Bamboo Bonanza Part 2 – Hair

The longer I write this ethical blog, the more and more bamboo pops up in my research. I’ve spoken about bamboo before when I changed to zero waste toothbrushes and when learning about ethical bedding but if you don’t know, it’s one of the most sustainable resources on the planet because it grows so quickly and easily, as well as being completely biodegradable for when you’ve finished with it, so choosing it over plastic as much as possible is a great idea. It also produces more oxygen than many varieties of tree, offsetting pollution, and can grow in a wide variety of climates. Final bonus: because bamboo is so durable it requires much less water than trees, and no pesticides or chemicals are needed to encourage the maturation process. Many a plus point on the environment and ethical fronts there so, naturally, when the hairbrush I’ve been using for the past year or so became really REALLY unusable, I turned to bamboo first.

Now here is where I have an embarrassing confession to make. The last hairbrush I owned was the cheapest, most awful plastic thing you’ve ever seen in your life. It cost me £1. I WAS A REALLY POOR STUDENT THEN (please don’t judge me). But safe to say, it was crap. Always had been crap and continued to increase in crapness until the bristles fell to bits. I was like something from a zero waste nightmare, small parts of plastic raining down from me while I was simply trying to get ready in the morning. Ok maybe that’s slightly dramatic but I’m hoping this emphasises just how bad this brush was. And of course I didn’t replace it sooner because I didn’t stop being a poor student all that long ago. However, its crapness did force a change upon me, so there’s an upside. I resolved to never go near a plastic hairbrush again and instead started looking for bamboo.

I initially started looking at EcoTools, I’d been researching bamboo/ethical products in general when I came across their website, but I wasn’t keen to ship something if it could be avoided, and then one day when passing The Body Shop I decided to peek in, only to discover they were selling their own bamboo brushes inside! And for only £8 they were cheaper than EcoTools and required no shipping. I picked up the hairbrush with bamboo pins as I was keen for as much of the brush to be bamboo as possible, but then I noticed the plastic part that the pins were attached to. Imagine my delight however when the store manager informed me that the plastic was actually made from recycled milk bottle tops and was itself recyclable, making every part of this product either biodegradable or recyclable! A very stark contrast from literally raining down plastic all over the place, so I took one of those bad boys home.

Now this brush has had mixed reviews online, but I didn’t see any of these as I randomly picked it up and took it home not long after, and I’m kind of glad I wasn’t swayed by any opinion before trying myself, because I love this brush. I have long, naturally wavy, flyaway hair that tangles in seconds, which is a nightmare. It’s also quite fine, but I have a lot of it, which is a weird combo. I really like my hair, but it’s a unique situation. Its not thick and yet it manages to get all over the place very easily. This brush works a treat with my type of hair; the bamboo bristles are thicker and more spread apart than plastic ones I’ve used, which really helps detangle my curls but is gentler for me. The bristles also have round ends so feel a lot less spiky than other brushes I’ve used, sometimes I have to be a little aggressive with my own hair/head to get it to behave, and this less spiky vibe makes that much more tolerable. Additionally the round tips are said to ‘massage and stimulate the scalp’ to aid relaxation and promote hair growth. I had my hair cut just after I started using this brush so I don’t know if my hair growth has been stimulated yet, but I can say something for the relaxation, as I definitely feel more chill (the accurate scientific term) when I use it compared to my last one.

Also just wanted to take a brief moment here to add some extra notes on the cool features of bamboo brushes from Living Pretty Naturally:

  1. Natural wooden bristles help to naturally condition your hair, and evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils down the hair shaft
  2. Wooden bristles are also gentle and durable. Since they are wide, they are less likely to break the hair when combing.
  3. Wooden bristles don’t produce any static (that you will find with synthetic brushes and combs)
  4. Wooden bristles feel like little massaging fingers on your scalp – particularly if you’re familiar with acupressure..This also helps increase circulation on your scalp, bringing lovely nutrients to the hair follicles

When you add all of those things together, well why wouldn’t you want to brush with bamboo? It’s been working so well for my teeth, and now my hair’s in on the action. If you’re thinking about going zero waste/being more ethical this is also a great example of a change you can make that is ridiculously easy (the body shop is everywhere), doesn’t cost you any more (and in fact will probably save you money because this brush will definitely last longer than the crap brush from hell), and has such a positive impact on the planet. Every time I brush my hair I feel better because, well firstly my hair is a bit less of a nightmare than before, but ALSO because I know that when I’m done with this brush it isn’t going to sit in landfill for years. Nearly all of it is going to naturally biodegrade, and the part that won’t can be used to make something else. That’s a pretty nice feeling.

So next time you need a hairbrush, choose bamboo! And until next time, stay magic y’all.

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