Cruelty-Free Hair Products I Swear By

My hair has always been far from my crowning glory but a period of intense thinning several years ago made me realize I had to take its care more seriously. I’m not neurotic about how I care for my hair, but very close to it. Several of you have commented on how much better my hair is looking lately so I thought I would share what’s new and the cruelty-free hair products I swear by.

Thank you to Nordstrom and Shopstyle for sponsoring this post.

There’ve been some big changes in my hair over the last few years, not the least of which has been deciding to go gray. I also switched and added a few new products which are paying dividends now. Changes in hair take time to see because my hair (used to) grows slowly. I can’t say unequivocally which of these products has made the biggest difference, but whatever it is, it’s working and I’m thrilled.

Scalp Treatment

I tried this Briogeo Scalp Revival last summer and decided it’s a keeper. It’s a cruelty-free scalp treatment that detoxifies and soothes the scalp without any nasty chemicals. I use a ton of products on my hair so detoxification is important. I also suffer from eczema on my forehead and scalp and this helps keep the flakes at bay.


It’s loaded with lots of great ingredients like aloe, charcoal, tea tree oil, and biotin which draw impurities from the hair follicle. Although it includes oil, it’s not oily so doesn’t weigh down or impact my hairstyle. I apply it to clean hair before I add any other products.

When my hair thinning was at its worst, my hairstylist recommended that I gently massage my scalp morning and night to stimulate the hair follicles. This Briogeo Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager makes that a pleasure and reminds me to do it!


I rub it gently back and forth (not large circles which can tangle hair) in small sections at a time. It increases blood flow to my scalp and also soothes my nerves. It can also be used in the shower, but I prefer to just sit and lazily massage my scalp while I’m relaxing.

New Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve been pretty faithful to the same haircare line for the last 15 years. I’ve dabbled with other shampoos and conditioners but never found one that I preferred in every way until I switched to Olaplex. Every product in their line is paraben, sulfate, phthalate, gluten, and cruelty-free so I feel as good about using them as they feel on my hair.

The Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance shampoo won the Allure ‘Best of Beauty’ Award for Best Shampoo for Damaged Hair in 2021. It’s highly moisturizing and leaves my hair feeling healthier and looking shinier. The No.5 Maintenance conditioner helps hydrate my hair without weighing it down.


Every 4th shampoo, I use this Blonde Enhancing Shampoo to knock down any brassiness that tries to creep into my graying hair. It’s so effective, that I no longer need the purple conditioner I used to use.

olaplex products

Once a week I spray the No.0 Bond Building on dry hair and let it saturate for 10 minutes. Then I apply the No. 3 Hair Perfector and let that sit for 10 minutes. I often get busy doing things so sometimes it’s on my hair for 30 minutes but it never over-softens my hair.  I honestly can’t say what it’s doing but my hair looks and feels amazing after I use it.

Thickening Hair Treatment

I started using my RevitahLash Brow a year and a half ago and the results were nothing short of amazing! My eyebrows grew back in completely. I was so pleased with the results, I started dabbing the brow product along my receding hairline.


That got rather expensive so when reordering my brow serum, I spotted this hair foam with the same BioPeptin Complex as the brow serum and decided to give it a shot.

revitalash hair foam

This is not a budget item but it makes a big difference in my hair which feels thicker all over. I still use my Rogaine, then I add a tiny dollop of the foam directly on the spots around my hairline that are receding the most, and comb through.


I only use it once a day in the front so 1 bottle lasts me close to 6 months. Reviewers say they’re going through the bottle way too fast to be cost-effective, so I assume they’re using much more than I am.

Hair Care

I’ve also discovered that just being gentler with my hair has made a big difference. I now squeeze the water out of my hair with my towel, rather than rubbing it vigorously. I comb it with a wider toothed comb before I add any products.


I also upgraded my drug store hairdryer to this Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer last year. It’s got a cult following that I now understand. My hair dries in half the time it used to take just using medium speed and heat which is much gentler on my hair.

These are the new additions to my hair care routine that I feel have made a big improvement in the health and thickness of my hair. I get them all from Nordstrom because they carry all my favorite beauty brands and they offer free shipping and returns along with curbside pickup. They also offer Beauty Cycle which helps move us toward a zero-waste beauty routine. Their Nordy Club (free to join) means you earn points towards Nordstrom notes you can spend on future purchases.

What have you changed in your hair routine lately?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.




  1. I purchased the Olaplex #5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner 2.5 years ago based on another Blogger’s recommendation. Unfortunately I lost some hair with a few uses so I stopped using it. I tried again twice reading various great reviews (and the cost of the product) with the same poor results. My hair stylist at the time told me that people react differently to hair products for many reasons. So I still have the unused product under my vanity. I feel fortunate that at 71.5 Y/O I have decent hair. I take a daily biotin and a collagen product that Jennifer recommended which has helped my hair. I wash my hair every 3 to 4 days with a drug store shampoo and use a Fekkai conditioner.

  2. Marylou Coleman says:

    I enjoyed reading this tonight! I want to let my hair go gray ,but hate what my hair will look like before it gets all gray! I still go to hair stylist for color and highlights every 6 weeks! How did you handle going grey and how long did it take?
    Thank you!

    1. It’s been pretty easy for me because I had highlights that lessened the line of demarcation.

  3. I already use the olaplex 0 and 3 combo once a week so I ordered the rest you mentioned, my hair is not totally grown out I still have blonde about 2” on the ends and it does get brassy. Thank you for your recommendations can’t wait to try shampoos.

