Going plastic free – 4 zero waste shampoo ideas

Welcome to the fourth part of my ‘zero waste shopping list’ series.

You’ve sniffed my pits and agreed plastic-free deodorants can work. We’ve taken a look at plastic free toothpaste and discovered 4 plastic free toothbrushes that you should consider.

Today we’re going to enjoy healthy, shiny barnets WITHOUT creating any landfill – woohoo!

Most shampoos come in plastic bottles. And although these bottles can be recycled in many areas, lots end up thrown away.

Would you believe there are some zero waste alternatives; some of which I’ve tried myself and are in a kitchen near you!


Oh yes – eggs make an amazing ‘shampoo’. The key with using eggs is to rinse your hair with warm, not hot water, because you don’t want scrambled eggs on your head, right?

Just whisk an egg (some people mix with honey or olive oil if their hair is very dry and frizzy) and apply as best you can. Wait a moment then rinse.


Once you have soapwort in your garden it’s there for life. It’s incredibly invasive too, so stick it in a container. But it’s worth having because it’s pretty AND makes a gentle shampoo.

To use, grab a handful of soapwort – stems, leaves and flowers are all ok. Boil it up to make a decoction then cool and rub into your hair. it’s very liquid, so quite difficult to apply, but it’s well worth the effort.

Shampoo bars

If you’re not ready to go the DIY route, shampoo bars usually come wrapped in cardboard and are available from shops like LUSH.

They work like a bar of soap and are easily transportable.

Some people love them, other claim they dry the hair, so you’ll need to experiment.

No Poo

The no poo method traditionally involves cleansing your hair with bicarbonate of soda (mix it in water to make a paste) followed by a cider vinegar rinse (1 tbsp vinegar to a litre of warm water).

I managed to ‘wash’ my hair like this for 3 years before resorting back to shampoo and it was excellent. (I bought bicarbonate of soda in bulk in a large polythene bag so although not completely plastic free, I’m still using that plastic bag to put over the bowl when I leave bread to rise!) It took 6-8 weeks for my hair to settle down (scarves and hats will be necessary during that time, so perhaps start at the beginning of autumn).

Your hair will really thicken up (which is often why people with fine hair love it, whereas those with thick hair get balls of knots) and it might change colour too. Washing it in this way bought out the red in my hair so it looked like I’d been hennaeing it. I didn’t mind, but you might not like it.

Inspired to go the No-Poo route? Blogging ambassador Lucy has written a fantastic book packed with hints, tips and ideas for success. She shares her own journey, she’s done the geeky science stuff so you don’t have to and you’ll find 32 natural alternatives to shampoo, conditioner and styling products.

Get it as an ebook here or get a paperback copy on Amazon.

What about you – have you ever washed your hair without plastic?


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Rachelle Strauss

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