Hair Care With a Conscience: 15 Ethical Brands You’ll Love

Full Width Featured Image with Sidebar

Written by Annie Walton-Doyle

Updated: April 18, 2024

Being a haircare enthusiast certainly has its benefits. Understanding different ingredients and techniques can help ensure you have the happiest, healthiest, and most beautiful locks possible.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some drawbacks to a heft haircare habit. And one of the most important things to consider when expanding your haircare collection is how you may be adversely impacting the planet.

Think about it. An excess of haircare products creates unnecessary waste, putting more strain on our already strained planet. And on top of this, certain naughty haircare brands don’t take environmental and ethical concerns into consideration when creating their products. 

Luckily, one easy way to ensure your haircare habits are as harm-free as possible is through choosing the brands you shop with carefully. Amidst certain unscrupulous companies, there do exist some haircare brands that prioritize ethics and sustainability.

We’ve created a list of the best ethical haircare brands out there, so you can enjoy some guilt-free beauty shopping. And make no mistake—just because these brands promise sustainability and fair trade practices, the products don’t compromise on user experience, or on efficacy.

#1. Aveda

Aveda 450 x 560
image via @aveda

As one of the first companies to sign the CERES Principles (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) in 1989, you know that Aveda is committed to protecting the planet and championing biodiversity. On top of this, the company is known for its charitable generosity, donating over $60 million to Charity:Water to help fund clean water initiative.

Aveda is committed to sourcing ingredients from renewable, sustainable or plant-based origin. They also use 100% post-consumer recycled PET to minimize the amount of plastic the brand consumes. They’re also 100% vegan, proving they’re kind to all animals.

#2. Everist

Everist 450 x 560
image via @helloeverist

Dedicated to addressing the plastic waste issue that’s plaguing the beauty industry, Everist relies on recycled and recyclable metal zero-waste shampoo packaging. The brand is therefore certified Climate Neutral.

All Everist products are vegan, cruelty-free, and free from palm oil. On top of all this, Everist also donates to other climate initiatives. The brand is a member of 1% for the Planet, supporting more planet-focused nonprofits.

#3. Neighbourhood Botanicals

Neighbourhood Botanicals is the first UK beauty brand to be certified carbon-negative. The company uses sustainable packaging including recycled post-consumer plastic waste, glass, cardboard and aluminum.

The ingredients are all vegan and cruelty-free, too. Neighbourhood Botanicals doesn’t just offer a stunning range of shampoo, conditioners, hair oils and even a dry shampoo powder, but also a whole host of skincare and body care products.

#4. Plaine Products

Plaine 450 x 560
image via @plaineproducts

Founded by sisters Lindsey and Alison Delaplaine, Plaine Products specialize in vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, chemical-free, plastic-free, and biodegradable hair products. The USP of the range is that fact every product is plastic-free, but on top of this, every ingredient is checked by the Environmental Working Group database to ensure each is non-toxic.

With Plaine Products, you can send your bottles back to refill your empties, or recycle them. Because the bottles are aluminum, they can be recycled indefinitely with no loss in quality. Aluminium is a far better recycler than plastic, which becomes lower grade each time until it must go to landfill.

#5. Herbal Essences

Herbal Esseces 450 x 560
image via @herbalessences

If you’re on a tighter budget but still want to minimize the environmental impacts of your haircare routine, Herbal Essences is a fabulous drugstore option. In 2016 Herbal Essences, as a part of conglomerate P&G, began focusing on renewable energy. 

Through this motion, they have now reduced gas emissions by 15% and water consumption by over 20%. 

#6. EcoRoots

Eco Roots 450 x 560
image via @ecoroots

Colorado-based haircare brand EcoRoots also offers body care, skin care, and even homeware products that are environmentally sound. Everything in the range is vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free, plus their packaging is designed to be as close to zero-waste as possible.

They offer shampoo bars and refillable glass bottles, plus recycled and biodegradable shipping materials like compostable cornstarch packing peanuts. EcoRoots also put their money where their mouth is, donating to philanthropic efforts such as Ocean Conservancy, which helps with vital ocean restoration initiatives.

