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Natural, zero waste hair care with Shop Zero™

natural hair product

We all love our locks! Whether your hair is short or long, keeping it in optimal condition and styled is a priority for many of us before we get on with our day and face the world.

By now you’ve probably heard of shampoo and conditioner bars, but maybe you are hesitant to try them. Traditional hair care products in plastic bottles are what we’ve been conditioned to, unfortunately the environment does not appreciate them at all! But fear not! As someone who has been using shampoo and conditioner bars for the last four years, I can assure you that my hair has never been in better condition and I have never looked back.

What are shampoo bars?

shampoo bar
Nul shampoo bars contain no sulphates, SLS or parabens and produce a creamy, rich lather for natural, gentle cleansing and conditioning.

 

Shampoo bars are concentrated, solid hair care bars that contain natural ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil, virgin olive oil and rich butters like shea and cocoa to nourish and feed your hair.  All our shampoo bars are biodegradable. This means they are a wonderful choice when camping and washing up in fresh water lakes and streams. It also means you can funnel your shower water into your garden to feed your lawn. Zero waste hair care is a gift to you and our planet!

How to use a shampoo bar

It’s so easy. Start by wetting your hair. Take the bar in your hand and rub it all over your scalp. Also move it down the the length of your hair for longer locks. Put the bar down and work your hair into a wonderful lather. Rich and nourishing, all Shop Zero™ shampoo bars create a fluffy lather, while the natural ingredients gently clean the hair without stripping away natural protective oils.

Transitioning from traditional hair products to zero waste natural alternatives

It can take a few days (or longer) for your scalp to adjust when you switch to a natural shampoo. Remember that most traditional (detergent) hair products are loaded with nasty chemicals that strip the natural oils in your scalp and cause your scalp to overproduce oil.

In the beginning, it may feel like your hair is oilier and heavier than normal. Make sure you rinse your hair well. Alternatively you can use a spray bottle with a 50 to 50 ratio of household vinegar and spray your hair at the end of your shampoo and conditioning session. Remember to close your eyes when spraying this mixture on your hair. Rinse again afterwards. You’ll only need to do this until your scalp adjusts to the natural hair products you have switched to.

In my case, I have curly dry hair by nature, so the transition to a natural shampoo was quick. The trick is NOT TO GIVE UP. And with all the options at Shop Zero™, you are bound to find the perfect natural, zero waste hair care solution. If you persevere, your reward will be healthy, soft and silky hair that will never cause harm to the environment.

natural conditioner
Back 2 Nature’s conditioner with Neroli, Honey Bush and Aloe Ferox. Get yours here.

Zero waste

An awesome thing about shampoo bars is that you can use them as ordinary soap bars as well. So if you haven’t found the right bar for your hair yet, you can use it as a body or hand soap. So zero waste!  

Different solutions for different hair types

We offer a wide range of shampoo and conditioner bars for all hair types. Click here to find out more. Our hair care solutions are so inclusive that we even stock a shampoo bar for your furry friend! Take a look at our pet shampoo bar here.

natural dog shampoo
Photo by Autri Taheri

KaioB™ Leave-in Hair Conditioner is designed for healthy and radiant hair. It features a great strengthening and anti-snap formula. A little goes a long way and this is by far one of my favourite leave in conditioners. Another amazing conditioning option, is our recently unpacked Nul conditioner bar.  Be sure to have a look-see at their shampoo bars too. There are bars for frizzy, dry or damaged, normal and oily hair as well as a shampoo bar for dry scalp. We love how they support local small scale farmers and their selection of unique African ingredients.

Linda Gieskes-Mwamba’s roots are reflected in her hair and body care business called Suki Suki Naturals. Linda’s natural hair products are specifically formulated for African hair. There is a delicious Mango Butter for Hair and Body, Hydro-Protective Hair Mist and the Miraculous Hair Treatment Oil available on our online store.

natural hair care

Storage of bars between uses to prolong their life

We recommend removing your solid shampoo bar from your shower after use so it can dry out and last as long as possible. Alternatively place it on some pebbles, a loofah or the bristles of a nail scrubbing brush. NB: Do not leave it in a pool of water as this will cause the soap bar to dissolve.

