The black girl’s guide to zero waste

We take a look at beauty products that show love to your body and the planet

International media is focusing more and more on the fact that consumerism is having a detrimental effect on the environment; with more people becoming aware of the purchases they are making & what their products are wrapped in. Going zero waste doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your hair and beauty regimes. To make it just that bit easier to transition, we have found the perfect products to start you off on your journey.

1. Anita Grant, Babassu Shampoo Bar, £6.20

This may look basic but there is definitely nothing basic about the results it gives. It is vital that we steer away from shampoos that strip the hair so the babassu oil is the perfect addition to your wash days. It comes packaged in a recyclable card box meaning no more empty shampoo bottles filling up your shelves or our landfill sites!

2. Jim & Henry, ‘Five’ Hair Oil, £11

This no nonsense hair oil is aptly named ‘Five’ given the fact that it contains only five natural ingredients to look after your hair. Once you’ve finished, and before you rush off to purchase another bottle (believe us, you will!), pop your empty one in your recycle bin as the plastic bottle and the cap are completely recyclable. A huge win for your hair and a huge win for the environment.

3. Shea Butter Cottage, African Black Soap Chunks, from £4.00

African black soap has long been the holy grail for black skin and this Ghana derived option is a personal favourite of our digital editor Vanessa. A little chunk of soap goes a very long way and is gentle yet effective enough for facial use. It is ideal for skin that suffers from spots and blemishes and comes bagged in a fully recyclable paper bag. If you buy one of the bigger options, you’ll have soap to last you until the end of the year meaning more money for your pocket.

4. Valley Mist Lip Balm, £9.99

Say bye to plastic lip balm pots and hello to biodegradable cardboard lip balm tubes. The freezing weather is here so investing in a completely natural and moisturising lip balm is a necessity. Once you’re finished with it, pop it into your recycle bin. Don’t let the self titled no frills packaging fool you. This lip balm is packed with nourishing and weather proof ingredients such as cocoa seed butter and mango seed butter.


  1. by Marie Walcott on 23/02/2022  10:26 AM Reply

    I am writing to enquire about Afro Hair Products Recycling. At home, i have a tub of Scalp Reliever, in which, i want to recycle. I am unsure, about where and how to recycle it. A reply is awaited.

    • by IShelley on 09/03/2022  11:36 AM Reply

      Hi Marie

      It's great that you are looking at ways to recycle your afro hair products packaging. 56% of Brits don’t recycle their bathroom products. Partly due to us being used to having two bins in our kitchen, that it’s almost second nature to separate our recyclable goods, whereas in our bathroom we only have one waste bin. Also the complexity of bathroom and beauty products: a pump soap bottle and an eyeshadow palette are slightly more confusing than say, the plastic container used for mushrooms.

      Plastic bottles, like shampoos, conditioners and shower gels, are accepted by most recycling programmes. However, make sure that you have emptied and cleaned them out first. You can also leave the lids on as these can be recycled, unless it’s a trigger head or a pump. These will need to go in your normal bin. If you haven’t completely finished your conditioner or hair gel, do NOT pour it down the sink. Instead, get out as much as possible and put it in your normal bin. The same goes with any product that you have a little left of, scoop it out and put it in your regular bin.

      Kind regards,
      The Black Beauty & Hair Team

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