Earth Day 2021: Embracing the shampoo bar
With rising threats posed by climate change, Mother Nature has never been more in need of our help. And I know it's easy to feel daunted in the face of such a massive problem, but making small, manageable changes can make a difference over time.
One thing we're all going to have to get better at is scaling back on our plastic consumption. This kind of has a double meaning, right? As consumers we need to stop buying so much plastic, but also all this plastic on the planet has entered our food system and is making its way into our bodies. Ick!
Ditching the shampoo bottle in favor of a shampoo bar is gaining in popularity these days and I couldn't be more on board.
I've been making my Carrot Shave & Shampoo bar for more than a decade to fill this need but truly any bar should work — with the one caveat that my poppy seed soap might be a bit too abrasive for the scalp.
It's the coconut oil in each of my soaps that makes it great for hair washing. While most commercial shampoos achieve that wonderful fluffy lather with sodium laurel sulfate, coconut oil will work just as well.
Using a bar soap comes with benefits and drawbacks that largely stem from the glycerin. Glycerin might gunk up your shower a bit with its waxy texture (though nothing a light scrub can't handle!) but it will also do wonders for your hair.
Glycerin is a humectant which is essentially a fancy word that means to draw in moisture. So, when you use my soaps to wash your hair, glycerin will collect on the hair follicles to weigh down any flyaways while simultaneously creating volume. Essentially, it's a shampoo and conditioner wrapped into one — two plastic bottles you're saving! The drawback is that bit of stickiness will start to attract dust over time, and you'll likely notice more gunk collecting in your hairbrushes too. To combat this issue, I throw my hairbrush in the dishwasher every so often and “strip” my hair clean with a conventional shampoo about once a month. So, yes, I still use the plastic, but much less than I would if I was using it once a week.
Another benefit of the bar soap is you have a wide array of aromas to choose from. For example, you could have Citrus Garden hair if that's your preference. Or your locks could carry a light Chocolate Mint scent if you'd like as well. The aroma comes directly from the natural flora and not the typically nondescript chemical sweetness the average conventional shampoo offers.
You're also saving money. A high percentage of conventional shampoo is made from water. So, you're largely paying for just water and the packaging.
By the way, Shannon and I are busy working on a new shampoo bar. Yes, I know any of my soap bars can also be a shampoo bar but we're using the “shampoo” name on this one because it sounds cool and it's another reminder to kick that bottle to the curb, so to speak.
This bar will be an exotic mushroom blend with bergamot and vetiver essential oils. Keep your eyes peeled for it in my shop.
Let's work together to all be a little more eco-conscious. If you'd like to share any environmentally minded changes you've recently made in your life, I would love to hear about it in the comments. It might inspire someone else.