5 Reasons to Ditch Regular Shampoo for Shampoo Bars


There are nasties hiding in your shampoo… let’s discover what they are and what to do about it.


So, what is in shampoo, exactly?

Ever heard of surfactants? These mysterious chemicals are commonly used in detergents to remove dirt from skin, clothes and other household items. Sounds great, for a pre op surgery room scrub; but sulphates exposed to the scalp, stripping away the natural protective barrier of oil, not so much. 

What makes your shampoo foam?

In addition to cleansing surfactants other types of surfactants are added to shampoos as the foaming agent. These constituents are called alkanolamides, and help increase the size of the bubbles and frothing ability, because who doesn’t like a soapy shampoo, am I right?

Since shampoos are made from water and organic compounds, bacteria and microbe contamination are a likely possibility. Ugh! To prevent bacteria growth, added preservatives become necessary. Two of the most common preservatives used in shampoos are DMDM hydantoin and methylparaben; and with excessive exposure, can contribute to external and internal health issues.

Do you know exactly what you're putting on your hair and scalp?

A few more reasons to fall out of love with your shampoo if you haven’t already

It’s not only the oil-stripping properties of surfactants that aren’t very good for us—they can  trigger allergies and cause irritations, too. A common, more water-soluble surfactant, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), might  be ‘gentler’ on the skin but there’s a peripheral issue. During the formation of SLES, 1,4-Dioxane forms as a by-product, contaminating the final product. Dioxane is anticipated to be a “human carcinogen” by the National Toxicology Program. Anything cancer causing and I’m looking for an alternative, how about you?

Not only do all these chemicals and compounds contribute to health hazards, they’re simply put -stripping the scalp and hair follicles of precious nutrients and oil. Feeling the clean sensation and enjoying the delightful smell (potentially harmful fragrance) post wash, equates to a generally satisfied and trusting customer. Theirs is so much you don’t know, YET. Luckily, knowledge is power, and you’re on your way to being more conscious consumer, and better off for it. Skincare and body products should be supporting the body’s natural processes not going against them. So what’s on the cards if not bottled, commercial shampoo?

A new hair washing experience awaits

Soap bars are making a comeback.

Okay, so it’s not exactly “new” but we are going back to basics. Yep –the good ol soap bar is making a comeback.


5 Benefits to choosing organic soap bars over shampoos over and above the reduced exposure to nasties:


1)     Waste-free:

 If you’re reducing plastic and waste in your life, soap bars are no doubt your go to, if you haven’t made the switch already. Something as simple as replacing bottled shampoo with a solid soap bar is an easy step to lowering your waste.


2)     Longer lasting:

Yip, these highly concentrated solid solutions are going to last you a couple months at least, helping you replace up to 6 shampoo bottles. Are we for real? Yeah, we are.


3)     Economical:

When your products are lasting longer, you’re spending less. More bang for your buck ladies!


4)     Lower carbon footprint

Tying in with waste-free benefits, the less manufacturing and production taking place to produce a single item, the lower the environmental impact. The average woman washes their hair 4 times per week; that’s an estimated shampoo bottle every two months and a conditioner bottle every month. Let’s say 1 of 3.8 billion women used shampoo and conditioner, that would equate a staggering 18 BILLION bottles per year.

5)     Convenient for use and travel

The perfect holiday companion that doesn’t end up leaking all over your favourite sleepwear. The bonus of bars, you won’t have to worry about liquid limits. Pop them into your vanity case with ease. 


So Why choose Shampoo with a Purpose (S.W.A.P)?

This brand is one with a purpose -to save our oceans and landfill from dreaded plastic pollution. Their mission, to replace as many shampoo and conditioner bottles as possible, and to feed your hair, not starve it. Shampoo with a Purpose uses all plant-based, organic and natural ingredients in their products, each bar with a very specific tailored list of extracts and oils that suit varied hair types. These bars are not your average soap bar, I repeat. These bars are a combined shampoo and conditioner, that’s 2 for 1 goodness!

