Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Luscious Locks

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in Animal Testing, Cosmetics, Palm Oil, Shopping | 14 comments

“Consumers have not been told effectively enough that they have huge power and that purchasing and shopping involve a moral choice” – Anita Roddick

tumblr_mhe4rgym7b1r38hk2o1_1280My hair and hair care regime are fairly simple things. A wash every couple of days, a $25 chop every few months and a touch up of my old biddy grey (or, more accurately, white) roots once a month or so is about the extent of things hair related in my world.

What is not always so simple though is selecting a “kind” shampoo, conditioner and hair dye. Particularly when the majority of choices bombarding us on the supermarket shelves are anything but. A quick inventory / shower stalk at my work place revealed the usual suspects like Dove, Sunsilk, Pantene, Wella Balsam and L’Oreal which I think would accurately reflect the “norm” of shampoo selections out there in the general community. They all score a disappointing C to F with the Ethical Consumer Guide due to criticisms about everything from containing animal ingredients to being tested on animals to use of poorly sourced palm oil to containing micro beads. Not companies I would like to reward with my money !

In my ongoing quest to tread kindly with everything that I buy and do (and to reward the companies who do the right thing by animals and the environment with my patronage) I have been seeking out hair care products which do not contain animal ingredients, have minimal or recyclable packaging, do not contain palm oil or contain only sustain-ably sourced palm oil, are not tested on animals, don’t contaminate the environment (or my head !) with a cocktail of obscure chemicals (after all, it does go straight down the drain) and, ideally, are made in Australia. Luckily, there are quite a few products which tick these boxes (aside from the made in Australia part which is not a deal breaker for me) which I’ve either tried or come highly recommended.

LUSH I am about to set off on some travels and the Lush solid shampoos will fit the bill perfectly. They are compact and fit into a little reusable tin. They smell delightful, the choice is vast and I have tried and tested a few of them now with good results.

ALAFFIA HAIR CARE Their coconut scented shampoo and conditioner gigantic containers are in my shower right now. Their whopping 950ml containers mean that they last seemingly forever. I bought them from my local health food shop at a bargain-ish price of around $20 each. Profits fund poverty fighting community projects in West Africa as well as the planting of 10,000 trees a year to help combat climate change. They also fund maternal care and educational projects in this region. I am a complete sucker for a lovely philanthropic company.

ORGANIC CARE This is probably the most easily sourced and affordable pick from my choices. Their shampoos and conditioners are around the $3-$4 mark / 400 ml and can be found in all big supermarkets.

AESOP Lots of custom made products here (eg for volumising, itchy scalps etc). Gorgeous scents. On the pricey side but worth it for a special treat.

YAROK A US brand (but available in Australia) of hair products which sound divine and and are apparently the saviour to anyone poor soul cursed with limp, fine locks (that would be me !). Not cheap but 3 % of their profits go to protect the Amazon rain forest.

SUKIN This company gets a good rap and they have a nice range of very affordable options.

ECO STORE This lovely company make lots of “eco friendly” products such as cleaning products but also do a hair care range (including anti dandruff shampoo).

GROWN ALCHEMIST A shampoo which promises “damask rose, black pepper and sage” aromas sound almost too tempting for words. David Jones and Myer are stockists.

ETHIKOOL – sell only “palm oil free, cruelty free, chemical free, vegan” products. They sell shampoos Kuush and iRaw which are as close to “natural” as you can get. Not cheap but their ethics are hard to beat. This lovely Australian company raises money to protect the Orangutans and the forests in Indonesia, hence their strong no palm oil stance.

DE LORENZO – score a resounding “A” on the Ethical Consumer Guide. This company would be the pick of the bunch for the “higher end” of the market and are used by many hairdressers. Not just shampoos / conditioners but all the other hair related paraphernalia as well.

AUSTRALIAN BIOLOGIKA – Highly recommended, sits up near the top on the Ethical Consumer Guide and, when my current shampoo runs out, I’m going to give them and their highly affordable, bulk containers (1kg) of alluring scents such as coconut and bush lemon myrtle a try. Zero palm oil content too.

And, one for the fellas, D + T CHAMPION OF MEN

My man………………..









is blessed with many dashing qualities but a full and lustrous head of hair is not one of them. If he did, I would be buying him some Man Shampoo. For all the men out there with bountiful locks check it out – (also a great range for bearded men). Organic beard oil and balm – who would have known the existence of such substances !

