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5 Green Hair Care Tips That Don't Take Any Extra Effort

woman with long dark hair looking down
Everybody wants to go green. Whether you’re carpooling to work instead of driving alone or reluctantly bidding farewell to plastic water bottles, making even the slightest bit of difference in the world is an undeniably good feeling. You can apply those same smart choices to your at-home beauty routine. Maybe you’re constantly on the go, but taking a second to reconsider longstanding habits is a planet-friendly idea.

Scroll down so find out which no-effort actions you can add to your hair care routine for Earth Day (and hopefully many days after). Whether you love dark brown hair or something brighter, we can all agree: There’s no such thing as a beauty routine that can’t be reexamined.

Cut back on wash days.

At the heart of every hair routine lies the factor that determines everything else: how often you suds up your hair. If you have oily roots, you might be in the shower starting fresh every day, which is a personal time suck that also adds up to gallons of water going down the drain—and that’s if you use the stuff coming straight out of the tap. Plenty of women with specialty hair concerns have adapted to using bottled or filtered water to wash their hair, which is not easy on poor old Mama Nature.

If you’re looking for one major commitment to make this Earth Day, make it to shampoo less over time. You won’t miraculously be able to go days without washing overnight, but switching to a gentler shampoo and utilizing dry styling products for a refresher between washes can go a long way toward your mane’s longevity. When in doubt, loop in your hair stylist. He or she may have a few tips for extending the time between washes.

Rinse and recycle.

Is it easy to throw your mostly empty bottle of shampoo right out of the shower into your bathroom garbage can and then cheer like a professional basketball player who just sunk a three-pointer? Yes. Is it good for the planet? Definitely not. Instead of sending your old hair care bottles to the landfill, take the extra five minutes to recycle them.

To make recycling a sustainable habit for yourself, a smart trick is to line up used bottles on your bathroom counter or shelf in a place you’ll see them. If you tackle a whole bunch at once, it may quite possibly seem like you’re doing less work. Give each bottle a rinse under the tap, cleaning any spare goop from the bottom of the container before dumping it in the plastic recycling bin.

Even better than recycling your hair care containers, consider upcycling them. Empty hair mask tubs make an easy container for small potted succulents or whatever knickknacks are sparking joy for you these days. Put them to work!

Choose Earth-friendly formulas.

The term “green” gets tossed around quite a bit, but we always recommend investing in salon quality formulas with recognizable values like sustainably sourced ingredients and vegan claims.

Not sure where to start? Explore our guide to nature-inspired beauty products we love like L'Oréal Professionnel's Source Essentielle collection.

Air dry all the time.

It’s not just your mother yelling at you to turn that hair dryer off—it’s us, too. Electricity is a resource we try to conserve whenever possible and with the wave of undone beauty looks coming our way, it seems like all the chicest people in the hair world are on the same page.

To ensure air drying your hair goes well, invest in a product specifically formulated to support it—Redken No Blow Dry Just Right Cream is our editor’s obsession. Start with one day per week (a low stakes Saturday, perhaps?) to see how your hair reacts to its heat detox. Soon, you’ll be seeing gentle waves and dreamy texture while helping out the planet.

Turn off your hot tools.

You don’t have to give up your curling wand to be kind to the planet, but you do have to turn it off. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of plugging in a tool to “heat up,” walking away to get a cup of coffee, and never coming back. Uh, us neither.

If you’re looking to live in a way that’s more green, keep an eye on that iron and unplug it right when you finish. As an added bonus, you’ll also skip the step where you break out in a cold sweat at dinner because you can’t remember if your iron is on.

Interested in trying something new with your hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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