So last week I promised you a post for anyone and everyone with hair, and I'd hate to disappoint! But before we get going, a confession. I have needy, unruly hair that needs washing and drying every day so I don't look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards. With that comes the fear of upsetting what I've found to work and dealing with wild, greasy hair and simply feeling dishevelled. *But* a good friend of mine – a fellow translating cloth-bum-mum or indeed a cloth-bum-mumming translator depending on the time of day – has made the switch without a hitch, so I asked her to write something to inspire us all to check out a new switch. Take it away, Bethanie!
In today’s society, we are told that hair is Important. For women, it should be glossy, lustrous, and sleek. For men, it should be clean, thick, and, according to my husband, luscious. Insert shrug emoji here... We are bombarded from everywhere with adverts for shampoo, conditioner, hair dye, styling products, hair food (?!). If you watch television of an evening, it’s not uncommon to see several hair commercials during one sitting, and if you venture to a supermarket or into town, entire aisles are dedicated to hair products of every kind. Being well groomed is a status symbol and for the new mother in particular, having clean hair is a sign that you are Doing Well.
So with all this pressure out there, I can see why this week’s swap is one that many people procrastinate over. In fact, I was one of them. I’m talking about ditching the single-use plastic and switching to a shampoo bar. I completely understand why it’s daunting. One shampoo bar costs more than one bottle of shampoo, it almost definitely won’t work in the same way as your usual brand, and then there’s the fear that it won’t be effective and you’ll be a greasy Gertie for that big work meeting. Hopefully I can mythbust a few of these concerns.
The last shampoo bar I bought cost me £8 and I paid a similar amount for a conditioner bar. Before the eco life found me, I would buy whatever was on offer and I’d stick to the cheaper brands. However, in many cases, ditching the plastic is more cost-effective. I buy my hair care products from Lush, who estimate that one shampoo bar will last for 80 washes. I definitely couldn’t say the same for my Head & Shoulders! I have fairly long, fairly thick hair, so I don’t think I’ve got 80 washes out of one bar, but it outlasted my previous shampoo by a mile.
Lose the lather
I can’t deny this one. Regular shampoo contains chemicals that help it to lather and we have come to expect the foamy bubbles when we wash our hair. In most cases, these chemicals don’t help to clean your hair, and in the case of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), there are concerns that it is a skin irritant and can dry the scalp. Having been using my bar for several months now, I can say that I don’t notice this anymore.
You might also have seen or heard horror stories about needing to rinse your hair in (apple cider) vinegar to help detox it from your regular shampoo. In my experience, this wasn’t necessary and I think it is the exception rather than the rule. For two to three weeks I washed my hair every 2-3 days rather than every 3-4, but that’s as far as it went. I might even go so far as to say that my hair now feels cleaner than ever, and thanks to Lush, it has a lovely citrus scent.
I can see that I’ve convinced you. “Where do I start?”, I hear you cry! Well. I do feel a little bit like Lush should be paying me commission for this blog (they’re not), but I really can’t recommend them enough – I asked a sales assistant for help buying a bar, and after a brief chat about my hair, she made a suggestion for a few to try. I took one home to try and the rest is history. I won’t be going back.
Every swap makes a difference, give this one a try. You might surprise yourself with how much better it really is.
Hi, I’m Bethanie. I also work in the languages industry so I’m a fellow word nerd, but more importantly, I’m a cloth bum mum and I’m on a mission to help save the planet a little bit at a time.
Ellen here again - after reading all that, I guess it's time I set off for my nearest Lush and see what they recommend. Wish me luck!