Zero Waste Tip #13: Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

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13. Exchange plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner for the bar version of the same!

Want to hear my #1 tip for switching over to bars of shampoo and conditioner?

When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! 🙂

Think about all the brands of shampoo you’ve used during your lifetime. I’d venture to guess it’s quite a few! I used to browse through the shampoo and conditioner aisles at Walmart to find products that smelled the best, were safe for permed hair, claimed to tame frizz or breathe life into my curls or restore split-ends….. I could go on and on.

So why is it that when we decide to switch to eco-friendly bars of shampoo and conditioner, we base our entire experience on the first bars that step into our showers?

My first shampoo bar was nothing short of a disaster, and I was SO CLOSE to ditching the bars and returning to my plastic bottle comfort zone. But I decided to give it a second try, and the very next brand I tried (called Ethique) was amazing! So far I’ve loved both of these:

Frizz Wrangler Shampoo Bar for Normal-Dry Hair

Wonderbar Conditioner Bar for Normal-Oily Hair

Note: the conditioner bar is slightly smaller, but because I generally apply less product, it actually lasted longer than the shampoo bar! The shampoo bar lasted about 5 months (washing my hair 2-3 times per week), and I still have about half of the conditioner bar left after using it for 6 months!

A few things I admire about Ethique: the company is based in New Zealand, but their products are available for purchase on Amazon! They use only plant-based and vegan ingredients, are cruelty-free, and they are a certified sustainable business. Read more about them here.

Here are a few other zero waste shampoos with great reviews online! I haven’t tried these yet, but they’re definitely on my wish list for products to try.

Lifestyle Benefit: Interestingly, eco-friendly products are often better for your body too. Perhaps people recognize that it’s pretty silly to care for the Earth without caring about it’s inhabitants! Whatever the reason, the shampoo bars I’ve come across are much more likely to be toxin-free than regular shampoos and conditioners. For more information about toxins to avoid in personal care products, read my mini blog series on Clean Beauty: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!

Earth Benefit: Ethique shares an infographic here called “The Problem with Plastic,” and the most astounding statistic is this: “80 billion plastic bottles [are] disposed of around the world every year just from shampoo & conditioner alone.”

While recycling your shampoo bottles is better than tossing them in the trash, plastic cannot be recycled forever. According to this National Geographic post, “The same piece of plastic can only be recycled about 2-3 times before its quality decreases to the point where it can no longer be used.”

This is why finding alternatives to plastic packaging is so important! If you replaced 4 shampoo bottles every year for the next 50 years with a zero waste option, that’s 200 plastic bottles that aren’t cluttering up the Earth – just because you decided to make this swap. That’s a lot of plastic!! Your little choices make a difference!

If you read this and decide to make the swap, please leave a comment and let me know! I’d also love to hear any other experiences you’ve had with zero waste shampoo alternatives!

One thought on “Zero Waste Tip #13: Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

  1. I have been inspired by many of your choices, Hannah! My husband and I bought our first shampoo bar (JR Liggett’s brand) last week and have both been enjoying it. It lathers up super well which overall means it takes me less time to wash my hair. My husband has shoulder length hair and he told me yesterday that he loves the bar!
    Also, we got a bar of soap for washing our hands in our bathroom about 6 months ago. We just have the one bathroom in the house, and that bar of soap has lasted us these 6+months! I think we may be bar users for life! Thanks for sharing your journey =)

    Liked by 1 person

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