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Top eight reasons to make the switch to solid shampoo bars (and conditioner bars too!)

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 At Unwrapped Life, we love our solid shampoo bars and conditioner bars for a whole host of reasons! Check out our top eight reasons below! 

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1.) Shampoo bars are package free!

This is by far the number one reason to make the switch to shampoo bars and conditioner bars. These little pucks don’t require packaging, so they are much better for the environment than their bottled counterparts. 

I hunted around the Internet for some statistics on shampoo usage so I could try and wrap my head around how many bottles of shampoo there are in circulation globally, but I wasn’t able to find anything that directly answered that question. Instead, I found some U.S. Census and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS) data that claim 298.83 million Americans used shampoo in 2017. Arguably, most of these people are using some form of bottled product, so that amounts to a heck of a lot of bottles, especially since that number doesn’t include all the small bottles produced for hotels worldwide (we’ll get to that momentarily)! 

That was helpful(ish), but on my hunt I came across this article summarizing estimates from Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report that scared the socks off me! While it’s related to water bottle production, here are some terrifying highlights that shed light on the enormity of just how much disposable bottles we are generating annually:  

  • A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number is projected to jump another 20% by 2021
  • This equates to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second
  • More than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the world, up from about 300 billion a decade ago. If placed end to end, these bottles would extend more than halfway to the sun. 
  • By 2021 annual plastic bottles sold is projected to increase to 583.3 billion.
  • Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. That means, approximately 93% of the 480 billion plastic water bottles sold in 2016 ended up in landfill or in the ocean.

These statistics are related to plastic water bottles ALONE! In other words, this info doesn’t encompass all the other packaging waste in our supply chain, or other waste in general (hello, fast fashion - we’ll save that topic for another post!). When you start to think about it from that perspective, the numbers are pretty staggering. To me, it’s a no brainer that it’s better for the environment (and ultimately for the future of our species and all species on earth) to make an effort to reduce packaging across the board where possible. 

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Juxtaposition: our bars on the beach in Mexico with washed up trash.
Photo credit: Jasmine Negrieff 

While switching to shampoo bars and conditioner bars may seem like it can barely make a dent in these numbers, think about it this way: as more people convert, more and more bottles will be diverted from landfills and our water ways. And the world needs all the help it can get on this front, don’t you agree?

2.) Shampoo bars are very concentrated!

The bars are more concentrated than traditional shampoos and conditioners, so you can use less per application and they will last longer.

This is especially true with proper care (friends - don’t be letting your bars soak in water, and don’t store them in those cute travel tins for any length of time)! 

My family and I have been using the bars exclusively for almost 2 years. The bar we use on our kids (The Fixer works so well for them) lasted for almost a year! My hubby and I go through the bars a bit faster (maybe every three months or so), but nevertheless, we find the bars last much longer than a regular 8 ounce bottle of shampoo.

Why do they last longer? Take a look at a bottle of shampoo or conditioner in your shower or on the shelves in stores and the first ingredient you will see is water. This explains why you typically need a healthy dollop of product to get the performance you want. It’s true, most bottles recommend only using a dime or quarter sized amount, but how many of us tend to use quite a bit more than that? I know I likely was over applying both shampoo and conditioner when I was using liquid product! With the bars, it’s a lot more difficult to use too much, especially when you are applying the bars directly to your head (which is what we recommend). With the shampoo bars, you will find they suds up right away, so you’re able to tell pretty quickly when you’ve reached your desired lather. And the conditioner bars take a little bit of extra effort to get your strands coated with enough product to feel slippery, which helps extend the life of the product and to prevent over-application. 

 

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Shampoo bars and conditioner bars are long-lasting! 50-75 washes per bar.

Photo credit: Jasmine Negreiff 

3.) Shampoo bars are great for travel!

Shampoo bars and conditioner bars are great to travel with as you don't have to worry about any potential for spillage or liquid restrictions. The bars are perfect for carry on as no only are they small and lightweight, they are TSA approved, which means you don’t have to plan your packing around your hair care products! And best of all, they help prevent using the individual-sized shampoos and conditioners at your hotel, which goes back to point #1 about reducing packaging waste.

 

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These hair bar duos are great for travel - save space and prevent spillages!

Photo credit: Jasmine Negreiff 

4.) Shampoo bars are space savers!

Shampoo bars and conditioner bars are great for saving space. Being much smaller and more lightweight than their bottled counterparts relative to the number of washings you can get from the same amount of product, shampoo bars and conditioner bars help you save space. This comes in handy in a variety of situations, from keeping your bathroom cabinets decluttered, to packing for an upcoming camping trip!  

5.) Shampoo bars showcase minimalism at its finest!

The bars help create a minimalist aesthetic in your shower/bathroom by reducing the cluttered look of bottles. I don’t know about you, but I have an aversion to the look of bottles and their labels as I find most of them aren’t very attractive. I like to keep things looking neutral, so I used to buy bottles of shampoo not just for their performance, but because the packaging wouldn’t be intrusive or ‘clash’ with my bathroom decor. With shampoo and conditioner bars, I put them on a beautiful soap dish (with drainage!!): I have a set of bars on a dish for myself and my husband, right beside our solid bars of soap. This has significantly reduced the amount of clutter in the shower, and with less stuff, not only does it look better, it’s easier to clean! Win win! 

6). Shampoo bars offer a low carbon footprint!

The overall carbon footprint is less with shampoo bars and conditioner bars. As mentioned, these solid bars are more lightweight and compact than their bottled counterparts, so they require less space during transport relative to the same amount of washes with liquid shampoo. Roughly ten to fifteen transport trucks of liquid shampoo would be needed for one transport truck of solid shampoo bars to get the same number of washes!

7.) Shampoo bars are multi-purpose!

Shampoo bars can also be used for other purposes like washing your body, your pets in a pinch or your clothes while or camping or travelling! 

Our conditioner bars also triple duty as a shave bar and an in-shower moisturizer! 

8.) Shampoo bars leave hair feeling clean!

Our bars are a natural option, but we get it - we know there are even more natural options on the market (using only saponified oils). We tested many of these bars before formulating and creating our own and some of them left our hair feeling like a gummy mess while others were far too drying.

After months of trial, and a significant amount of money spent, we were still left wanting for something that would perform better for us. So we went down the path of formulating our own bars and Unwrapped Life was born.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post where we talk in more detail about the decisions behind the ingredients in our bars and how we're striving to make sustainability accessible and stylish for all! 

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Our shampoo bars and conditioner bars leave hair feeling lightweight and clean.

Photo credit: Jasmine Negreiff 

We hope this list gives you a good sense of all the benefits that come from switching over to solid shampoo bars and conditioner bars! Have you tried them yet? What are your thoughts?

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