If you have curly hair, you understand how difficult it can be to find the right hair product that works for you. It’s an endless cycle of trial and error. So many brands say they’re curl-friendly when they really aren’t. Plus, most of those brands and products use ingredients that could harm your precious curls anyways. Like a lot of curlies, I used to wish I had straight hair when I was younger. I had a hard time embracing my curls because it was different and “messy”. But as I grew older, I learned to LOVE my hair. It’s a huge part of my identity. I’ve been through a lot of challenges with my hair, and that includes finding earth-friendly products to help take care of it. But don’t you worry, curlfriend. This is why I’ve tried out these five zero waste curly hair products and let you know my thoughts.
FYI, this is a guest post written by Sydney Montagna, a zero waste advocate and aspiring writer. These products were kindly gifted by Plaine Products and Tiny Yellow Bunaglow. This post contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
I Tried These Zero Waste Curly Hair Products: Here’s What I Think
Zero Waste and Curls
Did you know that women with curly hair are more likely to spend twice as much for hair care products? Over a three month period, a study found that curly-haired women spend an average of $82, while women with calmer and straighter hair spend an average of $40.
Because of this, women with curly hair are purchasing more and more products every few months. That means more plastic and more chemicals being dumped in the landfills and oceans.
Taking care of curly hair can be a struggle as is. Let alone trying to find and use products that are zero waste friendly. There are a lot of natural hair products out there, but not all of them are curl-friendly.
Ever wondered why your curly hair is curly? The answer is simple: follicles. If your follicles are perfect circles, then your hair is most likely straight. If your follicles are flatter and more oval shaped, then your hair strands most likely form curls, rings, kinks, and zig-zags.
The natural oils secreted from your follicles are going to travel along the length of your hair shaft. If the hair shaft bends and kinks and curves, those natural oils will have a longer distribution time than those with wavy and straight hair!
Believe it or not, people with curly hair don’t need to shampoo as often as those with straight hair. There aren’t as many hair follicles or sebaceous glands, so their scalps aren’t nearly as oily as straight hair folk. So no worries, you aren’t gross for only washing your hair once or twice a week. The thicker your hair is, the longer you can go without cleansing.
If you take a look at this guide, you can determine what your curly hair type is. You’ll be able to decipher details about your hair type and determine just how wavy, curly, kinky, or coily it is!
*For reference, I have 3B style curls according to the curly hair type guide*
Products I tried:
Description: This frizz free spray by Simple Planet comes in a generous 9oz. metal bottle. It’s completely free of parabens, silicones, allergens, phthalates, artificial colors and fragrances. All ingredients are natural and plant-based, so there are no nasty chemicals being absorbed by your scalp. This spray is available in two scents: lavender and unscented. To use it, just spritz sparingly on damp hair and use either a wide tooth comb or your fingers to comb through each section.
My thoughts: Frizzy hair is a huge enemy of mine, as it is for most curlfriends, so I was excited to give this spray a go. The bottle is sleek and much larger than you would expect a frizz spray to be, which I liked. When I used it, I sprayed it onto my damp hair and combed through it with my fingers to spread it everywhere. The lavender scent is really pretty and not too overbearing.
I went to the park that day, where it was over 70 degrees, so it was the perfect day to test out a frizz spray. I noticed that my hair actually didn’t get as frizzy as it normally would on a warm, humid day. Win! However, I also noticed that my hair wasn’t as vivacious or curly as it usually is post wash. So, while the spray did its job well and prevented frizz, it did minimize my curls
BUT, it’s important to remember that everyone’s hair is different and reacts differently to every product.
Water, Flaxseed*, Aloe Vera*, Abyssinian Oil*, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Lavender Essential Oil* (in scented option)
Description: Searching for a new eco shampoo that’s curl-friendly? This natural shampoo from Plaine Products is bound to get the job done. Since aloe is the main ingredient, it restores essential nutrients and enhances your hair’s natural texture. It comes in a large 16 oz. bottle that’s made of metal, so it’s completely reusable and refillable. The two scents available are rosemary mint vanilla or citrus lavender. But if you prefer no fragrance at all, there’s an unscented option as well. If you’d like to start off with a smaller size, you can purchase the 2.5 oz. travel size bottles.
This shampoo is free of silicone, GMOs, palm oil and sulfates. Also, it’s color safe, vegan and cruelty free. Before purchasing, you have an option to add a pump to your order. Everything will be shipped and delivered in a recyclable cardboard box.
My thoughts: I used the citrus lavender scented shampoo and I adore how it smells. It’s not overwhelming, but isn’t too subtle either. I rubbed it in and let it sit for a minute or so before I rinsed it off, which is the recommended procedure. Once my hair was dry, I immediately noticed that my hair didn’t feel stringy or weighed down like it does after using certain shampoos. My curls were bouncy and soft to the touch! I’m quite picky with my hair products, so I was amazed that this natural shampoo did such a great job. I loved it and I’ll definitely be using it again.
Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Saponified Oils of Coconut and Safflower Seed, Guar Gum, and Irish Moss (Red Algae Extract – Carrageen). Organic Camellia, Sunflower, and Ricebran Oils. Extracts of Chamomile and Quillaja Saponaria. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts. Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra, and Potassium Sorbate. Scent: Rosemary Essential Oil, Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, Vanilla Essential Oil OR Bergamot Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil 16 oz, 473 ML
Description: Just like the shampoo, this yummy smelling conditioner is stored in a 16 oz. metal bottle, with smaller travel sizes available as well. It’s completely free of sulfates, palm oil, silicone, and GMOs. It’s also reusable, refillable, and biodegradable. If applicable, you can subscribe to receive a new bottle to refill it with between every one to six months. This conditioner’s vegan ingredients will bring your hair back to life, making it silky smooth. Aloe is also the main ingredient here, which will keep your curly hair hydrated, healthy and shiny.
It’s perfect for all hair types, which makes it curl-friendly as well. You have the option to add a pump to your order, however it’s encouraged to do so only when it’s your first time purchasing.
My thoughts: I used this right after I used the shampoo in the same scent. While I’m in the shower I like to scrunch my hair a bit while putting conditioner in, both before and after rinsing it. A little product goes a long way, as its thick texture spreads very smoothly onto your hair.
When it dried, my curls were much more luminous than usual and very bouncy. Which excited me because that’s exactly what I’ll need with these warmer months creeping up on us. Heat and humidity is a curly girl’s worst enemy, after all. I think this product worked beautifully for me. Paired with the shampoo, they’re a perfect match and I can’t wait to use this conditioner again!
Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Emulsifiers and Glycerin, Alpha Hydroxy Acids from Sugarcane, and Fruit Extracts of Bilberry and Olive. Shea and Mango Butters, Guar Gum, Irish Moss (Red Algae Extract – Carrageen), Organic Camellia, Sunflower and Jojoba Seed Oils. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts, Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra, and Potassium Sorbate. Scent: Rosemary Essential Oil, Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, Vanilla Essential Oil OR Bergamot Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil.
Description: This multi-purpose beauty oil will change your skin, hair and life. Plaine Products beauty oil is vegan and cruelty free. It’s also free of palm oil, parabens, sulfate, synthetic fragrances and GMOs. You can use this oil on your face, body, and hair! It moisturizes the skin to diminish the appearances of wrinkles and scars, while in the hair it reduces frizz and nourishes split ends. It also works wonders in beards and keeps them hydrated and healthy.
Plaine Products donated 1% towards environmental non-profits. This oil is packaged in a 2.5 oz. aluminum bottle that’s reusable and recyclable. When you’re almost done with this zero waste bottle, simply order a refill bottle sans-pump! You can also fill out a form to receive a shipping label to send your original bottles back so Plaine Products can reuse them.
My thoughts: This was my first time using any kind of beauty oil, especially in my hair. Adding any kind of oil into my hair usually worries me, since mine is naturally a bit oily and I know how quickly my hair can frizz. My hair reaches my mid-back and I can confidently say that a little goes a long way. I noticed the results immediately- my hair was instantly shiny and rejuvenated. The only downside was how it made my hair feel. It LOOKED great, but it did feel rather oily. I may still use this in the future because of how nice my curls looked, but the oiliness can be a bit of a deterrent.
Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, squalane (olive derived), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, linum usitatissmum (flax) seed oil, rosa canina (rose hip) seed oil, camellia oleifera seed oil, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, rubus idaeus (raspberry) seed oil, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, lavandula angustifolia (french lavender) oil, citrus aurantium (neroli) oil, anthemis nobilis (roman chamomile) flower oil, beta-carotene. Clary Sage Essential Oil.
Description: Looking for a lightweight hair repair spray that will bring your curls back to life? Well look no further! It’s packaged in a 2.5 oz. aluminum bottle that’s recyclable and reusable. You have the option of adding a pump to your order if you want it to be a spray or not adding one if that’s your preferred method. This lightweight formula can be added to damp or dry hair, focusing on the ends to replenish moisture. It also works to detangle hair, repair split ends, and give your hair it’s natural shine back.
Plaine Products hair repair spray is extremely versatile. You can also use it before going in the sun or pool to prevent drying. Or you can add it in your hair the next day to help revitalize your curls. As usual, this spray is free of sulfates, silicones, pal oil, parabens, and GMOs. It comes in a yummy green tea scent and you’re highly encouraged to reuse the bottle or return it to Plaine Products so they can reuse it.
My thoughts: Like most people, the ends of my hairs get the most dry. It can be annoying when the top of your curls look pretty and shiny, but the bottoms are all split and dry looking. I applied this hair repair to the bottom of my curls while they were damp. I combed through with my fingers and I also scrunched my hair up. It added SO much extra curl, I was amazed. And, I even added some to my hair the next day to keep my curls healthy looking since sleeping on my hair always makes it look all crazy.
This spray revitalized my curls and kept the bottoms looking shiny and healthy, whether my hair was damp or dry! So I will definitely be using this more often, especially in the Summer time before jumping in the pool.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Argania Spinose (Argan) Kernel Oil, Sodium Alginate, Microcrystalline Cellulose (Wood Pulp), Algin (Seaweed derived), Coco-Glucoside (Coconut derived), Sclerotium Gum, Gellan Gum, Chitosan, Potassium Sorbate, and Sodium Benzoate. Green Tea Natural Fragrance.
What’s your favorite zero waste curly hair product?
Would you enjoy reading a part two where I try out more zero waste curly hair products? Leave a comment below if so!
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Guest post: Sydney Montagna is an advocate for animals and plastic-free living. She is studying English and is an aspiring writer. In her spare time, you can find her watching classic TV shows and researching all things Michael Jackson related.