Solid shampoo bars have been around for the last few decades, but have been growing in popularity in the last few years. I think this is due to people looking for an alternative, to reduce both plastic usage and to avoid some of the chemicals that are found in liquid shampoo. (Although chemicals can also be found in shampoo bars too)
Shampoo itself is still a relatively new concept, and its usage has increased dramatically. An article printed in 1908 suggested it was okay to wash your hair every two weeks, but suggests that four to six weeks is a better interval. I remember in my early twenties ( before children when I had a lot more time!), I would not leave the house without washing, drying, and straightening my hair – I washed my hair almost every day.
Four children and a pixie cut later, my hair is lucky to get a 60-second shower, and I usually wash it 2 to 3 times a week. With the increase in the frequency of shampooing, the amount of plastic we use for shampoo has dramatically increased.
A Zero Waste Bathroom
As part of switching to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, we wanted to try switching to solid shampoo. The great thing about shampoo bars is they are plastic-free, and often packaged in more environmentally friendly packaging than their liquid counterparts. They naturally contain fewer chemicals because they don’t need preservatives or emulsifiers. Some shampoo bars claim to last up to four times longer than liquid shampoo, and I really hope that’s correct to offset the cost; they are more expensive!
There are many recipes for homemade solid shampoo bars online, and I would love to make some when I have more time on my hands. I love the look of these recipes from Going Zero Waste and Wellness Mama
I don’t know about you but I always find bathroom recycling seemed to find its way into the bathroom waste bin much easier than in any other area of our home. Having a plastic-free bathroom will definitely help.
The SLS debate.
One thing you might like to consider before you make the leap is where you stand on the SLS debate. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (or SLS) is a chemical compound used in many cleaning products. It can irritate the skin, and as well as removing the dirt and grease, SLS also strips all the good oils from your hair. As our bodies have adapted to SLS use, we produce more oil to compensate, which in turn means hair needs washing more frequently, creating a vicious cycle.
Shampoo bars with SLS are similar to liquid shampoo. With SLS-free shampoo bars, you might find your hair takes a while to transition, similar to the ‘no poo’ method of hair washing. I have tried the no-poo method (short for no shampoo) a few years ago, but couldn’t get past the transition period, so we opted on an SLS shampoo bar to try initially, but you can read more about the “no poo” method and SLS here.
How Do I Use Solid Shampoo?
You work the shampoo bar in your hands to release the product, before applying and massaging into your hair like traditional shampoo. After shampooing, simply rinse the bar and leave out to air dry. It’s really important to let the bar dry out between uses, or it may disintegrate.
Where Can I Buy Solid Shampoo?
SLS Shampoo Bars
We bought our solid shampoo bars from Lush – and they smell & look gorgeous and have so far have been an easy swap for our household of two adults and four children. Seanik (blue) was recommended to me by a friend. These are some of the other shampoo bars that came highly recommended and I would love to try.
Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar – Honey Treasures for Damaged Hair
Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar – Softening for Sensitive Scalp & Fragile Hair
Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar – Hydrating for Normal Hair
Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar – Revitalising for Weak / Dull Hair
Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar – Nourishing for Dry, Dull Hair
<Zero plastic waste, 100 recyclable cardboard – (FSC Certified), Cruelty-Free International Approved>
Faith In Nature – Coconut & Shea Butter – Hydrating <Vegan, No SLS or Parabens, fully recyclable cardboard, 100% natural fragrance, Cruelty-Free International Approved)
Friendly Soap Natural Shampoo Bar – Lavender & Tea Tree <Vegan, Palm Oil Free, Paraben Free & SLS Free>
J.R. Liggett Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo – Coconut and Argan Oil <Vegan, Palm Oil Free, Paraben Free & SLS Free>
Clovelly Soap Co Handmade – Pink Grapefruit Shower, Shave and Shampoo Bar <Vegan>
The eco-friendly choice
Shampoo bars are a brilliant alternative to traditional liquid shampoo. They are smaller and lighter, which means less packaging and transport costs. Taking up less space means they are ideal for traveling ( just make sure you store in a waterproof container, (like this tin), and that they completely dry before popping them in). They contain fewer chemicals because they don’t need the preservatives or emulsifiers like traditional shampoo, and they come packaged in eco-friendly cardboard instead of plastic, which is a fantastic choice for the environment too! What’s not to love?
If you would like to get in touch, please leave a comment below, they always make my day!