Solid shampoo bars have been around for the last few decades, but have been growing in popularity in the last few years. I think has been mainly due to people looking for an alternative, to reduce both plastic usage & 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 of 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 ‘no poo’ method. 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! 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.
Shampoo Bar – available directly from Emmas Soap <Fairtrade, Vegan, Palm Oil Free, Paraben Free & SLS Free>
Shine Shampoo Bar – available directly from Shine Hair Group
Other non-plastic products that came highly recommend;
Rhassoul Clay – Natural Spa Supplies