    1. You will love them. It doesn’t take as much shampoo and conditioner like other products.

  4. Wanda Shivers says:

    I have had tremendous results with my hair using Olaplex products. I have a Thyroid problem that has had a major affect on my hair. This product has been the best thing
    I have found. My hair is in wonderful shape and fuller in appearance.
    I highly recommend it to everyone experiencing hair thinning.

  5. Jennifer, this is a wonderful comprehensive post and so great for those of us that share thinning hair woes.
    I noticed last year that my hair seemed too be thinning at the hairline. Right now I’m using Nioxin 4. This kit has shampoo, conditioner and a scalp and hair treatment, and is for colored hair. It seems to be working and I like it. It has a very mild, pleasant smell. I’ve only been using it for a month. I may try Oraplex when this is finished. I don’t want to use Rogaine, but it’s good to know about for future reference.
    I am going to purchase the hair foam and the scalp massager! Can’t wait to get that. Ordering one for my 101 year old mother who has always loved having her scalp massaged and has always had issues with her hair. Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. That’s wonderful, Nancy. It feels so good!

  6. Mihaela Eftimescu says:

    Hi,Jennifer !
    I have been using Olaplex 4,5 for a year or so and my haidresser puts a mask on my hair sometimes; she also uses K 18 for glow
    I can confirm my hair grows quite rapidly since I use Olaplex
    When I go out vacationing I like to buy and try , as often as I can, the Aesop products mainly for body care.

  7. Thinning Hair!!
    This is a very informative post. I started using Olaplex on your recommendation and I love it. I have to add that since I stopped coloring my hair, I have seen a definite improvement in hair loss. I’m going to order the Olaplex No.4. Thank you!

  8. Curious to know if any fragrance & if so, what. I cannot stand any coconut or cocoa butter dating back to a childhood experience or two.

  9. Julie Traxler says:

    Thanks for going through your hair regime with us. I have hair similar to you…. I know it costs money to maintain our hair and skin.

  10. These sound like great products. I’ve been using Rogaine and have found it works for me. You can’t stop using it though or you lose your new growth. Since I quit with all the coloring and keep it short it’s been much better. Thanks for addressing this problem.

    1. I do know that about the Rogaine and plan to keep on using it. It really helps me a lot

  11. Very informative post. I’ve been using the Hair Biology when you talked about it last October along with alternating the purple shampoo with the regular to get the brassiness out. I will pin this so when I finish those products I can think about changing. I need to look into the brow regrowth. Your hair is so pretty and I like the natural color you are letting it go to. Do you have a recent hair tutorial as to how you dry and style your hair?

    1. I need to make a new tutorial now that the color and texture have changed. I loved the Hair Biology, but I am happier using cruelty-free products.

  12. I’ve been noticing your hair lately so this post has been very informative since I’m struggling with hair thinning. I can’t wait to try your hair regimen! Thank you for sharing. It’s a tough topic.

    1. Remember, I always use the 5% Rogaine, twice a day, too.

  13. I have been fighting hair loss for a few years now and use Rogaine. Shampoos and conditioners without the bad stuff are used and I still have a problem with my hairline receding. Shedding in cycles with winter being the worst for me.
    Olaplex is something I will look into since you have good results and it’s hard to choose a product with confidence. I have tried quite a few!
    Thanks for the information because this causes me stress and that can also cause hair to shed.

    1. I’m sorry you’re dealing with it too. Thinning hair is so hard on our confidence too

  14. I’ve noticed how awesome your hair has been looking so appreciate you sharing this hair care routine!! Have you also changed your cut and if so would be interested in knowing procedure. Have several products in my cart to purchase. Thank you so much for bringing us enjoyable and informative posts every day!

    1. My hair is a bit shorter and the layers are a tiny bit longer which helps it look thicker.

  15. Ellen Arnold says:

    My hair is almost exactly like yours and I was wondering if you use any styling products or hairspray? I find that I need several spray on products as well as gel to style my hair then some thickening powder and hairspray to keep it looking more voluminous. I would love to hear if you’re using anything like that.

    1. I use all those things too. A hair gel, followed by dry shampoo, then hair spray, and hair shine spray. It takes a lot 🙂

  16. Mary Divine says:

    I really enjoy your posts everyday. I am having problems with my hair. As I have gotten older my hair has thinned in my front hairline. I started using rogaine and it is working. Also my lashes and brows thinned out and I am using a lash product from Clinique and it is working slowly. I also use a brow product and that is working slowly. My hair use to be very thick all over not so much any more. These problems started in my late 60’s. I also have notice my once perfect skin is no longer perfect. I only use quality products on my skin and hair so it is much harder as we age.

    1. I’m glad you’ve found some products that help. It’s really a challenge

  17. Your hair style and colour does look amazing Jennifer – you certainly made the right decision going grey. Nordstrom Canada finally carries a product you recommend – the Olaplex line. I will try that when I need to reorder shampoo and conditioner. Scalp massage was suggested to me when I finished chemo to encourage hair growth, and my hair is coming in quite thick and curly. Not sure if that is a direct result of the massage, but it certainly feels good and is very relaxing.
    My hairstylist also swears by the Dyson hairdryers so that is on my wish list.

    1. It’s a wonderful line and I love that it doesn’t include nasty chemicals. You will enjoy them

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