Shampoo with a Purpose have four different formulations: The O.G. (original), Colour Treated hair bar, Dry and Damaged bar, and a Volume shampoo bar.

Argan Oil is used as a base for all the bars because of its magical effect on hair. Another phenomenal ingredient they use is BETAINE – an amino acid derived from beetroots which is proven to hold in hair treatments like dyes, bleaching and perms, not to mention moisturises the hair to perfection.

The conditioner in the bars is derived from the seed of the guar plant (legume plant), called gaur gum. Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride is an organic compound that is a water-soluble, quaternary ammonium-derivative of guar gum. This is what gives conditioning properties to shampoos and after-shampoo hair care products. Outside of the usage by S.W.A.P, it’s widely used in natural healthcare because of the fabulous ingestible properties and other cosmetics as a thickening agent.

The only ingredients you won’t find in their bars; sulphates, synthetic fragrances, animal derivatives, harsh chemicals, propylene glycol, artificial colours, triethanolamine, EDTA, parabens, harsh detergents and palm oil. Have you placed your order yet?


If all of the above aren’t reason enough to adore this brand, here’s a little more insight into the business.


Behind the Brand Interview with co-founder Geneva Valek.

1) Who’s Geneva, the woman behind the brand? Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?


I’m Geneva and I started up Shampoo With A Purpose with my Mum, Elizabeth Valek. Clover Fields; our parent company was founded in 1983 by Liz, she was a nurse and had a broken ankle and stayed home making up bags of bath salts – which snowballed into 36+ years of making and designing soaps, bathroom products and more in Sydney, Australia. We first launched Shampoo With A Purpose in 2018 after identifying a huge demand from customers for plastic-free alternatives to everyday products. We took a long time to formulate an all-natural shampoo that would process through a triple-mill (a triple-mill is a machine that condenses and blends together high-quality soaps), without making a product that contains soap which strips the hair of its natural sheen and oils. What we’ve now created is a soap-free shampoo, that lasts for a very long time and holds integrity in the shower, mostly thanks to the triple-milling process. A bit more about us personally – Liz has been running our company for nearly 4 decades and has an incredible knowledge of soapmaking, perfumery along with formulation and chemistry. I came into the business in the last few years from the music industry, and together we are working on innovating household products into solid forms or plastic/waste-free packaging. 


2) Why did you start Shampoo with a Purpose?

We had a really strong demand and saw a great market trend toward the plastic-free and zero waste movement. For us, we wanted to make a shampoo/conditioner bar that was high-quality but affordable – and with a serious and important eco-friendly message but also a brand that has a lot of fun.


3) What is your mission and view for the brand?

We really wanted to create something fresh, young and vibrant, that really celebrates a customer who’s taking a step towards minimising their plastic consumption. Our goal is to educate our customers on how easy it can be to reduce your waste while making them smile! It’s not about a difficult and hard road to eliminating your waste – it’s about taking small and easy steps to minimisation, we like to think that if everyone tries to be plastic-free imperfectly it’ll have a much bigger impact that a handful of people doing it perfectly.


4) What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?

Our goal is to expand our network across Australia. We have quite a great reach of stockists throughout the country, we are also working on a stronger expansion overseas and our #1 goal is to reach 1,000,000 shampoo and conditioner bottles from being made or used. 


Whether you’re doing it for the environment, for your health, or for your kids, choose organic and natural shampoo and conditioner bars. Let’s help S.W.A.P with their inspiring goal of 1,000,000 bottles from being made and used.


“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly” 

– Anne-Marie Bonneau | Zero-waste Chef


Inspire, love and create change.


Enjoyed this post? Click & Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

About the Author

Bernita Teixeira, founder of One Green Dream is an eco-enthusiast, passionate educator and optimistic dreamer of a better tomorrow. She’s on a mission to educatre for sustainability and to connect conscious consumers with standout eco-conscious brands whilst equipping individuals and families with attainable sustainable living tips. Read more here.

Never miss a story again!  Sign up to our newsletter

  • Comments are closed.