I don’t recall when I first heard about these types of products, but probably on some “more eco-friendly products” blog post or site. Probably saw them a few times and it didn’t resonate, and then when I went looking for more eco-friendly cleaning products and methods, the idea of shampoo and conditioner bars popped back up on my radar.
I have always had thick hair. I have a little less length-wise after shaving it all off late spring and it taking its time growing back (grayer than ever), but it’s always been thick on the scalp. That made the traditional elementary-school age time of lice infestation the worst because it took forever to check for lice and eggs and kill the little buggers.
Glad they eventually moved away from “communal coat closets” for the kids classrooms (shudder).
But with such thick hair means lots of shampoo bottles that went in the garbage over the years. It was worse when I had terrible, cheap shampoo I’d have to reapply and rinse out lots of times to feel clean enough. I have more bottles of stuff, like body washes, lotions, facial cleansers… I’m going to use all them up and revert to bars when I run out, finally, and made that decision many months ago.
But it never occurred to me that the same could happen with shampoo and conditioner. Never saw it on a store shelf or advertised, just a few casual mentions on eco-friendly pages.
So, I went online, did some research, and bought some.
I chose one of the best known that I could afford well enough, just in case I didn’t like it. Ethique had a combo pack of a shampoo and a conditioner bar in the same box, which saved a little. I’d read lots of reviews and some like the bars, and some don’t. What I like is one bar is the supposed equivalent of 2 or 3 bottles of shampoo, and it takes up a LOT less space in my shower or cabinet storage space.
I decided I would try them tonight, when the draining storage box for them came in so I could keep them in the best shape and not dry up or waste away due to being totally wet.
And I really liked the results.
Okay, maybe not THAT much, but I still crack up with those old Herbal Essences commercials (hee hee)
My hair just felt nice and clean after the shampoo bar. No extra silkiness or anything that makes me think I didn’t rinse well enough the first time (I got the bars that indicate for oily to normal hair). I didn’t run the bar over my scalp or anything, but rather made sure my hair got good and wet thoroughly, worked the bar in my hands to get a good lather started, and then ran my hands over my scalp to massage it in. It produced plenty of lather, so I set the bar down and kept working it in. It wasn’t a heavy lather, but noticeable and felt good. Rinsing it out also took a lot less time, which is great because after such a cold day, it was nice to enjoy the hot water while it lasted and not worry about trying to get my thick hair finished as the water cools down (or rather, you get so used to the temperature that the longer you’re in, it just feels colder).
The conditioner bar was a little strange, just because it’s obviously not going to produce suds. I did feel product on my palm, though, and got the bar good and wet to rub in my hands. As my hair’s so short, rubbing the bar over it wouldn’t have done much good, so I did similar to what I did with the shampoo and just worked it in my hands and ran my palms over my hair ends. That brought a bit of the silkiness back, but not too much. I’m a person that doesn’t like too much of that silky-conditioner feeling because then my hair overcompensates and wants to get oily.
All in all, if shampoo and conditioner bars keep working as well as they did tonight, I’ll definitely be buying them for the long run. I don’t know how the bar acts toward the end of it’s life, whether it loses it’s sudsing ability or whatever, so I can’t tell for sure. But so far, I LOVE the idea and wish I’d tried it out when I first heard about it.
My main goal is to really reduce my trash footprint. Not having to throw out bottles all the time (I’m trying to figure out ways to reuse in the meantime) would be fabulous, and hell, maybe I could even cancel my trash pickup service eventually, if I use so little plastic. That’ll save me a few hundred dollars a year, and I only use it once out of every three pickup days as it is. I’m in the sticks, which means if there’s no fire hazard or drought, I can burn on my property. I wish we had recycling facilities around here that didn’t only take scrap metal, but the nearest one’s over 30 miles away and only available one weekend a month as an off-site drop off. Even so, you gotta be careful of the plastic types and such that you try to recycle.
Worst to me is deodorant. How the hell do you recycle a deodorant tube? And if you do the aerosol deodorant thing?… yeah. Some companies have started making paper push-up tubes (or something like ’em) that are compostable when the deodorant’s gone, but it looks about the size of a couple of big glue sticks put together and costs about $17. So, I was happy to find a bar of unscented deodorant wrapped in what looks like white packing paper inside the box. The paper probably keeps it in good condition, and I can keep it part wrapped while I use it, too. I haven’t tried it yet because of all the other deodorant tubes I have to finish up, but I’ll give it a whirl eventually. Nice to know the only things I’ll have to throw away with these items is the tiny cardboard packaging, which could go in my compost bin or my burn pile with fallen limbs and the like… which can become ash that I can add to my garden beds for potassium improvement.
Been watching gardening vids from Self-Sustaining Me again, so it’s on my mind.
I didn’t expect to discover all the different things I can try to do better, and make myself feel better and healthier all at the same time while being practical and reducing my footprint. It’s nice to know there’s something that can be done. Just don’t know why stuff like this isn’t on store shelves (at least, not around here) and has to be bought online. Maybe stores like Whole Foods would have things like this in stock, but not even the most organic-friendly stores around here seem to, and I’ve looked this past month.
So far, shampoo and conditioner bars definitely work for me. It’s gonna be an interesting year of experimentation, trying to find what else works and doesn’t clutter the house or the landfill so much. And I imagine, as I make my garden again and research and try out new self-sustaining living methods, it’s gonna be fun, too.
ADDENDUM/DISCLAIMER: This is NOT an advertisement & I’m not being paid. I just want to be honest as possible about some products from a certain company, because I know “what kind did you get?” will be the first question someone asks. Just being transparent here.