Ditching The Plastic – My Shampoo Bar Journey

I’m not one to stick to my New Years resolutions, but as the clock struck 12 on 1st January 2020 I vowed that this year I was going to make a conscious effort to reduce my plastic waste. This resolution seemed more achievable than my usual ‘eat less chocolate’ or ‘exercise more’ goals that I seemingly failed to do each year. I was easily able to ditch my makeup wipes and single use cotton pads for reusable hand stitched cotton pads, which if anything actually cleaned my skin better than the single use ones! Next I was able to switch my toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush, my ear buds for bamboo ear buds and my plastic shopping bags for more durable fair trade cotton bags.

I made many switches but the last thing I was reluctant to ditch were my (plastic bottled) shampoo and conditioner. I’ve tried in the past to switch to a shampoo bar but it was disastrous. Many shampoo bars don’t contain SLS (SLS is round is most standard shampoo and stripes your hair of its natural oils) so you have to go through an adjustment period when you switch which can take up to two months. I really tried for months with other shampoo bars but was left with lank greasy hair, the transition phase seemed to never end. Due to this I was reluctant to try a shampoo bar again, however mid lockdown as I browsed the shelves of my local Waitrose for the ever scarce hand sanitiser or soap I spotted Beco Argan Oil Shampoo Bars for just £4 a bar, which I had only spotted due to someone placing it in the soap section of the store and not the haircare section! I mean what was the worst that was going to happen? If they gave me greasy hair like the others at least no one would see me due to lockdown!

After I got home and searched Beco I found out how much of an amazing company they are. Their products are vegan, cruelty free, 97% organic, hypoallergenic, pH balanced, biodegradable as well as being plastic, paraben and SLS free. But the most amazing thing about Beco is that they’re a social enterprise that help disabled people get job by actively encouraging other companies to employ disabled staff, with 80% of own workforce being disabled. Unfortunately the employments rates amongst disabled people are higher than the rates amongst people without disabilities, but Beco are campaigning to change this.

The product itself comes unwrapped in a FSC certified recyclable cardboard box. The first thing I noticed about this shampoo bar was how amazing it smelt, I could even smell it through the box! Surprisingly when I used the bar for the first time it lathered up really well compared to other bars I’ve used, which is thanks to the Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate it contains – a natural mild surfactant derived from coconut. After using it my hair felt lovely and clean, where as with other bars it felt heavy and greasy. I expected there to be a transition phase using the Beco Argan Oil Shampoo Bar but my hair was perfect from the start! Not only did my hair not get greasy as fast but it was left beautifully soft. I was really impressed with the results from this £4 bar! The best part about it was the bar lasted SO long, one bar lasted me around 2-3 months which is far longer than a standard bottle of shampoo would last me. It should also be noted that because this shampoo bar doesn’t contain natural oil stripping ingredients you can use it without conditioner and still have beautiful soft hair. I have bleached hair and use this bar without conditioner most days, or use a silicone free conditioner when I feel my hair needs a little nourishment. You may think using no conditioner would ruin your hair but my hair has become more healthy with less split ends!

The Beco Argan Oil Shampoo Bar comes in 3 different scents – honey blossom and spring meadow; I tried both and they both smell lovely. Beco also sell bars of hand soap and liquid soap and you can find their products in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Boots and The Ethical Superstore. To find out more about Beco and the amazing work they do visit their website https://betterconsidered.org

What shampoo bar brands have you tried?

Laura 

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