WHY WE NEED SUSTAINABLE HAIR CARE
Hygiene is essential for human health, but the plastic-packaged products we rely on in the bathroom are polluting and harming the environment. In a study by Johnson & Johnson, nearly 40 percent of Americans don't recycle in the bathroom. It's estimated that 552 million 15-ounce shampoo bottles end up in landfills yearly without recycling. That's nearly 18,000 tons of plastic. If we include conditioner, we can estimate that more than one billion plastic bottles are headed to the landfill, going to the incinerator, or worse, contaminating natural ecosystems.
Plastic is one of the primary reasons many people switch to sustainable hair care products. Many bottled shampoos and conditioners are also not biodegradable. They coat the hair with silicones or synthetic polymers, similar to plastics and rubber. Silicones are a key reason why your hair feels smooth after washing. But they can also cause build-up and generally don't readily biodegrade or dissolve easily in water. Even when washed out of our hair, they do not simply disappear. Instead, they get rinsed down the drain, where they bioaccumulate in aquatic systems. If you look at the ingredient list, you'll also notice that water, or l'eau, is frequently one of the first ingredients, which is unnecessary when you consider that water is added in the shower! Believe it or not, bottled shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer can be up to 95% water. That can significantly influence natural resources in an increasingly water-stressed world. And think about the carbon footprint of shipping all those heavy bottles of water around the world in plastic containers.
WHAT ARE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BARS
Shampoo and conditioner bars are a more concentrated, solid form of what you traditionally find in bottled shampoos and conditioners. However, they generally only use plant-based essential oils and natural ingredients to clean your hair. You'll commonly find sodium coco sulfate in hair care bars. This coconut derivative helps the bars to create lots of soapy lather. It's even gentle and sensitive enough to use in baby shampoos. Sodium coco sulfate is a popular alternative to the other more irritating hair cleaners, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate. These sulfates can irritate the scalp and deplete the hair of its natural moisture. The lack of these harsher chemicals makes shampoo and conditioner bars a great option for anyone seeking a gentler alternative to traditional shampoos or those with sensitive scalps.
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BARS ARE BETTER
Shampoo and conditioner bars are really earth-friendly. Here are eight reasons to make the switch from bottle to bar.
Bars eliminate the need for plastic bottles and cut out plastic waste. Most are packaged in recycled paper or paper boxes. Paper can be sorted for recycling or decomposed naturally in a home composter.
2. Water Conservation
Bars have all the vital ingredients for luxurious locks without adding any unnecessary water. In fact, this is foundational for many solid shampoo and conditioner bars. Think about it like this, you're not just eliminating plastic, but also conserving water.
3. Lower Carbon Footprint
Manufacturing those plastic bottles for standard liquid hair care creates a heavier carbon footprint. Shipping all those heavy water-based liquid shampoos and conditioners also adds to those carbon emissions. But bars are very compact and made without water and plastic, so they have a much lower carbon footprint.
4. Non-Toxic Ingredients
Consumers are increasingly aware of the undesirable detergents and chemicals used in many shampoos. When you buy a shampoo and conditioner bar, you avoid ingredients like harsh sulfates, silicones, microplastics, parabens, phthalates, phosphates, and petrochemicals. Shampoo bars can help restore hair to its healthy, shiny, and voluminous form by eliminating some of the chemical residues left behind by traditional shampoos.
5. Many Brands are Cruelty-Free!
Many shampoo bar makers are working to protect animals and ecosystems harmed by the mass production of chemical-laden beauty products. There's an emphasis on using only plant-based essential oils and natural ingredients. Cruelty-free products put a major priority on the well-being of animals. And cruelty-free brands are significantly more eco-friendly since they have fewer and safer chemicals in their formulations. As a result, harmful substances are less likely to contaminate the environment.
6. They're Portable
You can store your bars in a metal tin to carry with you on your travels. They meet TSA regulations too, and liquid-ounces limits won't be a concern. You also won't need to worry about opening your suitcase and discovering that your shampoo bottles have leaked all over your clothes. However, the bars might make your suitcase smell pretty good.
7. Saves Money
Shampoo bars are ultra-concentrated and last much longer than the bottled versions. Many can last 70 to 80 washes and typically outlast two to three bottles of their liquid counterparts. This is superb for saving you money and shopping trips to buy more.
8. Great Hair!
Your hair will be healthier than ever without harsh chemicals and detergents to strip your hair and scalp of natural oils. Bars provide nourishment to keep the natural oils doing their best, and your hair will be less prone to breakage and split ends.
DO SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BARS REALLY WORK?
Many people are unsure about the efficiency of shampoo and conditioner bars because they look and feel so different. But don't worry, when switching to sustainable hair care, you can support the planet while still getting smooth and silky hair. Shampoo bars contain all the necessary ingredients to wash your hair properly. And they clean with natural ingredients that are good for your hair, such as natural oils, vitamins, and minerals. Your hair will never smell better than after using a shampoo bar. Instead of a synthetic fragrance, shampoo bars employ natural essential oils that are excellent for the hair and scalp and give your hair a beautiful and refreshing scent. Great shampoo bars leave hair feeling light, clean and volumized.
You can expect a moisturizing, rich, creamy lather that will leave your hair feeling silky and soft when using shampoo and conditioner bars. And because bars don't use harsh detergents and aren't formulated with chemicals, they gently cleanse and strengthen your strands to prevent breakage and split ends. You may even discover that after a few washes using shampoo bars, the natural moisture in your hair has been restored to the point where conditioner is no longer needed! Just another way to save money while getting the best care for your hair!
HOW TO USE SOLID SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BARS
Start with the same frequency as with liquid shampoo, or try washing every two or three days. Using a shampoo bar is similar to using bar soap in that you wet it and lather it until it becomes sudsy. You can lather it up in your hands or directly on your scalp. Both methods will work to successfully create a foamy lather. Just work the lather into your scalp and roots and let it sit for a minute or two while you shower before rinsing it out. Here are instructions on how to use shampoo and conditioner bars:
- Wet the bar and rub it in your hands or apply it directly to wet hair and massage with your hands until desired lather is achieved.
- Alternatively, lather the bar in your hands and apply it to your hair.
- Rinse thoroughly, and repeat as necessary.
- Wet the bar and rub it in your hands or apply it directly to wet hair, starting at the roots and working it towards the ends.
- Wait 3-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
- Reapply to the ends as a leave-in conditioner to detangle.
- Rinse as required.
- Dry and style hair as usual.
Some people find that conditioner bars take a bit longer to produce a lather than liquid conditioner. However, conditioner bars give you versatility. If you soften a conditioner bar, you can use it as an in-shower rinse, an in-shower soft bar, or a leave-in conditioner.
HOW TO SOFTEN A CONDITIONER BAR
- Place one conditioner bar inside a lidded container.
- Fill with a few ounces of water to cover the bar and set aside for 24 hours, flipping halfway through to allow each side of the bar to soak up water.
- The bar will expand in size and become soft, similar to cream cheese. The more water you use, the bigger and softer the bar will become.
- Following the initial soak, you may easily adjust the water to achieve your preferred softness.
- To fit the larger bar, use a container that is wider than the bar. This allows you to simply remove it once softened.
- A conditioner bar will last you for months, even with regular use.
MAKE THE SWITCH TO SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BARS
High-quality hair care bars can help you achieve healthy, beautiful hair that will turn heads wherever you go. They are also better for the planet and our wallets. So treat yourself to an eco-friendly and sustainable hair care routine that is beautiful for you and the environment.