January 26

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Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar

Cleanliness is Next to Environmental Friendliness!

It seems that things are going in reverse. Then we used to have only bars of soap to wash our hands and now liquid soaps and sanitizers are far more popular, with the old liquid detergents being replaced by pucks. But whatever the shape or form, what’s spot on now is environmentally friendly ways to clean ourselves head to toe.

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Enter the Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar. This form of product offers many advantages besides being eco friendly. Now that liquids are verboten on aircraft, a bar of shampoo is approved. Easy. Just pack it and go. You will leave no plastic waste behind you where you travel, or at home. And the shampoo soap bar is compact, so easier to take with you and to store.

Environmental Impact of Traditional Shampoo Bottles and Plastics

It came as quite a shock to us at Ecobou when the statistics were revealed about plastics recycling. Only about 7% of all plastics are actually recycled; the rest end up in landfill taking hundreds of years to breakdown. All you need to do is take a stroll on a sandy beach and you’ll see plastic litter abounds.

In July 2020, one of our Ecobou crew was honoured to make a trip to legendary Sable Island, in the middle of the North Atlantic, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. This 40km long crescent sandbar is pristine, an environmentally fragile site with a herd of wild horses, and a plethora of plastic junk. We spoke with the president of the Sable Island Institute, Zoe Lucas, and she said that in the 40-odd years she has lived and worked there, the increase in plastic flotsam that washes up on the beaches has quadrupled or more.

Not only are 550,000,000 shampoo bottles thrown in the rubbish every year, but all of them, unless rinsed out (unlikely) have some residual shampoo left behind, another pollutant. Waterways and seas should not have soap bubbles in them! And soap contaminates the soil in landfills.

Environmental Benefits of the Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar

Although soap shampoo bars do not lather like liquid shampoo, it’s a simple matter of getting used to not expecting to see tons of bubbles; the shampoo bar is still doing a good job; it just doesn’t need heavy lather to work effectively.

Benefits of switching to a Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar include:

  • zero waste (yay!)
  • not chemically based
  • no dyes or manufactured fragrances
  • cruelty free
  • no sulphates, plastics or preservatives
  • no palm oil (this ingredient, present in most regular shampoos and conditioners, is implicated in deforestation and while efforts are being made at sustainable sourcing, it’s not there yet)

Your shampoo bar (complementary conditioners also available!) will last much longer than a bottle of shampoo, equal to roughly four or five bottles. It runs at roughly $5.00 USD, so while the initial outlay is higher than most basic hair care products, the price is made up for in about three weeks.

Great Tip! Be sure to care for your soap shampoo bar properly to ensure it lasts as long as planned. When you’re done, rinse it off and let it air dry in a dish that ensures it does not rest in a puddle of water.

How to Use a Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar

There are two schools of thought on this. Some say just simply rub the soap shampoo bar directly on your wet hair; others prefer to wet the bar by rubbing it in wet hands first and then applying the suds to your hair and scalp. Just remember: low lather, whichever technique you use.

Scents and Ingredients

Friendly Soap Shampoo Bars are made from castor oil that creates a creamy rather than frothy lather, and cleans safely and effectively.

However, they work best with soft water because of a chemical reaction created between the natural ingredients and the high mineral content in hard water. The solution? Hard water is not good for you or your skin, or your clothing, sheets and towels, so your best bet is to invest in water-softening equipment. If that can’t happen, then use a rinse solution of water and baking soda to neutralise the chemical issues inherent in hard water.

The bars are lightly scented with natural essences like lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint and germanium. Sweet!

What Others Say

One thing that’s certain is shampoo bars are not just a recent trend. The rate of sales and increasing popularity suggest they’re here to stay. Pretty much every review says a similar thing: “I love that it’s zero waste!”

“I started with the shampoo and once I got used to the low lather, loved it. Super convenient. So of course, I got the conditioner, too. Both are fantastic!” Friendly Soap Shampoo and Conditioner Bars have an ardent new fan.

“Awesome for trips by air, car, rail, any mode of transport,” raves a travel blogger.

“When I started using the shampoo bar, my hair reacted, not too happily, but within a week (four shampoos), the issues disappeared and my hair is happy now!”

The natural ingredients in a Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar behave differently from typical bottled shampoo, so there is an adjustment period; be patient and then love your hair while you respect the environment!


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