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Dazed Spring/Summer 2016 issue
Fashion Tom Guinness, creative direction Grace Wales BonnerPhotography Harley Weir. Dazed Spring/Summer 2016 issue

The best 7 shampoo bars

Trying to cut down on plastic in your beauty routine? Look no further

It’s no secret that our plastic use is out of control and is having a seriously damaging effect on the environment. Research shows that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced each year by global cosmetics industries, most of which is not recyclable. In addition to this, plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose in landfill sites, meaning every bit of waste counts.

With many governments stepping in and successfully banning microbeads in personal care products, as well as implementing other laws such as the 5p plastic bag charge, there is hope that we can slow down the devastating effects on the Earth.

If you want to do your bit and cut down on your use of single-use plastic, shampoo bars might just be the answer. Without the need for synthetic bottles, shampoo bars are sturdy and convenient. And as the summer months are approaching, they’re perfect for the 100ml liquid limit when travelling. With the average number of bar uses equivalent to around three bottles of liquid shampoo, the repurchase rate is low, benefitting both the planet and your wallet. Whether washing your hair represents a moment of me time or is a struggle with the detangling brush, either way, it can now be done in a much more sustainable fashion.

Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera

100% vegan, 100% natural, silicone and SLS free: this bar uses Aloe Vera, natural Glycerin and Castor Oil to cleanse and hydrate the hair, leaving it full of life. Its gentle ingredients mean it can be used frequently, without the fear of build-up. It can also be used on your body, so it’s the perfect compact bar to throw in your travel wash bag.

Lush Seanik Shampoo Bar

This beachy bar will give you the shiny, voluminous hair you’ve been craving all winter. It’s bright blue appearance and mix of seaweed, sea salt and lemon oil will not only make your hair feel fresh but will leave you smelling like that tropical holiday you can’t bring yourself to book. If you’re also looking for a product that does not test on animals, this is the one.

Friendly Soap Lavender and Tea Tree Shampoo Bar

Containing hero ingredient castor oil, this bar uses 100% natural ingredients and essential oils, used for their antibacterial qualities. The packaging is both fully recycled and recyclable. A warning on Friendly’s website does suggest that your hair may feel oily or dry at first due to the “chemical purge”, but no stress, this will only last a week. The long-life nature of this bar means you won’t have to repurchase anytime soon, with Friendly claiming it will last longer than three bottles of liquid shampoo. The Earth is thanking you for buying this.

The Little Goat Soap Company Goat’s Milk and Neem Shampoo Bar

Made especially to soothe the irritation that comes with Psoriasis and Eczema, this gentle bar is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Containing a unique mix of raw goats milk and neem - the oil of the Indian lilac tree - this bar is made of all natural ingredients, including its plastic-free packaging.

Natural Soap Company Nettle and Rosemary Shampoo Bar

This Norfolk-based company has created just about the most sustainable shampoo bar you can get. Made from a mixture of nettle and rosemary leaves, this shampoo is lightweight and will leave your hair without the sticky residue some natural products can give. It also contains avocado, almond and cocoa oil for serious hydration benefits. With even the packaging it’s posted in recyclable, this shampoo bar is hand produced and environmentally conscious.

Lush New Cruelty-Free Shampoo Bar

Teaming with spices, this bar promotes blood flow to your scalp and stimulates the hair follicles. With nettle, peppermint, rosemary and clove, you’ll smell as fiery as the bar looks. You can purchase the bar on its own, or with the reusable Lush round tin to keep your new hair hero safe.

Ethique Damage Control Shampoo Bar

“Small but mighty”, this shampoo bar is 100% soap free and pH balanced, making it perfect for coloured hair. Containing coconut oil, cocoa butter and peppermint, this shampoo should be used by those who need some hair TLC. This bar, as well as all Ethique products, are plastic-free, cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable. Based in New Zealand, Ethique is dedicated to making the world a plastic-free place.