If you’re not using shampoo bars, or you haven’t heard of them, let me blow your mind.
They have pretty much changed my life. At first, I was skeptical, as I have thick hair, and wasn’t sure if it would work well for me. All of my worries subsided after my first wash, and now I’m a raving fan.
If you’re a traveler, you’ll never go back once you’ve tried a shampoo bar. Here are some reasons why:
1. They are compact and save space.
Liquid shampoo is typically made up of 70-80% water. Bars are a more concentrated form of your shampoo: just add water. I like to lather the bar up with some water in my hands, then run the suds through my hair and scalp as I would any other shampoo. You can also rub the bar directly into your hair.
The best part: a 1.9 ounce bar lasts about 70 washes. If you don’t want to take a whole bar, you can figure out almost exactly how much you’ll need for your specific trip with some simple math. It’s super easy to cut off the chunk you need with a knife.
Important: make sure you allow your bar to air dry after each use for the maximum shelf life of 1 year. I recommend putting the bar on its side inside its tin for the quickest drying. If it’s round and keeps falling back flat, push it into the tin with a bit of force right after the shower when it’s a little soft. That should give it a flat part to stand on.
2. They are better for the environment.
All the plastic shampoo bottles you’ll use throughout your lifetime leave a significant footprint. If sustainability is important to you, there’s another choice. You can be plastic free if you switch to shampoo in solid form. A shampoo bar in a reusable container is a better option for the environmentally conscious.
I have a tin from Lush Cosmetics. You can also get any number of sizes and designs from amazon, or recycle an old Altoid tin. Look around your home and I’m sure you can find something that could be reused as a holder for your shampoo bar. This makes your shampoo so portable that you could put it in your pocket.
My bar and tin go from shower to gym bag to overnight bag to full luggage in a snap. No mess, no fuss. It can’t get any better than that.
3. They are spill proof.
The worst thing is opening up your luggage after a long flight and finding out that your shampoo has spilled all over your clothes.
When you’ve switched over to the bar life, all you have to do before a flight is make sure the lid on your tin is tight and won’t pop off if your luggage is tossed around. Even if it does, it wont be nearly as bad as if you had liquid shampoo everywhere. You can always tape 2 sides if you want to be sure your bar stays in its tin.
4. They are flight approved.
For my warrior travelers who get through airports with only a carry-on, shampoo bars come in clutch. No longer do you have to squeeze your liquid shampoo into tiny containers, only to run out on a long trip and have to buy some random (probably chemical laden) shampoo later. And then forget that bottle isn’t cool with TSA and have to throw it away at the dreaded “throw your noncompliant stuff in this trash can” trash can. You know what I mean?
With a shampoo bar, you can bring as much as you need on your carry-on… or cut off as little as you need to save weight on a short trip.
5. They are natural.
Shampoo bars are often free of chemicals that can damage your hair such as sulfites and parabins. Many are instead made with natural ingredients that nourish your hair instead of stripping it then wrapping it in chemicals.
You can even make your own shampoo bar if you’re feeling ambitious. There’s a nice basic recipe made with coconut oil at Wellness Mama and another at Mommypotamus. Spruce up a basic recipe by adding 1 oz of essential oils and/or herbs. You can choose the type according to your hair and scalp needs.
My favorite shampoo bar is “Honey I Washed my Hair” is from Lush Cosmetics. It is really moisturizing and smells like a dream. Surprisingly, I haven’t had to use conditioner after using it. I also love “Brazilliant” which is only available online. They have about a dozen different options depending on your hair type. One bar is less than $10 at my local Lush store and lasts 70 washes. What a great value! I really love going to my local store. I think half the fun is going there and trying on their products, smelling everything, and getting recommendations for your skin and hair type from the awesome people who work there. You’ll enjoy the experience, and a huge bonus is they’ll give you a sample of anything you want. If you don’t have a brick and mortar Lush near you, you can buy a bar from their website. Another option is buying their products off amazon. It’s not typically the cheapest option, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Bonus: leaving your bar out to dry, which you should do after each use, deodorizes and leaves an amazing scent in your bathroom.
I’m going to say it again, because it’s really important: allowing your shampoo bar to dry after each use keeps away germs and gives you the full shelf life of 1 year per bar!
Also, if you leave it moist inside its closed tin, it will melt into the container and you’ll have a heck of a time trying to get it back out.
Tip: don’t forget the conditioner bar, facial soap bar, shave bar and lotion bar. The same benefits apply. Go bar crazy!