The Shampoo Switch

If you're thinking about reducing plastic then you've probably given some thought to solid shampoo. It's one of those things that makes a lot of sense on paper; choose well and it will have all natural ingredients and zero waste. So what's holding you back...?

For most of us it's fear. We are very used to our typical shampoo and conditioner products and hair is very 'on display' and plays a key role in how we present ourselves to the world. So it is quite a big deal to mess with that.

As I write this, we are in lockdown. Tomorrow we will ship our April 2020 box containing solid shampoo and conditioner bars from Friendly Soap. When we discussed collaborating with them, the world was a very different place than it is now, but if there's one good thing about lockdown and trying a new hair product, it's that no one is going to see you... small mercies huh?

So what's to know? Well for most people there is a transition period as the solid shampoo removes the build up of regular shampoo and conditioner from the hair. Hair might feel drier or greasier... it may even go from one to the other. It should balance itself out though, over the course of a few washes, so do give it a little time. The thing about regular shampoos is they strip all the oils from the hair, even the ones that should be there. Your body usually overcompensates and produces more, causing you to need to wash your hair more often. A common benefit of using solid shampoo is that you end up needing to wash your hair less frequently, bonus!

I was really apprehensive about giving a solid bar a go, and I won't lie it hasn't been plain sailing. One I used really dried my scalp out, and another just didn't wash out, but I just persevered until it came good.

If you're new to this here are some general tips

  • to get a good lather you can rub the shampoo bar directly on your head, but my hair is fine, so for me it is better to create a lather and just apply that to my hair.
  • Rinse really, really, REALLY well, and you may benefit from using an apple cider vinegar rinse (scroll down to the bottom of this blog for a recipe) which you should apply all over and work into the hair, leave a couple of minutes and rinse to remove all residue. This is particularly important in hard water areas (head here on Friendly's website to check your area) as there is something about the lime in the water that affects the performance of the shampoo bar.
  • You may not need conditioner, and if you do, you might get better results doing reverse wash. This involves rolling the conditioner bar between wet hands and adding a little to the lengths of your hair before using the shampoo bar and apple cider vinegar rinse. 

If you have issues with build up, or you feel that the shampoo bar is not rinsing out properly, you can do an occasional bi-carb treatment. It can be drying so it's not advisable to use all the time, but you can give it a go as necessary. 1-2 table spoons in 1-2 cups of warm water worked through hair prior to shampooing should do the trick!

So why not give it a go! Let us know how you get on below, and if you have any tips or tricks to add into the mix. Of course, everyone is different so you might have to shop around to find the perfect bar for you - no need to waste the ones you have though, it's still soap at the end of the day!


Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse Recipe and Technique.

1/2-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

250ml water

You can add a tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel, but this isn't necessary. You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil if you like. 

I like to mix this up in a spray bottle, to help me apply it in the shower. I apply all over, and really work it in, then leave for 3-5 minutes while it does its thing. And voila!