Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
Well, not me just now, that’s for sure!
Thanks to Plastic Free July, I postponed my hair cut and colour, which was due at the start of the month. At the time of booking, I decided that it was the right thing to do, as the hairdresser would be using lots of products in disposable plastic. Luckily my hairdresser gets booked up several weeks in advance, so I’ve not had the opportunity to change my mind, but – urgh! – this is the longest I’ve left my hair in years and I don’t like it! The colour needs a lift, and my roots are revealing that my hair’s not as natural as I would have you believe…
Also, my hair is really dry. I think this is partly due to my (packaging-free) bar conditioner, which I’m finding difficult to distribute evenly throughout my hair. The best I can manage, by squishing it up with some water, is to make a kind of pulp, which isn’t up to the job. Then because my usual styling wax ran out at the end of July, instead of buying more (in a hard plastic tub), I decided to use a gel that I had kicking around the house. This is also packaged in plastic, but I’ll never get to the end of it (because I don’t like it!) so I decided that as I was saving it from landfill, it would therefore be okay to use. It’s horrible and turns my hair crunchy when applied – as opposed to the sleek and shiny I aspire to.
As I wrote at the start of July, I’ve given up fake tan for the month because it comes in a plastic bottle. I usually apply it with compostable gloves from VegWare, but, because I cover them in fake tan, I don’t put them in with the compost so they will be sent to landfill. I’m not a big consumer of fake tan, but I do apply it every so often in the summer when the weather’s good and I’m wearing short sleeves. I’m missing it just now.
If I was actually doing Plastic Free July according the rules (as opposed to using the evolving bespoke version I’m creating for myself!) then the ‘beauty’ situation would be a lot worse. I’m still using some plastic packaging in my make-up, despite the fact that I was hoping to find alternatives for everything – see this post. I also reneged on my decision not to use nail varnish, based on the fact that I’ve never finished a bottle of the stuff before it turns into a gloopy mess, so using it up wasn’t going to make a difference to what ends up in landfill. Plus I’m allowing myself to use cream (in plastic packaging) for my eczema-prone skin, as I can’t face an outbreak.
To have gone plastic-free on all beauty products would have resulted in me having spent July hiding indoors! I’m pleased however with my compromise. I’d love to say that I don’t care how I look, and that having pasty skin with birds nest hair isn’t an issue…but that wouldn’t be true! How I look is a factor in determining how confident I feel, but it’s only one factor.
Taking part in Plastic Free July has been a positive and enlightening experience – I’ve learned loads and connected with many interesting people. I’ve gained confidence from my involvement in it. A year ago, I thought Plastic Free July was well out of my reach and, although I’ve very much adapted it to make it manageable for me, I’ve embraced it. That gives me a glow that stepping out of a hair salon doesn’t!