Thinking about switching to a shampoo bar? As more and more of us aim to reduce our use of plastic bottles, shampoo bars are becoming a popular, plastic-free hair care choice.
But are they too good to be true? Here we look at how the rising popularity of shampoo bars could be causing allergic reactions.
Why are shampoo bars so popular?
An alternative to liquid hair shampoos, solid shampoo bars look like a bar of soap and are applied directly to hair and scalp to create a soapy, cleansing lather.
Popular with festival-goers and frequent-travellers alike, it is thought that 2.5 million people world-wide have purchased a shampoo bar in the past year. What’s fuelling this spike in sales? The answer lies surprisingly not with shampoo bars, but their packaging.
Environmentally conscious consumers are increasingly choosing to reduce their use of plastic packaging. Bottle-free, the shampoo bar’s reusable format provides a way for those opting to avoid plastic to wash their hair without purchasing a plastic bottle.
Why does Green People not make a shampoo bar?
Whilst shampoo bars are portrayed as a natural, eco-friendly alternative to shampoo, the reality is that many shampoo bars contain a high concentration of foaming agents, synthetic fragrance and extremely alkaline ingredients that can cause irritation and damage the delicate skin round the hair and nape.
A known skin allergen, using SLS in shampoo bars can trigger allergic reactions such as itchy scalp and dermatitis. Because the safety of our customers is the most important thing to us, we avoid using SLS in our products at all times.
Another reason we do not currently produce a shampoo bar is that shampoo bars often create a film-like residue when combined with natural oils from the scalp. This film is notoriously difficult to wash out – especially if you live in an area with hard water.
Failure to thoroughly rinse the hair can leave chemical ingredients sitting on the hair and scalp where they can easily trigger irritation.
As the ingredients used in shampoo bars typically have a very high, alkaline pH which most scalps cannot tolerate, we do not consider it a safe option for those prone to eczema or sensitive skin.
What are the symptoms of a shampoo bar allergy?
Noticed your scalp feeling itchy and flaky or the appearance of a red, sore rash at the back of your head? These are all symptoms that your shampoo has stripped your scalp of its protective oils and is irritating the skin.
Should you develop a shampoo bar allergy our advice is to stop using the shampoo bar immediately. Avoid using scented, SLS-based shampoos whilst the skin heals and if the skin allergy doesn’t improve, we’d recommend seeking further advice from your doctor.
What is the alternative to a shampoo bar?
Torn between protecting the planet from plastic and protecting your scalp? To help you care for your hair and scalp without harming the environment we manufacture our shampoos using gentle foaming agents based on sustainable Coconut and Yucca.
SLS-free and designed to gently cleanse your hair whilst maintaining healthy pH balance, all Green People shampoos are also produced in 100% recyclable bottles.
Have you had an allergic reaction to a shampoo bar? Let us know @GreenPeopleUK on social or talk to our customer care team for friendly advice on the best natural shampoo for your hair.