Plastic in the bathroom is so common because the liquids we use to wash need to be stored in something. Glass can be dangerous and metals can rust. So safe, cheap plastic is used for the majority of our bathroom products.
Finding a plastic free shampoo can help to significantly reduce packaging waste. And it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your personal hygiene.
Until now, there hasn’t been much choice – shampoo has always been in plastic bottles. But there’s a plastic free revolution happening! Finally, we have more choice when it comes to what we use in the shower!
Here’s how to avoid plastic when you wash your hair.
What Is Plastic Free Shampoo?
There are several alternatives when looking for shampoo without plastic.
Solid Shampoo Bars
Most shampoo comes in liquid form, in a plastic bottle. But shampoo is simply a cleaning agent and, much like your bar of hand soap, it can also be turned into a solid bar.
I love solid shampoo and I think the only reason it isn’t more popular is because it’s not on the middle shelf at Tesco.
To use a shampoo bar, wet your hair and either rub the bar between your hands to make a lather or rub it directly on your scalp.
Lush sell the amazing Seanik Solid Shampoo Bar. In fact, they sell a whole range of plastic free shampoos and their packaging is minimal, recycled and recyclable.
You could also try:
- Lamazuma Orange Solid Shampoo Bar for dry hair.
- Friendly Soap Natural Shampoo Bar lavender and tea tree for all hair types.
- Wild Sage + Co Shampoo Bar rosemary and lavender for all hair types.
- Beauty Kubes Shampoo Bar for oily hair or for normal/dry hair.
- Alter/Native Suma Shampoo Bar for extra nourishing.
Refillable Shampoo From a Zero Waste Store
Zero waste stores are commonly found in London and other major UK cities. But there are versions popping up in more rural places now too. They’re perfect for plastic free shopping.
A zero waste store is a shop that sells products without packaging or in minimal, recyclable packaging. You take your own containers such as a bottle, box or Tupperware tub. Then you fill it with as much loose product as you need.
You’ll find everything from dispensers of rice, pasta and nuts to shampoo on tap. There’s no waste and it often costs less than the supermarket equivalent.
Use our handy Zero Waste Shop Directory to find your nearest zero waste or plastic free shop.
I was very surprised to find one not far from me in rural Hampshire. Let’s hope this is a sign that zero waste is catching on.
Not keen on solid shampoo but there’s no zero waste shops nearby?
A good mitigation strategy is to buy the largest bottle you can. It’s often better value and uses less plastic. Decant it into a manageable sized (reused) bottle for the shower and recycle it afterwards.
By the time you’ve finished it, a zero waste store may have opened up nearby where you can refill it!
Faith in Nature sell large five litre bottles that you can buy and use to refill a smaller bottle. You can often find these in Zero Waste shops too, so you can take along your own bottle and refill.
104 TIPS TO REDUCING PLASTIC
Grab our PDF guide with 104 ways to reduce your plastic at home.
You’ll find tons of tips for refusing, reducing, swapping, recycling, replacing and SO much more!
Make Your Own
Most homemade solid shampoo recipes include olive oil, coconut oil, water, sweet almond oil, lye and essentials oils. You mix everything together, pour it into moulds and wait for it to cool. It’s a great way to ensure you’re using a palm oil free shampoo if you want to avoid palm oil too.
Making homemade shampoo is becoming popular and there are many recipes online. (Be careful with neat lye as it can cause burns.)
If you don’t fancy the work, check out Etsy. There are lots of sellers on there who love making soaps and solid shampoo full of herbs and all sorts of other lovely things.
Is Plastic Free Shampoo Any Good?
Yes, I’m a real advocate of solid shampoo. It does take some getting used to if you’ve always used liquids. But it’s well worth making the switch, and not only because it cuts out plastic bottles.
Here are some more great reasons to go solid:
- No more spillages when travelling. (Or cramming 100ml liquids into plastic bags for airport security if you’re hand luggage only).
- They last a lot longer (up to three times longer than liquid shampoo) which can save you money.
- They contain fewer chemicals which can soothe sensitive scalps. Lush’s Lemon and Juniper Solid Shampoo does a great job on my psoriasis.
- Less space needed for bottles in the shower.
- Not so heavy. Have you ever bruised your toes from a wet handed shampoo bottle fall? OUCH!
To stop solid shampoo dissolving in the shower, buy a glass storage jar. They have drainage holes in the bottom that allow the solid shampoo to dry without going mushy.
Look for your regular brand or something that suits your hair type and refill at zero waste stores. You’ll get the same product for less money and help to save the environment. Refillable options are a great idea and zero waste shops are leading the way.
Making your own is hit and miss. But if there’s an essential oil that calms your spirits or rejuvenates your itchy scalp it can work wonders.
Is Plastic Free Shampoo Expensive?
Solid shampoo is more expensive but it lasts a lot longer. Mine will last about three months using it every other day versus a month from a standard plastic bottle. I’ve actually converted my husband to solid shampoo based on a cost analysis.
Products from zero waste stores cost less because there’s no packaging to charge for. Plus buying in bulk always saves money.
If you make your own then it can be inexpensive because you buy the ingredients in bulk. Plus homemade plastic free shampoo bars make great birthday and Christmas gifts.
Two Bins in the Bathroom
Bathroom recycling is often forgotten about. Which is a shame because there’s lots of plastic in that little room.
If you do use plastic bottles, instead of leaving them at the top of the stairs for days or ramming them in the catch all bin – get another bin!
Two bins in the bathroom makes it easier for you to recycle as there’s one for waste one for recycling.
Other Ways to Shed Plastic From Your Bathroom
Grab some biodegradable cotton buds, paper wrapped loo roll and a bamboo toothbrush.
While you’re there how about going sustainable with reusable face pads and sanitary products?
All your little steps counts towards an ethical and sustainable zero waste bathroom. Because keeping clean shouldn’t cost the earth.