Shampoo bars fulfill many environmentally forward criteria and definitely have a smaller ecological footprint compared to liquid shampoos for these reasons:
- Lesser use of Water compared to Liquid shampoos (water is used during manufacture, but the product is allowed to set to solid format instead of being left in the liquid format)
- Easier to package and transport – so does not need rigid plastic containers for storage
- As the product is in a solid state format, we do not need to use stabilisers, pH altering agents and preservatives to ensure long shelf life as is the case with liquids
However, despite these positives, here are some drawbacks with the solid shampoo format:
pH of Shampoo bars is unsuitable for Human hair: #
Most shampoo bars have an alkaline pH as they are basically modified versions of soaps which have a pH of 8.5 and above. Human scalp and skin has a pH around 5.5 which is mildly acidic.
When you consistently use such products either on skin or on hair, the body’s natural acidic pH is altered. Hence we lose the friendly colony of bacteria and other microorganisms which live on our bodies and provide the first line of defense in case of pathogen attacks. When we lose our good microorganisms, the body is easily invaded by harmful micro organisms.
Second, hair suffers from severe cuticular damage with frequent use of solid shampoos. Therefore customers are asked to do an acidic rinse , once in every 3 – 4 washes to restore the pH using apple cider vinegar and other such substances. The need for this acid rinse only arises because we are using an alkaline pH product on skin which is acidic pH!
Ayurvedic hair wash powders – better for human hair & more eco friendly than shampoo bars #
Because of its effect on our microorganism colony and its unsuitable alkaline pH, we do NOT recommend the use of Shampoo bars even if they are environmentally friendlier compared to liquid synthetic shampoos.
Ayurvedic hair wash powders (choornams) are much more ecologically sensitive, safer and better for hair and scalp. If made as per Ayurevdic principles, these hair wash powders are biodegradable and compostable, have a mildly acidic pH, and the grey water is easily recyclable.