Whether you're new to plastic free living or an experienced zero waster, it's likely that the switch from a bottle of shampoo to a plastic free natural shampoo bar is high up on your list of things to try. It's becoming a crowded market out there too, with lots of new brands emerging offering plastic free shampoo alternatives. Whilst switching to a plastic free shampoo bar is almost guaranteed to lessen your impact on the planet, some people find the transition tricky. So if you want to know exactly how to use a shampoo bar, read on, and you'll be sure to never want to return to bottled shampoo again.
1. Prepare Your Hair
Over time, our hair gets covered in residue which builds up during the course of our daily lives. It gets dirty, we sweat, we produce natural oils, we wash it with synthetically heavy high street shampoos which leave a chemical coating.
This is the main reason why you might feel plastic free shampoo bars aren't working for you when you first try them. This build up means your hair might need some preparation to return to a more natural state so you can fully enjoy using only natural products.
If you feel your new solid shampoo isn't working then you might need to prepare your hair with a baking soda rinse. Just add a tablespoon of baking soda to approximately 250ml of warm water. Mix it well and massage into your hair, leave for a couple of minutes and rinse. The baking soda helps to remove the layers of excess residue and leave your hair ready for your natural, plastic free shampoo bar!
A big thank you to Earth Bits for the info on this one. You can find their article here.
2. Apply Directly To Your Head
Plastic free shampoo bars should lather up just like your usual commercially made shampoo. Things are a little different in hard water areas where the high mineral content means you need to use a bit more of the product to get a good lather, but if you're in a soft water area a little should go a long way.
Simply rub the bar in a circular motion across your hair and head until it starts to lather then massage your scalp to really foam it up! You don't need to continuously use the bar to wash your hair, just enough to create the lather. Pop it back down, preferably on a soap dish, to let it dry out for next time.
This part is pretty much the same when you're using a shampoo bar as it is when you're using a bottle of shampoo. Make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly to remove any residue. Again, if you're in a hard water area, you may need to rinse that little bit longer.
4. Rinse Again
Heard of the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse? It's likely that if you've tried shampoo bars before, you've heard that vinegar can help in the 'transition period'. And it's absolutely true!
Shampoo bars are much more likely to contain only natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals such as SLS or SLES. The only slight, and very temporary downside to this is it can take a little longer for your hair to get rid of that build up we mentioned. As with the baking soda, the apple cider vinegar rinse helps the process, assisting your hair in returning to it's natural PH balanced state. Mix a few drops of the vinegar with some warm water and simply massage all over your hair. You don't even need to rinse it off!
5. Be Patient
We bet you've tried a lot of bottled shampoo in your time, so if your first shampoo bar isn't a success for you, don't be too disheartened. Try not to revert back to a plastic bottle as there are hundreds of options covering all hair types and conditions and a little research goes a long way.
We have 3 options on the Zed Bees website, a Coconut & Argan Shampoo Bar, a Lavender & Geranium Shampoo Bar and a Lavender & Tea Tree Shampoo Bar. All info and ingredients are available on the page for each shampoo bar and of course, if you ever have any questions you can reach out to us here.
Shop plastic free shampoo bars and other zero waste haircare in our plastic free shop here