Shampoo Bars: Can You Actually Wash Your Hair With A Solid Shampoo Bar?

shampoo bars

You’ve probably already heard of shampoo bars, maybe from friends who backpack or travel a lot. They might sound like a quirky idea. Do they actually work? Can you really wash your hair with a solid shampoo bar?

shampoo bars

What are solid shampoo bars?

In general, shampoo bars are solid soap bars used to wash your hair. If you look at the ingredients list on your shampoo bottle, the first, and by far most plentiful, ingredient is water. Solid shampoo bars get rid of all that and leave you with just the active components. Plus, they don’t need preservatives.

There are three kinds of shampoo bars.

Cold processed

Cold processed shampoo bars are usually made by home crafters and natural product companies. They use saponified oils such as sweet almond, coconut, castor and grapeseed, along with essential oils for scent and therapeutic properties. These bars typically don’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate and the like, just pure natural ingredients.

Glycerine based

Glycerine based shampoo bars tend to be gentler on your hair, but might have ingredients derived from palm oil, so make sure to check the label. They probably won’t lather up like the other bars and don’t have much clarifying action.

Solid surfactant bars

These quite often contain sodium lauryl sulphate, just in solid form. They can be very harsh on the hair and I don’t recommend them.

What’s so good about shampoo bars?

One really fantastic thing about solid shampoo bars is the lack of packaging. In 2017 one million plastic bottles were purchased every minute worldwide. By 2021 this number is expected to increase by 20%. The oceans and landfills are choking with them.

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Shampoo bars are usually packaged in paper and cardboard, so they’re perfect if you’re getting into the waste free lifestyle.

Shampoo bars are light, compact and incredibly easy to travel with. Whether you’re going to the gym, backpacking or getting on an airplane, a shampoo bar is so much easier to pack than a bottle of shampoo. You don’t have to worry about spillage, liquid limits or overweight luggage fees.

Transition to shampoo bars

Like any other time you change your hair care habits, your hair might need a little while to get used to the change. Experiment with your new shampoo bar. You can try lathering it up in your hands before applying, rubbing the bar on your scalp or cutting it into small pieces so it’s easier to work with.

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It won’t give you a great mountain of lather like traditional shampoos. But I’ve been testing out The Australian Natural Soap Company shampoo bars, and I find that they lather up just fine.

Because of their composition, cold processed solid shampoo bars might leave your hair with a slight waxy coating. I find that they leave my hair squeaky clean, and hard to pull a comb through. Depending on your hairstyle, you might like the extra body and texture.

How to use shampoo bars

I don’t like the texture by itself, but I’ve found how to make it work. Use a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of essential oil. I’ve been using rosemary oil because it’s good for hair and I love the smell, but you can add any oil you like. I put them in the bottom of a jug, then fill the jug with about a cup of warm water while I’m in the shower. I just pour it over my hair, and leave it for a minute or so, then give it a quick rinse. It’s enough to condition and add shine without smelling ACV every time you turn your head.

If your hair feels dry, you could also apply a leave in conditioner and comb through.

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How to choose the best solid shampoo bar for you

Find a shampoo bar that works for your hair type. If you have dry hair look for a bar with conditioning ingredients such as macadamia or argan oil. Someone with oily hair might like a bar made with lighter oils such as grapeseed, and clarifying essential oils such as tea tree and lemon.

Proper cold pressed bars are the best. Read the label and look for all natural ingredients – avoid anything containing sulphates, palm oil and artificial fragrances.

Looking for a shampoo bar that will fit your hair type? See our range of shampoo bars here

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Plastic Free July: Rethink the Plastic in Your Bathroom

plastic free bathroom

Plastic Free July started with just a few participants from Western Australia, and now it’s a worldwide movement. This July, take the challenge! We can all stop and think about our plastic consumption and by making a few small changes in our lives, we can make a big impact on our planet.

This month we’ll be releasing a series for Plastic Free July so if you’re after inspiration, feel free to join our newsletter which can be found on the right side of the screen. 👉

plastic free bathroom

Last week we talked about steps you can take to work towards a plastic free kitchen.

This week we’re going to talk about taking steps towards a plastic free bathroom.

Plastic free bathroom

Plastic Free Dental Care

Do you know that in the US alone, over 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes get dumped into landfill every year? That’s billions of toothbrushes! But don’t worry, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t brush your teeth. You can take care of your teeth and still be eco conscious.

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Here are some alternatives to your plastic toothbrush and floss:

Go Bamboo Toothbrushes. Has two variants one for adults and one for children. This is a fully biodegradable toothbrush with bamboo handles and its bristles are made from a biodegradable polymer.

Pearlbar, like Go Bamboo, also has two variants for their toothbrushes. They also have for adults and one for children. For adults, you can pick between soft or medium bristles. Their handles are also fully biodegradable and their bristles are infused with charcoal for that extra whitening action.