#7. Meraki

Meraki 450 x 560
image via @merakihaircare

A fair-trade haircare brand, Meraki is organic, cruelty-free, and vegan. For the slightly esoteric user, each one of Meraki’s products is “activated with gemstones to create high vibrations,” according to the brand. Each bottle contains a citrine gemstone “with the intention to bring joy, prosperity, and abundance.”

#8. Yarok

Yarok 450 x 560 px 1
image via @yarok_hair

The baby of New York stylist Mordechai Alvow, Yarok is designed to prove that ethical haircare doesn’t have to be any less luxurious. Yarok products are gluten-free, certified cruelty-free, and palm oil-free.

In addition to this, Yarok donates 3% of every purchase directly to the Pachamama Alliance, a group dedicated to protecting over 10 million acres of the Amazon. 

#9. We Are Paradoxx

Paraddoxx 450 x 560
image via @weareparadoxx

We Are Paradoxx prioritizes a range of different environmental initiatives, including producing 90% plastic-free, certified organic, sustainably sourced, Peta and Leaping Bunny certified haircare products. They have committed to 1% For The Planet and even established Plastic Free Beauty Day in 2019, which takes place every year on the 17th of June.

And what makes We Are Paradoxx even better is that their products are suitable for all hair types and all styling requirements!

#10. Garnier

Garnier 450 x 560
image via @garnierusa

Another big, drugstore brand making some major moves towards the sustainability sphere is Garnier. The brand recently launched a Green Beauty Initiative to show its commitment,  including eliminating zero virgin plastic in any of its packaging, and pledging that all of its factories are carbon neutral by 2025.

Garnier has made motions against animal testing since 1989 and is now taking steps towards becoming totally cruelty-free.

#11. Hairstory

Hairstory 450 x 560
image via @hairstorystudio

Hairstory products are refillable via a subscription system that reduces plastic consumption by 91%. Their haircare is biodegradable, and is free from detergents, keeping the water supply clean.

On top of this, Hairstory has signed up to contribute 1% to the planet, meaning they donate 1% of their profits to fund environmental organizations.

#12. Faith In Nature

Vegan, Leaping Bunny approved, and packaged in 100% recycled materials, hair and skincare brand Faith In Nature is a cornerstone of sustainable beauty. The brand has held these sustainable and ethical principles since it started creating products in 1974.

Faith In Nature is also a pioneer of the refill system, allowing you to refill everything within their impressive 5-liter range to truly minimize packaging waste.

#13. Ethique

Ethique 450 x 560
image via @ethiqueworld

New Zealand’s Ethique gained its sustainable reputation by specializing in haircare bars, and thus creating packaging that is 100% compostable. But it’s not just about the packaging – in fact, the brand has a whole host of environmental credentials.

They’re not only certified vegan and cruelty-free, but also palm oil-free, and plastic-free. Ethique is a Certified B Corp, certified as climate neutral, and donates either 2% of revenue or 20% of profit (whichever is higher) to charity.

#14. Re=Comb

Recomb 450 x 560
image via @re_comb

For something a little different—have you ever considered that plastic waste isn’t just about haircare packaging? Your plastic haircare tools, too, can end up in landfill if not recycled. This is where Re=Comb comes in.

Instead of creating more plastic, Re=Comb uses entirely recycled plastic to produce their hair combs. Not only are their combs zero-waste, but they’re excellent at detangling and distributing product—and not to mention, absolutely stunning, too.

#15. Tints Of Nature

If you wish to color your hair at home, you may have noticed a lack of sustainable options on the market. Enter, Tints Of Nature—a PETA-certified vegan and Choose-certified cruelty-free company that’s also a member of the Cosmetics Toiletry and Perfumery Association, actively working to promote non-animal products and testing.

Tints Of Nature is also dedicated to minimizing its environmental impact, recycling and using low-carbon, energy-efficient manufacturing methods, alongside creating sustainable packaging. Boxes are 100% recycled cardboard, saving 225,000kg of virgin cardboard, while packing chips are made from 100% biodegradable, septic-safe corn.

Related Hair Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}