Last year I gave up the bottle... err... more like bottles. Each year for the past few years I’ve looked for ways to reduce my every day plastic usage and waste and last year I went on a journey to try out shampoo and conditioner bars and kick the plastic waste I make during my everyday hygiene routine. I also switched to facial and body bar soap (Cetaphil and Dove respectively) so basically I’m plastic free now for my daily hygiene!
So what are shampoo and conditioner bars?
Well, they are bars of soap that are made out of ingredients that are specific for shampooing and conditioning your hair. The conditioner bars in particular usually have lots of cocoa or coconut butter in them to leave your hair hydrated.
How do you use a shampoo/conditioner bar?
After some trial and error here’s what works for me.
Shampoo - I get my hair and shampoo bar wet and then run the bar over the length of my hair 8ish times (I have a lot of hair). I then put the bar away on the shelf and get my fingers up in there like I would with normal shampoo to make sure I get the cleanser down to my scalp and rinse.
Conditioner - This one was trickier to get the hang of and honestly I almost gave up on it. After shampooing, I get the conditioner bar really wet and start running it down the length of my hair and also along the under side of my hair, adding water frequently to help it distribute. I hold it in the palm of my hand and cup water to help the conditioner bar stay warm to help the conditioner distribute.
Shampoo bars last me about 2 months each and conditioner bars last nearly 3 months with my long hair and washing it 5-6 times a week.
Other than reduced plastic, here are some other benefits to using bars:
Travel Friendly - Another benefit is that they are more portable! These are small and not liquid so putting them in a carry-on bag is easy, peasy. Be aware though the way to make your bars last longer is to let them dry out between uses so having a good travel case is important. Shampoo bars especially have a tendency to crumble if they stay wet for too long. Conditioner bars will fair better but will also get soft
Storable - Along with portability, they are also easily storable. On my January trip to Walt Disney World I stocked up on shampoo and conditioner bars at Basin in Downtown Disney and got enough for nearly the whole year and it takes up about the same amount of room as 2 shampoo bottles. Score!
Shampoo and conditioner bars are still coming into the market but over the last year I tried out 3 different brands and here are my experiences.
This was the first brand I tried out. They have really high quality ingredients and try to reduce and reuse plastic as much as possible. I got 2 shampoo bars and 1 conditioner bar and took the plunge. These are the ones I tried:
Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar (I REALLY loved the smell of this bar!)
Lullaby Shampoo Bar (which they no long sell)
Jungle (there was something in the scent that I was allergic to/it has a really strong scent)
Their stuff smells great but their scents are a little strong. I was only able to use the conditioner bar for a few uses because I was allergic to the scent. I was just starting to get use to the conditioner bars when I had to stop using this one, but the ingredients are high quality and it left my hair healthy and manageable. I LOVED the jumping juniper bar but they are more expensive than some of the others I tried so I did not go back to this brand.
The shampoo bars give an okay lather and the quality ingredients in the conditioner bars left my hair feeling really nice. If you aren’t too sensitive to scents, I would give them a try!
This was the last one I tried and while I was so-so on their shampoo bars, their conditioner bars were really rich and left my hair feeling well moisturized. The shampoo bars just didn’t lather up as much as I wanted but I will probably switch back to their conditioner soon!
They make a great sampler pack too so if you are curious to try out shampoo and conditioner bars this is a great way!
Each of these smaller bars lasted me about a month with 5-6 washes a week and you get 3 shampoo bars and 2 conditioner bars so you’ll have lots of time to try them out and see if this is for you!
This brand has become my favorite. They aren’t too expensive and their scents are amazing without being overpowering. Their shampoo bars give a GREAT lather too. Like crazy amounts of suds on your head which is so satisfying (I’m clearly not joining the no-poo movement anytime soon). Their conditioner bars are super nice too with high quality ingredients and leave my hair feeling really soft. My favorite combo is using the Island Silk shampoo bar and the Hair Nut conditioner bar.
So hopefully this gave you a new idea of something small you can do to reduce you carbon footprint and still keep sparkling each day!