My Zero-Waste Hair Care Routine

Confession: For most of my life I've been a chronic hair over washer. For years I have been wanting to switch to a more zero waste hair care routine but never committed because the adjustment period (about 2 weeks) of “quitting” shampoo is ROUGH. Not gonna lie, I strategically switched to bar shampoo during a time when I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the house for at least a month..

But friends, I’m happy to say I’ve made it to the other side.

My top reasons for switching:
- my poor scalp was being stripped of oil from store bought products. 

- Minimal Ingredients!! There are 3 ingredients in my shampoo bar: Pine tar, nettle leaf, and olive oil. I use apple cider vinegar and herbs to condition. No sulfates, no parabens, no yucky stuff.

- Saving $$. For $8-12 one bar can last for several months. I’m also finding I wash my hair way less: 1-2x a week (vs 3-4)

- After just one month my scalp is more nourished, my hair is shinier and stronger.

It definitely took a few weeks of my hair looking like a mess, but then something miraculous happened. My scalp started to figure out that it didn't need to over produce oil like crazy to combat with every oil stripping wash. There was a turning point after week three when my hair was noticeably softer and full of volume.

Tips for making the switch:

  • Choose a shampoo bar with herbs that naturally help with hair growth, softness, and scalp health. Nettle, rosemary, horsetail, lavender, and chamomile are a good place to start. I started using this bar with pine tar and nettle to combat dandruff and itchiness, but I also use this bar because it smells amazing and helps with hair growth.

  • Wash thoroughly. Like even more so than you would with shampoo. Really take your time, and using your hands to build up a lather, work it through each section of hair. It will take longer, but this really is the trick to using a bar vs liquid shampoo.

  • Follow up with an herbal rinse, then a vinegar rinse. I've tried multiple washes with the finishing rinse vs without, and it makes a big difference in softness, shininess, and smoothness. Here's my two part conditioning routine: 
  1. Brew up a big jar of hair “tea” with nettle, rosemary, & chamomile. Strain and put in the fridge to cool. Use this for the first rinse.
  2. Dilute 8 Tbs apple cider vinegar with 1 quart of cold water. Use this rinse to seal hair. The cold water is really important for both of these steps as it helps seal the hair follicles.
  • And finally- I recommend using a dry powder between washing to absorb oil and extend the life of each wash. This one or this one both work great for me! Just put a little on a makeup brush and work from the roots down.


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