-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Hair Care (Part 1)

Month 2 – February It’s Hair Care – Part 1


As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet. What could you do today?

What Am I Looking For?

When looking at products I always found that they contained such a load of other harmful chemicals. Watching what food & drink I put into my and my families body made me really aware of what chemicals we were putting ON our bodies that would still pass through the skin into our bloodstream.

I’ve spent the last 5yrs swapping to non toxic brands, but that doesn’t mean that they are eco friendly too. So here I am making more swaps. This month finding hair care- shampoo & conditioner that met my criteria and as a Hairdresser by trade and kids with mixed origin hair this is a tough call!

What Is My Criteria?

My criteria for swapping over Hair Care-Shampoo & Conditioner are:

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

2. No Aluminiums or Parabans or Sulphates or Silicons

3a Reduce Single Use Plastic

OR 3b Eliminate the plastic all together*

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is on average £15 a month on various different brands based on offers & discounts I find & stock up

* This the overall goal, but this may not be such a cut & dry swap out like last months deodorants

What Did I find?

Going into this I was all like…yep zero waste, doing it, got it set.

This was harder than expected. I thought I would just grab some shampoo & conditioner bars and boom that’s my monthly swap done. However what happen was more like, couldn’t find any in the supermarket stores, certainly wasn’t any in the poundland/dollar store style shops, spent hours scrolling google & instagram and got frustrated and you certainly couldn’t.t pick up anything for a few quid.

Again BootsTheChemist came up trumps again, not only do they stock the wild deodorants from last month they actually had a selection of so many Brands of Shampoo Bars

Herbal Essence

Head & Shoulders Shampoo Bars



Eco Warrier

Faith in Nature


John Freda

Bleach London

L’Oreal Men Expert Barber

But only Ethique & Aussie had the matching Conditioner bars

Display in BootsTheChemist

Since then I actually found Alberto Balsam Shampoo Bars & Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bars stocked in a section in tesco, but again no conditioner bars. So I am sure we will be seeing these pop up in more supermarket stores & in larger selections

I’m all for online shoping but if I can actually see, touch & smell products and save on the postage & environmental cost of delivery for a single item, then I totally will and if I can add it to my weekly/monthly grocery shopping without any extra postage or any added delivery then that’s a huge win.

Here is what I tried

Aussie Shampoo & Conditioner Bars. As they were one of the 2 that had matching conditioner bars and I was already familiar with this brand


This moisturising solid shampoo bar, lovingly made with Australian Macadamia Nut Oil, will make your mane as soft as a baby Koala. Fur-real!

With 98% natural ingredients*

Certified PETA cruelty-free and vegan formula.

* 98% naturally derived ingredients, with the remaining 2% for a good usage experience and product stability.

Naturally derived ingredients maintain >50% of their natural origin material.

Taken from their product description
Aussie Shampoo & Conditioner Bars. I picked the volumising shampoo bar for me to try out
String is ideal for them to dry out super fast & keeps the bathroom tidy

How Did It Fit My Criteria?

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

This is my No1 priority before even looking at anything else. Ideally I would prefer to support fully Vegan & Cruelty Free businesses.

Aussie state: As a PETA recognised cruelty free hair care brand, you can rest assured that we care deeply about our furry friends, large and small. Having doubts about what vegan hair care means? No worries! We did all the digging for you. The SOS range is Vegan and so are the Bars.

YES – This works for me!

2. No Aluminiums or Parabans or Sulphates or Silicons

After so many years of reading labels, endless hours looking up chemical names, I am not about to give this up just because it is eco friendly. I need to have both, all, my criteria met to make yet another swap

Aussie state: No parabens or aluminium or silicons are used in this product and Sodium coco sulphate (SCS) is used to create the rich foam that cleanses hair and skin.

Made from the fatty acids of coconut oil, Sodium Coco Sulphate (SCS) it’s a good palm-free alternative to sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).

Sodium coco sulphate is a surfactant. All surfactants are partly water-soluble and partly oil-soluble, allowing oil and water to become dispersed.

Sodium coco sulphate is a much larger molecule which is too big to penetrate the skin and affect living cells under the surface like SLS can.

YES – This works for me! (but can I find a non sulphate alternative?….probably, although it does restrict the foam for cleaning hair and makes it difficult to actually clean your hair)

Makes a great fine foam very quickly by rubbing in your hands or straight into your hair or head

3a Reduce single Use Plastic

OR 3b Eliminate the plastic all together*

In this case these bars are 3b, they eliminate plastic all together. There is just the box to recycle which is a huge step from plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles hitting my recycling bin every month

Aussie state: Recyclable box and paper packaging

YES – This works for me!

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is on average £15 a month on various different brands based on offers & discounts I find & stock up

These cost me £9.99 each from Boots, I have yet to see these on offer. I have been using the shampoo for the the last 2mths and Aussie state it is like 2 bottles of shampoo. it foams up so well I think I will get another month out of this bar, which is great.

The Conditioner bar however, I have not been able to get on with at all. It is just like a thick bar of lard, no matter how much I warm it up it just goes on my hair clumpy, thick and leaves it greasy.

YES – This works for me! HOWEVER I need to address the Conditioner situation

I will be continuing this into a PART 2 to see how I can change up the whole families Shampoo and Conditioner situation to address and eliminate plastic from our home into our recycling bin.

This is after 2mths use
Conditioner bar I used twice and didn’t get on with it, this is after being rubbed in hot water

Top 5 Reasons To Try This Swap

1. The whole reason is to stop extra waste coming out of the household. This produces ZERO PLASTIC waste each month!!

2. Small box of cardboard to recycle every other month rather than plastic bottles

3. Better on the environment not shipping any water to and from

4. Take up less space in your bathroom and these had hanging string so they dried out really fast.

5. Shampoo bars are easily accessible from bootsthechemist and more bars starting to be brought out into the mainstream supermarkets

As a household of 5 we each get through our shampoo and conditioner bottles once a month that would be 24 plastic bottles eliminated per year if we all used a style shampoo and conditioner bar.

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year? Could you look into your hair care too? What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste

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Published by buildingafoodforestscotland

Building a Food Forest -Scotland Edwardian 1903 Home & Garden in Scotland Planting With Permaculture Design

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