Making the Switch to a Zero Waste Solid Shampoo & Conditioner

Making the Switch to a Zero Waste Solid Shampoo & Conditioner


Going zero waste is a lot of work, we hope to help.

Many people don't live close enough to a refill store to refill liquid products regularly, so shampoo and conditioner bars fulfill the need for plastic free hair care.

However, one of the most frequent questions we have been asked is how to find zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars that actually work, are reasonably priced, and don’t cause gummy buildup and stringy hair. 

It's hard enough to go zero waste without having to deal with bad hair days.

We created our newest shampoo and conditioner to address a need for reasonably priced, FUNCTIONAL solid shampoo and conditioner to replace one more plastic bottle in the bathroom. Our solid bars are salon quality shampoos and conditioners, without the excess water or the wasteful packaging.

Shampoo without the harsh ingredients.

Our salon-quality solid shampoo is sulfate-free, which means it will get your hair clean without harsh ingredients. The cleansers we use gently clean the hair and scalp without stripping away your natural skin oils. The experience of using a shampoo bar is different than a liquid shampoo. Here are some tips and information to help you with the switch.

zero waste shampoo 

It's not going to be like the LUSH bar!

LUSH uses stronger detergents (including Sodium Laureth Sulfate), in their shampoo bars. It is a solid form of detergent pressed into "noodles" to make it essentially the same thing as a typical drugstore liquid shampoo brand. 

The LUSH bar is made of "noodles" of SLES (a stronger detergent) pressed together.

Having problems with excessively oily or flaky scalp?

The problem with SLES ( Sodium Laureth Sulfate), and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)  is that they are really great at removing oils, which means they can strip away all of your natural scalp oils, causing your scalp to produce too many oils. That is why conventional drugstore shampoos need to be used every day. It's a vicious cycle. Your scalp is dried out by the shampoo - it produces excess oils to replenish moisture - you need to shampoo by the next day because your scalp is oily. 

With some people, instead of oiliness, strong detergent shampoos can cause flakiness and itchiness similar to dandruff.

A note on SCS (hint - it's not Sulfate-free!):

Several zero waste shampoo brands we have seen claim to be sulfate-free while using SCS (Sodium Cocoyl Sulfate). Unfortunately these brands don't understand how SCS is made. It is generally composed of about 60% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, plus some other detergents. So if you're using SCS-based shampoo, you may also be experiencing irritation and overly drying your hair. The bottom line is SCS contains sulfates, so any brand trying to tell you otherwise doesn't understand the chemical composition of the ingredients they are using. 

We are here to break the cycle.

Our shampoo bars for all hair types bars are made with a base of plant-derived cleansers that are specifically chosen to be gentle on the scalp. We combine the cleansers with seaweed extract and macadamia oil, a powerful conditioner. The combination will wash clean and won't leave the hair oily. We don't use strong detergents. Your scalp will just be clean, not stripped of all moisture. The cycle of having to shampoo daily is something you can then switch away from.

Don’t expect it to be perfect overnight!

It may take a few weeks of washes for your hair to adjust to the ingredients and consistency of our shampoo bar, so stick with it. Most traditional shampoos have dimethicone, a heavy silicone ingredient that is particularly prone to causing buildup. Dimethicone doesn't easily wash off without strong detergents (SLS will take it off), so it may take several weeks before your hair and scalp are free from build up.

shampoo bar


Lather in the hands or on the head?

We recommend lathering in the hands and then applying the lather to the hair for more brittle hair types.

If your hair is more resilient, you can lather the bar directly on the head. Rub the bar directly onto wet hair to maximize the amount of suds that get lathered into the hair! Our bar has a rich, thick, luxurious lather, especially when you lather twice.

A little bit goes a long way so don't overdo it!

Rinse it completely.

Unlike a liquid shampoo, suds from a shampoo bar might not rinse out as quickly, so make sure to rinse thoroughly, all parts of your scalp too. Unlike many zero waste shampoos, ours works perfectly in hard water and won't make your hair stringy or gummy with buildup.

What about conditioner?

Tired of natural shampoo companies that want you to douse your head in vinegar?

We have formulated a lovely, lightweight, salon-quality solid conditioner. This solid conditioner just needs to be gently swiped on wet hair. Use your fingers to distribute the conditioner throughout your lengths and ends.

In general, avoid conditioning your scalp, our shampoo is gentle enough that conditioning the scalp should be unnecessary.

Leave in the conditioner for up to 2 minutes to give a deep condition, or just rinse out immediately if you're in a  hurry.

Keep it dry.

To make your solid bars last longer, store them in an area of your bathroom or shower where it can dry fully between washes, and use a soap lift to keep it from sitting in water.

Shampoo less often!

As you transition to a gentle natural shampoo bar, you’ll find that your scalp produces less oil (because harsh detergents are not drying out your scalp). Less oil means you can go more days between shampooing. Many of our customers are able to transition away from daily washes to once every few days or even every two weeks!

Adding in a dry shampoo to your routine can also extend the amount of time between washes.

Color treated hair is different.

We don't use dimethicone, the main silicone ingredient in most products for colored hair. Dimethicone makes a heavy coating of silicone on the hair shaft and can hide chemically damaged hair. We instead use butters and oils in our conditioner to actually condition and help with damage. 

So our conditioner bar is extremely gentle, but it’s not guaranteed to flatter heavily bleached/ colored hair by completely coating the damaged area.

Some people with color damaged hair like to do a deep overnight oil treatment every few weeks to help replenish oils in damaged & colored hair. You can even use a hair serum (beard oil works on all hair too) to give extra moisture every day.

Our shampoo is pH balanced to reduce the amount of color that washes out each time, but keep in mind that washing with hot water and washing frequently will increase the speed at which your color washes out, especially for semi permanent colors like pink or lavender.

dyed hair

We are earth friendly! 

Instead of going through plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner, try out a solid bar. Less impact on the environment, closer to zero-waste.

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