I’ve had a lot of questions about switching to shampoo bars and what it entails. I’m not going to lie, it is not to easiest of plastic free swaps and there is usually a transition period depending on your hair, but it is worth it! Here’s some further information and tips:
Why make the switch?
1. The Environment
It is estimated that around one million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every single minute. This number is projected to jump another 20% by the year 2021. This results in a staggering 20,000 bottles being bought every second of the day – A shocking statistic, imagine the number of plastic bottles used over your lifetime.
Hair care routines often included a range of plastic packaging: shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, hair spray, hair wax/gels - the list goes on! Shampoo and conditioner bars are an important and simple swap if you wish the reduce your plastic usage. The best thing about them is that they are zero waste - they come with no plastic packaging what so ever!
If you use 1 bottle of shampoo per month per person from age 18 – 80 you would be using a total of 744 plastic bottles just on shampoo alone
2. Reduce your carbon footprint
Plastic bottles are an environmental disaster as most of them are single-use. Once the shampoo is used up it goes into the bin and subsequently into landfill. Or perhaps it is recycled, which is great. However, plastic cannot be recycled infinitely in fact only a couple of times before it loses its properties and has to go to land fill.
Therefore, switching to shampoo and conditioner bars reduces your overall carbon footprint. A great step forward for the environment!
3. Long lasting
Another reason to switch to shampoo and conditioner bars is that they will last far longer than bottled products. When well looked after shampoo and conditioner bars can last for up to 3 months each, sometimes longer. Our bamboo soap racks will help your bars last even longer by allowing them to dry out between uses.
Turtley Top Tips - Making your shampoo & conditioner bars last longer:
They are fantastic travel companions - shampoo and conditioner bars make travelling a breeze. You no longer have to worry about liquid restrictions or shampoo explosions, bonus! They are also a huge space saver perfect for any break, taking up far less room and ideal for hand luggage – wave goodbye to multiple mini plastic bottles of products.
The bars are multipurpose. Shampoo bars can double up as body wash and lather up beautifully, reducing your waste even further.
Why is there sometimes a transition period with shampoo bars?
There are several contributing factors as to why there is sometimes a transition period when switching to natural shampoo bars. The main problem is that conventional shampoos used by most people strip away the natural protective oils in your hair, therefore, your hair produces more oils to compensate for that removal. Some of you will have been using conventional shampoo for many years and your scalp will have become used to the cycle of producing excess oil.
Natural shampoo and conditioner bars do not remove the natural protective oils from your hair and scalp
When you make the change to natural solid shampoo your scalp will need some time to be able re-balance the oil production and adjust to the new pH. This is the reason that your hair may sometimes feel greasy or heavy after the first few initial uses.
The transition period will vary depending on:
How chemical based your previous shampoo was.
How many other products you use (hair spray and other style products).
The length of your hair.
How hard your tap water is.
It will not usually take more than couple of weeks - don’t give up!!
How can I help the transition period?
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) wash to condition after using a shampoo bar if they live in areas with hard water. The vinegar helps to even out the pH of your hair after shampooing and further ensures that any residue is removed. The vinegar leaves no scent. If you wish to use the ACV method it is recommended to combine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water, pour over your hair and scalp and then rinse thoroughly with warm water. In areas with less hard water, you can use as little as 1 tablespoon of ACV to 3 cups water. However, using our conditioners bars by The Natural Spa will have a similar soothing effect if you prefer this method.
2. Shampoo technique
Make sure your hair is properly wet before applying – this is what is needed to activate the soap for use with your hair. When using shampoo bars, it is very easy to over apply as they lather up so quickly and effectively. If you check many bottled shampoo ingredients you will find that they are largely water, which is why you need to use such large amounts to wash your hair - shampoo bars are very concentrated so far less is required. This means they last far longer too and much better on your bank balance!
The feeling of heavy hair after shampooing is often due to not having rinsed all of the shampoo out properly. Ensure thorough rising and avoid over applying.
Applying the shampoo via lathering into your hands rather than rubbing the bar directly into hair will allow you to monitor application much easier.
3. Conditioner Bars
I always recommend using a conditioner bar after your shampoo bar, I found that my hair was always left feeling much lighter, silkier and smoother. It definitely reduced the transition time for me!
Our shampoo and conditioner bars are made by a lovely small business called 'The Natural Spa'. The soaps are handmade in small batches and weigh approximately 60g each. The bars are all made using natural ingredients and are:
Free from preservatives.
I hope this helps answers some of your questions surrounding shampoo bars and outlines the benefits of this plastic free switch - both for you and for the environment.
Let me know any thoughts!