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Plastic Free July 18th: Solid Shampoo

One of the arguments I hear against going plastic free is that the alternatives are expensive. For example, a solid shampoo bar can sound expensive compared to a plastic bottle of cheap supermarket shampoo.

The former will cost anything from around £2.50 upwards, while a bottle costs under £1 sometimes.

And it looks like you’re getting so much more when you buy the plastic bottle.

Here’s the thing, though. You’re just paying for water, in many cases, and a decent shampoo bar is normally a better quality product.

For the sake of argument, I decided to write this blog post about one of the lower-cost shampoo bars that we currently sell, the Alter/Native coconut and argan oil shampoo bar.

Less is More With Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars don’t coat your hair like liquid shampoo does, so it’s easy to assume that you have to use absolutely loads to get a lather.

This solid shampoo is actually pretty soft (I could probably squeeze it into two halves if I pressed on it). More importantly, though, it lathers quite well if you’re persistent.

You don’t need to douse your hair in product to get it clean, and around 20 seconds of washing your hands with this bar will generate enough lather for shoulder-length hair.

Longer Lasting Shampoo

Shampoo bars can be criticised for disappearing quickly in the bathroom, but that’s usually only a problem if you don’t keep them dry. 

You might have to change the habit of a lifetime and store your solid shampoo bar in a cupboard, not on the side of the bath.

In fact, we save Vego jars for this exact purpose, because they make great shampoo bar holders, and you can put the lid on loosely until the bar itself has dried. Clipping the lid over the glass jar seals the bar in and keeps it dry.

One Final Point: Packaging

Switching to plastic free products is great, but think holistically: what is the packaging made from, and how is it produced?

We like Alter/Native, because — like everything from Suma — it’s vegan, cruelty free, and designed to meet high ethical standards. Suma is a worker’s co-op, and this bar is vegan, with no SLS, SLES, or parabens in sight.

There’s no point in buying shampoo bars that are wrapped in plastic, or in paper with vinyl stickers, or handed over in carrier bags. With a recycled card box, this shampoo is truly plastic free.


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