Ethical Hair Care
I feel I should start by saying that I am not a hair person. I was born with a lot of it (as you can see below), and have always struggled with styling it. Mainly because I was never very good at it and hated having it on my face, so chucked it in a top knot 90% of the time. But over the years of having it really long and then quite short and now somewhere in between, I've found ethical products that are really great for low-maintenance gals (or as my hairdresser calls "lazy". Lol she's not wrong), as well as options for slightly frizzy/fine/curly hair. I've found both high end and affordable hair care that's eco-conscious without compromising on quality. So below is my edit of "mostly-CBF-but-will-occasionally-bother" hair products. Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these or have other brands that you love!
I only have one true love when it comes to higher end haircare: Mr Smith. Don't let the gorgeously simple, minimal packaging fool you - the folks behind this Melbourne-made brand are all about using Aussie botanicals so of course the stuff smells amaaazing. Everything is PETA-certified (aka cruelty-free) and uses organic ingredients wherever possible. Despite having lots of hair, mine is quite fine, so I love using the Volumising Shampoo to give me exactly that - volume. Doing this also means less effort later (low-key vibes continue...). I follow with the Balancing Conditioner, because I get an oily scalp (yes, ew) so I need something that's hydrating without adding unnecessary moisture to ma roots. Whenever I stray from this combo I go a couple of washes before I race back to repurchase. If you want the clean clean feel, this is for you. You also only need a tiny amount, so although pricey, they last a decent amount of time. I have used other brands like Kevin Murphy and OI, which are good - but Mr Smith wins for me for quality and ethics. Local LOVE!!!
In terms of styling products, I never used to use any (are we even surprised). BUT this past year I have often been popping a small amount of the Eleven Curl Cream through damp hair and letting it dry naturally. This is a lovely Aussie product from a mid to high-end brand that actually gives me curls rather than a frizzy bomb (I've been down the "young Hermione look" road too many times). I love that I get nice and natural curls without the crunch. However if I haven't washed my hair for a few days and want to style it beyond the slick bun (Yes, slick is sweat. Yes, I am a grub), I go back to Mr Smith for the Sea Salt Spray. I can spritz this, scrunch my hair and it ~miraculously~ looks alright. The coconut means it smells good and doesn't leave it looking fried out (see what I did there).
Despite my sincere love for Mr Smith, there are definitely some more wallet-friendly brands I have to mention because I've used them for a lot longer (and have it on good authority from bf and family that they work a treat too). For shampoo and conditioner I find it hard to go past the EcoStore Volumising Combo. Great for leaving your hair soft and smooth without being flat. Also great because they have no nasty ingredients and are cruelty-free. Eco Store is a company that make such good products generally and are doing sooo much cool environmentally-conscious stuff - like using 'renewable sugar cane plastic' which is 100% recyclable and lowers your carbon footprint. Check out their story for more of their fabulous work. If like me you have colour in your hair, whether that's tint or foils or whatever, I struggled for a little while to find an ethical shampoo that would help prolong the colour. But then Nourish Naturals walked into my life and I was all sorted. At only $14 for 500mL, these bad boys are bang for your buck AND use natural essential oils like geranium to stave off the dreaded brassiness. Made in Australia and free from all the unnecessaries of course. And their normal range, while I haven't tried it, is loved by my mum (That's the real review right there).
A special mention here for fellow dandruff sufferers - while I no longer have the unfortunate flaky scalp, I owe it to the A Bit Hippy Serene Scalp Shampoo. My sister and I were chatting about this the other day because she still uses and loves it. Does the job, and like I mentioned in my Seasonal Summer Round-Up, comes from a wonderfully ethical brand. Byeee annoying little white flakes and HELLO clean scalp.
For affordable styling, the Alchemy Leave In Conditioner is a lifesaver for removing knots and defining any natural waves or ringlets. While I don't use this as much as I used to because I've got shorter hair, I loved it when my hair was longer and brushing it was an arm workout. Again I turn to the trusty source of sisters, who love this for leaving their hair soft and tangle-free but still holding lovely curls. I have to mention a couple of dry shampoos here too... although I pretend I can get away with a slick (aka sweat) look, sometimes it just ain't happenin. I have yet to try the Mr Smith one (which I think I will like given how much I love the other products), but in the mean time I turn to the Nourish Dry Shampoo for when I want my hair looking clean and literally have 2 minutes before I have to run out the door, or the Akin Dry Shampoo for a more textured, gritty look (this one takes a bit longer to work into the hair than the Nourish one, but gives great volume in the process).