This Earth Day, you may be doubting your current efforts towards sustainable living. Well, don’t. We’re not here to judge how much trash you generate a week, but if you’d like to adopt more eco-friendly, green practices in your daily life, here’s a start. Activewear made from ethically-sourced or recycled materials, refillable beauty items that reduce packaging waste, and sustainable haircare ranges. Baby steps, really!
More and more beauty brands are making great strides in the name of green, clean beauty, whether we’re talking about vegan formulas and ethical ingredient sourcing, or opting for plastic-free — or in some cases, zero — packaging when it comes to housing their precious formulas. Ahead, we look at the shampoo bars, powder shampoos, and more, and why these good-for-you forms of shampoo will make a difference, in our lives as well as planet Earth’s.
The main plus point here: zero packaging. Shampoo bars are a minimalist concept that don’t just aim to reduce unnecessary waste — they eliminate it altogether. Instead of plastic bottles that take up space in your bathroom, it’s basically shampoo in solid form, where highly concentrated ingredients are packed into pebble-sized shapes. That the bars are usually lighter than bottled shampoos also means a reduced carbon footprint during shipping and transport, certainly something to keep in mind as well. To use, simply wet the bar, lather it up using the palm of your hands, and massage the shampoo into your scalp.
1. OASIS: Solid Shampoo — Rose & Thyme
If you think package-free means plain or sad-looking bars of shampoo, think again. OASIS: is here to change that mindset with solid shampoo bars that mimic the shape of canales, handcrafted in Singapore and made using 100% plant-based ingredients. This Rose & Thyme solid shampoo smells good and packs a punch too, with a blend of organic roses, thyme, and premium jasmine tea leaves that naturally condition the scalp while giving us shiny, nourished hair. Furthermore, each shampoo is wrapped in FSC-certified compostable paper printed with soy ink, so they’re really doing the most here.
$15, available online at oasisbeautykitchen.com.
2. Lush Shampoo Bar — Angel Hair
We all know Lush for their delightful bath bombs and scented bath products, though we feel the lengths they go to ensure sustainable living deserves to be more known too. All of Lush’s bountiful array of products and fragrances are made fresh by hand using little or no preservatives or packaging, with only carefully-sourced vegetarian ingredients; they’re famously against animal testing as well. The Angel Hair Shampoo Bar is, thus, the perfect embodiment of the brand’s values, in “naked” packaging, and with heaven-sent ingredients of shine-enhancing aquafaba, calming rose water and witch hazel, ylang ylang oil to gently stimulate the scalp.
$25, available at Lush stores and online.
3. Ethique Shampoo Bar — Heali Kiwi
New Zealand-based brand Ethique, known for their range of solid shampoos, started way back in 2012, when founder Brianne decided to do something about the amount of waste — particularly, plastic waste — generated by the cosmetics industry. At a time when solid beauty bars weren’t yet the norm too! This then explains their wide range of formulas, and expertise, when it comes to targeting various hair concerns, whether it’s dry hair, an oily scalp, dandruff, or for simply maintaining your curls. The top-selling Heali Kiwi, in particular, is a 100% soap-free, pH-balanced, and gentle formula that helps calm and nourish sensitive scalps, and contains ground oatmeal, karanja oil, and neem oil among other ingredients. Each solid shampoo bar is also equivalent to three 350ml bottles of shampoo!
USD15, available online at ethique.com.
4. L’Occitane Solid Shampoo — Gentle & Balance
The next time you’re shopping at L’Occitane for their luxurious hand creams, look out for the eco-conscious brand’s range of solid shampoos as well. Gentle & Balance is all about a gentle wash that cares for the scalp’s natural balance, made with 100% natural essential oils including that of lemon, orange, rosemary, chamomile, and Provence-sourced lavender, along with a naturally-derived sugar complex. Many users love the generous lather this bar of shampoo produces too.
Bonus points: if you’ve got other beauty / skincare empties, feel free to drop them off at L’Occitane stores for recycling, since they’re one of the rare places that accept plastic containers across all brands.
$20, available at L’Occitane stores and online.
Most of us associate ‘powder shampoo’ with dry shampoo, the kind you use to freshen up your hair in between wash days or after the gym. What if we told you there’s a powder shampoo that lathers and foams as well? This is a new category that homegrown beauty brand, The Powder Shampoo, is pioneering, and they hold the title of being the world’s first foaming vegan powder shampoo. The powder-to-foam formula transforms into a cleansing foam when in contact with water, providing the lather and cleansing power you’d expect from a liquid shampoo.
1. The Powder Shampoo
It’s not just the plastic-free packaging they’ve got going on here — try, zero water. Local brand The Powder Shampoo is straightforward about their planet-first philosophy, with water-free, power-to-foam shampoos that save five litres of water per bottle; removing water also means they can pack 100 washes or more per bottle, making one product last three times longer than regular liquid shampoos. Each shampoo is also housed in a recyclable aluminium bottle, so picked in order to minimise plastic waste with a material that can be recycled multiple times.
While being a new category of shampoo, we can be assured that the ingredients are familiar and very welcome for our hair and scalp — the brand uses more than 20 plant extracts across the range, with the key ingredient being Thyme-Capsuled™️ technology, which promotes hair growth, present in every formula, no matter your hair concern.
$39.90, available online at thepowdershampoo.com.
ECO-FRIENDLY HAIRCARE RANGES
What impresses us with these haircare lines, from already established brands, is how much they devote themselves to well-rounded sustainable practices. These involve looking to ethical sources for their precious ingredients, to packaging that’s earth-friendly, as well as refill packs that help minimise waste.
1. HAIR KITCHEN
HAIR KITCHEN is a new Japanese natural haircare brand that just launched in Singapore, helmed by the reputable Shiseido Professional group. A massive plus? Natural, ethical and sustainable formulas that tap on fruits and vegetables to protect and repair hair, as well as several great efforts towards sustainability. The haircare range makes use of peels, seeds, and non-standard produce usually rejected by retailers, and are SLS-free, using an amino acid type cleansing agent instead. Shampoo and treatment bottles are also made with biomass plastic packaging, a material derived from sugarcane, while there are refill packs to further reduce waste.
HAIR KITCHEN, available at selected partner salons. Full list here.
2. Moist Diane ‘Diane Be True’ Series
Moist Diane happens to be Japan’s No.1 silicone-free shampoo brand, so we’re thankful that they’ve come up with a cruelty-free, eco-friendly series of shampoos and treatments made with ethically- and sustainably-sourced ingredients — at affordable price points too. The ‘Diane Be True‘ series also features their first-ever vegan formulations, formulated without animal testing of course, and as an added bonus, all items are packed in bottles made from 96% recycled plastic, true to their strong commitment towards products that are kinder to our environment.
$14.90 each for the Shampoo and Treatment. Available at Watsons, FairPrice, Don Don Donki, Lazada, and Shopee.