Confession: I worked in the beauty industry for thirty three years. Try not to hold it against me, but yes, I did make a living on the insecurities that our often toxic Capitalist culture instills in women (and men, but mostly women) about the way they look. I kept two kids fed and clothed by trying to keep the ladies feeling nice about themselves, which meant that I may have … exaggerated … the possible results of my services and products. Judge me all you want, but a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do, right? Yay capitalism.
Anyhoo, I rather vividly recall the industry sales folks - usually male, so weird - and how they’d go on and on (and on and on) about this breakthrough shampoo or new scientifically improved conditioner that I wouldn’t have to even try to sell because it would literally fly out the doors. Because it smelled just that good. That was the ticket. Because as one honest gentleman opined, ‘soap is soap, amirite?’
Actually, when we’re talking about shampoo we should say detergent is detergent, because that’s the cleaning stuff (surfactant) in shampoo. Depending on brand and target consumer there will be other stuff - a carrier, usually water or alcohol, emollients to reapply some oil after the surfactant takes all the oil off, and preservatives. Then the piece de resistance- fragrance. What is even IN that? Brands don't have to disclose that information, but that's for another conversation. Package that all in an appealing plastic bottle and you could be part of the 30 billion dollar shampoo industry.
Are you imagining those pretty, odd shaped, and unusually colored plastic bottles? Are you imagining almost all of them in your local landfill? Are you? ARE YOU? Ingredients aside, one of the biggest ways the beauty industry harms the environment is through its hard to recycle plastic packaging. Oftentimes, made from mixed plastics, these containers are not recyclable and find their way into landfills or waterways. "In 2018, in the U.S. alone, almost 7.9 billion units of rigid plastic were created just for beauty and personal care products. And the problem is set to get worse." -Plastic Pollution Coalition.
How, with what, and how often you choose to wash your hair is a very personal decision and it’s up to you, cupcake, to be you and do what you want. For the record, there is rarely a medical reason to wash your hair at all. Not telling you to go culturally appropriate some dreds- just saying it’s your choice. But if you're of the majority that do wash that 'do on a regular basis, why not choose to wash your hair with solid soap that comes in a bar and not another single-use plastic bottle?! And the best part of this deal … the very best part? It smells amazing. Just from essential oils, not a complicated fragrance chemical formula.
One more little insider secret. The only part of your glorious balayaged mane that is alive is the follicle...In your scalp. The rest is as dead as my dreams of being a ballerina. So seriously consider dumping the designer hair care regimen that your stylist swears will be a miracle, and try some gentle eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner bars. Mother Earth will thank you and your hair won’t care. But will still smell amaaaazing. Bonus, they last 50+ washes and fit in the palm of your hand, so they'll simplify travel too!