Shampoo bars have quite a few benefits over traditional bottled shampoo. We’ll cover all of them in this blog but we start with by far the most significant benefit which is the reduction in single use plastic bottles. Its the key driver for most people to make the switch and the chances are you’re reading this now because you’ve been soul searching lately about the environment and your impact on it. At Oschen, we recently did the same and it all started in the bathroom! As a family, we began to question just how much single use plastic we were using in the smallest room of the house – from liquid soap, shaving foam and in particular shampoo and conditioner. So we set about finding plastic packaging free alternatives.
Key Benefits Of Shampoo Bars
Help To Reduce Single Use Plastic
As a family of four, we were using approximately 1-2 bottles of shampoo every two weeks (we’re a reasonably short haired family!) Packaging company, DS Smith, estimates that the UK throws away a staggering 520 million shampoo bottles every year. That’s only the UK, and its only shampoo! Now, lets bare in mind that not every plastic bottle is recycled. According to the British Plastics Federation, the UK incinerates approximately 46% of household plastic waste. Its exports a further 19% and 17% goes into landfill. As it stands, the UK’s recycling capabilities are woefully inadequate; they do not match our requirements by a long shot so the answer surely has to be to use less plastic packaging in the first place. If you want more information on the UK’s plastic waste addiction, this Green Peace report makes for a sobering read.
Use Less Water
Of all the ingredients in liquid shampoo, water is the main component, making up around 80% of the formulation. This has two implications for the environment. Firstly, the amount of water that is used in the product and secondly, the fossil fuels used to transport what is essentially a container of 80% water from the factory to the shop floor. Living in the UK, water scarcity may not seem like a major issue but globally it is.
According to the UN 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries and industry uses 12% of water. For this reason, global brands are taking sustainable water use seriously, for example, as part of their commitment to water sustainability, L’Oreal is implementing water loop factories, where all of the water used in industrial processes is recycled and re-used on site. Imagine what removing water from the actual products could achieve in water saving. Shampoo bars turn a big challenge completely on its head!
Last Longer Than Liquid Shampoo
It’s easy to overuse and waste liquid shampoo. A watery consistency and badly designed aperture of the ‘squeezy’ bottle lid, means that we usually squirt more product out than we need. Then when you flick it on your hair, half of it falls on the shower tray, sound familiar? Well, with shampoo bars you don’t get this level of waste. Firstly, without water, the bar consists of concentrated ingredients, so you’re already getting more bang for your buck. You also don’t get the added accidental waste. We’ve found that one of our shampoo bars lasts twice as long as a normal sized bottle of shampoo.
Contain Skin Friendly Ingredients
As well as reducing single use plastic, Oschen shampoo bars are formulated with ingredients that are better for skin and the environment. This is because we have removed the more abrasive ingredients commonly used in mass produced liquid shampoo. For example, we do not use SLS which is short for Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This is a surfactant which is commonly found in liquid products in the home from cleaning detergents to cosmetics and shampoos.
A surfactant helps oil and water to combine and without them, liquid formulas would all look like home made salad dressing, with all the oil on the top and the water at the bottom. Skin has a lipid barrier which helps to retain moisture and keep pathogens out and SLS can damage the lipid barrier potentially causing cracks and sores.
Now shampoo isn’t on the scalp for long and generally you wash hair once a day at most so its not likely to cause the sores you get from constantly washing your hands as we have been lately, however for those with sensitive skin it can be a real irritant. A really good article about SLS can be found here. As well as SLS, our soaps are also paraben free. All of our bars contain, essential oils, natural butters, botanical and plant oils and extracts. They are also vegan and cruelty free. As such they are approved by the Vegetarian Society and certified by the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny Programme.
Are Shampoo Bars Good For Your Hair?
We’re so conditioned, excuse the pun, to the feel of liquid shampoo that it can be strange when first using a shampoo bar. In spite of the initial strangeness, shampoo bars are as good as their liquid cousins. Our bars are very conditioning so we have found that we don’t need conditioner. Some of our customers do like to use a mix of water and cider vinegar as a natural conditioner every now and then.
Which Shampoo Bar Is Best?
Now you have discovered the benefits of shampoo bars, why not discover our range of shampoo bars? They all contain refreshing, relaxing, and super cleansing ingredients. We believe that they are the best shampoo bars available in the UK. Have a browse of our collection, switch to shampoo bars today and start reducing your plastic footprint. If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.