Bar Shampoo is Changing the Hair Care Industry
Something as small as shampoo is morphing how we think about products packaged in plastic.
Who cares about shampoo you might ask? Probably not most people. But this is because many people are unaware that bar shampoo exists.
History of Bar Shampoo
Over 20 years ago bar shampoos were invented by Lush co-founder Mo Constantine and chemist Stan Krysztal. It was such a hit due to its small size and easy pack-it-and-go structure. All you had to do to use the bar was rub it in between wet hands, and as it lathers massage it into your scalp. Same concept as using liquid shampoo, but the user creates the liquid by rubbing the bar and water mixture rather than it being pre-packaged and sold in the liquid form to begin with. After you are done using the bar, just leave it in its container to air dry.
Liquid shampoo creates significantly more CO2 emissions than bar shampoo due to the volume and space it takes up during shipment.
Reducing Plastic Bottle Waste
Traditional shampoo packaged in plastic has been used for decades. I myself never thought twice about the environmental impact of the packaging when I used to purchase packaged shampoo. Later when I was educated about the plastic pollution problem, I realized most Americans don’t see the issue because of their ‘Out of sight, out of Mind’ mindset.
If we can’t see the landfills and the toxic waste we tend to not change our behavior until it becomes a problem we have to face ourselves. Every year millions of shampoo bottles are thrown into landfills because on average only 1 in 5 people actually recycle the bottles properly. Not only are we uneducated about plastic pollution, we are constantly marketed products that fuel the problem. Thankfully, many companies have been growing consumer awareness on plastic-free products in the past few years.
With bar shampoo, one of the greatest aspects is a single bar equates to about 3 bottles of regular shampoo. Due to the bars being concentrated and not diluted with water they also last longer. Let’s say on average an American uses 5 bottles of shampoo per year, that’s over 1.65 billion plastic bottles that end up in landfill annually. Imagine the impact we can make if even half the population started using bar shampoo. What’s there to lose if consumers can buy a bar shampoo that fits the same criteria their plastic bottled shampoo does?
Packaging is not something we need, but something that has been used in marketing to make us purchase items based on the physical looks rather than usability.
Finding the Right Bar Shampoo for You
Most consumers care about the following when choosing a shampoo:
- Does it lather?
- Does it protected my color treated hair and hair type? (curly, straight, frizzy, etc)
- Is it affordable?
- Does it come in aesthetically pleasing packaging?
Great thing about shampoo bars is you can find one that lathers, suited for specific hair types, affordable, and comes in no packaging! Companies like Lush, Ethique, Dr. Bronner, Love Beauty and Planet, Meow Meow Tweet, and J.R. Liggetts are just a few companies that have a variety of shampoo bars to meet the needs of their consumers. (If you don’t like bar shampoo, check out Plaine Products. Their aluminum bottles come with a pump, and you can ship back your containers, they refill them, and send it back to you!) More and more companies are seeing how revolutionary shampoo bars are and have transitioned the concept into other items like bar soap, conditioner, body wash and more. Packaging is not something we need, but something that has been used in marketing to make us purchase items based on the physical looks rather than usability.