There’s also The Natural Family Co, with biodegradable resin toothbrushes; Jack ‘N Jill’s biodegradable toothbrushes for kids; and My Magic Mud’s bamboo toothbrushes.

Biodegradable floss is a little trickier. We haven’t been able to find a fully biodegradable floss. But we do have floss picks from Pearlbar with biodegradable handles, and dental floss from Noosa Basics and Dr Tung’s that are in fully biodegradable packaging, which is a step in the right direction!

Plastic Free Haircare

Are you still using plastic combs and brushes? Why not make the shift to wooden ones? Wooden combs and brushes aren’t just eco friendly, they look great, too. Using a wooden comb or brush can also help to pull oils on your hair from root to tip.

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When it comes to static, plastic combs and brushes actually adds a positive charge to your hair which causes the hair to be more frizzy. This is not the case when it comes to wooden hair combs and brushes.

There are lovely wooden combs available, as well as plastic free hairbrushes at Bass Brushes. For children, there’s the lovely Fawn & Milk Goat Hair Brush and Comb Set.

Another way to cut waste is by shifting from your traditional shampoos to shampoo bars. The Australian Natural Soap Company (ANSC) has some great shampoo bar options, and they’re all plastic free.

Plastic Free Facial Care

It can be hard making the switch when it comes to facial care. But there are plenty of eco friendly options out there that can compete with your favourite brands.

ANSC has a ton of great facial soaps! For great natural cleansers, we recommend  ANSC’s Pink Clay and Black Clay facial soaps. If you’re looking for an antibacterial soap, then their Salt Cleanser is your best bet. They also have a Charcoal facial soap for acne prone skin. Charcoal is also good at drawing those toxins from your skin.

The Australian Natural Soap Company
The Australian Natural Soap Company

Instead of using disposable facial wipes, why not remove your makeup with Black Chicken’s Reusable Face Cloth. Just use it with your favourite cleanser and viola!

Plastic Free Personal Care & Feminine Hygiene

Think plastic free for your period, too. Your ordinary tampon is actually not pure cotton. Most common brands have plastics in them like rayon, polyester, and and other synthetics. Each woman will use an average of 11,000 tampons in her lifetime and it will be in the landfill long after we’re gone. Not to mention the packaging that these tampons comes in as well.

A much more eco friendly option for periods are menstrual cups. They’re getting more and more popular, because aside from the fact that they’re reusable, they’re also wallet friendly. You can use your menstrual cup for up to 10 years! Why not try Lunette Menstrual Cup?

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Now if a menstrual cup is just too much to contemplate if you’re making the switch, there are also great options for plastic free tampons and pads in the market. Natracare, Organyc, and Tom Organic tampons and pads are completely plastic free, including their packaging.

You could also try Modibodi’s leakproof period underwear. Another option are reusable pads like Hannahpad. These are washable pads made out of 100% cotton. They’re washable and reusable and can last you 2-3 years.

Plastic Free Body Care

Deodorants, soaps, and body wash normally comes in plastic packaging. Not to mention plastic loofahs and and microbeads in body scrubs. There are a bunch of plastic free options for body care in the market.

Instead of using plastic loofahs, choose to go for a more natural option. How about a Bass Body Brush instead?

Aside from shampoo bars and facial soaps, ANSC also has a ton of variety when it comes to body soaps from refreshing peppermint to  moisturising avocado they have it.

When it comes to deodorant, there are also plastic free options available. Physic Garden has 3 varieties; Revitalise Deodorant, Sensitive Deodorant, and Relax Deodorant. Also, Physic Garden’s products all comes in glass packaging.

The Physic Garden Relax Deodorant
The Physic Garden Relax Deodorant

Plastic Free First Aid Kit

You can even go plastic free in your first aid kit. Popular adhesive bandages are mostly made out of plastic. Instead of using those try Patch Organic Strips.

This brand’s adhesive bandages are 100% biodegradable because they’re made from organic bamboo fibre, and their packaging, while it looks like plastic, is actually a fully biodegradable cellulose. Another option is Everyday Good Co Biodegradable Bandages.

Plastic Free General bathroom

The bathroom is such a small space, but you’ll be surprised at how much waste it can produce. From soap holders to bath mats – they all contribute billions of tonnes of waste to our landfills. Here are some alternatives.

Instead of buying a plastic soap holder, you can get Bass Body Care Sisal Soap Holder. For bath mats, you can try Hevea’s bath mat, this bath mat is 100% free from PVC and is made of naturally biodegradable rubber.

Organyc also offers biodegradable cotton pads and cotton buds. If you’re looking for another brand, Go Bamboo also offers bamboo cotton buds.

Also, think about your toilet paper. It might be made of recycled paper, but if it comes packaged in plastic what’s the point? Try something like Who Gives a Crap, packaged in paper and delivered in a cardboard box.

You don’t have to try and do everything at once. But small changes made by lots of people add up to a big difference. So what can you change?

Main Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Other images from: The Australian Natural Soap Company and The Physic Garden