If you've been looking for ways to reduce your plastic consumption, then this article is for you. We'll be discussing the benefits of making the switch to solid shampoo, how it works and what to look out for. From reducing waste to easier travelling, find out how these sustainable gems can help you make the switch today!


What is Solid Shampoo?

Solid shampoo is essentially shampoo in a bar. Made with hardly any liquid or water, the shampoo bar contains only solid ingredients such as oils, butters, starches and powder detergent. Basically, solid shampoo is a very concentrated liquid shampoo, that you add the water to.

 Using solid shampoo

Benefits of Solid Shampoo

Solid shampoo has a number of benefits over liquid shampoo, both for you and the environment.

First and foremost, no plastic bottles or pumps. Shampoo bars usually just come wrapped in paper or in a small box.

Solid shampoo has a lighter carbon footprint. Each bottle of liquid shampoo contains a lot of water, which is heavy to transport. Solid shampoo, on the other hand, takes up less space and weight in shipping for an equivalent number of hair-washes.

Similarly, solid shampoo is also great for travel because there are no worries about spills, leaks, or being over the 100ml volume threshold.

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, solid shampoo works. It cleanses your hair just as effectively as a liquid shampoo and isn’t difficult to use.

Finally, a solid shampoo should be good for your hair. A decent shampoo bar shouldn’t contain any harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. Instead, solid shampoo contains nourishing ingredients that help keep your hair healthy and strong.


How Does Solid Shampoo Work?

Just like with liquid shampoo, the first thing you need to do is wet your hair. Then, wet the shampoo bar and rub it directly into your hair and scalp. You’ll notice that it starts to lather up just like liquid shampoo would. Once your hair and scalp are lathered up, simply rinse it out like you would with any other shampoo.

Check out our video on how to use a shampoo bar:  

To maximise the ‘life’ of your shampoo bar here are a couple of tips:

  1. Always put it on a soap rack to drain / dry off after use;
  2. If it breaks into bits as it gets smaller, put the bits in a sisal soap bag and use as normal.


Tips for Choosing the Right Solid Shampoo

  1. Consider your hair type. Solid shampoos come in different formulations for different hair types. If you have oily hair, look for a shampoo that contains clay, activated charcoal and or balancing essential oils. For dry or damaged hair, look for a formula that includes nourishing ingredients like shea butter or jojoba oil.
  2. Check it really is a shampoo and not a soap bar. ‘First generation’ solid shampoo was often just a bar of soap renamed ‘shampoo’. Soap works for some people, but it’s not ideal because soap is more alkaline than your scalp which can either irritate over time or lead to frizzy hair. If it’s a soap, the ingredients will be something like sodium palmate or sodium olivate. A true solid shampoo will contain sodium cocoyl isethionate or another type of powder detergent. A real bar shampoo should also be pH balanced to around 5.5 which is the pH of the skin on our scalp.
  3. Particularly if you have dry, damaged or coloured hair, avoid sulphates – note that sodium coco sulphate is often used in shampoo bars. Look for as many natural and organic ingredients as possible. This way, you can be sure that the shampoo bar won't harm your hair or scalp.

All Acala shampoo bars are pH balanced, sulphate-free, palm-free, and soap free. They’re of course also vegan and cruelty-free. We make them with lots of lovely nourishing plant oils and butters, plus kale proteins, panthenol and betaine to condition and protect. They are all wrapped in recycled paper and you’ll get an estimated 40-60 washes from one bar (depending on your hair length), saving 2-3 x 200ml plastic bottles.

Our Parsley, Kale, Rosemary & Shine Shampoo Bar - winner of the Veggie magazine award for Best Vegan Haircare - is for normal-dry or coloured hair.

Clean Green Matcha Shampoo Bar is balancing for oilier scalps.

And Camelia, Kokum and Lemon Conditioning Shampoo Bar is great for dry or damaged hair and gives a conditioning effect.   


DIY Recipe for Homemade Solid Shampoo

Many of the recipes on the internet are for the soap-type shampoo bar mentioned above, and use castile soap flakes. To make a true shampoo bar, it’s not that easy, but certainly do-able if you have some time and patience. So if you’re interested in making your own solid shampoo, here’s a suggestion to get you started:

Simple Solid Shampoo Recipe – makes approx. 100g

  • 50g sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI) powder or flakes
  • 5g shea butter or cocoa butter
  • 10g plant oils e.g. avocado, sunflower, coconut, jojoba
  • 30g powders such as corn or tapioca starch, kaolin clay, activated charcoal
  • 1g essential oil

Instructions: Melt the butter and plant oils together then stir in the SCI. Mix in the dry powders until you have a dough. Press the dough into a mould or shape in your hands. Put in the freezer for a few hours to harden. Ideally leave for a couple of days before you use it.

Essential oils – rosemary, mint, eucalyptus and citrus oils are all great choices to feel refreshed and invigorated in the morning. For something more calming, opt for lavender.



When it comes to shampoo, most of us are creatures of habit. We find a brand we like and stick with it, often for years on end. But there are more sustainable ways to wash your hair.

Enter: solid shampoo. This eco-friendly alternative to liquid shampoo has a host of benefits, from reducing plastic waste to being more gentle on your hair. And did we mention that it can be just as effective as the conventional stuff?

So why not make the switch to solid shampoo today? Your hair and the oceans will thank you for it!


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