I tried vegan hair care products for 2 weeks and this is what happened
A win for your hair, and for the planet
Hello monsoon, my old friend. I’ve come to crib about you again. It’s the time of the year that I leave a trail of hair strands all around the house like breadcrumbs. Dr Rinky Kapoor of The Esthetic Clinics says that most people experience an almost 30% increase in hair fall during monsoon, but I’m pretty sure if I collected all my hair from around the house I could knit my cat a not-so-stylish sweater. I may have just found myself a very strange hobby.
My hair is both dry and frizzy but also greasy. A paradox to puzzle even Schrödinger’s cat. This happens every year like clockwork. But I still panic. Is it possible to have hair care products that kindly cleanse but also hydrate the parts that need it? If I could get a boost of just enough volume without turning into Monica’s puffy hair in Friends when they go to Barbados, nothing like it.
Maybe weDo, from the house of Wella, was up for the challenge. The eco-ethical, vegan hair care brand covered all the bases for me – they use naturally-derived ingredients, they’re cruelty-free and they’re kind to the environment. The cherry on top is that the line was created in collaboration with expert hairdressers and scientists.
I put together a routine of vegan hair care products consisting of their No Plastic Shampoo Bar (₹1,200), Rich & Repair Mask (₹1,250 – ₹4,150), Natural Hair & Body Oil (₹3,350) and Protect Balm (₹1,950).
Given the humidity and dampness of the monsoon, I have to wash my hair on alternate days. There was a time when I lived up north that I could get away with washing my hair twice a week. With some strategic hairstyles and dry shampoo, worst-case scenario. But with the humidity of Mumbai, that’s not an option.
That means regular doses of cleansing and clarifying shampoos that dry out my ends, just to keep the scalp clean. To compensate I’d go in with large dollops of conditioner. All in all, a lot of product use.
On day 1 of my switch to vegan hair care products, I came home with gross, damp hair. I’m the genius that left the house without an umbrella, telling my sister I’d be right back. I was not.
I haven’t been the biggest fan of shampoo bars. You can never really tell if your hair is clean or not. If I’m using enough. There’s a minute of you just standing there, butt-naked, rubbing the bar between your palms to get the product on your hands. You can take the bar straight to your wet scalp as well, but I’m paranoid I’ll end up yanking out more hair.
WeDo’s shampoo bar has a light soothing fragrance and lathered more than I had expected. If you’re looking for an effective but light cleanse, then this bar is sulfate and silicone-free. The added shea butter and argan oil bring in moisture.
I planned on doing the entire routine this first night itself. Following up the wash with the Rich & Repair Mask and leaving that on for five minutes while I brushed my teeth and washed my face. Silicone is an ingredient that brings a lot of slip to a conditioner, but even without that, this hair mask spread with ease and I didn’t need to use a lot of it. I should say that my hair is quite long, coming down lower than my bra strap at the back.
My hair felt super smooth as I washed it out, but I would see the real result once my hair dried.
I topped off the routine with the Natural Hair & Body Oil on my ends. I’ve used leave-in products and oils before so I pumped out the product and went over my damp hair.
I didn’t want to wait so I used a cool blast from a hairdryer to see the final result. But my hair just didn’t seem to dry. In my excitement and experience with other products, I went a bit too far with the oil. So my hair looked just like that… oily. But that’s on me. The brand makes it clear, a little goes a very long way. I had to wash my hair again, and I used their shampoo bar and ended with one pump of the oil this time. This time I let my hair air dry.
I still feel like I was doing something wrong with the oil, but I did wake up with the fragrance of Sweet Almond Oil still lingering in my hair. My hair felt softer than it has in a long time. I attributed that to the hair mask.
Now the real test of vegan hair care products is how long the results can last. Normally by day two, the front of my hair starts to get greasy. But this time there was a noticeably less amount of oil build-up. The hair mask kept my frizzy flyaway strands calm and composed. But I think doing double duty of the mask and oil together was too much for my fine hair and I could see my ends getting a bit weighed down.
I didn’t feel the need to wash my hair till the morning of day 3 of this trial. My hair retained the softness and shine of a fresh wash. When my ends felt a bit dry, I went in with a bit of the Protect Balm to smooth things out. Not just my hair but lips too.
I didn’t even feel bad washing it again. The natural ingredients of the shampoo bar were gentle on my scalp while doing their job at a level that a Virgo like me appreciates.
I think what I loved most about this new routine of vegan hair care products from weDo is that they are able to multitask. While my brain couldn’t wrap my head around how much of the oil was needed for the best result, I happily used it on my dry elbows and hands, which thanked me for it.
Because of the humidity of the city, I’m not a fan of body oils or heavy body creams. But this one is just so light that it seeps into your skin and you forget that you’ve even used an oil.
It’s been over two weeks now that I’ve been using the weDo routine and there’s a visible difference in my hair quality after making the switch to their vegan hair care products. To the point that even my father noticed over a Zoom call. And he’s the kind of person who will barely notice a haircut unless you go from Rapunzel to a pixie cut.
My hair feels… lighter. Is my hair shining and swishing around like a commercial? No, but it might be in a few months. Two weeks is too soon to see such results given our hair cycle. But by cutting down on drying hair care products, I’ve seen fewer strands in my bathroom drain as well.
The No Plastic Shampoo Bar is a new staple in my routine. Given it lasts for 80 washes, I doubt I’ll need to stock up soon. The plastic-free packaging means no more Qutub Minars being built on the bathroom shelf. And even for the others that do use plastic, they’re made with up to 94% recycled plastic and the brand collects and recycles 8 plastic bottles for every weDo product sold. So we’re getting some good karma points as well as healthy hair.