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Shampoo Bars

Shampoo Bars

We know the world of alternative hair care products can be overwhelming and confusing and that’s why we are here to help! 

The transition to a more plastic-free lifestyle and routine can be a tricky one, especially with all the products that are available to us with the biggest question often being about hair care - more specifically, shampoo.

Though the options and information can be overwhelming, we do encourage you to look past the noise and remember that ultimately plastic free products are both better for our hair and the environment. Shampoo bars, like many zero-waste products, are also a great help when travelling!

This post will hopefully act as an introduction to the world of shampoo bars, and help you to find the bar that fits you and your lifestyle. First things first, there is a few factors to take into consideration on why you may want make the switch. 


Unfortunately, many of the conventional, bottled shampoos we use today contain some chemicals and sulphates that are often used in large amounts and are most likely the cause of a lot of the hair problems you may have.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Many of us have heard about sulphates, yet are still pretty clueless about what they actually are and what they do. 

Sulphates are simply strong detergents, which explains why they are used for stripping the oils from your scalp and hair and technically - this does work. 

However, while they do strip oils, they also strip all other moisture and shine from your hair too, which is not so ideal. 

As these detergents are so taxing on our strands, over time the use can cause our hair to thin out, becoming brittle and fragile, while the absence of shine results in the look of ‘fried’ hair. 

Not all detergents are strong or stripping on our hair and there are many detergents/surfactants that can be helpful in cleaning our hair, while being safe and gentle. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is another detergent. However, this sulphate is a ‘surfactant’ the thing that contributes to that foam that we get from our shampoo.

Unfortunately, sls again strips moisture from your hair, while also being found to irritate the skin, eyes and scalp.

It is important to remember that not all surfactants are awful for us, and there are plenty of gentle cleaning agents found in natural shampoos that do not have these effects, and can be a huge help in cleansing our hair. 

Silicones

Silicones can be found in many hair care products and can help to create the look of shiny hair however, this is temporary and over time as products are used this silicone can build up on your hair and scalp, which eventually results in the appearance of dull looking hair. Whilst also being incredibly difficult to actually remove from your hair as the majority of silicones are not water soluble.

Parabens

Parabens are used in most cosmetics as a preservative, to stop bacteria from growing on the products however there has been many negatives found concerning Parabens. 

Parabens have been reported to enter our bodies through our skin, with a study finding 19 out of 20 women studied had parabens in their breast tissue.

Parabens have been found to mimic the effects of the hormone oestrogen, which in excess has been reported to increase tumor growth and infertility.

Not only are these Parabens harmful to humans but they have been found in marine life, as well as damaging and eventually killing corals.

As well as wanting to stay away from these harmful chemicals, you may want to steer clear of the plastic bottles that these products are packaged in, which have unfathomable effects on the environment and wildlife, you can read more about these effects and check out our zero-waste bathroom kits HERE.

What shampoo is right for me?


There are a few factors that may impact which shampoo bar you want to try, one being whether you live in an area with hard water or soft water.

The type of water that comes from your shower head can actually affect your hair and what products you should be using for optimal results! 

Hard Water

Hard water is simply water with a higher concentration of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Whilst hard water is safe, it can cause some problems with hair care, as the excess minerals may build up.

Soft Water

Soft water has not got this excess in minerals, as it has been through a water softener system. 

When approaching the world of shampoo bars, there are a few variants that may seem intimidating, but are super easy to understand.

The one you pick will depend on your hair type, water type and goals.

For example, if you are currently doing, or looking to try, the curly girl method, you may want to stick to a ‘low-poo’ option, as it is advised to use no sulphates on your hair when doing this method.

No-poo

The ’No-Poo’ title simply means you don’t use any traditional shampoos, with some people choosing to stop using shampoo completely or choosing to use very natural, gentle products. ‘No-Poo’ shampoos do not include any sulphates or surfactants. This type of shampoo is a great option but may not work for everyone especially on the start of your journey. 

The ’No-Poo’ method is great if you already have started your no shampoo journey or if you live in an area with very soft water we also find it good for children whose hair generally requires less washing and people with shaved or very short hair. If the area you live in is a hard water area, you may want to try a ‘Low-Poo’, or an apple cider vinegar wash to remove the mineral coating from your hair. 

Check out our ’No-Poo’ options - 


Friendly Soap Peppermint and Eucalyptus 


Friendly Soap Lavender and Geranium 


Friendly Soap Lavender and Tea Tree


Friendly Soap Fragrance Free

Low-poo

‘Low-Poo’ is a shampoo that still does not contain any sulphates, however it does contain a detergent/surfactant for more cleansing power. ‘Low-Poo’s’ are a common option for people who choose to do the curly girl method, as they contain a cleaning agent but no harsh chemicals that may have negative effects on the hair, they are of course suitable for all other hair types too. Beware, this doesn’t mean that all shampoos that are advertised for curly hair are ‘Low-Poo’, as many of these shampoos still contain sulphates and much harsher surfactants, so it is important to always check the ingredients list.

Check out our ‘Low-Poo’ options - 

Kind2 Shampoo Bars


Beauty Kubes Shampoo Kubes


EcoLiving Shampoo Bars


Solidu Shampoo Bars


Lamazuna Shampoo Bars