Do you ever look at someone using a plastic bag or drinking out of a plastic water bottle and think “SERIOUSLY? Don’t they know they are destroying the planet?”. I will admit that I often thought the same thing. I couldn’t reason how some people still used plastic bags and seemed to not care in the slightest. But then one day I came home, frustrated about plastic water bottles, and I got into my shower. As I mulled over my thoughts I washed my hair with some shampoo (out of a plastic bottle), followed by conditioner (in another plastic bottle), lathered with facewash (out of another plastic bottle), and shaved my legs (with a plastic razor). Here I was ridiculing people for drinking bottled water when my shower was overflowing with plastic. As much as I loved the products I used, I knew that I had to make a change.
Like I’ve said in the past, PLASTIC SUCKS. We may try to reason with ourselves (I know I did) that using plastic doesn’t really matter. I mean I only go through a handful of shampoo bottles each year so there’s no harm done, right? Wrong! The problem is that the large majority of humans on this planet have the exact same mentality; that’s 7.5 billion people! Honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming to even begin to fathom how much single use plastic our world using every single day. While I knew I wouldn’t be able to change the world over night, I knew that I could change myself and my actions.
I began researching the best “low waste” or “zero waste” ways to care for my hair and body. I discovered shampoo bars (simply a bar of soap you use for your hair rather than your body) and decided to give it a whirl. Now I tried MANY different bars in the attempt to find one that I absolutely loved. I tried ones with minimal ingredients, ones that could also be used to wash my body, and nothing seemed to work. It’s not uncommon, when switching to a shampoo bar, for one’s hair to feel greasy and heavy. Why? Normal shampoo, even the sulfite free kind, strips your hair of its natural oils. Your hair then overcompensates by producing an excess amount of oil. Shampoo bars are often much more gentle on your hair. However, your scalp takes some time getting used to this. Thus, you continue to produce an excess amount of oil, for a few weeks or a few days. With your hair/scalp no longer being stripped of oil, you end up with one oily scalp, making it appear you haven’t washed your hair in many many days.
I gave all of these shampoo bars a fighting chance. I used them for a few weeks, and although my hair became a bit less oily and heavy, my hair still felt grimy. But I was determined to find a product I loved! And this is the part of the story where LUSH comes in. I had somehow forgotten about this low waste, vegan, cruelty free sanctuary just around the corner. For those of you who don’t know about LUSH, it’s quite well known for its Bath Bombs and colorful/ eccentric bars of soap. What I forgot to realize was that LUSH also has a plethora of zero waste options; from shampoo, to conditioner, to facewash, and face lotion…I was in heaven!
LUSH has numerous types of all the above products to suit all skin and hair care needs. I recommend looking at all of their products or asking an employee to find what products will work best for your hair and skin type. For the past few months I have been using the following items:
Shampoo: Seanik Bar: https://www.lushusa.com/hair/shampoo-bars/seanik/02164.html
Conditioner: Sugar Daddy-O: https://www.lushusa.com/hair/conditioners/sugar-daddy-o/05988.html
Face wash: Fresh Farmacy: https://www.lushusa.com/face/cleansers/fresh-farmacy/00077.html
I am not paid to say this but I truly love all of these products. Will I use them forever? Probably not, as I would like to try and find bars with a few less ingredients. But for now they are a reliable option that is plastic free, vegan, and cruelty free. I have also found that bar shampoo and conditioner actually last longer than their plastic bottle counterparts. So not only are they plastic free, they’ll save you some sweet moolah in the long run.
But what about my body? I’ve been using a bar of soap for a few years and have had no problems. I don’t buy anything fancy, just a $3 bar from my local health foods store. And while it may not get as sudsy as Dove Body Wash, I am still just as clean while being plastic free.
A few months ago I also made the switch to a metal razor. In the long run this razor is WAY cheaper than buying disposable ones, and it’s plastic free (woohoo!). I got mine from Albatross because I loved what the company stood for. They are committed to “shaving the world from plastic” and addressing the problem of single-use plastic. Using a metal razor did take some getting used to, due to the head not moving, but after a few uses it was just as easy as shaving with a plastic razor.
Living a low waste life, and cutting out single use plastic, can seem incredibly daunting and overwhelming. From the food you buy, to the cleaning products you use, to whatever you have in your shower, plastic is all around us. My advice: start small. Maybe you swap razors, or buy a shampoo bar, but don’t feel that you need to throw out everything in one night! It’s important to strive for progress not perfection. Focus on swapping items that will make a lasting change. Find products you love to ensure you’ll continue to live a plastic free life. I may not to be able to convince the world to ditch plastic, but I can change my actions and act as positive influence for all those my message reaches. You may just be one in 7.53 billion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.
Other Shampoo Bars:
Booda Organics: https://boodaorganics.com/
Ulta Beauty: https://www.ulta.com/hair-shampoo-conditioner?N=27ih
Molly Muriel: http://www.mollymuriel.com/store/