Affordable & Ethical Line to Love: The Gnarly Whale

It’s never a good thing when your category title is consistently longer than the title of the brands you’re featuring. “Affordable & Ethical Line to Love” – I mean it, I really do, but there needs to be an easier way to say “This is what you should be buying because it’s cheap and also not full of terrible chemicals.

Maybe I should just start referring to these powerhouse brands as gnarly, because underneath their sensitive, Earth-friendly exteriors, these brands and products are the most badass, good-for-you cosmetics you can get your hands on.

The Collaboreight
The Collaboreight

Take the extremely unassuming body and hair care products from The Gnarly Whale: simple, with the fewest ingredients possible. They use light, fresh scents like lemon, thai coconut and green tea, have cute but unassuming packaging, and donate 10% of their profits to charity, monthly.

Gnarly, right?


Started on Etsy in 2012, The Gnarly Whale has blown up and is now carried on their own adorable site, TheGnarlyWhale.com, as well as select stores across the country including Rickys NYC and some crap shop called urban outfitters. Did I mention you can buy directly from The Gnarly Whale’s website?

They carry all types of personal care products for hair and body for all genders. They have a popular Beard Oil made with avocado oil and grapefruit seed extract. Their ingredients are entirely vegan and all of their products are cruelty-free and handmade from scratch. Just a little beard oil will surprise you and your mate!

I’ve heard raves about The Gnarly Whale’s Sudsy Shampoo ($10-$27), which comes in a billion of their homemade scents, including freaking Birthday Cake, and use coconut-derived emulsifiers and their signature essential oils.* (Birthday Cake can also be delivered via face scrub so you can literally rub it into your face.)

Here are some of their drool-worthy signature scents:

  • Lemongrass
  • Coconut Milk & Peaches
  • Pineapple Ginger
  • Grand Marnier & Apricot
  • Somalian Rose
  • Cedarwood

The product I’m most interested in trying: The Gnarly Whale’s toners ($10-$16). The ingredient list sucked me in, featuring weird-awesome elements of nature like orange peel powder and chamomile flowers. All of their toners have a green tea base, infused with a different skin-helping essence, like rosemary green tea, orange green tea, tea tree green tea (weird to say aloud) and peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and lemon.

Also actually okay I take it back – the product I’m most most interested in trying is The Gnarly Whale Beach Waves Spray ($8), which makes unkempt hair transform into this goddess-like, salt-water-perfect mess of bedhead goodness. I’ve checked out pretty much every natural beach hair spray there is, and even some big brand sprays like Bumble & Bumble – but I’m particularly excited about The Gnarly Whale’s beach hair spray because, in addition to mediterranean sea salt, they’ve also added nourishing, frizz-controlling ingredients like coconut oil (great for hair) and aloe vera. And for only $8 you get a few months worth of product!

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Also in their natural, vegan, cruelty-free beauty arsenal: hair detanglers, body spray, face & body scrubs, lip balm, and beautiful, coconut-based bar soap. Also a makeup remover made from organic hemp oil and organic jojoba oil that sounds like a dream come true.

*PS — If you’re a savvy beauty shopper who scans ingredients for big no-nos like parabens and preservatives, you may have seen that The Gnarly Whale’s shampoos include triethanolamine lauryl sulfate as a lathering agent. The lauryl sulfate in that ingredient may trigger you, but it’s not the same as sodium lauryl sulfate which has been found to be more than just a mild eye irritant like its relative triethanolamine lauryl sulfate. It caught my eye and I had to look it up, so I figured I’d pass the info on to you!

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.