Plastic-free hair care

In an effort to reduce how much plastic I use, I did a bit of research and stumbled across shampoo and conditioner bars. They’re exactly what you’d expect: shampoo and conditioner in a bar, rather than a bottle. Since I’m new to the idea, I decided to buy from somewhere I’m familiar with – LUSH.

Shampoo bar

LUSH have a pretty varied selection of shampoo bars from seaweed, sea salt and lemon to juniper, lavender and rosemary. I chose the Honey I Washed My Hair bar which has a lovely, sweet smell thanks to the combination of honey and wild orange oil.

All of their shampoo bars have amazing reviews, so I was really excited to try this. And I’m happy to be able to say: they are worth the buzz. Each bar gives you 80-100 washes (depending on the length and thickness of your hair) which means they last around 2 or 3 times longer than your standard bottle of shampoo. The bar is super easy to use because it lathers up so well – a little goes a long way – and my hair is definitely appreciating the change.

Conditioner bar

I really wanted to be able to rave about the conditioner bar too, but I didn’t love it as much. It isn’t as efficient as the shampoo bar and I’m a little doubtful that it will last as long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to stick with it because I want to reduce my plastic use as much as I can. 

There are a few improvements before I can say I love it: firstly, the smell. None of the conditioners smell as good as the shampoos (in my opinion). I chose the Big bar, which I can only describe as smelling like Johnson’s baby bath – this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just wish it had a prettier scent. The conditioner also isn’t as easy to use at first. After using it for a few weeks, I’m a pro at getting the most out of it, but I can see it putting people off because it shouldn’t be as difficult to get soft, smooth hair as it first seems. I have to admit it is growing on me, but I wanted to be wowed and I wasn’t.

Other options

I was a little hesitant before buying since I can’t find any confirmation of whether LUSH uses Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). Despite their openness about their use of palm oil, it doesn’t seem they do. For me, this means my next purchase probably won’t be from LUSH so I had to search for a few other options. Etsy offers a great range of homemade shampoo and conditioner bars that are palm-free and a quick Ecosia (or Google) search brings up loads of companies that use CSPO in their hair care bars. If you’re feeling adventurous, I even found a recipe to make your own shampoo bar (I promise a post about this when I get chance to give it a try). This doesn’t mean I’m warning you away from choosing the LUSH bars, I want you to know there are a lot more options out there.

The verdict

I’m sticking with my plastic-free bars from now on and I’m determined to find a conditioner bar that works better for me. They’re not the easiest things to store since they’re naked (this means zero packaging except the recyclable paper bag), luckily an old food tin can come in handy. I’m pretty sure LUSH sells metal tins specifically for storing your hair-care bars, so I imagine you can buy them from online Etsy shops as well. It’s such a simple change to make and it’s definitely going to save me money as well as reduce the amount of plastic circulating the planet. 

Im x

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