As someone who lives by the ocean — and also loves the feeling of smooth, healthy hair — I’m a big fan of waterless hair care.
And by waterless, I mean plastic-free shampoo and conditioner bars that don’t contain water. (My suspicion is that “waterless” was coined by the beauty industry. Maybe their way of working around the obligation to make “plastic-less” products?)
Anyways, I digress. If waterless is the trendy term, so be it. Just let it be known that products like HiBAR are both waterless AND plastic-less. And these solid, nutrient-dense products pack a stronger punch (and are way friendlier to the planet) than their conventional counterparts.
But still, switching to a solid product after a lifetime of bathing your locks with liquid can be a bit scary. Especially if you’ve given waterless hair care a go in the past. Rest assured, today’s waterless products are way different from the blocks of soap you might have previously stumbled upon.
So, let me put your mind and your hair at ease. Take my word for it, waterless products can be true game-changers for your beauty routine.
Can waterless shampoo actually give you beautiful hair?
First off, let’s set the record straight. Products like HiBAR are not soap. They are genuine shampoo and conditioner, only with the water removed.
And when it comes to HiBAR, they leave out all the ingredients that aren’t doing your hair (or the planet) any favors. Things like sulfates, phthalates, parabens, silicones, and plastic too.
And as long as you have water on hand, solid shampoo can pack the same beauty benefits — and ultimately outperform — conventional, liquid shampoos. After all, leaving water out of the formula allows for more of the ingredients that nourish your hair, such as:
White willow bark extract: a gentle yet powerful exfoliant that removes dirt, build-up, and dead skin all while controlling oil, and reducing inflammation
Honeyquat: a water-soluble, moisturizing, and non-sticky derivative of honey
Shea butter: a moisturizer that contains vitamins A and E and works to soften brittle hair, repair split ends, nourish your scalp, and give your hair a healthy shine
Kukui nut oil: another moisturizer that contains vitamins A, C, and E and helps with repairing damaged hair and regenerating skin cells for a healthy scalp
Vitamin B5: a vital vitamin for healthy hair that strengthens hair follicles and promotes growth, water retention, and elasticity
Here’s the thing, it’s these ingredients — not the water — that lead the way to healthy, beautiful hair.
So why do conventional shampoos average around 80% water? (Yes, it’s that much!) Because it’s easier and more profitable for companies to sell water-based shampoo. It’s familiar. It’s easy to use. And plastic is cheap.
But it makes liquid shampoo and conditioner some of the most expensive bottled water in the world. (Don’t drink it though.)
Brands like HiBAR actually want to nourish your hair AND tread lighter on the planet — not rip you both off! They (like me) believe it makes more sense to use products that contain the ingredients you don’t already have flowing from your shower head.
All the more reason to try a “waterless” shampoo. Whether it’s HiBAR or any other sulfate-free, soap-free, and plastic-free brand. You won’t regret it, and the planet will thank you.
Editor's note: if you’re curious which HiBAR to try, have a look at our ‘Find your HiBAR’ page.
About the Author
Jordan Horwat is a freelance sustainability copywriter. As someone who grew up visiting the Outer Banks every year since birth and is now a full-time resident, she’s what locals call “a transplant.” She respects that. Nonetheless, Jordan loves learning and writing about all things sustainability + OBX and wants nothing more than for everyone to respect and protect this place as much as they love it.
Image by Karu Thompson
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