If you have read some of the earlier articles you will probably know we are big fans of shampoo bars here at Seastainability! What’s not to love? They’re long lasting, great value, plastic packaging free and really easy to travel with (no more spillages or 100ml container restrictions!)
I am trying to ease myself into a plastic packaging free lifestyle. I’ve boycotted the bottled drinks industry, for the most part, and I’m taking my thermos and water beaker with me every day. When it comes to reducing plastic waste in the household, I’m taking it step by step and starting in the bathroom.
There is a wide selection of sustainable body soaps on the market which are a great replacement for bottled shower gel and you can check out some of our homemade body scrubs in the DIY section. Finding great shampoo bars however is not as easy since there are only a handful of brands with these products in their range. For over two years now I have been steadily using the same reliable bar but I was curious to test out others in the market to see how they compared. My experiences ranged from that infamous “YES YES YES” herbal essences moment to stripping my hair of gluey product… The trial took some time whilst my hair was getting used to the various different shampoos. I persevered on with some bars and others I had to abandon and use as a body soap instead (I won’t name and shame these bars!).
The trial didn’t really go to plan. I had it in mind to rank the bars in terms of quality and experience however it wasn’t so simple. My hair type conflicted with some products and I felt it was less that these products weren’t good but more that they weren’t suited to my hair type. I have fair hair and the quality is really fine and quite dry at the ends. I couldn’t understand why some of the soaps were making my hair so oily and heavy. Below I have shared my experiences with three of my favourite shampoo bars during the trial.
My all time favourite shampoo bars are from LUSH cosmetics. I’ve tried a few of the bars in their range with the Seanik seaweed based bar being my favourite and the most suitable for my hair type. My hair is quite thin, tangled and flyaway but this product is really light and the oils from the seaweed are enriching for dry or damaged hair. Salt is an added ingredient and that gives my hair the volume it needs. It retails at just over £6 and I’ve noticed significant price differences between Germany, Ireland and the UK. Its small in size at 55g but great value and I get about 3 months use out of it. It’s all natural apart from its blue colouring, limonene (which occurs naturally in essential oils) and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. If you want 100% all natural ingredients this bar won’t be for you but personally I don’t turn my nose up at the Lauryl Sulphate ingredient because I like the foaming action! LUSH also do a wonderful range of body and hair conditioner bars which compliment the shampoo range. My favourite is the Sea Vegetable body bar and the BIG conditioner bar with salt.
AB SOAP STUDIO
I discovered AB Soap Studio not far from my doorstep at the local weekend market. They are an Irish hand made cosmetics brand and they pride themselves in using 100% natural ingredients. Their solid shampoo is great value at 10€ for a 120g bar. The first bar I tried wasn’t suitable for my hair type. I was so impressed with the selection I just grabbed a gorgeous smelling bar at random without stopping to ask what the ingredients were. With my hair being so light this particular shampoo was just too rich for my hair type. I went back to the market stall and shared my experience with them. They were really eager to get the feedback and took on board the issues I was having with the ingredients. They made me a custom made bar with jojoba and organic cider vinegar which helped reduce the build up issue I was having. I persevered on using it and found I only needed to shampoo my roots directly and I don’t run it through the length of my hair. The results are great and this bar is so nourishing you don’t need conditioner, Hooray!
I also discovered Witches Kitchen at a market stall during The Battle for the Bay Water Sports Festival. The Witches Kitchen are a Dublin based natural cosmetics brand and they make a range of beautiful soaps, deodorants, moisturisers, balms, serums and bath salts. They have an Omega 3 solid shampoo bar which uses organic hemp, spirulina, barleygrass and a combination of plant and essential oils. I am currently using this bar and my hair looks and feels amazing! Again I am only massaging the bar directly into my roots and I don’t feel I need to condition after washing. The shampoo is €7 for a 100g bar and you can buy it online on their website or at various markets around Dublin. On a separate note, I’m always on the look out for aluminium free natural deodorants so I picked up their deodorant too and I am really impressed! As we all know, natural deodorants can be hit and miss but this one really works. It uses arrow root powder which acts as an antiperspirant.
The natural deodorant trial is underway and I will be sharing my experiences with a selection of brands in the coming weeks.