It’s safe to say that the plastic movement has well and truly got me thinking. I get it. I get how truly awful plastic is and how much harm it’s doing to the planet. I also get how bad plastics can be for fertility – most books you pick up now tell you to avoid plastic where possible like the plague. I realised all of this a while ago in but any changes I was trying to implement got put on hold as we moved back to my parents while some work was done to our house. Now we’re home and I can control things more, I want to try and look at all of this again. Whilst trying to reduce plastic in our home is a huge task in itself, I decided to look at what I was using in the bathroom, to see exactly what came housed in plastic and the result slightly horrified me. Pretty much everything I use comes in some form of plastic, be it toothpaste, my toothbrush, shampoo, shower gel, the list goes on. Plastic is literally entrenched in our lives. I’ve been skirting around the idea of trying a shampoo bar for a while now. I’m already using a solid deodorant bar, which works really well for me, so going with a shampoo bar was a natural next step and after much internet searching, I came across the brand Conchus.
Made by a couple driven to make a difference, their bars are, ‘100% natural made with a blend of oils and butters, scented with only essential oils and coloured with natural colourants. They come in zero plastic packaging, they’re vegan friendly, palm oil free and cruelty free‘. All of this is becoming more and more important to me. Within our home I’m replacing harmful plastics with more natural products, within reason (i.e. cost) and where possible. With this thought in mind, I decided to try some of the Conchus products out. I purchased two Giggle bars, which are for hair and body, one Swell bar just for hair, and a Halo hair rinse. That palm print, LOVE!
The Swell shampoo bar is a deep pink colour and has a soft floral scent. The Giggle all over body bar, is a soft yellow/beige colour and smells lovely and citrusy (I’d started using the bar before I remembered to take a picture, hence the sunken palm print on the photo above!) The Halo hair rinse comes in a big aluminium bottle, half full of concentrated liquid, which you mix with water to fill up. It has quite a strong overall aroma of Lemongrass. I’ve been using the bars and rinse for nearly four weeks now. Here’s how I’ve gotten on.
I started with the Giggle bar first, given that it’s an ‘all in one’, using that on Olivia and myself. With Olivia there’s been no adjustment period as such, from using a shower gel to a soap bar. If anything the bar has made her hair even softer and shiner (well jel) And it’s lovely using something on her I know is completely natural and isn’t housed in plastic. With me however, it’s safe to say I’ve been in what they call the ‘transition phase‘. I’ve experienced a few teething (or should that be hairing?) issues. The Giggle bar lathers up really nicely but washing the suds out left my hair feeling strangely tacky. Post shower, brushing my hair has been much easier (no knots), however styling has been tricky as my hair still felt a bit tacky, which made straightening very difficult (think random sticky out bits) and when my hair was dry it felt a bit greasy in sections. I looked a tad scarecrow-esque it’s safe to say. These are all normal things to experience apparently, when switching to shampoo bars, it’s hard adjusting when your hair has been used to being plied with chemicals over the years. The hair rinse spray has been pretty easy to master, you just need to work out how to spray it all over the back of your head and not your face/the shower door etc.
Conchus has a useful Hair Guide on their website. They say, ‘You might find your hair needs a little time to adjust to your new natural hair care routine. The transition phase describes the time it takes for your scalp/hair to detox from commercial shampoo and re adjust to more gentle shampoo bars. During this time your hair might feel waxy or oily – this is completely normal.’ They recommend trying a (now, bear with me) Bicarb of Soda hair wash as a ‘pre wash’ to help with the ‘Transition Phase’. I did give this a go and it did help a little whilst using the Giggle bar.
At nearly three and a bit full weeks in and my Giggle bar has completely gone. Possibly because the mega hot weather lead to a lot of showering, meaning I used the bar far more quickly than you normally would or possibly because my husband has also been using the bar too (I had no idea about this, he only revealed this more recently!) Because of this I switched to the pink Swell shampoo bar a few days ago and this has been MUCH easier on my hair! I’m sure there’s a science behind why it works better, on reading the ingredients the Giggle bar is made up of mainly Olive Oil, so maybe this is why? Who knows, but anyway, the main thing is the Swell bar is working (wahoo!) and my hair feels a lot more ‘normal’ post washing and looks good (I think!) when it’s dry. In fact I think it looks a little better than it ever did. So for me clearly it’s just a shampoo bar that I need to use, not an all in one bar. (sidenote: in the picture below, Olivia has scribbled all over the packet, it’s not a weird design feature!)
So, all in all, it’s been work in progress. Trying the all-in-one bar first lead to some issues but it seems the Swell bar works for me without the problems I was experiencing previously.
Shampoo Bar Pros:
- Reducing Plastic in your bathroom and making small steps to helping save the planet.
- Supporting a small UK business.
- Completely natural, lovely smelling product that you can use on yourself and your children. It’s lovely using this all over Olivia (it’s worth noting we both have sensitive skin and have been fine with these bars)
- Once you’re through the transition phase (if you experience that, as some people don’t) you know that the bar and the rinse is all you’ll have to use going forwards – and you can make your own rinse if you want! No more chemical nasties on your hair.
- *Edit* One full month on and my hair has fully adjusted and feels pretty awesome
Shampoo Bar Cons:
- The transition phase is hard but you have to persevere. Remember, if you’re trialling a shampoo bar, it’s because you want to make a difference somehow.
- The All in One bars (Giggle) reduce in size fairly quickly if two of you are using the bar daily on your body and hair. At £6 a bar this could add up. Going forwards I will use a separate hair and body soap and buy my husband his own to prevent this!
- I had to adjust my usual haircare routine, which meant more frequent washing and not using frizz ease anymore as it just added confusion to the fuzzy mix.
- * Edit* We went on holiday in August and I didn’t have my hair care kit set up for this. The container I put the rinse in broke, meaning I used it all in one wash! Better planning needed for any trips away!
Using a shampoo bar is an adjustment but I didn’t really see the transition phase as negative, it was trial and error for me, just a process that I needed to go through. All in all it was about two weeks of slightly dodgy hair – although weirdly I’ve had more comments about my hair in the last few weeks than ever before! I did have to remind myself of my goal at times, that I wanted to try these because I want to try and reduce plastic in our home, and I knew my hair would improve (which it has already). Overall the bars are great, a lovely new addition to my bathroom. They’re better for my skin and better for the environment, I’ll continue to use these products going forwards.
(This isn’t an Ad by the way, just an awesome product I’ve discovered)