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A solid choice

Soon, we could all be buying our shampoo and conditioner in bar form
A solid choice

This article first appeared in our Love issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 09 April 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Traditional liquid shampoos and conditioners are at least 80% water. This means they need bottles – usually made from plastic – and often use harsh chemicals to stabilise the ingredients.

If you get rid of the water, neither the plastic packaging nor the stabilisers are necessary. It sounds so obvious, but getting the formulation right is harder than it sounds in a market geared towards chemical ingredients and plastic packaging.

Sue Campbell launched her range of KIND2 plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars in 2019, after 18 months of intense research, development and formulation. She had been moved to create the range after seeing plastic pollution in pristine and beautiful places, and feeling that her individual recycling efforts were ‘just not enough’.

‘It started with the plastics problem, but as I delved further into understanding the actual products and ingredients I discovered more’, Sue tells us. ‘It was a real eye-opener. It’s educated me to understand a lot more about toxic ingredients in all beauty and home products, and what to avoid.’

Upcycled seed oil

Among the ingredients Sue now steers clear of are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and ‘parfum’. ‘SLS is a harsh detergent that creates lots of foam but can also dry out your hair and scalp’, she warns. ‘Synthetic fragrances, usually called ‘parfum’, can be irritants and synthetic colours, often derived from petrochemicals.’

The all-natural KIND2 range harnesses the benefits of plant-based ingredients for the scalp and hair. Coconut, shea, macadamia and argan oils are renowned conditioners, creating shine and alleviating dryness in the scalp – all by supporting the long-term health of the hair rather than coating it with chemicals.

‘Being plastic free is just not enough. You need to look beyond just the packaging at the ingredients and ethics of the brand.’

Founder of KIND2

‘The more unusual oils are the ones I’m most excited about’, Sue reveals. ‘Chia seed oil and extract is included in our bars because it includes protein and zinc, both of which are beneficial to hair. And we use hemp seed oil – which is high in fatty acids and great for hair strength – upcycled from UK food waste.’

How to use shampoo bars

There’s no denying that using a solid shampoo is a different experience, and if you’re new to bars it might take a few washes before you get the technique right. ‘It’s common for people to use a lot more than they need to start with’, Sue explains. ‘We advise wetting the bar and applying it directly to your hair; if you lather in your hands first, you will just be cleaning your hands!’

The future of hair care

There are so many benefits to solid shampoo that we predict they will one day be as popular as bars of soap. They are usually great value for money as they last around twice as long as a bottle of liquid shampoo. They are also lighter, bringing obvious additional benefits around transportation emissions.

KIND2 bars are also pH-balanced to the hair and scalp, meaning no transition period is necessary. Despite only being a year old, KIND2 has already beaten competition from liquid shampoos to win industry awards and recognition.

The plastic-free and economical solid shampoos and conditioners don’t compromise on quality or efficacy – and could well represent the future of hair care.

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