How I Shop for Vegan, Zero-Waste Hair & Body Care in Malaysia (Travel-Friendly Too!)
When I first moved back to KL, finding cruelty-free, vegan products was a bit of a struggle for me. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out local brand, The Olive Tree, was selling vegan AND chemical free hair and body care in Malaysia. With soaps, shampoos (in liquid and bar form for both) and conditioners, The Olive Tree is my go to stop for all my natural hair and body care needs! What’s great is they even have a completely package free store where you can get your products zero-waste.
their products are: all Natural, vegan and free of Parabens, sulfates, synthetic colours & Fragrances
Over the years, I’ve gradually switched from commercial hair and body care to more natural versions. While products you get at the drug-store may be cheaper, they usually can be full of foaming agents, sulphates, parabens, synthetic colouring and fragrances and other harsh chemicals. All of these can cause skin irritations and sensitivities over time as our skin absorbs them.
For me, it’s not about throwing out all the products you have and replacing everything, but gradually making a conscious effort to use more natural, sustainable products where possible! Here’s a quick blog post on how I shop for vegan & zero-waste products in Malaysia.
Refilling shampoo, conditioner & body wash
Recently opened, The Olive Tree’s new package free store in Sunway Nexis allows customers to have a full hands on zero-waste experience as they shop. The main highlight of the store is their refill station, where customers can fill up their own bottle of liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner. There are two different types of shampoos, a conditioner, two types of body wash as well as pure liquid castile soap—which is great for those who want to make their own body wash using different essential oils.
Filling up your bottles is an easy 4 step process—tare, fill, weigh and pay. Either using your own bottle or a recycled one they have provided in store, you fill up soap, shampoo and conditioner from the pumps and watch as it drizzles into the bottle. I actually find the whole process quite mesmerising, especially when watching the castile soap’s liquid gold, honey-like consistency fill up the bottle. I used old kombucha bottles I had washed and kept, but you can use any bottles you have! Just make sure the opening is big enough for the funnel to fit in.
Review: Rosemary & Mint Shampoo
The Rosemary & Mint Shampoo is one of two of The Olive Tree’s best selling liquid shampoos. It is suitable for for normal to fine hair, and the Tea Tree & Mint Shampoo is great for those with an oily scalp.
I’ve been using the Rosemary & Mint Shampoo for a few months now and I LOVE how it makes my hair feel. With a lot of other natural shampoos I’ve used, my hair doesn’t really feel like it’s been washed and ends up looking a bit flat and dry, but with The Olive Tree’s shampoo it’s a totally different story!
It adds volume, which I need because my hair is super fine, while also keeping my hair clean and soft. I’ve also noticed my hair is stronger and has been falling less, which could be because the shampoo is aloe vera based and has rosemary leaf oil, which both promote hair growth. So happy I found this because it’s definitely one of my favourite hair products.
What I also love about the refill station is that it makes you more conscious of what products you need and how much you’re getting. Compared to just quickly grabbing a bottle from the drug-store based on its packaging, filling up your own bottles makes you curious about what ingredients are used, how it’s made and whether it’s the right product for your hair. It really makes you appreciate how much goes into making a good quality product!
It’s obviously encouraged to reuse your own old bottles, but if you don’t have any, you Can also use one of their recycled bottles
Natural Soap Bars
What you’ll also find at The Olive Tree’s package free store, is their range of signature soap bars. As with all their other products, the soap bars are all free from harsh chemicals such as artificial frothing agents, fragrances and dyes which are usually found in commercial soaps. Instead of palm oil, their soaps are made with olive oil, lye and other high quality ingredients which are more gentle on the skin. They even have a soap specifically designed for those with sensitive skin, which has no fragrance and contains no essential oils.
All handmade in Australia through a cold process method, I love that each soap bar is unique and varies slightly in shape and texture. At home, make sure you use a dish that lets the soap drain well to keep it dry between each use. And if you’re interested they even have a shampoo bar! Find out more about The Olive Tree’s hair and body care products here.
The Olive Tree products are also super travel-friendly! In my recent trip to Bali I filled up a few travel sized bottles I had recycled at home and brought a soap bar in a nifty tin case, which you can also get from them. All of this took up no space at all in my bag and I had enough to last for the whole 6 day trip, and even had more leftover. It felt really good knowing that I didn’t have to use any of the complimentary bottles provided at the hotels. It’s not about being perfect, but taking little steps to reduce unnecessary plastic waste where you can.