Here at Marie Claire UK, sustainability is one of our top priorities and it doesn't stop at beauty. You'll never catch our Beauty Editor recommending a sheet mask and, when it comes to haircare, a recyclable bottle is surely a must.
For this year's Marie Claire UK Hair Awards, our panel of expert judges tested hundreds of products across our Wash & Care, Colour, Styling, Sustainability, Tools & Accessories and New to Market categories to create a definitive edit of the best in hair.
While a shampoo bar may not work for everyone, our Marie Claire UK Hair Award judges shared their industry knowledge to share the best sustainable brands and more. PSA: No greenwashing allowed here.
Best Environmentally-Friendly Packaging
100% plastic-, sulphate- and silicone-free, this shampoo is good for the hair and environment too. Reducing waste is one of L'Occitane en Provence’s six commitments that they live by as a brand. Removing the excess packaging doesn’t impact the quality of the product inside—the solid bar effectively cleanses away buildup and excess sebum from the scalp thanks to the essential oils and actives in the formula including peppermint, thyme, grapefruit, lavender and cedar.
Highly Commended: Hair Rehab London Professional Hair Extensions
Best Ethical Initiative
After noticing that the hair extensions customers were recycling still had some wear left in them, Remi Cachet decided to partner with Little Lady Locks, a children’s hair loss charity, selecting and sending them extensions that are still in good condition to be made into custom wigs and hair pieces. The extensions are cleaned, fumigated, and washed by Little Lady Locks before being sent to a team of wig makers to make full-length wigs, hair replacement systems and accessories such as hats and headbands created with hair extensions. The brand sends over an average of 5kg of hair per month. “I think it's a really great idea and an innovative use of hair that would have otherwise gone to waste,” said judge, Ally Head.
Best Natural Formula
Winner: Hairstory New Wash
Hairstory are firm in the belief that shampooing is the worst part of looking after your hair. It can strip the hair of natural oils and can lead to an overproduction of oil that creates a vicious cycle of washing. With New Wash you have a blend of essential oils and natural-derived saturated cleansers that clean the hair and scalp without stripping or using any harsh or drying ingredients. “A fantastic concept,” said judge, Tabitha James Kraan, “this way of washing hair is the future.”
Highly Commended: Chāmpo Leave-In Perfecting Cream
Best Sustainable Brand
“Davines has long been a leader in this area,” said judge, Millie Kendall MBE. The brand was founded in Italy in 1983 as a small research lab, which grew then to become a global company and a certified B Corp, meaning its meeting the highest sustainability standards. Despite the global reach, the brand is still 100% family-owned and has a real focus on the use of ingredients of natural origin, are generated with renewable electric energy and are packaged minimising the environmental impact.
Highly Commended: Aveda
Best Vegan Brand
Winner: Authentic Beauty Concept
All Authentic Beauty Concept products are fully vegan, registered with The Vegan Society and are PETA-certified. Traditional synthetics are swapped for plant-based ingredients that work well and are all-around a better fit for healthy hair and scalp, such as alkanes from rocket and coconut and sustainable guar. “This brand gives all round attention to many sustainability aspects and details—from sourcing to packaging,” noted judge, Jessi Baker.
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