Shampoo soap: saving money and the environment
What if there were a way to reduce plastic in your household, get involved in environmental protection, pamper your hair with natural ingredients and, to top it all off, save money? We would like to present you the solution to all these promises: The shampoo soap!
Unnecessary plastic packaging pollutes the environment
A study by the World Economic Forum in 2016 published figures that have since given food for thought: By 2050, the estimated weight of plastic in our oceans should exceed that of fish.
The current figures may indeed be shocking: based on our annual global consumption of approximately 78 million tons of plastic packaging, 32 million tons remain in our environment, for example in our oceans. It is currently estimated that there are around 300 million tons of plastic waste in our oceans. This number increases by several million each year since it can take up to 450 years for plastic to decompose completely. Seawater analyses have already shown hundreds of thousands of plastic parts per km². This, in addition to the tragic effects on our ecosystem, can also have a negative impact on our health. Small water-insoluble plastic particles, called microplastics, as well as environmentally harmful substances sneak back into our food chain via the water supply.
Equally shocking are the figures regarding the production of plastics: 6% of the world’s oil consumption is needed to satisfy our plastic needs. This means that we use as much oil for the production of plastics per year as for the entire annual air traffic worldwide! It is estimated that this consumption will increase up to 20% in 2050 if we do not change our current plastic consumption patterns immediately.
In 2016, Germany produced an impressive amount of 11.7 million tons of plastic waste, putting it sadly in the leading position in Europe. Just as sad: Only less than half of the annual plastic waste in Germany is actually recycled. But what can be done to change these circumstances?
An alternative – shampoo soap!
One way to reduce one’s ecological footprint is by reducing plastic consumption; especially disposable plastic, as this is the main component of the waste in our oceans. One option to contribute to producing less plastic is by switching from traditional liquid shampoos to solid shampoos, so-called “shampoo soaps”.
Shampoo soap is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional shampoo. For example, shampoo soap often does not require plastic packaging. Instead, shampoo soap uses a more environmentally friendly paper packaging. In addition, shampoo soap does not contain synthetic surfactants which normally produce a good lather. These synthetic surfactants are derived from petroleum derivatives and are aggressive enough to cause skin irritation which, in turn, can make the skin permeable to other pollutants and cause long-term damage.
In comparison: shampoo soap contains natural surfactants such as saponified oils. These natural surfactants are made from renewable raw materials. The main ingredients of shampoo soap are vegetable oils, such as coconut, avocado, or olive oil. Also other moisturizing and caring additives count to the ingredients. The list of these caring substances is long and ranges from aloe vera to beer, oat milk and silk. Oftentimes herbs and essential oils are also added to the recipe.
The correct choice
When looking for the right shampoo soap, you should make sure that it contains around 3 to 5% pure fat; this is enough to keep your hair soft and smooth without leaving a greasy film. Ultimately, the results depend on your hair type, water strength, as well as the right soap. You can achieve the best results with soft water.
For medium-hard water, an additional acid rinse is recommended. An acid rinse consists of a mixture of water and lemon juice or organic apple vinegar. After shampooing, the acid rinse ensures that potential limescale residues are rinsed out of the hair which might otherwise lead to dull hair. If you want to avoid performing an acid rinse or you have to deal with very hard water, the installation of a limescale filter in your shower head might be a better solution. You can find out the local water hardness either online or by asking your local public utility companies.
Besides benefiting skin, hair, and the environment, your wallet will also benefit from switching to shampoo soap! At first, the shampoo soap’s price may seem high. However, this higher price tag is quickly put into perspective due to the shampoo soap’s high yield. For each 500 ml bottle of conventional shampoo, you only need 100 g of shampoo soap! Furthermore, the use of shampoo soap usually prevents overdosing because a soap bar can be dosed more efficiently. With the conventional shampoo bottle, on the other hand, you can easily squeeze out, with or without intention, a little too much.
Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of shampoo soap:
Shampoo soap – Advantages
- Does not contain aggressive, synthetic ingredients such as preservatives, silicones, parabens, or surfactants
- Does not contain strong fats like glycerin or palm oil
- Makes travelling easier because shampoo soap is not liquid and can thus be transported in carry-on luggage
- Ingredients are mostly vegan
- Cheaper and more efficient than conventional liquid shampoo
- Prevents overdosing
- More sustainable because its ingredients are made of renewable raw materials
- No plastic packaging
Shampoo soap – Disadvantages
- Limited range of products
- The application might be unfamiliar at first. Your hair might need some time to get used to the synthetic free product.
- Thorough rinsing is required; if necessary with an acid rinse
- It is recommended to upgrade the shower head with a limescale filter if you deal with hard water
In a nutshell
The shampoo soap is a wonderful alternative to conventional shampoo. While your skin, hair, and wallet will benefit from switching to shampoo soap, you can also do something good for our environment! When buying soap, it is still recommended to pay attention to its label and ingredient list to avoid harmful synthetic ingredients and palm oil
Hint: You can also buy the corresponding conditioner in soap form!