We have a big single-use plastic problem. Thankfully, most of us are well aware of it and more and more people are actively seeking out ways to limit their use. Businesses are responding to consumer demand. Innovative new solutions are being developed. Lawmakers in some communities are taking a stand.
Despite the progress, we all need to do even more. When I started working at Primo Water, the single-use plastic problem came into clearer focus for me. Giving up single-serve water bottles in favor of reusable five gallons was the lifestyle change that sparked a revolution within me. We quickly switched to reusable grocery bags and metal straws.
But the change I had the most fun with was the switch to shampoo bars (like the ones made by one of my new favorite soap makers: Hippie Chick Goods, LLC) which allowed me to make our shower a plastic-free zone and totally changed my hair care routine. Y’all, my hair has never felt cleaner or healthier than after a year on all natural shampoo bars.
My hair is very thin, oily, tangly, and damaged from years of blow drying, straightening, and coloring. When I first learned about shampoo bars, I was convinced that they would never work for my hair. Especially when I read that you don’t need to use conditioner with shampoo bars. Y’all, on the rare occasions when I would run out of conditioner, my hair would be a dry, tangly rat’s nest and I would almost cry, even as an adult, when I had to comb it out.
For the first couple weeks after I made the switch, I thought I might have been right all along. Honestly, my hair never felt clean during the transition period. The greasy feeling I was experiencing was actually totally normal and was in no way a poor reflection of the natural bar shampoo product, but instead a symptom of withdrawal from the products my hair and scalp were used to.
Depending of your current haircare routine, your scalp may need a minute to reassess how much natural oil it needs to generate now that your using a product that doesn’t strip away your hair’s natural protective oils. You may also have synthetic silicone residues that have built up on your hair. Getting that residue out doesn’t happen overnight.
Persist through that transition period. For me, it took two to three weeks of using nothing but the natural shampoo bar to feel a true difference in my hair. I didn’t use any conditioner, hair spray, or any other product. Some people like to use apple cider vinegar rinses, especially during the transition period. Whatever you do, just keep going through the transition and you’ll be glad you did. (Note: if it never seems to get better, hard water may be the culprit).
Another question I get when I talk about using shampoo bars is how to use them. Personally, I find rubbing the bar onto my scalp until it works up a lather to be the most effective. Once a lather has built up, I scrub for a good clean and then rinse very well. That’s it. My husband and I share one standard-sized bar and it lasts us over a month.
You will want a nice wooden holder for your shampoo bar. One of the first mistakes I made with shampoo bars was thinking they’d be fine on the plastic wire rack, but as they dried, the soap would drip through the cracks, making a big mess and wasting a ton of product. I love these white oak soap decks, but check around at your local Farmer’s Markets for handmade options as well!
Speaking of Farmer’s Markets, they are a great place to find local soap makers whose ingredients and packaging choices are in line with your values. I was so excited when my husband brought home a new shampoo bar a couple months ago from Hippie Chick Goods, LLC. Her shampoo bars are bigger than other bars I’ve purchased, and they contain no SLS’s, parabens, silicones, preservatives or other typical shampoo ingredients. And, of course, there is no plastic container, so our shower continues to be a plastic-free zone.
If you’re local to Winston-Salem, NC, I encourage to check out the WS Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. I met Jessie with Hippie Chick Goods there today and she’s fabulous and knowledgeable about the products she makes by hand. You should smell her table y’all — I walked away with a bath bomb and a lip balm for myself, and THREE shampoo bars that I’m giving away to three lucky readers on Friday, July 26th, right on my Facebook page (check out the product labels at the bottom of this post). To enter for your chance to win, follow me on Facebook, find & like the giveaway post, and tag a friend that you think would love to try a shampoo bar!
In the meantime, follow Hippie Chick Goods, LLC on Instagram and Facebook (you can message her to place an order even if you aren’t local to Winston!), and comment on this post to share your shampoo bar experience with us or tell us what us why you’re excited to give them a try!
Ingredient Labels for the Bars I’m Giving Away:
Tangerine Dream (my fave!)