Your foray into the world of zero waste and eco-friendly alternatives were most likely prompted by metal straws and reusable cups. The interest in an environmentally-conscious lifestyle has never been stronger than it is now, which is why you’re more than familiar with eco-bags in lieu of plastic, and bamboo toothbrushes and reusable utensils rather than plastic ones. However more than these investments, there are lesser-known switches you can make in order to help the environment.
Case in point: shampoo bars.
They’re exactly what you think they are: shampoo packed into a solid bar instead of wasteful plastic bottles. By purchasing these bars, you reduce your contribution to the already growing number of plastic in landfills.
In favor of the lot who want to try out shampoo bars but are unsure of how to use them, we asked two eco-friendly Instagram shops for their advice on using them correctly.
Paralúman is a sustainable shop that caters to all your zero waste needs. From natural loofah dish sponges to reusable menstrual cups, they have all a beginner could need to transition to a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Their shampoo bars are a crowd favorite, especially when paired with their conditioner bars.
SUDS focuses on making all-natural bathing products, such as soap and shampoo bars. Rooted in their vision that, “It’s time to give your body, and the earth, the care it deserves,” all their products are handmade, natural, plastic-free, and cruelty-free—at an amazingly affordable price point. Their soap and shampoo bars constantly running out of stock is a testament to the high demand of their products.
Below, these two shops kindly give us a rundown of how to correctly use a shampoo bar. Read on!
1. If you’re using a shampoo bar for the first time, an ACV rinse is recommended.
Friends over at Paralúman suggest that if you’re transitioning to a shampoo bar from bottled shampoo, it’s best to rinse your hair with ACV. “Hair that has been exposed to excessive hair products and pollution and those with oily hair will benefit from a rinse before switching to a shampoo bar,” they share via e-mail.
All you need to do is mix 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water. Use it to rinse your hair and leave it on for three minutes. This ensures oil and buildup is lifted from the hair and scalp. Additionally, it will also close and flatten the cuticle layer of the hair, reducing frizz.
2. Wet your hair then rub the bar directly on it or lather with your hands.
After your rinse, you may wet your hair and proceed to applying the shampoo. There are two ways to do this: by directly rubbing the bar on your head, or by lathering it with your hands first. The latter seems to be the more economical approach but works just as well as the former. Keep in mind that since shampoo bars use natural, plant-based ingredients, the bar won't be as bubbly as your favorite bottled shampoo.
3. Rinse thoroughly.
Rinse your hair thoroughly, making sure that there are no remnants of shampoo left on your scalp.
4. Repeat with a conditioner bar.
Repeat steps 2-3 with a conditioner bar.
5. If you don't have a conditioner bar, an ACV rinse will do well.
According to friends at SUDS, “[apple cider vinegar] is a natural conditioner that pairs well with all-natural shampoo bars. This rinse will help get rid of tangles and keep your hair soft and shiny. It also helps restore the acidic environment of the hair and scalp.”
It’s important to remember that reducing your own personal waste is inevitably going to take lots of time and effort. But it’s also worth remembering that every time you choose to make a switch, you begin to cultivate a healthy lifestyle for yourself and a sustainable one for Mother Nature. Good luck!