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.
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.
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.