Packaging

Packaging is chosen with respect for the environment. The boxes are made of cardboard and can therefore be composted as it is completely plastic-free. I use my cardboard box to store my shampoo bar in between uses. Shop Zero™ also wraps some of their “naked” shampoo bars in paper. The paper does get greasy, so should be composted instead of recycled. The jars, bottles and aluminium containers can and should have a second life. Please reuse or repurpose your attractive containers.

Let’s get everyone on board!

Have you made the switch to shampoo and conditioner bars? Leave a reply below and let us know how it’s going for you and if you would recommend it to your friends. Share this post and let’s get more people to decrease their dependence on plastic!

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To gift or not to gift…

Furoshiki fabric gift wrap

It’s that time of the year again – festive season madness.  While we as Shop Zero™ do not promote consumerism and encouraged customers not to buy anything (excluding your essentials of course) during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail campaigns, we are also realists and understand that gifting is a tradition for many during this time.

Sustainable festive gifting
I personally believe the trick is to handle it responsibly.  After two decades of attempting to mimimise our family’s festive gift budget, we have finally settled on a gifting solution that works quite nicely for everyone.  We all put or names on individual pieces of (recycled) paper, pop the names in a bowl and then each family member draws a name.  You will then ONLY buy a gift for that person whose name you drew and it has to fall within the allocated budget (which is R300 in our case).  This way everyone gets a gift and you can buy something decent for that amount – first prize being from a second-hand store.

Sustainable living inspiration
Why limit the joy of sustainable living to the festive season?  Let it be the start of a new lifestyle, one that focuses on being more aware of your impact on the environment.  Attempt to eliminate that which does not serve your health or the well-being of this planet.  Start by looking at what you consume on a daily basis and ask:
1. Is it all necessary?
2. Where can I cut back on waste and excess?

Introduce small changes instead of trying to tackle everything at once, which might become overwhelming and discourage you from the end goal: being kind to yourself and this beautiful planet.

For example: If you notice you love and eat a lot of chocolate, how can you still enjoy this treat in a healthy and responsible way?  Easy… through informed substitution!

Take Soaring Free Superfoods Raw Chocolate.  Although it comes in packaging, its Certified Organic Raw Cacao in home compostable packaging means it’s organic,  it’s a superfood and it’s packaged earth friendly.  By swapping a refined sugary chocolate bar wrapped in non-recyclable plastic for wholesome Raw Superfoods Chocolate, you know you’re doing the right thing, since the chocolate is fair trade, unprocessed and packaged in resonsible packaging.  You can even cut up the packaging and pop it in your bokashi composter bin.

This is a small example of turning an old ‘bad’ habit into a ‘new’ constructive one.   This process will become second nature if you continue to ask these simple questions as you navigate through your daily consumption habits.

Sustainable gift guide
If you are looking for sustainable gifting ideas that have a positive impact on our planet, here are some suggestions.  These really are gifts that keep on giving as they are ALL reusable and make a real difference to reducing your plastic waste:

R100 and under
Stainless Steel/ Copper /Glass Straw & Straw Cleaning Brush
Coconut Bowl
FreshBags veggie or bread bags
Masterstock Cape Wild Food 50ml bottle
Nourish luxurious body/ face soaps or shampoo bars

R200 and under
Market string bag
Hemp printed shopping bags: exclusive to Shop Zero™
Bamboo toothbrush & travel case
Back2Nature vegan face & body products

R300 and under
Ecoffee/ William Morris reusable bamboo cup
Reusable drinking bottles
Composter: bokashi bin & bran
Kuro-Bo water filters
Tiffin food and picnic storage tin
Book: Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
Book: The Magic of Superfoods by Peter & Beryn Daniel

Happy sustainable shopping and remember, every small change makes a huge difference.  So even if you don’t shop zero waste yet, aim to shop eco-friendly.

The festive season is not necessarily a religious occasion for our family, but it is the only time we are all able to all take leave and come together as a family to look back on the year, be thankful for our blessings and spend quality time together.  We wish our Shop Zero™ customers and followers the same and more.

If you have any other sustainable tips and tricks or any ideas for responsible gifting solutions, please share it with us and post them in the comments here.