Would You Go “Naked” At The Bowl?

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Not literally (even though some of you would definitely say yes). I’m talking about zero packaging on products you use every day in the salon. Solid, “naked” products are more sustainable alternatives to your go-to products and come in a form that’s similar to bar soap. Often delivered in recyclable, paper packaging, these substitutes create limited waste as you wash them down the drain.

Not to rub it in, but shampoos, conditioners and treatments contribute to the over 35 million tons of plastic waste we create every year. While we’ve all moved to #SkiptheStraw, there’s plenty of room to still go green.

In The Salon

For stylists, making the switch to solid is easier than it might sound. Just as you’d pour product at the bowl, cut a slice from your bar instead. This protects your hygiene standards while banking on sustainability. Then, wet the piece in your hands and lather against the scalp. Watch the magic happen as you wash, condition or treat and are left with nothing to rinse or throw out!

When it comes to products, our go-to brands are miles behind on their sustainable packaging. However, while we wait for them to catch up, there are plenty of smaller or lesser-known companies that are already killing it! These are some of our faves for stripping down at the salon.


For hairdressers that are feeling a little shy on the trend, start by taking a look at HiBAR. These salon-quality, plastic-free hair care products are made without soap, phthalates, sulfates, parabens or silicones. Plus, they were developed with a team of hair professionals. HiBAR features three formulas of shampoo and conditioner for moisturizing, volumizing or maintaining. All are safe for colored or treated hair and scented with essential oils. Yummy!


Next, if you’ve heard anything about naked products, you’ve definitely heard about Lush. The fan-fave brand has plastic-free options for hair, body and skin, with specialties for baths and showers (obviously). From 2012 to 2019, Lush has saved 22.5 million plastic bottles (or 620 tonnes) from being produced in North America. Hairdressers can browse their extensive range of naked products and choose from shampoo bars, pressed conditioners, oil treatments, henna hair dyes and more.

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Today is World Environment Day ?? This year has brought many challenges and we have a long way to go in addressing and combating both social and environmental issues. We cannot solve our environmental issues, unless we include everyone and listen to all voices. It may seem at times that it is always bad news; that you don't know what to say, what to do or how to act and that is very overwhelming. Whilst we should all take responsibility for improving the world we share, we need global, systemic change. And while we work towards that, it’s important to remember that your choices make more of a difference than you think. Every time you make the seemingly simple choice of reaching for a bar (any bar), over the bottle, you’re adding to an ever-growing number of bottles saved from landfills and oceans. Ethique customers have saved over 8 million bottles so far, which is an excellent start. The next goal is 50 million by 2025. And when you pick up a bar, it is so much more than just a plastic-free purchase. When you buy an Ethique bar, instead of that bottle, you: – Say a big nope to the fossil fuel industry (most plastics are made from ethylene oxide derived from fossil fuels) – Support indigenous smallholders and women-led cooperatives all over the world who produce our fair trade ingredients. – Support a company that pays all its staff at least a living wage. – Say NO to ancient tropical forest destruction and species loss with palm oil-free ingredients. – Plant trees, restore habitats and promote conservation. – Support a company that donates 20% of profit to charity. (Continued in the comments) ?: @anniekandringa *as calculated on ethique.com
^when purchased online at ethique.com

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Ethique is a brand that’s absolutely raved about in the sustainable beauty community. After getting its start in New Zealand, it recently began shipping to North America with a mission to help consumers #giveupthebottle. Instead, they replace products with vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable and palm-oil-free formulas. One option that’s perfect for pros is the Tone It Done Purple solid shampoo. That’s right, keep your blondes cool and create minimal waste. This brand is definitely an MVP.

by Humankind

Finally, the all-natural hair products from by Humankind are plastic-free, carbon-neutral and classically beautiful. Hairdressers can choose their scent from citrus-lavender, lemongrass, peppermint or unscented, as well as a quick-drying, anti-bacterial “shower dish.” Each is good for sensitive skin and all hair types, but do some research when it comes to its effect on your color formula. Enjoy nourishing oils –– including sunflower seed, coconut and castor –– in the shampoo bar, while the conditioner  jojoba and cocoa butter finish the job as you condition.

Making The Switch

Don’t get stressed by the idea of replacing your old favorites –– I’m not asking that you trash your whole stash if there’s plastic products. But, why not have a little fun during this already-crazy time in the salon and order a bar or two to test on your experimental or eco-conscious clients (or even yourself at home)?

Beyond reducing waste, solid products are awesome for saving you money, as their longer life means less-frequent purchases. According to Lush, one shampoo bar lasts up to 80 washes (or about three bottles of shampoo). Plus, you can totally ration how much you’re using with the easy-to-manage, solid shape.

TBH, I love this concept and can’t wait to try some naked products in my own shower. The formulas are cleaner, the ethics are better and the application is way more interesting! Now, if only someone would invent naked developers, permanent hair colors and lighteners. Dream. Come. True.

Darby Hoffman
Darby Hoffman
Darby Hoffman is a creative and branded content writer based in Chicago, IL. She specializes in topics related to sustainability, beauty technology, and consumer health & safety.