omit them altogether now. My new shampoo routine is even simpler! Before showering I put 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 drops of Dr. Bronner's in an old Talenti jar - you can use less depending on your hair length. In the shower I add 1 cup of warm water and slowly pour/rub into my scalp. After rinsing, I follow up with an ACV mix (a dollop with 1 cup of water). Feel free to experiment with ratios - hair to toes, we're all unique :)

Would you try these? What's your haircare routine like? 


  1. Love this! I currently live in the Caribbean and getting good shampoos is nearly impossible, especially natural eco friendly ones. For the second shampoo you mentioned, what is the Dr. Bronner's you are using? I know they make a lot of products.

    1. Hi! The Caribbean sounds dreamy - you have no idea how much i'm yearning for ocean, warmth and sun. I use the unscented, liquid castile. almond is a nice (light) scent too. https://shop.drbronner.com/products/baby-unscented-pure-castile-liquid-soap

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