As for do it yourself hair dyes to touch up pesky old roots, I have been using Herbatint for years and pick it up from any health food shop. Not only is it a cruelty free product but you can just use what you need as you go so there is no wastage which was always an issue when I used other hair dyes in the past. Tints of Nature is supposedly good too. And Lush have an interesting array of Henna Hair dyes.

After a hairdresser who does the right thing and uses only cruelty free products in their salon ? Seek out those who use De Lorenzo products via their website. Otherwise, in Sydney, I have spied Organic Hair Culture in Ashbury, nice and close to me who use only vegan / non animal tested hair products so will be paying them a visit next time I need a hair chop. For my Victorian friends, Veg Out Hair in Sommerville looks just perfect.

Or, indubitably, the kindest (and cheapest) option of all would have to be hopping on the”poo free” (often coupled with the bicarb soda and Apple Cider Vinegar rinse regime) wagon. If I was in a position to hide from the world for a couple of weeks, I would give it a go. The results from just letting your natural hair oils just do their thing are meant to be quite transformative. However, my hair resembles an oil slick disaster after a couple of days of non washing so this is one experiment I am just not brave enough to try.

Don’t forget these go to guides to help you choose, not just your perfect, kind shampoo, but all manner of things  :

Ethical Consumer Guide

Choose Cruelty Free

How does your shampoo / conditioner stack up in the kindness stakes ? Any more good ones to recommend ?













Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. kate

    Well it will be Herbatint for me from now on !( by the way it has been around forever).xxxxxxx mum

  2. Zoe from A Quirky Bird

    Oh Ing, this is something I want to look into more. Do you know if there are any hair colours that are cruelty free? I currently dye my hair a very light ash blonde and haven’t come across any cruelty free types, thanks for reminding me about the Ethical Consumer Guide. Zoe xx

    • Tread Kindly

      Hi Zoe, for a do it yourself job, I am a fan of Herbatint – they have a very wide colour range. Try the Choose Cruelty Free site too – they suggest a few. De Lorenzo could be worth a look too. Good luck and thanks for stopping by ! x

  3. Life With The Crew

    I actually haven’t used shampoo for two weeks now. I’ve been alternating between baking soda and a rosemary rinse. Last night I slathered my hair in organic coconut oil – we’ll see if I have gorgeous locks when I rinse it out today! It helps that I have long hair that I can pull into a ponytail – the back middle of my head has been the greasiest. My favorite cruelty free shampoo is BWC (Beauty Without Cruelty). It is all I’ve used for 4 years now.

    • Tread Kindly

      Katie, please let me know how you go – I want to know if the gorgeous locks were uncovered after the coconut oil slathering ! I know a couple of people who swear by the no hair washing thing – a rosemary rinse sounds lovely. Thanks for the BWC recommendation – I’ll check them out to see if they sell in Australia x

  4. pia

    Love this Ing! I went poo free for about 8 months and once you get over the hump its ok. Now I used Natural Instincts shampoo and conditioner – it got a good rating from the Ethical Consumer Guide (phew!) and I use 100% argan oil – a few drops – as a leave in conditioner. Seems to work and I’ve found the less I use on my hair the less it eventually needs. Trying to be brave an embrace the grays, and not dye – will see how that goes!!

    • Tread Kindly

      Oooh, Pia – this is tremendously inspiring info !!(would love to know what made you go back after going poo free for so long). Thanks for the Natural Instincts suggestion, I will check them out. I have been hearing great things about Argan oil of late. Good on you for being brave and embracing the greys – I am remaining, sheepishly, vain at this stage of the game. Always great hearing from you x

  5. Andy

    Dear Edito.. More semi naked shots of that devilishly handsome man please!!? A

  6. Cat @ThatBettieThing

    I use Sukin, and have used Natural Instincts and Aveda in the past too. I was just reading today about using coconut oil as conditioner. Shannon Lush also has some good home made shampoo remedies.

    • Tread Kindly

      Thanks Cat, Sukin seems to be a popular choice. I am loving the idea of coconut oil as a conditioner too – it may make my locks a bit greasy but I am willing to give it a go.

  7. Lisa

    Great post Ing…just what I was pondering recently. Wonderfully useful 🙂

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