A guide to going plastic free: Zero waste shampoo bars

As the number of conscious consumers continues to grow every year, so too does the distaste for the excess plastic packaging that generally accompanies products.

Out of these demands from consumers and the need for brands to stand up and deliver change, sustainable shampoo bars were born.

Recently, Garnier’s Ultimate Blends subrange has come out with “solid shampoos”, a bar of soapy shampoo that comes wrapped in cardboard as opposed to a thick plastic bottle. Available on Look Fantastic, the soap bar costs €9.45, or alternatively for €4.95 on Beauty Expert.

It comes in a range of scents with a variety of uses: the coconut bar hydrates; the honey and beeswax will help to repair damaged hair; the ginger bar revitalises weak and damaged hair; and the oat bar is soft on hair, for sensitive scalp and fragile ends.

To top it all off, its ingredients are 94 per cent plant-based and packaging is 100 per cent plastic-free.

A familiar face for any shoppers at Holland & Barrett (or any health shop with cosmetic products, really), Faith in Nature has both solid shampoos and conditioners available from their website or your local Holland & Barrett.

Shea & Argan, Lavender & Geranium, and Dragon Fruit shampoo and conditioner bars are among the affordable range, costing between €6 to €7.

L’Occitane also has an affordable range of solid shampoo bars on their website, such as the “Intensive Repair Solid Shampoo” for €12. However, this is their only solid hair care product available on their site.

Pioneers in solid hair care production Lush also provide a huge variety on their website of both shampoos and conditioners. 12 shampoos, three conditioners and two “co-wash” bars are available for hair nourishment, all costing between €9.42 and €10.60.

These shampoos are all above the €5 mark, so you might find yourself wondering why you would fork out the money to pay for them when you can get a plastic bottle shampoo for €2.50. Well, those shampoos are about 80 per cent water, and a conditioner can be up to 95 per cent water in its ingredients.

A solid hair care product means that the ingredients are more concentrated into the bar itself, making the product last longer and saving you money in the long term.

Another issue you may be wondering about is storage. Tins or containers can be purchased from some providers, for example, Lush, which is selling a tin holder for the shampoo bar for €2.94.

However, adhering to the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle mantra we all grew up learning, I choose to store mine in repurposed Tupperware or reuse containers of previous products that come in jars, like lotions or hair masks.

Niamh Quinlan

Image credit: creativecomm