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Busting Haircare Bar Myths


Photo: Kasia Serbin

We’ve all spent hours falling down the haircare rabbit hole. Haircare can seem daunting with how many products are out there. And it can be even more overwhelming when trying to find haircare products that are eco-friendly. Luckily the myths that we’re going to be busting touch on everything from convenience and cost to your hair health.

Let’s start with a little bonus tip before we dive in. 


When making the switch to ethical and sustainable haircare products, it’s going to be important to know what your hair type actually is. Maybe you already have this information, but if not, do some research to learn what kind of hair you have. This will make your sustainable switch that much easier.


Let’s bust some haircare myths.

Haircare Myth: You can’t find eco-friendly options in a drug store

Busted: Of course, the majority of products at your local Walgreens aren’t going to be environmentally friendly. You may have to do some digging and some reading of the fine print. Sometimes you’re in a pinch and you need shampoo and conditioner ASAP. Maybe you’re traveling or you didn’t realize you were running low. We’ve all been there and needed to make a quick run to the drug store. 


The key is to keep your eye out for the needle-in-the-haystack because odds are there are options. Look for the recycled plastic bottle or the shampoo that is vegan.

Haircare Myth: There aren’t many plastic-free haircare options
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Photo: Ethique

Busted: The climate crisis is dire and companies are (thankfully) starting to realize that. There are actually a ton of plastic-free and sustainable haircare options out there, they just haven’t made their way to the shelves of Target. A perfect example of hair care products that are vegan, plastic-free, low-carbon, and sustainable are made by us at Ethique. Our products are also palm oil- and cruelty-free. Your job is merely to pick from the many lovely scents we have! Our shampoos and conditioners are great and it doesn’t stop there. They also have skincare, body care, lipstick, and household items. 


The company has several environmental initiatives that they’re taking including saving water and direct trading. By buying products from Ethique you are not only doing your individual part to reduce waste, but you’re also contributing to a larger company that has a global impact on shifting the climate crisis.

Haircare Myth: Hair bars strip your hair of its natural oils

Photo: Kelly Sikkema

Busted: Will this product damage my hair? Will it dry my hair out or make it more frizzy? These are questions you’re not alone in asking when searching for the best hair products, so let’s talk about the elephant in the room: sulfates. Medical News Today says that sulfates can be too good at cleaning which causes some shampoos to strip your hair of its natural oils. The good news is that many eco-friendly haircare products don’t contain sulfates and they will clean your hair just as well. It will take a little bit of time to get used to, but that’s worth it for a healthier hair and a healthier environment.

Haircare myth: It’s expensive

Busted: Wherever you are in your sustainability journey, changing to several eco-friendly products can seem pricey. But believe it or not, making the switch to bars actually will save you money in the long run! That’s a big claim, so let’s break it down. 


Because they are highly concentrated, shampoo bars can last for about 50-80 washes. On the other hand, one bottle of shampoo contains 25-35 washes on average. According to National Geographic, a shampoo bar will outlast two to three bottles of liquid shampoo which saves you money and extra trips to the store. Upfront, you’ll pay slightly more for a bar, but you’ll be purchasing more products at about half the rate. At the same time, you’re eliminating all those plastic bottles from the landfill. Seems like a no-brainer! 


When switching to a new product there can often be a bit of trial and error to find the perfect fit for your hair type and skin sensitivity. Trying several products can be expensive as well. Often companies will have a trial option or a mini size that you can purchase to make sure you like the product, so make sure to check their website for those options.

Haircare myth: Bars make a mess

Photo: Nathan Powers

Busted: No one likes a cluttered or messy shower. Bars take up a lot less space than shampoo bottles. The way to keep your shower organized is to use a soap dish. Choose one that is ceramic, bamboo, or another sustainable option. Many companies that sell shampoo and conditioner bars also sell soap dishes. Plus, they’re cute!


Pro tip: get one that is slightly raised so your bar gets some airflow to it. This will allow the suds to dry out before the next use and keep mess to a minimum.

Haircare myth: Chemicals in haircare products don’t impact the environment

Photo: Yoann Boyer

Busted: Everything that goes down our drains directly affects our environment and can contribute to climate change. Green Matters says that what we’re washing with ends up in our waterways, and that includes all of the harmful chemicals in many shampoos. These chemicals include sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, phthalates, ammonium chloride, formaldehyde (and formaldehyde-producing chemicals), methylchloroisothiazolinone, and fragrances. The average American uses about 11 shampoo bottles a year. There are 329.5 million Americans. That means 3,624,500,000 shampoo bottles are going to the landfill every year and all those chemicals are ending up in our water systems. And that is just shampoo bottles, not conditioner. That number should shake you. 


It’s never too late to start taking action against our climate crisis. It is up to all of us to make the conscious switch to products that are environmentally friendly. A great way to start is by opting for a bar instead of a bottle!


Shop our haircare bars at Ethique and make the switch!

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