It’s no secret that the beauty industry takes a toll on the environment with many of us having the overflowing bathroom cabinets to prove it. So where can those of us who want to start being more eco-conscious in our bathrooms begin? The answer is shampoo bars.

Shampoo bars have been making waves for a while now, being raved about for their benefits for hair and the environment. Shampoo bars are exactly what they sound like – 0% bottle, 100% solid bar.

Why switch to shampoo bars?

First off, shampoo bars are a great way to cut down not only on plastic waste but water consumption too, as a typical 350ml shampoo bottle requires 700ml of water in the manufacturing process. In addition, many brands are committed to 100% natural formulations that are healthier for hair and free from harmful chemicals and additives such as SLS, SLEs and parabens. That shampoo bars are a fraction of the size of their clunky counterparts and thus also much more travel-friendly is just the cherry on top.

Aren’t shampoo bars more expensive?

Beyond the above-named benefits of shampoo bars, it turns out that your wallet will be thanking you too. Removing water that normally makes up give or take, 65% of liquid shampoos means that one concentrated bar can contain the equivalent of up to two to three bottles of shampoo, making shampoo bars the more economical option on a per wash basis.

How do you use a shampoo bar?

Wet your hair and shampoo bar. Gently slide the bar from root to tip and lather shampoo into hair before rinsing. If your hair is prone to tangling, try rubbing the bar in your hands and then lathering into hair instead, the way you would do with liquid shampoo. Depending on the shampoo bar, you may also need to manage your expectations of bubbles. Many of us have come to expect these from our shower products although they are in no way an indicator of cleansing performance.

Do you use a conditioner after a shampoo bar?

Yes, in this regard your routine will be no different to using bottled haircare products. Using a conditioner in a plastic bottle may feel counterproductive so try opting for a conditioner bar or 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner bar instead.

Do shampoo bars make hair feel waxy?

It is true that while some may switch over to shampoo bars with no obvious effects, others may experience a transition phase where hair may feel waxy or oily. In essence, this is because hair is no longer being stripped from its natural oils. In our experience, using a good amount of shampoo and most importantly rinsing hair out thoroughly can make all the difference. If you’re still experiencing waxiness after several washes, it’s likely that the shampoo bar you’re using just isn’t right for you. Explore your options as there are plenty of different bars for different hair types out there.

How do you store a shampoo bar?

Drying your bar out properly between uses is key. Keeping your bar dry will not only keep it neat, but it will last for significantly more washes too. That is why we recommend that you choose a spot in your shower that’s away from the water stream or that you store bars outside of the shower altogether. You will also want to choose a storage option that will let water drain away and air circulate – soap bags, wire shower racks, soap trays with drainage holes or even flannels or loofah sponges are all great options.

July 26, 2021 — Jenny Albrecht